Let’s face the facts: Getting a job in a restaurant isn’t the most difficult thing in the world. Especially nowadays, with low unemployment rates, when most dining places struggle with staff, and are always hiring. But that doesn’t mean that there won’t be any interview, or that getting a job is easy in every restaurant. In some places with great reputation, or in restaurants that pay better than the rest, you may still compete for the job with other applicants. And remaining silent won’t take you anywhere. So, what should you say when they inquire about your strengths and weaknesses?

Before we look at 7 sample answers, let me give you some basic tips. First of all, try to pick strengths relevant for the job, which means abilities or personality traits that will help you deliver a better job in the restaurant. Secondly, mention at least one weakness, instead of saying you aren’t aware of any weaknesses. And last but not least, ensure them that you keep working on both your strengths and weaknesses, since your goal is to become the best you can be, and you know that learning never ends for such a person. Okay, let’s move to the sample answers.


7 sample answers to “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” interview question for job applicants in restaurants

  1. I would pick my ability to work quickly, and at the same time endurance, being able to maintain the same energy level on a long shift. In my opinion it matters a lot, especially in a fast-paced restaurant, and I hope I can benefit from it a lot in my new job. Having said that, I can certainly improve on my communication skills. Not that I cannot talk to customers, but I feel that I can make the interactions more pleasant, that sometimes they start a chat and I do not know what to say… I am aware of this weakness, and hope the longer I work in the field, the better I get in my communication with the guests.
  2. My cooking skills are my greatest strengths. You can check the references from my previous employer. Many people returned to the restaurant regularly, because they liked the food so much. I excel in Italian and Greek cuisine, but can learn any new dishes rather quickly, and have no doubt I can take the customer satisfaction here to a new level. In terms of my weaknesses, I’d say it is sometimes difficult to work with me in the kitchen, since I expect high level of commitment from my assistants, and not everyone can bear with that.
  3. I prefer others to judge my strengths and weaknesses, because we humans have a tendency to see ourselves better than we really are. If I have to pick something though, I’d go with communication skills, and humility. On the other hand, I lack experience with working in the restaurant, which is no doubt a weakness, and it will make things difficult for me at the beginning. But I am aware of that, motivated to learn and work hard, and no doubt with the right attitude I will quickly learn the job and won’t slow my colleagues down.
  4. I would say my experience is my greatest strength, and can even stand out in this hiring process. I’ve been working in restaurants for the past 16 years in my life, seeing places grow and fall into oblivion, experiencing good and hard times, but in a way enjoying the ride, and still nurturing my passion for this type of work. Every challenge one can experience in a busy restaurant, you can be sure I faced it. I believe this can help a lot, especially if my colleagues are younger and need some guidance in tricky situations. And that’s where we come to my biggest weakness–I have a tendency to patronize my colleagues, simply because I’ve been in the field longer. And I definitely know it isn’t the right thing to do, and I have to be more humble. It is a process though, and I feel I am getting better at it.
  5. To be honest, I cannot say. This is my first ever job application, and I believe one has to work in a restaurant for a few weeks at least, to be able to tell the areas in which they excel, and areas in which they struggle. Sure, I can talk about experiences from school, how I excel in English for example, but I am not sure it will help me in my job. That’s why I prefer to stay humble, go day by day, and once I identify any weaknesses, I will work on them, trying to eliminate them.
  6. My biggest weakness is lack of confidence, something which you can perhaps observe in this interview. I have been raised in difficult conditions, and it had an impact on my confidence, as well as on my communication skills. But I try to get better, since I know communication plays a big role in every job, including the one in a restaurant. On the other hand, I am the one you can always rely on. I’ve basically never been late, and when I say I do something you can be sure I will. Hopefully it can outweigh my weaknesses, at least until I manage to improve on them.
  7. My strengths are my motivation, flexibility, and ability to stay on my feet all night long. Perhaps I am not the best-looking waitress that will eve work in this restaurant, or the one guests will be charmed by. But when it comes to doing the job, and making sure people do not wait for their food and drinks longer than necessary, I am someone you can rely on 100%. And my weaknesses? Well, I definitely have to improve on my listening skills, since it happens to me sometimes that I mess up an order. But it doesn’t happen often and when it does, I make sure to remedy my mistake quickly, and make the guest leave the place with the smile on their face…

Ready to answer this one? I hope so! Do not forget to check also answers to other tricky questions you may face while trying to get a job in a restaurant:

Matthew Chulaw
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