As you prepare for your interview for a hospitality position, you should be prepared for any common interview questions, but don’t just stick to the easy ones. Put yourself in the interviewer’s place. What would you want to know that goes beyond the basics. Here are a few hospitality interview questions that you should consider carefully and be prepared to answer.

How would you describe this position?

Keep it brief, but make it clear you understand what the job is. Hopefully, you’ve done your homework. You know more than a little about the company and the size of their operation. You’ve returned to the job posting and read between the lines. In your response, focus on required skills and the job responsibilities. You can mention a presumed or stated reporting relationship. If the job posting was vague, it’s okay to ask for clarification, which will show you’ve given it some thought.

Have you been to one of our locations?

Here’s a tip: if you have the option to visit the local establishment as a customer, you should do it. You want to be able to answer “yes” to that question. When you say yes, they’ll ask, “What did you think?” Don’t embellish your experience with too many superlatives. Positivity is nice, but they’re trying to see if you have a discerning eye. A common approach when offering a negative comment is to precede it with three positive ones. If you can’t come up with three nice things to say, you might want to reconsider pursuing the opportunity. If you’re offering a negative observation, present it in a way that doesn’t reflect poorly on a specific employee. You’re not after anyone else’s job. Explain that you can personally identify with a difficult situation you observed, like being short staffed. Be prepared for the interviewer to ask how you’ve handled that situation in the past.

Have you ever had to resolve a confrontation?

Hospitality interview questions like these are meant to evaluate your ability to think on your feet and deal with people. Think hard about this one. You know how important satisfied customers are to the hospitality industry. The interviewer wants to hear a short story with a happy ending. Have one at the ready. Draw from your experience and rehearse how you’re going to tell it. It will come more easily during the stress of an interview. In case you’re asked, you might want to be prepared with a peer or supervisor confrontation you’ve experienced as well. If you can find one that has a happy ending because of something you contributed, use it.

What have you done to help with cost control?

This is a nuts-and-bolts question that’s all about the bottom line. If budget performance is part of your current job responsibilities, you know what it involves. Review times that you noticed waste and took measures to correct it. If you relay any incidents from you current job, be respectful of their confidentiality. If the interviewer asks for specific numbers, politely decline to discuss your current employer’s confidential information. It shows your ethical standards. If you current position has no budget responsibilities, but the new one will, you need to show that you’ve been observing expenditures and staffing and have an understanding of the importance of cost control. You’re likely to encounter these hospitality interview questions any time you interview for a job in the industry. Before your interview, familiarize yourself with accomplishments. You don’t have to memorize the answers, because you don’t know the questions. Just know your own story.

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