Waiter or Waitress Interview Questions

The goal for a successful interview for a Waiter or Waitress is to showcase their ability to provide excellent customer service, handle difficult situations with grace, and demonstrate knowledge of menu items and restaurant procedures.

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Situational interview questions

  • Imagine that you are serving a group of customers, and one of them is dissatisfied with their meal because it came out cold. Despite your best efforts to resolve the issue, the customer is still unhappy. How would you handle this situation?
  • You notice that the kitchen is running low on a certain menu item, but you are still receiving orders for it. How would you handle the situation in order to minimize wait times for customers and avoid disappointing them?
  • You are serving a table of customers who are all on different diets, and one of them has a severe allergy to a common ingredient in one of the items they ordered. How would you ensure that the customer's meal is safe for them to eat while still meeting the other customers' dietary preferences?
  • A customer is visibly upset and complaining about the overall quality of their dining experience. How would you handle the situation and what steps would you take to turn their experience around and prevent similar situations from happening?
  • Imagine that a customer accidentally spills a drink on the floor, which then causes another customer to slip and fall. How would you handle the situation to ensure both customers are taken care of and prevent any potential lawsuits or negative feedback for the restaurant?

Soft skills interview questions

  • Can you tell us about a time when you had to handle a difficult customer? How did you handle the situation and maintain a positive attitude throughout?
  • How do you prioritize your tasks when working in a fast-paced environment, while still providing excellent customer service?
  • How do you make sure you are effectively communicating with your team and customers to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for all?
  • Can you give an example of how you have adapted to a change in the workplace or to a new process to improve customer service experiences?
  • How do you handle stressful situations or unexpected complications in the workplace while still maintaining a professional demeanor and providing excellent service to customers?

Role-specific interview questions

  • What steps do you follow to ensure accurate order taking and processing of payments, even in a fast-paced environment?
  • Describe a time when you had to deal with a difficult customer in a professional and satisfactory manner. How did you handle the situation?
  • How do you prioritize tasks when multiple tables require your attention simultaneously?
  • Can you walk us through the steps you would take if a customer reported an allergy or food intolerance?
  • How do you ensure that tables are properly set up and stocked with necessary condiments and utensils before each dining experience?

STAR interview questions

1. Can you tell us about a time when you had a difficult customer as a waiter/waitress? (Situation)

What was your task in that situation, and what steps did you take to resolve the issue? (Task, Action)

What was the outcome of that interaction? (Result)

2. Have you ever had to handle a large order or table as a waiter/waitress? (Situation)

What were your responsibilities in that situation, and how did you manage to keep everything organized? (Task, Action)

What was the overall feedback from the customers about their experience? (Result)

3. Can you share a time when you had to deal with a mistake or mishap in a customers' order? (Situation)

What did you do to address the situation, and how did you prevent it from happening again? (Task, Action)

What was the customer's reaction to how the situation was handled? (Result)

4. Have you ever had to work with a difficult team member while working as a waiter/waitress? (Situation)

What did you do to try and resolve any issues or conflicts? (Task, Action)

What was the outcome of the situation, and were any long-term changes made to how the team worked together? (Result)

5. Can you tell us about a time when you went above and beyond for a customer while working as a waiter/waitress? (Situation)

What inspired you to do something extra for that customer, and what did you do? (Task, Action)

What was the result of your actions, and was any positive feedback received from other customers or your manager? (Result)

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