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Review of "Receptionist/Telephonist"

published 04/03/2008 | bluejules
Member since : 17/06/2003
Reviews : 184
Members who trust : 127
About me :
Also bluejules on dooyoo and my reviews usually also appear there. Struggling to upload photos onto my Crowne Plaza review - will keep trying!
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very helpful

"Receptionist at a Car Dealer"

I have had a weekend job since September 2005 and I work as a receptionist at a car dealership. As I've been in this role for about 2 and half years, I feel as though I can offer some information about the job.

A bit about the company

I work for a local car dealership in the town where I live. The company has three branches within the region. The branch I work at is a double franchise (Peugeot and Chevrolet) but the other two branches are not (just Peugeot).

How I got the job

When I was in year 10 I carried out my 2 weeks work experience here (as a clerical assistant rather than a receptionist). They were pleased with my performance and the summer of the following year (2005) I was employed as a temporary full time receptionist for the six-week holiday. Towards the end of my time there the weekend position became available and I was asked if I would like it. I said yes, and so from 17th September 2005 I have had a permanent part time contract :-)

I didn't have to have an interview due the circumstances that I got the job but the receptionists who work through the week applied for the job through an advert and were both interviewed. I think most places will ask for an interview before giving you the job.

What does my job involve?

My role includes answering the telephone and greeting people as they enter the building. I make the coffee and keep the receptionist area tidy. Sometimes on a Saturday morning I help out with admin, whether this is sending out letters, filing, franking outgoing mail or working on the computer. I sometimes have to type letters for my boss, or take payments on the card machine. On a Saturday afternoon or Sunday I sometimes hand the service cars over and take payment, if the service department leaves a message about it before they close.

My job varies if I do overtime and work through the week, as I do the banking for the service department, deal with more customers, make courtesy calls to customers who have recently had their car in for service, book in MOTs and so some photocopying.

A big part of my job is dealing with people, which I think would be the same for most receptionists.

= Answering the phone =

I sit at my desk pretty much just waiting for the phone to ring (or a customer to come through the door) to make my day go by more quickly. I have to say "Good Afternoon, [Company name] for Peugeot and Chevrolet, Julie Speaking, How can I help?" So as you can see it is quite a mouthful! I then help the customer to the best of my ability, which is usually transferring to them to the relevant department but I do sometimes deal with the customers myself, depending on the enquiry. I have to keep a telephone log, which involves filling in the name of the customer, their telephone number (if they allow me to) and who they were transferred to. I don't have to log the calls from the other branches.

= Dealing with Customers =

This is the worst and best part of my job. There are some really nice customers who like to have a chat and who are just generally friendly, but there are also some unpleasant customers who think it is my fault if the service department is shut and they can't get their car booked in etc. Sometimes, customers won't listen to the advice I have and want to hear it from someone else, e.g. a salesman or a manager.

When I first started this job, 2 years ago, I was a quiet and shy girl who had just finished my GCSE's. This job has definitely increased my confidence and this is down to both the friendly and unpleasant customers! (so I can't complain too much!) I am also a little more outspoken.

Sometimes, I direct customers to the relevant departments or find a salesman for them. Other times if we are busy I find them a brochure or make them a cup of coffee.

= Making Coffee =

I make the coffee (we have a coffee machine) in the morning when I arrive and make sure that there is coffee in the pot all day. It isn't difficult; I just put the coffee in the filter and pour a jug of water through. I sterilise the machine every week (I think I am the only person that does.), which isn't really very pleasant but it makes the time pas quicker.


I work every weekend and bank holiday. My hours on a Saturday are 8am-6pm and I get 1 hour for my lunch (at 12 noon) so I get paid for 9 hours. On Sundays I work 10am-5pm. I don't leave site but I have a short lunch break in the staff kitchen upstairs. Bank holidays are 9am-6pm. I work 16 hours a week (without overtime) but I sometimes go in for a couple of hours on weekdays when they are short staffed, but only in the holidays. They knew when they employed me that I couldn't do overtime during term time and were fine with that. I get four weeks holiday a year, which as I work 2 days a week equates to 8 days :-)

I am on an hourly rate, which is higher than minimum wage for my age as it's an enhanced rate due to it being a weekend position (approximately £6 per hour) :-) if I do overtime through the week I just get minimum wage. I get paid on a monthly basis, which I think is quite good as it stops me spending all my money each week!

The receptionists who work through the week split the days, one works 8am-1.30pm and the other works 1.30pm-7pm. I think they are on minimum wage for their age. They also get four weeks holiday per year.

Wages and hours will differ depending on the type of company you work for so it's worth looking into this at different places to find a job that suits you.


Depending on where you work, the uniform requirements will be different. I assume there will be some type of uniform or smart dress wherever you are a receptionist as this gives a professional appearance. Receptionists are often the first point of contact at a business so give first impressions of the company. ~ My Uniform ~
I wear a navy suit and a white spotted blouse. The suit consists of a jacket, waistcoat and trousers. We have the option of wearing a skirt but I chose trousers as they're warmer and I feel more comfortable in them for work. I wear flat black shoes, but I could wear heels if I wanted to.


  • Pay is good
  • I work with some nice people
  • I like helping customers
  • I can do some studying when its quiet
  • It has increased my confidence


  • Unpleasant customers
  • I work with some not so nice people
  • Some people I work with don't return messages and I have to deal with the unpleasant customers who complain about it
  • It takes up my whole weekend so I'm on the go 7 days a week
  • Can get really busy. Often VERY quiet (why is there no sweet medium!?)


This job is definitely not something I want to do with the rest of my life, although I'm sure it does suit lots of people. The money I have earned from my job has enabled me to learn to drive and buy a car as well as save up for university. The pay is probably the best I could get while I'm at university although the hours aren't always convenient with my studying. I don't think I'll keep this job all the way through my course as I am planning to leave at the end of the summer so that I can focus my energy on the remaining three years of my degree.

If you are interested in becoming a receptionist/telephonist there are opportunities in a variety of settings and businesses and I'm sure your local job centre could help.

Thanks for reading about my experience as a receptionist/telephonist!

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Comments on this review

  • neeraum31 published 11/03/2008
    You are a very busy girl aren't you :-)
  • cat1510 published 08/03/2008
    Good review.
  • Claiiiree published 08/03/2008
    seems like a good place to work
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Product Information : Receptionist/Telephonist

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Listed on Ciao since: 16/02/2008