Please tell us something about yourself.

Try to describe yourself as a responsible and hard working person. Interviewers should hear some enthusiasm in your voice. They shouldn’t get an impression that you apply for a job of a dishwasher only because you can’t get a better job at the moment, or need money to survive (even if that’s the case in reality).

Now, they do not expect you to have ten years of experience with a similar work, or anything else. But if you had any job in the restaurant in the past (even a summer job or a part time opportunity), you should mention it. If you have never done similar work before you can at least say that you wash dishes at home.

Do not hesitate to mention something from your personal life as well–your hobbies, what you enjoy doing in your free time. Speaking genuinely and honestly will help you to make a better connection with your interviewer.


Why do you want to work as a dishwasher?

Try to avoid the obvious answer, such as “I need money”. Certainly employers are not stupid. They know that if you could, you would get a better job. But they still want to hear that you have at least some goals, something that will drive you forward in your job. Simply a reason why you won’t quit after the first day.

This can be anything from saving money for college, trying to provide for your children or for anyone else, to saving enough to travel around the world and understanding how the restaurant business works (wanting to open your own hospitality business in the future).


This is a repetitive job. How would you handle crisis of motivation?

Here you have few options for a good answer. One is saying that you prefer repetitive jobs. Surely, many people enjoy challenges, new projects and tasks, simply new things to respond for in work. But that’s not your case. You prefer to know what to expect, you enjoy doing the same duties every day.

Perhaps you even find pleasure in trying to perfect your dish washing skills. If you managed 100 glasses in twenty minutes last week, you’d like to make it 110 this week.

Another option is referring to your goals. The job is repetitive, you are aware of it, but you know why you wake up to work each day, you have goals you try to attain in your life. Your job allows you to save money for your goals… If you’re still not sure what to say, check 7 sample answers to this question.


How do you feel about working on weekends? What about 12 hours long shift?

One of the drawbacks of almost all restaurant jobs are long working hours, and a necessity to work on weekends. But employers expect at least some level of flexibility from you.

Certainly if they employ more dishwashers, and people rotate on shifts, you won’t work each Saturday or Sunday. But you will work on some weekends (so your colleagues can stay at home), and you should ensure the hiring manager that you agree with the proposal.

The same applies to long shifts. It’s not easy to wash dishes 12 hours a day, but you should realize that in each restaurant they have peak times and low times. You won’t wash dishes all day long. There will be time for a break, snack, cigarette, whatever. Say that you read their job description carefully and know what will be expected from you.

man washes dishes in the kitchen

How long do you want to have this job?

This is a tricky question, and you do not necessarily have to be honest at this point. Perhaps you just need a job for a moment, and will continue looking for something better while washing dishes. Or maybe you just need something for a few weeks, to save money for a particular purpose.

If that’s the case, do not share your plans with the interviewers. You can either say that you plan to have a job for a year or longer (unless it is a summer job), or you can say that you do not know, have not thought about it much, but certainly do not plan to quit soon.

Employee turnover is pretty high in hospitality business. Nobody can blame you if you leave the job in a month, or even after few days. And nobody will know that it was your plan from the beginning. Once you interview for a job, however, you should tell the hiring managers what they want to hear. After all you never know. Maybe you will eventually enjoy your daily routine in the kitchen, and won’t leave the job soon.

* May also interest you: Kitchen Helper interview questions.


What are your salary expectations?

Try to be modest in your expectations. If they do not advertise the salary on their job offer, you can simply say that you will accept the standard offer the restaurant pays to other dishwashers. In this case you basically ask them to make an offer, and of course once they make it, you can always try to negotiate a better salary. At least a slightly better one.

Another option is checking the wages competing restaurants pay to the dishwashers, and using them as a reference point in your interview. Whether or not this is possible depends on your location and the way companies advertise their vacancies.


Do you have any questions?

You should always ask something, not only for the sake of making impression. Dish washing is no easy job, and you should discuss everything in an interview, to know what sort of contract you actually accept. Ask about the shift patterns, whether you’ll work alone or have colleagues on shift,  whether they provide any training, and so on.

Alternatively if your interview went well and you already discussed everything important, you can simply thank them for their time and wait for them to hire you :).


Clothes to wear for a dishwasher interview

When you interview for a simple manual job, you should not dress as if you were interviewing for a managerial position. Wear jeans, simple shirt, or some comfortable clothes.

You should certainly avoid dirty clothing or any t-shirts with signs or indications of any extreme opinion. Such clothes may create an immediate barrier between you and the employer (if they share a different belief or world view), and such barrier is hard to overcome. You can check our guide on how to dress for an interview for more information.


Documents to bring with you to a dishwasher interview

You do not really need a cover letter or anything similar for this interview. Just a simple, one page long resume (bring one even if you sent them one earlier, in case that they forgot to print it).

What may help you, however, is a reference from your former employer. If you worked in a restaurant before and left the place on good terms with your boss, you can ask them to write a short reference for you (they can even send it electronically).

If they emphasize your motivation, persistence, team spirit, and ability to work quickly (important in each busy restaurant), their words can help you a lot to get this new job…


Conclusion, next steps

Interview for a job of a dishwasher belongs to easy interviews. Hiring managers won’t torture you with any difficult behavioral questions or tests, since such questions make no sense when they interview someone for a simple manual job.

If you prepare for the questions from our article, and learn something about the place in advance, you should make it, and get a job of a dishwasher. You can read also the following article to further improve your chances of succeeding:

Matthew Chulaw
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