Jobs in the customer service sector require a very specific set of skills. Waiters, for example, must possess a pleasing attitude and the concentration and physical stamina necessary to serve multiple tables at once. As a result, the interview process for waitstaff jobs can be very strenuous. Employers must take into account the varying demands of the job when deciding an individual's suitability. Possible interview questions may range from an applicant's previous experience to more personal questions designed to reveal personality.
One of the most important components of a waitstaff position is the applicant's personality. Interviewers often ask questions intended to elicit telling details about the interviewee. These might include questions about career goals, previous work experience or how the applicant would handle hypothetical situations. When answering these questions, keep in mind that the interviewer isn't so much looking for a "right" answer as how you answer the question. For instance, when talking about a previous boss, do you express bitterness and resentment, or do you accentuate the positive?
If an interviewer asks you a question you simply do not know the answer to, don't panic. Interviewers may try to get a sense of a waiter's existing food knowledge by quizzing her on wine pairings, proper place settings and kitchen vocabulary. While many applicants may not know the answer to every question, an applicant who demonstrates grace under pressure is most likely to get the job. Instead of panicking, she will utilize what she knows to find the best answer and won't be afraid to ask.
When asked about your availability, be honest about how much you intend to work. A common mistake in interviews is claiming an open availability simply to appear more attractive as an applicant. This can cause problems down the line if you do get the job and can't work certain shifts. That said, Interviewers see an applicant who is willing to work difficult hours as someone with a strong work ethic. In this way, a simple question about availability conveys an applicant's overall quality as a prospective server.
The most important question asked during an interview for a waiter position also may be the most innocuous. Casual conversation is an important tool used by interviewers in the hospitality industry. It gives a sense of how applicants will handle themselves around customers, as well as the type of atmosphere interviewees will set at a table if they do get the job. Don't take every question during the interview so seriously that you forget about this aspect of the job. Utilize humor and charm to show that you have what it takes to set future customers at ease.
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