Restaurant interviews are unorthodox. It is not uncommon to sit with the restaurant owner at the table, while other people are eating their lunch next to you. The setting is unorthodox, and the same thing can be said about succeeding in this interview.
Not a professional recruiter
Interviews at restaurants, and at other dining facilities, are typically not led by professional interviewers or recruiters. They won’t use psychometry, or any other special form of testing candidates for the job, and they also won’t spend two hours considering your job application.
If they like you as a person, if they feel your motivation and interest, and if you have at least some experience (or you can convince them that you do not need previous experience), they will hire you.
You should show enthusiasm for the job, for the place, for life in general. But you should also show respect and recognition. Stay humble, ask them a lot of questions about the place.
Listen carefully to what they have to say. Visit the place and dine there before the start of your interview–so you have something to talk about, something to compliment. On the top of that, you should be ready to give at least decent answers to their questions….
Questions you can expect in a restaurant interview
- Why do you want to work as a waiter (barteder, barista, cook, etc.)?
- Why do you want to work here, and not in another place?
- How long do you want to stay here?
- Would you mind working on Sundays? Would you mind working twelve hours a day?
- Tell me something about your working experience. Have you worked in a restaurant before? What did you like about this job? What did you hate about it?
- How would you deal with an angry customer?
- Are there any guests you would prefer not to serve as a waitress?
- What is your opinion on sharing tips? Are you okay with that?
- How would you describe an ideal colleague, or an ideal boss?
- How would your former colleagues describe you?
- Do you have experience with “this and that”? (food preparation techniques, local cuisine, special ingredients, cash handling system, etc.)
- How do you imagine a typical day in work at our place?
- What are your salary expectations?
- When are you able to start?
- Why should we hire you?
Demonstrate your motivation ans skill
The key is to show them that you care, that you are motivated to work hard, and ready to accept their employment agreement. Try to build a good relationship with them.
And if they ask you to do a training day (letting you to do your job for one day, with our without getting paid), you should accept their proposal. Many restaurants and fast food chains do it with every new “hire”, before signing an actual job contract with them.
Continue your preparation
We work also on a website that specializes only in restaurant interviews. You can check it here: Restaurantinterviewquestions.com. Alternatively you can stay on Interview Penguin, and continue your preparation, reading one of the following articles: