How to Answer "Tell Me About Yourself"



"Tell me about yourself" is pretty much a requisite in all job interviews. After all, employers want to find out and learn more about you, and see whether you are suitable for the position. You may think, "Why would I need to practice talking about myself?" In actuality, most people aren't fully prepared to answer this question successfully. So here are the key points you need to remember when introducing yourself to a hiring manager:

#1: Expand on your resume.

Do not word-for-word say what you wrote on your cover letter or resume. Recruiters have already seen them before they invited you into the interview. You may refresh them of your background, but only with the main items. For example, if you held several roles in the past, consider saying, "I am well-versed in the hospitality industry with four years of hotel experience under my belt."

#2: Mention your greatest achievements.

It's okay to boast a little bit. Highlight a quality or instance you were positively noticed for. Try to speak about something special and something highly quantifiable, rather than abstract, so that it can be easily retained in the recruiter's memory. If you are applying for an executive chef position, you can talk about how you had revamped the menu at the restaurant you previously worked at, and how resulted in increased sales of $20,000.

#3: Use descriptive words in your pitch.

Stick to a set of vocabulary that evokes professionalism. Your wording sets the tone and shows that you are capable and confident. For instance, use the words like leader, expert or established, rather than started or followed.

#4: Pace your speech.

Remain calm, and do not rush it. Talking too slow or using an excessive amount of filler words (um, like, etc.) is not good either. If it helps, you can also try pausing shortly between each statement, so your thoughts are more organized. Perfecting your speech comes with practice, so rehearse in front of the mirror or with a family/friend.

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How to Prepare for an Upscale Restaurant Job Interview



Five-star restaurants have higher standards, from food to service, as compared to smaller, chain or family-owned restaurants. Patrons and management at these establishments alike expect nothing short of the best, so interviewing for a job at an upscale restaurant will follow a different set of rules. Here are some tips for you so you can thoroughly prepare in advance:

#1: Review terminology.

Before you head to your interview, make sure you to not only research the restaurant, but also review the usual vocabulary used in a fine dining setting. For example, words that you definitely want to be familiar with include: "à la carte," "al dente," "mis en place," "garde manger," etc. Your hiring manager may or may not use these kinds of terms with you during the interview, but they will be important to know when you work at the restaurant.

#2: Go through the restaurant's menu.

Get to know what the restaurant you applied for offers. You can easily find this out through their website, calling them or requesting a copy to be sent to you via email. Knowing what the dishes the restaurant serves shows that you are set and ready to work there.

#3: Learn about food and wine pairings.

Wining and dining is common practice at upscale restaurants, so your interviewers will surely test you on food and wine pairings. They will typically question you what types of wine go best with particular dishes. If you are looking to be a server, you will need to know this when diners ask for suggestions and recommendations.

#4: Dress appropriately.

The wardrobe will be more formal, so it is recommended to wear a dark-colored business suit or dress. Be mindful of non-essential accessories and jewelry and grooming. Keep your clothing, hair and nails clean and neat.

#5: Don't forget about the basics.

HR managers will still probably ask you the general get-to-know you questions, such as, "Why did you apply for this position," "What is your greatest/weakness," etc. Refresh yourself and find out how to answer the most commonly asked restaurant job interview questions.

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How to Answer "What Is Your Biggest Weakness?"



"What is your biggest weakness?" is one of the most commonly asked job interview questions, and probably one of the most difficult to answer. Surely, you do not want to talk down about yourself, since it gives off a bad vibe. However, you can't just say you don't have one; nobody is perfect. So here are some helpful tips in approaching this stressful question:

#1: Be prepared.

Again, like mentioned before, everybody has flaws. Hiring managers want candidates to acknowledge that they have weaknesses or things they can work on and potentially overcome. If you have a hard time thinking up of a weakness, create a list–things you are great at, and others that you may need more help with.

#2: Keep it relative to work.

Stay on topic and keep it work-related. You want to remain professional, so avoid irrelevant answers and make sure the weakness you mention is applicable to the role you are applying for.

#3: Don't mention essential skills.

Although you want to mention a weakness that is closely related to you work, do not state skills that are crucial to the job. For example, you definitely do not want to say that you are bad at juggling multiple tasks when you are interviewing for a restaurant server or hosting job.

#4: Remember the S.T.A.R. method.

The S.T.A.R. method stands for: Situation or TaskActions and Results. First, think of a situation or task where you faced a problem. Then, point out what actions you took to deal with it. Lastly, discuss what the end result was, and analyze whether or not you made an improvement or came to a resolution.

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Best Interview Questions to Ask Potential Candidates



What are the best questions to ask potential candidates in an interview? We have asked some of the best restaurant groups in the country and these are the questions that they feel give them the most insight on the person they are interviewing. Try them out, see what kind of results you get.

1. "Describe an episode in your work history involving an unhappy customer. What went wrong, and how did you handle the situation? What did you learn in the aftermath?"

This questions is designed to test the candidate's problem solving skills. It will also give you a good sense of their teamwork, diplomacy and tact.

Weaker candidates may launch into a story in which a boss or coworker let a customer down, and the candidate in question swooped in to save the day.

You are looking for candidates that tell the truth and let the interviewer know that they take responsibility for their own mistakes and they know how to learn and grow from failed projects and poor decisions.

2. "If you have to choose between cutting a corner to meet a deadline, and missing a deadline in order to attend to a detail, which do you usually choose and why?"

You are looking for a candidate that chooses the option that best fits the circumstances at the time. The candidate should explain their typical decision-making strategies so you can gain a broad sense of who they are and how they approach tricky problems.

3. "Would you describe yourself as more of a leader or more of a follower?"

You can learn a lot about a candidate from this question. Many will go for the easy answer. If they say "leader," this may suggest they don't follow instructions or work with teams very well. And if they say "follower," they sound obedient but unambitious. Either might be appropriate/inappropriate depending on position.

What you are really looking for is for the candidate to explain when you typically choose one role and when you tend to choose the other. Your will need to read between the lines and gain the information to make your decision.

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How to Answer the Most Common Restaurant Job Interview Questions


As with any other interview, there is always an uncertainty in the types of questions you may be asked by the hiring manager. However, the best approach in tackling interviews is preparing in advance. So to start, here are some common questions that you may face:

Tell me about yourself.

Typically, this will be the very first question you will be asked. Provide a brief, one to two minute introduction about yourself. Summarize main points, such as, the specific position you are applying for, past positions/roles that you held and general experience. Also, inform the interviewer of your times of availability.

What is your greatest strength?

This is the chance for you to highlight yourself. Focus on your key strengths and speak with positivity. In addition, make sure your strength is relative to the position you are applying for. For example, if you are applying to be a prep cook, it is best to not state that you are a good writer. Instead, mention how you are hard working or that you are comfortable in fast-paced environments.

What is your greatest weakness?

Following most strength questions, the interviewer may ask you about a weakness. The best way to respond to this daunting question is with the 'two-part answer' method. First, make the confession, then recover. Describe in short what you are weak at, then spin that response to how you would be to able to overcome or resolve the issue. Managers like to hear about the positives, rather than the negatives. 

Tell me what you know about our restaurant.

Before the interview, do some research. Find out what you can about the restaurant and the person you will be interviewed by. Has the restaurant been in the news? Is it particularly known for something? Who is the person who is in charge of hiring and what is their professional background? From your answers, recruiters will try to find out whether you have genuine interest in the business, and see if you will be motivated to work there, as opposed to another restaurant.

What qualities make you a good addition to the team?

Here, explain why you are an excellent candidate for the position. Recount an experience where you performed exceptionally. If you are seeking a job as a server, tell about a time you provided great customer service. Discuss how you were a team player and were able to bring satisfaction to the patrons.


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