In a world where robots are taking over many jobs including welcoming you to hotels, a competition in Switzerland wants to make sure the industry keeps its human touch.

The cream of the crop went “bell to bell” at the competition to be crowned the best. “I felt very nervous in the morning,” said receptionist Tim Oberli who put his people skills to the test during the 4-day contest in his home country. He says, “It is very important to be flexible, to be creative, to have the ability to improvise.”

Eager receptionists from around the world descend on the set of a fake hotel in the Swiss city of Montreux. One answered a phone call, his voice steady and pleasant, as another assisted a guest, who is actually just an actor. “Do you need any assistance with your luggage, sir? Or with your car?”

Actors threw everything at competitors. One stood impatiently at the reception desk, “Book a table for 3.” The contestant did his best to help, saying “certainly sir, for 3 persons?” From securing tables at top restaurants – or booking a wake-up call – to dealing with a difficult, or even an injured guest. As one guests limped from the hotel – a receptionist directed her to a waiting taxi. All the while, a team of judges and spectators scrutinized their every move.

Organizers of the WorldSkills organization say a successful check-in can unlock the world. “I was a competitor back in the 1980s and it very much opens doors and opportunities for these young people,” says Jane Stokie, Global Director of Competitions at WorldSkills international.

When it was over – Tim Oberli came in second, but for him – it’s all about loving what you do. “It’s way more than just this medal. It is about being an ambassador for my profession,” he said.

And everyone’s a winner – just as long as they make sure guests enjoy their stay.

The “WorldSkills” organization also holds competitions across the globe to find the best talent in a wide-range of occupations – including hairdressing, woodworking, and plumbing.