Job Seekers restaurants

Restaurant Interview Questions and How to Answer Them

The interview is the last thing between you and that restaurant job you’ve applied for. If you want to land the job, you need to put on your A-game and nail the interview. Here are a few common interview questions and tips for answering them to help you prepare!


Why do you want to work in the restaurant industry?

Whether you want to make some money in between jobs or you want to pursue a career in the restaurant industry, you need to explain your reasoning in a way that demonstrates you will take your job seriously. Instead of saying “I’m just looking for a gig to make some money”, you should say something along the lines of, “I’m looking for an opportunity to support myself while developing my customer service skills.”

Although both responses essentially list the same reason, the first response makes it seem like you’re just looking for any job, while the second response makes your reason specific to the restaurant industry.


Why do you want to work at our restaurant?

There are plenty of other restaurants you can potentially work at. Why do you want to work at this one in particular? Apart from the pay, you need to come up with several reasons why you want to work at this restaurant. Do they have a unique atmosphere or concept? Do their staff seem like fun people? Whatever it may be, you need to do your research before you show up for your interview.

Study the restaurant’s website and Yelp page. Familiarize yourself with their menu. If you can’t find anything particular about the restaurant that appeals to you, chances are you won’t enjoy working there to begin with.


What are your career goals?

This may seem like an odd question for a restaurant interview but it tells your prospective employer a lot about you. Whether you want to move up in the restaurant industry or pursue another career, you should be aiming to advance yourself.

If your employer sees that you’re ambitious, they’ll know that you will continually strive to improve at your job. On the other hand, if your employer thinks you’ll be satisfied with where you are, they will be more inclined to think that you will become stagnant at your job.


Tell me about a time where you received excellent customer service

The purpose of this question is to see whether you can identify the elements of good customer service. Think about a memorable customer service experience you’ve had and what made it memorable. Make sure you explain why you thought your experience is an example of good customer service. You should have no trouble answering this question if you can clearly explain what makes a good customer service experience.


Tell me about a conflict you’ve had with your coworkers and how you handled it

This question is designed to assess how you handle conflict in the workplace. Your prospective employer needs to know whether you can work in a team. When answering this question, it’s important to avoid focusing on how you were right and others were wrong.

Instead, you should frame your answer in terms of your team and how you brought your team together to achieve a shared goal. As long as you demonstrate that you can put aside personal differences in the workplace, you will signal to your employer that you’re a team player.


How would you handle a customer giving you a hard time?

There’s no one right answer to this question and your answer should be highly dependent on the situation. However, you should never antagonize your customer in your response. Although the customer may not always be right, you want to demonstrate that you can resolve customer issues amicably.

Focus on addressing the customer’s  dissatisfaction instead of confronting them. Your response should show your prospective employer that you would aim to deescalate the situation as much as possible.

The interview process can be stressful for any one but the more you prepare, the more confident you will feel. As long as you do your research, practice interviewing, and be authentic, you’ll nail your next restaurant job interview!