What Questions Will I Be Asked at an Interview for a Restaurant Job?

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Getting ready to hunt for a job in the exciting field of restaurant, beverage and food services? This is a great time to launch your career in an industry that’s experienced consistent growth and opportunities over the last few years. One way to get prepared is to start researching and practicing the types of interview questions you may encounter for a restaurant job.

Check out some of the most common interview questions that restaurant recruiters use for candidates, with tips for giving the best answer.

Q. What do you enjoy most about restaurant work?

Be honest and share why you enjoy the restaurant atmosphere, customers, and other key aspects of the job. Include why restaurant work is uniquely suited for your skills.

Q. Tell me about a time when you made a customer service mistake.

We all make mistakes from time to time, and it’s OK to talk about this in an interview, but briefly. Try to think of ways you can illustrate turning a negative customer experience into a positive one.

Q. What are your ultimate goals in the food and beverage industry?

Restaurant work can be challenging and so it has a high turnover rate. Make sure you talk about why you can handle the physical, mental, and professional aspects of restaurant work along with your long-term career objectives.

Q. If you had an irate customer, how would you handle this?

We’ve all encountered a few doozies of customers who were so upset by something in a restaurant that they took it out on the nearest wait staff. Talk about how you would calm an angry customer down and help make them happy by the time they left the restaurant.

Q. Why is food safety so important?

In the restaurant business, understanding cleanliness and food handling are critical to the health and well being of customers. Make sure you talk about how you make an effort to use proper food safety and handling procedures, as well as keeping your work areas clean and use personal hygiene at all times.

Q. How do you remember customer orders?

Each restaurant worker may encounter food order taking at some point therefore its important to have a method for remembering these orders. Talk about memory tools you use to note customer orders so they are always correct.

Q. Have you ever dined here or been a customer of our establishment?

It’s important for a restaurant to know that you’ve not only done your homework as a job seeker, but as a customer as well. Take the time to visit the restaurant as a patron at least once before the interview and share this positive experience with the interviewer.

Q. What are some things we could do here to improve the quality of the customer experience?

Now, use this as an opportunity to talk about what the restaurant does well and how they can tweak a few things to make it better. This demonstrates insightfulness and thinking like the management team.

Q. Are you comfortable working in a fast-paced environment?

Restaurant work is one of the most stressful types of work, so you must be able to demonstrate you can handle it. Talk about ways you thrive in a pressure environment and that you like to work on your feet.

Q. How do you cope with stress from long hours and demanding people all day?

Recruiters are looking for candidates who can both handle the grueling shifts of restaurant jobs and have some personal life balance. Share how you burn off stress by exercising or a special hobby.

Q. What do you think are the most important qualities in a restaurant worker today?

This is your chance to shine as you talk about how your skills fit in well with the restaurant world, where the industry is going, and how it will look in a few years.

Q. If a health inspector arrived at our restaurant, what would you do?

Along with showing that you understand food safety and restaurant cleanliness, you also want to demonstrate you understand that health inspectors do often show up unannounced to check out the facility. Calmly explain you will get your manager and let he or she handles this process.

Q. Why did you pick our company over competitor restaurants?

Make sure you are talking positively about the restaurant chain, why it is better than other restaurant, and what appeals to you the most about working for this employer. Tie this into your career goals, and you’ll look good as gold to the interviewer.