Marriott isn’t just another hotel chain you can work for. It is a huge corporation, running and franchising properties on six continents, with almost 1.5 million rooms for guests across their hotels and other rental lodgings, and with over 100,000 employees onboard. They run all sorts of places from five starts luxury hotels in which you’d struggle to get a night for under 300 bucks, to long terms lodgings for workers and other temporary residents, with much more affordable pricing policy. As you can imagine, with so many employees onboard, Marriott advertises hundreds of different job titles. You can work as an accountant, programmer, marketing manager, custodian, front desk clerk, sales agent, and as anything else at Marriott. But what will happen in the interviews?
First and foremost, hiring right people is one of the keystones of the success Marriott has had over the decades. They have a sophisticated interview process in place, often with many rounds of interviews, and situational questions will prevail, regardless of the job you try to get with the company. Since we cannot cover all positions in one article, we will focus on questions you may get while applying for one of the common roles in the properties ran by Marriott, such guest service, front desk, food & beverage manager, and so on. Please head to our section “interview questions for different job titles” if you apply for one of the corporate roles in marketing, finance, management, or other division with Marriott. Let’s have a look at the questions you may face in the case of typical hotel positions.
Why do you want to work for Marriott?
Marriott is the largest hotel chain in the world, and perhaps also the most successful one. They are proud of their achievements, and you should recognize them for their achievements. Give them some words of praise. Say that you strive for excellence in everything you do, and cannot imagine a better workplace for someone like you. Who would not want to work for the best after all?
You can also narrate your experience with staying at one of their properties (once you won a lottery and could afford it). It was an unforgettable experience, you cannot forget the attention they paid to every detail, and the level of customer service you got (perhaps you cannot forget also the bill, but that’s not something to mention in an interview). You were immediately inspired by the place, and now looking for a job in a hospitality sector, they are your no. 1 choice. Give them some honest compliments, and improve the atmosphere in the room right from the start of your interview!
Can you tell us more about your working experience?
You would likely not get a chance to interview with Marriott unless you’ve worked in some hotel before. So you should have an experience, and you should narrate the most important facts. Tell them what you did, your core responsibility, and perhaps some successes you achieved. For example, if you worked as a receptionist in a certain hotel, and they scored 4.9 average reviews on TripAdvisor, you certainly contributed to the success.
You can also explain how everything you’ve done up to this point prepared you for your work at Marriott. This is the next step, time to step up your game, and you believe you have what it takes to become a new member of their excellent team. Of course, you will get a very decent on the job training, but you still feel to be ready when it comes to personality and experience with various situations that can happen in a hotel.
Tell us about a time when you provided an excellent service.
Both guests and managers will expect nothing short of outstanding service, especially if you will work for one of the Marriott hotels belonging to luxury or premium line of their properties. So you should talk about an instance when you either did something extraordinary, or handled with grace a situation with a difficult customer. For example, someone was upset about this or that, but you listened carefully and addressed the situation promptly to their great satisfaction.
Do not hesitate to speak with pride and enthusiasm about the situation. The hiring managers at Marriott should get an impression that it comes natural to you, and that you enjoy going above and beyond for the customer. You can even add (if you find it appropriate in the given interview) that you understand that the success of Marriott hotels revolves around delivering an excellent customer service, and you will try your best each day to deliver such from your position within the hotel hierarchy. For some inspiration, you can also check sample answers to this question here: https://interviewpenguin.com/give-an-example-of-time-you-provided-great-customer-service/
Customer complains that they are waiting too long for their check-in. How will you react?
You will never be the only person at the front desk, but it can still happen that customers arrive at bulk, and they have to wait in a queue for their check-in. Nobody likes waiting in the queue, and customers of 5 star hotels are not used to such an “ordeal”. Hence they may start complaining.
Ensure the hiring managers that you will keep your eyes open, and react promptly to any seed of dissatisfaction. You may even take precaution measures, walking to each guest in the line and briefly apologizing for the waiting time (of “unbearable” ten minutes), offering them a seat in a lobby and a free cup of coffee while they have to wait for their turn (of course if it goes in line with the hotel policies).
Nevertheless, you will try your best to handle the check-in with each guest as quickly as possible, and you will apologize to everyone for having to wait for your attention once they finally stand in front of your desk. But you won’t look for excuses. You will simply say that you are sorry, and other than that proceed with the check-in procedures in a cheerful and professional manner. That’s the attitude they expect from you at Marriott.
Tell me about a time when you were successful in your last job.
The most important thing is to pick a situation that talks about a success you achieved either for the guests, or for the hotel. Employee of a month award, or getting promoted, isn’t something you should talk about in this case. The situation you narrate should demonstrate the fact that you are extremely customer oriented in your job.
Again, you can talk about a period when you got only 5 star reviews for your service, for example for an entire month. Or when you helped to accommodate some specific needs of a demanding guest, something not many other people would achieve. The exact success depends on your position of course–a manager will have different successes than a concierge, but I hope you got my point. The key is to focus on the customer, and how you helped the hotel (or a company, store, any other place of work) to be successful.
Tell me about a time when you felt overwhelmed with work.
When expectations run high, one can easily get overwhelmed with work. And it is completely normal to happen, since we are human beings and not robots. Without a doubt a sad day will come one day in the future, when robots will replace most hotel employees, but hopefully we still have at least a couple of decades in front of us until it happens….
Back to the point, you can definitely admit feeling overwhelmed. Perhaps you should even do so, for example referring to a holiday season when the hotel or bar (or other place where you worked) was super crowded, and you had to work your ass off to make the customer happy. And you eventually got overwhelmed, excessively tired, and perhaps even experienced a crisis of motivation.
But you fought with it, tried your best, and continued delivering a good service to the customers. That’s exactly the attitude you should try to demonstrate while narrating your situation to the managers interviewing you at Marriott. If you still aren’t sure how to deal with this one, you can check 7 sample answers here.
Other questions you may face in your interview with Marriott International
- What made you interested in the hospitality industry?
- In your opinion, how does Marriott differ from our main competitors in the lodging and hotel industry?
- Imagine that a customer complains about the service they got from you. How will you react?
- Tell us about the biggest failure of your professional career.
- Tell me about a time when you disagreed with your boss.
- When you had to work on multiple projects (tasks) at the same time, how did you prioritize?
- Give us an example of a time when you showed initiative at work.
Final thoughts, next steps
As a rule of a thumb, hotels generally struggle with hiring employees (due to comparatively low wages, heavy workload, shift patterns, and other reasons). This makes a typical hotel interview a relatively easy affair–unless you remain silent while hearing their questions, or say something outright stupid, they will give you the chance. Having said that, Marriott is not a typical hotel (chain). They pay better, they are more popular, and they enjoy the luxury of choice in most of their interviews.
Hence you can expect a relatively difficult interview, with many behavioral (scenario-based) questions, such as I described in the article. You need to prepare for this one to succeed. Get over your former experience, and think about the situations from your career that will help you demonstrate the right attitude to guests, your colleagues, or your employer. Last but not least, try to learn something about Marriott International, their corporate values, history, and goals. Such information will help you connect with the hiring managers, and can make the difference between you and the second best candidate. I hope you will succeed and wish you best of luck!
May also interest you:
- Receptionist interview questions – Applying for a receptionist position with Marriott? Check some basic questions you may face in this case.
- Hilton Hotels interview questions.
- How to overcome interview nerves – Feeling beyond nervous while preparing for your interviews? Learn how to tame your anxiety and calm down before the important meeting with the hiring managers.