Food industry is vaster than you can ever imagine. There is an increasing demand for the food service workers around the world. The food service workers work at many places like hotels, hospitals, educational and government institutions, etc. As these jobs come with extreme social exposure and pressure the requirements of a candidate include being friendly, organised, having good managing skills, good social skills and ability to multi task.
Some people join this industry as a passion which makes them stand out as a candidate. However at the end of the day it’s all about how you handle real life challenges. So the questions in an interview not only judge your knowledge about the industry but also judge you as a person. The question can be general, situational or knowledge centric.
Food Service Worker Interview Questions and Answers
1. Why did you choose to pursue work in the food service industry?
This question is for knowing the purpose of your choice. You can be passionate about the industry or you can be in need of a job and this industry is the best fit for your available skills. You can mention your genuine reason to choose this field of work. Make sure you don’t statements don’t sound repleted with regret about your choice.
2. What are your strengths that would make you a good worker here?
Mention your qualities, experiences and skills that fit right with the profile of the work like time management, multitasking, hardworking, etc. You can also mention one of past negative points and let them know that you are working on it. This will help you sound less conceited
E.g. I am a person who has a never say die attitude and I have gained 2 years of experience in this industry while working for XYZ hotel or company. That helped me learn multi tasking and organisation skills. I was not so punctual initially but that experience made me correct my habits and taught the importance of punctuality. In short I am a fast learner.
3. Tell me about your previous experience in this industry. (If any)
Mention or describe your experience in few words. Never lie about your experience. Describe the work atmosphere of your previous job. Mention the skills you learned while working there.
4. How will you be able to fulfill the multitasking requirement of the position?
You can mention your experiences where you had to multitask and how it turned out to be amazingly good. Mention some other skills that will add up to help you multitask.
5. Which part of the job excites you the most? OR Which part of the job do you enjoy the most?
You can mention your personal interests or you an mention how this industry has impacted your life in different ways. You can tell them about your excitement of meeting new people and managing people to get the customers the best service possible.
6. What is your least favourite part of working in food service industry?
This is a bit tricky question. You should never tell that you don’t have any least favourite part because every job have their pros and cons. Here you can mention time management difficulties, pressure from the customers or any other cons of the industry which are your least favourite.
7. What do you know about our establishment?
This question is to know that you have done some research before applying and that you value the job. These are mostly asked in interviews of institutions or organizations that ahve some vibrant history or an amazing reputation for their services.
8. Can you describe what you believe is a typical work day in this industry?
This question is asked to know that you have a clear idea what you are getting yourself into. You can describe day chronologically starting from knowing the requirements of the day to managing your co workers to provide top notch customer service .
9. What qualities make a great server?
Servers are the one who get direct and long exposure to the customers. So the qualities likes patience, good body language, good speaking skills are the prime part of his/her job.
10. How would you describe the importance of hospitality in food service?
Food service without hospitality is like body without soul. Institutions with good hospitality services are seen to bring more customers than the institutions with poor hospitality. This pays a crucial part in increasing the mouth publicity of a place.
11. Can you describe halaal and kosher?
This is to check your knowledge about the industry and how it varies fro different culture. So knowing about the diversity due to different cultures and religion is a part which makes a food service worker understand the customer properly. Describe the difference between the both aspects according to the cultural base.
12. Can you state some common or severe food allergies? How will you perform your duty keeping these in minds?
Knowing about the food allergies is equally important in this job because sometimes serving something different than the customers applied conditions could be fatal. So have some knowledge of some common and severe food allergies to get the ways to avoid any serious issues.
13. Would you be able to work overtime and still perform at your peak?
Even if this job states your time of work hours, you will come across many such instances where you will have to work overtime but the quality of your work or service can’t be compromised. It can affect the reputation of the place. Assure them that you will always try to give your best and make yourself productive in every aspect even if you had to work for extended hours.
14. How will you resolve conflicts among the co workers?
As mentioned earlier, this is about real life challenges. A place where you are working with many other workers would obviously have conflicts among the co workers. Mention how these conflicts can degrade the work environment. Mention different ways like talking or confronting the co workers about the conflict, motivating them to work united for the betterment of the place and themselves.
15. How do you deal with challenging or drunk customers?
This is the most common type of questions you will face during your interview. This question tests your patience and tolerance. So don’t give any such answer that will seem insensitive or unprofessional.
16. How would you help get more customers in the restaurant?
This is the question that lets them know your value other than being a food service worker. You can share your marketing strategies with them or you can mention how you help in improving the quality of the services in the restaurant.
17. How would you handle a customer who is upset about their food order and want their food remade?
This is also the most commonly asked question in a food service interview. The answer for this question should reflect your tolerance and professionalism. But you should also assure them that you won’t give in easily if it is an attempt of shakedown from the customer that will make them realise that you can be tough to avoid any losses for the business.
18. Can you describe a customer behaviour that annoys you the most?
As this job includes dealing with people you will come across many moments that won’t be worth remembering but will give you an experience of handling a chaos. Mention how customer’s behaviour like disrespecting the servers and humiliating the workers can be pretty damaging. How it can drop the morale of the team.
19. Do you believe customer is always right? Why or why not?
This is a tricky question. You can never choose both the extremes in this question. So, try to play on middle ground. Le6t them know that you will always serve the customer honestly, loyally and professionally. You will never intend to hurt any feelings of a customer but also assure that you will try your best to adjust and compromise unless you are not supporting anything unethical.
20. Have you ever witnessed a co-worker stealing from the business? What did you do? If not, what would you do?
These are the common problems faced by many businesses. Share your experiences regarding any such experience. If you don’t have any let them know that you highly condemn any such behaviour. Assure that you will always report to the head if any such incidents occur in front of you.
21. Can you describe any of your experience where you think you provided excellent customer service?
Share you experience if you have any. Dont lie if you don’t have any experience. Let them know that you are honest ajnd professional. If you go for sharing than describe the challenges faced by you to during that experience. State the reason why you think it was an excellent customer service.
Download the list of questions in .PDF format, to practice with them later, or to use them on your interview template (if you want to crack Interview):
The one thing best about food service is the feeling of contentment that you get when you see a customer leaving with a satisfied look or when a customer appreciates the service you provided. Your every hard work and planning is just to achieve that feeling. So to be a good food service worker you will have to be at your best state. This job has a high demand of multi tasking. So work on your skills of time management and organisation which will ultimately add up to help you multitask. Work with a passion to improve and you will automatically get the best possible results.
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Sandeep Bhandari is the founder of PrepMyCareer.com website.
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