Managers may find it difficult to choose the best restaurant interview questions to ask their candidates. The ultimate goal is not just to have an overview of your candidates' potential, but also to see if they're a perfect match for your restaurant.
To help you ask the right questions and find suitable candidates, we've compiled the 12 best questions for your upcoming restaurant interviews.
12 Best Restaurant Interview Questions
1. Can you tell me about yourself?
Some employers may find this question a little bit awkward to ask. But it's a great warm-up question. It helps candidates relax and open up more later in the interview.
Many candidates will prepare a perfect script for this question beforehand, so take the received information with a pinch of salt.
2. Why do you want to work in the restaurant industry?
This question is to confirm how serious candidates are about this job. It shows how well they know about the industry's opportunities and challenges, and whether they're willing to stick with the role long-term or not.
3. Tell me about a situation you faced with a demanding customer. How did you deal with it?
Working in the restaurant requires employees to deal with many different customer types, including demanding and rude ones. That's why this question is among the best restaurant interview questions to ask.
This question will show whether the candidate has ever been in a similar situation, and how they managed to get through it. Through their answer, you can evaluate their skills, flexibility, and suitability for the position.
If the candidate has no experience in dealing with difficult customers, you can ask about their recommended solutions for those situations.
4. Why did you choose to apply to our restaurant?
You can ask this question to test how well candidates understand your restaurant, and whether they truly care about the position. Honest and practical answers are acceptable.
Be careful with made-up facts or exaggerated compliments about your restaurant. For example, “Your restaurant is very big. Everything is great and professional”. If your restaurant is just a small, newly established one, this might be an unrealistic compliment.
5. Tell us about a time when you had a conflict with a colleague. How did you handle it?
Working in a restaurant, all employees need to serve customers well and know how to cooperate with co-workers. Based on this question, you can evaluate whether your candidates are good team workers and wise problem-solvers. And whether their attitude and behavior are suitable for providing a positive customer experience.
6. Can you share one of your most outstanding achievements while working in the restaurant industry?
This question will reveal the candidates’ level of passion and excellence for the job. Working in the restaurant industry is quite tiring and requires everyone to persevere through hardships. If a candidate has accomplished certain achievements, it means they're serious and hard-working enough for the job.
7. Which qualities and skills are the most important to you in this field?
Asking this question can help you evaluate whether your candidate knows the traits, knowledge, and skills required for the job. Patience, focus, flexibility in handling difficult situations, good communication skills, pressure resistance ability, memorizing abilities, etc. are good answers.
8. How would you treat your new customers?
If your candidates can show you how they'll treat their customers, you can see whether they can improve customer satisfaction and retain customers. Customers will either recommend you to their friends and acquaintances, or share negative reviews. And you don't want them to say goodbye to your restaurant forever.
9. Where do you find yourself in a team?
Restaurant candidates need to coordinate and get on well with other colleagues to work efficiently. Those who can tell about where they best fit in a team should be highly evaluated. You can also ask them to share why, or what quality makes them best fit for the team.
10. What do you like/dislike about the restaurant industry?
Candidates will show their knowledge of the bright and dark sides of the industry through this question. Every industry has its pros and cons. And those who show they can accept and endure the challenges are worth keeping.
11. What kind of environment did you work in?
Different restaurant sizes and environments will have various impacts on employees. Candidates having worked in small-sized restaurants will have different experiences from those having worked in big and luxurious ones. It's important to let your candidates share their previous experience and see whether they fit your restaurant.
12. Do you have any questions?
Candidates who can ask questions are more likely to have more interest and enthusiasm towards working at your restaurant.
Candidates can ask you about the team, who might be working with them, the number of members in the team, and what role each member is in charge of. What you need to do is answer their questions honestly to avoid misunderstanding and wasting both sides' time.
12 Best Restaurant Interview Questions Template
We hope the 12 restaurant interview questions above are useful if you're about to conduct interviews with your candidates. Remember to keep a polite and friendly attitude to impress and attract good people to your business. For better preparation, you can print the questions out in advance with our template here.