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Billy Giordano . 2 minute read

How to Prepare for Hospitality Interview Questions

In the hospitality industry, the answers to your questions are scrutinized, but your delivery and personality can be just as important! It’s imperative to explore how to prepare for an interview so you know exactly what you are going to say, and how you are going to say it. Before your next interview, here are some successful job interview techniques to keep in mind to give you the upper hand, and help you land that job!

When preparing for an interview.. 

Keep your Answers on Topic

During hospitality interviews many of the questions will be open ended so that the interviewer can get a sense for your personality through the answer. If you are talking about your past work experience, keep the parts you elaborate on relevant to the job you are applying for. For example, if you’re applying as a server at a restaurant, but most of your past experience have to do with child care, you should talk about how that prepared you to deal with the unexpected or how you are great at multitasking. Many people get sucked into describing their past experience solely as it relates to a specific activity.  Focussing on your past experiences is important, but make sure you find a way to keep it relevant so that your potential employer has a chance understand why you’re a great fit for the position. 

Attitude is Everything

The way you interact with your interviewer will give them a sense of how you’ll interact with customers and coworkers.  It’s ultimately a huge factor in your first impression because the hospitality hiring process is centered around how well you work with other people. Smiling and maintaining eye contact is incredibly important and shows interviewers not only that you care, but also makes them more comfortable engaging with you. Be warm, open, and energetic. These are qualities that will be expected of you in the job you want, so be sure to exhibit them during the interview.

Don’t be Afraid to Ask Questions, but Ask the Right Ones

Asking relevant questions shows that you are interested in the position and gives you better insight into the employer and workplace. If not already clearly explained, asking your interviewer what expectations they might have for you, or if there are growth opportunities available, shows you are wanting to fulfill your potential duties, and that you’re driven and willing to work your way up if possible. It’s a good idea to stay away from questions that pertain to how much money you’ll make or how much time off is possible, especially for your first interview with a company.

Be Prepared for Situational Questions

They have read your resume and know your experience, so be prepared to answer questions about it. A common question interviewers in all industries love to ask is about your experience with difficult customers, how you handled it, and what you learned. If you’ve worked in restaurant jobs before, the answer will most likely be a no-brainer. If you haven’t, think of a time where there was a conflict, if possible relevant to something prevalent in the hospitality industry, and be prepared to explain it and how you handled the situation and what you took away from it. In addition, it’s smart to be ready for any situational questions pertaining to what you put as experience on your resume because they will use it as reference and a way to get to know you.

Of all the things you can do to prepare for an interview, it’s easily simplified by putting yourself in the shoes of your interviewer. For Culinary jobs, restaurant and hospitality jobs, or any hospitality industry opportunity, it’s not difficult to know what the person interviewing you expects out of a potential employee.  You would want to hire someone that presented themselves well, made you feel comfortable, had a warm personality, and used their prior experience to help you visualize them in the position they are applying for. For more tips and related posts on how to prepare for a job interview, interview questions, successful job interview techniques, and how to stand out in an interview, follow our blog!  

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