The restaurant sector is the one that always needs employees. Many people start working in restaurants early and grow to management positions or even open their restaurants. Usually, the interviewers do not want you to be an expert on the food industry, but they want you to have basic knowledge and soft skills.
Tell us about yourself
The most basic question but a very important one aims at getting to know your personality and experiences in deep. Do not be repetitive and let your confidence lead the way for you.
I am a hardworking person who likes things in an organized manner. I love facing challenges and figuring out a way to overcome them. During all my past jobs, I have been thrilled to get head-on with any challenge that might arise. I have good communication skills that help me excel at my job in this sector.
Why do you wish to work in this industry and not others?
This question tests the fact whether you are cut out for doing customer-oriented jobs or not. You must answer the question with authenticity affirming that you are very much suitable for the role.
I ended up working part-time at a food chain out of curiosity and I loved working there. Serving customers and seeing the satisfaction on their faces made me happy. I realized that this is what I wanted to do ahead.
Tell us something about your previous experience in the industry
While freshers may not have solid answers to these questions, you can tell about any serving experience you had or witnessed. Tell them about any relevant experience that could be connected to the question.
This would be my first full-time role. However, I have taken up a part-time job at _____[mention the restaurant name]. My job role was to take orders from the customers and assist in serving them.
What are your strengths?
This is a good opportunity to flaunt your merits in front of the interviewer, however, do so while definitely not sounding boastful.
I have really good communication skills and I’m efficient at conflict resolution. These skills make me well suited for keeping a team together as well as catering to the needs of the customers. I’m driven to excel at whatever expectations people have of me.
What are your weaknesses?
Obviously, the person who is hiring wants to know what setbacks a candidate has. Tell them about relevant flaws you might have while telling how you are working to improve them. Do not mention flaws that might be a huge hurdle in your work profile.
I’m a little bit talkative which makes me hold longer conversations with the customers. While it doesn’t cause any major issues, it might hold my attention to the customers for longer than required. I’m trying to work on it by reminding myself of the line where I need to stop.
What do you do when you are done with working??
Through this question, the interviewer wants to dive deeper into your personality by checking what your life is like apart from work. Although, it is wonderful if you can align your personal life with the job role somehow.
I usually like to read news and stay updated about the industry. It gives me all the relevant information I need to have while working. It also gives me enough to hold mini conversations with the customers. I’ve noticed that most customers like to have a light conversation.
Tell us about a bad customer service experience
I came across a customer who was picky with the food. He did not like the food and started shouting for the same. I approached him calmly and tried to know what would he like. I got to know that he had a really bad day and was looking for something to boost his mood. I understood and requested the chef to cater to his needs. In the end, he was very happy and apologized for his behavior.
Why did you decide to work at our restaurant?
I was very impressed with your menu and decor. It looks like a happy place for the customers, and, I would love to work in such a space.
What did you like about our restaurant?
I find the menu quite unique, yet attractive. I also love how you prioritize customer satisfaction over anything else.
How would you deal with any conflicts that arise with your coworkers?
Any conflict is resolvable with the right communication. I will try to talk it out with them. I would approach them for an intimate conversation where we could reach a conclusion to avoid further issues.
What will you do if you faced a difficult customer?
I would address them with respect while listening to whatever they have to say. I would offer them any amenities that are within my reach. I would assure them that I just want to help them out.
What do you mean by ‘hospitality’?
Through this question, the interviewer wants to what is your idea of hospitality and what lengths would you go to for pleasing the customers. He/She might also want to assess how similar are your ideas.
I think receiving guests with respect and friendliness is a starter. Treating them with priority, attention, and addressing their issues are the best hospitality traits.
Suppose a customer is trying to use an expired coupon. How will you handle the situation?
The interviewer has given you a situation and wants to see how you would handle the challenge.
The best way to handle such customers is to approach them with respect. I would listen to whatever they have to say and proceed to let them know that it is not possible for them to use it. If there are any other coupons applicable to them, I would let them know.
What is an ideal restaurant worker like?
Similar to other questions, the interview aims at knowing your idea of an ideal worker.
An ideal restaurant worker is customer-oriented, good at communication, and patient enough to handle adverse situations.
What are your plans for your career?
This is a general question where the interviewer wants to know where you see yourself in near future. Be honest and answer the question authentically.
I want to grow in this field and collect as much experience I can. This is also why I applied for this job. I want to own a restaurant sometime in the future.
Tell us any incident where you made special efforts for a customer.
The question is asked to analyze your serving ethics and customer-oriented behavior.
We had an old lady come to our restaurant every day. On her 100th visit, I talked to my boss and offered free food for the day. She was very happy and continued to be a regular visitor at the restaurant.
What suits you more- working as a team or individually?
Restaurant workers need to be good at teamwork even if they do prefer working alone.
I’m good at working in teams. While working individually is not an issue either, I feel better when I have multiple inputs and perspectives around me.
Why should we hire you?
With my dedication to work for customer satisfaction, along with my skills of good communication and fast learning, I feel that I am the appropriate candidate for handling the job role.
What do you like about the restaurant industry?
I like interacting with people around me. Delicious food is a bonus point for the industry. I love seeing new faces every day and contributing to bringing smiles to them.
Do you have any preference regarding people who would not want to serve?
This question exists to check if you are one of those prejudiced kinds who do not want to interact with a certain group of people. You should not act in a discriminatory manner, irrespective of the person before you.
I feel all customers should be given equal importance as customer satisfaction is the most basic thing in the field. I would not mind catering to the needs of any of the customers.
Do you have any questions for us?
It is not mandatory for you to answer this question, however, candidates who have some curiosity regarding the job are chosen more than the ones who are not. It is advised that you frame some questions that you would like to know about the job.
- I would like to know about the strict policies of the restaurant.
- What benefits would I receive if I get hired?
- What are your expectations from me?
Working in restaurants requires patience and good communication skills in order to please the customers. That is exactly what someone would be looking for in their employees, so, you should prepare for it. We hope this list was useful to you. Did you enjoy reading it? If you did so, do share it further.
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Sandeep Bhandari is the founder of PrepMyCareer.com website.
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