Common Interview Questions
“Tell me about yourself.”
Don’t recite your autobiography. Instead, describe your greatest skills as a hospitality manager, accomplishments and qualifications as they relate to the job requirements. Indicate how you have saved them time and money or implemented any new procedures.
“Describe your strengths and weaknesses.”
This one’s a classic. Describing your strengths is always the easy part. Try to pick out a few strong points and back them up with specific examples, such as “why” you are a team player. Now comes the hard part. Zooming in on your weaknesses is never pleasant, so don’t dwell on them. And make sure to turn negative experiences into positive ones by reflecting on lessons learned. REFRAIN FROM BEING A “PEOPLE PERSON”. You can do better than that.
“Where do you want to be in three to five years?”
This is essentially a hospitality career goal question. However, the interviewer might also want to see if you’re the type to jump ship in six months. Try and ease their concerns by stating your desire to progress within the position and company. PLEASE MAKE SURE THAT NO CONVERSATION OF RETURNING TO SCHOOL OR OPENING YOUR OWN RESTAURANT COMES INTO THE CONVERSATION. It raises a RED flag. This will only turn the company off. It will appear to them that you are not a long-term manager. LONG TERM goals need to include you working for the company with which you are interviewing and THAT is all.
“What made you decide to apply for this position?”
Briefly explain how your current restaurant management skills match the stated requirements for the position. Be sure to include how you were attracted to the organization based on what you discovered while researching the company. Make certain you have visited the website and eaten in their restaurant recently.
“Describe your major successes or failures.”
Use the same strategy as in the strengths and weaknesses question. Recount scenarios and anecdotes about how you achieved success. On the flip side, downplay your failures by discussing how you used them to better understand a business challenge or life lessons.
“I noticed you have had three different jobs in the past four years. Why did you make so many changes in such a short period of time?”
If you have a history of job-hopping, employers are going to notice and ask about it. The best thing to do is focus on the positives. Starting with, “My boss was a total jerk,” is not a good way to get the ball rolling. Instead, say something upbeat like, “I was looking for a bigger challenge,” or “I wanted to enhance my skills.” If you were fired from a job, don’t lie about it; inevitably it will come back to haunt you.
“What do you know about XYZ Company? Or the industry in general?”
Once again, this is where your company research will come in handy. Make a positive impression by demonstrating your knowledge along with the fact you did some homework prior to the interview.
“What would your peers/boss say about you?”
Concentrate on positive relationships you have developed with various types of people from peers to management. Now is also a good time to site examples of how you have helped others or worked in a team environment.
“Tell me how you prioritize projects when you have several assignments due at one time.”
This question addresses your organizational skills. Be sure to give examples of deadlines you have met under pressure and how you accomplished the required tasks.
“Why should we hire you?”
This is one of the most basic questions. If you have prepared for the interview, it should be an easy one to answer. Tie together your top accomplishments and experiences relative to the position you are applying for, along with reasons why you are different from your peers.
“Based on our discussion, what questions do you have about the company or position?”
Hopefully, you took our advice when we told you about what to ask the employer. Even if the interviewer did a fantastic job explaining the facts, you should always have some additional questions to pose. Try personalizing it by asking what drew them to the company and their vision of where the corporation is going.
“What kind of salary are you expecting?”
It’s best to say “my recruiter told me the range of the position and I am fine with that. I’m more interested in growing with your company for the future than what I will earn tomorrow.”