How to Answer the Most Common Hotel Job Interview Questions



We previously went over how to answer the most common restaurant job interview questions. To continue on with the series, today we will be reviewing how to approach the questions typically asked in a hotel job interview. Do keep in mind that there can be some overlap between restaurants and hotels, since after all, both are part of in the hospitality industry.

What do you know about our company?

Again, research is a must when preparing for an interview. There are a lot of people that work in the hospitality field, and they are proud of what they do. Hotel hiring managers are aware of that, so when they are looking to recruit, they want to find someone who is also as passionate about the job they are applying for and the company that they will be working for. Things that you may want to know in advance include, names of senior staff members or decision makers, big accomplishments that the hotel has achieved, and such.

Why do you want to work for our hotel?

Most likely this will be a follow-up to the prior question. HR wants to see if you will be a good fit with the company, and whether your values align with the organization's culture and vision. Be genuine when replying, and mention key items that you look for in a workplace, for example, the hotel's management style, treatment and service towards customers, reputation in the industry, amongst other responses. You can possibly talk about how the company is known to thoroughly train and guide employees to become successful hospitality professional.

How would you handle guest problems/complaints?

This question is designed to test your customer service skills, and how well you can handle difficult situations. This is a great opportunity for you to share a story of a time when you were able to calmly deal with an unhappy customer. You can also say that it was a valuable learning experience.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

As mentioned before, the hospitality industry is a really tight knit community, where everybody knows everybody. So oftentimes, people will leave positions for jobs that friends or family have suggested to them. That's why hiring managers prefer to take in individuals that are stable and are willing to stay with the company for a greater period of time. Let your interviewer know that you are interested in working in long-term position, and how you are not one to jump from job to job.

Do you consider yourself a leader or a follower?

This is a very good question, but also somewhat challenging to answer, since it really depends. If you say 'leader,' it might mean that you are not a team player. But if you say 'follower,' it can suggest that you are not very independent, and will have to constantly rely on directions. There is no one, set-in-stone, correct answer for this, so just be honest. Explain why you chose that label, and back up your answer with some convincing and supporting words.

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5 Things to Never Say in an Interview



Your goal at any job interview is to get hired. To prove your candidacy, you need to impress and tell hiring managers what you are capable of. However, there are things you can say and definitely should never say. Here are five messages you absolutely do not want to slip out of your mouth:

#1: "What does your company do/specialize in?"

It is expected that you do research on the company before the interview. The hiring manager should not be the one to inform you. Not knowing general information about business makes you seem unprepared and unfit for the job. If you are unsure, you can ask for clarification, but do know the basics, such as the type of restaurant it is or what type of cuisine it serves.

#2: "Um... I don't know."

You may be stumped by your interviewer's questions, but there is a better way to go around it. Try to avoid saying, "I don't know", and respond with, "That's a good question." That reply can help you segue the conversation or redirect it towards a topic you are able to answer. However, be sure to stay relatively relevant and don't go totally off topic.

#3: "My last boss/job was terrible."

Talking negatively about your former employer or workplace is not a good idea. Your complaining makes it look as if you are hard to work with and not a team player. Instead, mention how you able to take away positive experiences and learnings from your previous position.

#4: "You can find that on my resume."

Certainly, the hiring manager knows that, and just wants you to elaborate further. He/she most likely wants you to tell them more about your role that you did not have written down. Also, he/she could be assessing how well you are at communicating and testing your social skills. Basically, use this chance to highlight your skills in a greater way, rather than it being something listed on a piece of paper.

#5: "No, I don't have any questions."

Don't leave the job interview on a flat note. Ask your recruiter a thought-provoking question, because it can possibly help your memorability-factor. Prepare, in advance, a few you can perhaps ask, such as "Do you have any hesitations about my qualifications?" or "What do you think are the most important qualities for someone to excel in this role?"

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How to Answer "What Is Your Greatest Strength?"



We've previously featured how to answer "What is your biggest weakness?" and for our next feature we present how to answer “What is your greatest strength?" Providing a well prepared answer can leave a good, lasting impression on the interviewer. Here are some tips when responding:

#1: It's not about how much, but how well.

When you talk about your strengths, do not start listing everything that you are good at immediately off the top of your head. Think it through carefully and prepare a quality answer. Narrow down your strengths to a maximum of two to three things, then explain to the hiring manager how well you were able to accomplish such tasks and orders. For example, you can share how you demonstrated great time management skills and how detailed-oriented you were as a host/hostess.

#2: Provide evidence or a story.

Make sure you can support your claim. Back up your strengths with numbers or a story about the particular matter to reinforce your candidacy. So to relate back to the prior example, mention how well you were able to handle a high number of calls and reservations with guests, via both the phone and at the restaurant, in a timely and accurate manner.

#3: Tie it in with the company's values.

Prior to your interview, research the company you are interviewing with and look for important things that are valued by the brand. For example, most hospitality businesses deem customer service as a top priority. In that case, you can describe how your friendly and likable personality would be an asset when dealing with patrons and customers.

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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.

 Looking to work in Hospitality?

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