Wait Staff Interview Questions

The goal for a successful interview for Wait Staff is to demonstrate excellent customer service skills, show a friendly and approachable personality, and showcase a good understanding of food and beverage menus.

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Situational interview questions

  • Situation: You are serving a customer who ordered a steak that is cooked to a medium rare temperature. Once the steak arrives at the table, the customer claims it is overcooked and wants it to be remade.
  • Situation: You notice that a customer has been waiting for an extended period of time for their food to arrive. Once you check on the progress of their order, you realize that it has not been started due to a miscommunication with the kitchen staff.
  • Situation: A table of customers informs you that they have a gluten intolerance and they would like recommendations for gluten-free menu items. However, the restaurant does not have any designated gluten-free options on the menu.
  • Situation: A customer complains about their meal being served cold. You check the temperature of the dish and realize that it is not at the appropriate serving temperature.
  • Situation: A customer is unhappy about their meal and claims that the dish is not what they ordered. The kitchen insists that the order was correct.

Soft skills interview questions

  • How do you handle a customer who is unhappy with their meal or experience at the restaurant?
  • Can you describe a time when you successfully resolved a conflict with a fellow employee or customer?
  • How do you approach communication with customers to ensure their needs and expectations are met?
  • Can you share an example of how you handle multitasking and prioritizing tasks during a busy shift?
  • How do you work as a team player to ensure a smooth and efficient dining experience for customers?

Role-specific interview questions

  • What kind of POS systems are you familiar with?
  • Can you explain how you handle difficult customers while also ensuring their satisfaction with our service?
  • How do you ensure proper sanitation of each table and utensils before serving the next customer?
  • Would you handle a situation where a customer complains about their food being cold or not cooked to their satisfaction?
  • How would you handle an emergency situation where a customer was choking at their table?

STAR interview questions

1. Can you tell me about a time when you had to handle a difficult customer request while working as a server?

Situation - Handling a difficult customer request

Task - Ensuring the customer was satisfied while still following company policies

Action - Explaining the situation to the customer, presenting alternative options, and escalating concerns to a manager when appropriate

Result - The customer was satisfied with the alternative options presented, and the situation was resolved smoothly.

2. Describe a time when you went above and beyond for a customer while working as a wait staff.

Situation - Going above and beyond for a customer

Task - Providing excellent customer service and ensuring a positive experience

Action - Offering personalized recommendations and ensuring all needs were met

Result - The customer left a positive review and became a repeat customer.

3. Give me an example of how you managed to complete your tasks in a high-pressure environment.

Situation - Working in a high-pressure environment

Task - Completing all assigned tasks while maintaining a high level of service

Action - Prioritizing tasks, working efficiently and effectively with the service team

Result - All tasks were completed on time, and customers left satisfied.

4. Can you share a time you had to handle a mistake or miscommunication while placing orders for a table?

Situation - Mistake or miscommunication while placing orders for a table

Task - Managing the situation and ensuring customer satisfaction

Action - Communicating the issue to the kitchen and addressing the mistake with the customer

Result - The mistake was corrected in a timely manner, and the customer was happy with the solution.

5. Describe a time when you had to deal with an unhappy customer regarding their meal or service.

Situation - Dealing with an unhappy customer

Task - Resolving the issue and ensuring the customer's happiness

Action - Actively listening to the customer's concerns, apologizing, and offering solutions

Result - The issue was resolved and the customer left satisfied.

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