How to Answer Server Interview Questions

Server Interview Questions | Examples |

If you’re preparing for an interview for a job as a server, you can increase your chances of success by practicing your responses to some common interview questions. A job interview allows you to express your best qualities by describing your experience as a server. You can use the sample questions and example answers in this article to help you get ready for your interview.

What are server interview questions?

Some of the most common questions interviewers ask restaurant servers typically focus on your customer service experience, teamwork skills, communication and overall ability to perform your serving duties. For instance, you might expect an interviewer to ask questions regarding how you resolve conflicts, communicate with customers and ensure quality dining experiences for restaurant patrons. You can highlight your expertise and professionalism by providing examples of your successes when you answer the questions.

Why do interviewers ask server interview questions?

Interviewers are likely to ask these types of questions to get an idea of your experience working on a team to achieve customer satisfaction goals, ability to handle working in fast-paced environments, skills at managing customer orders and knowledge of safe food handling. Your answers can allow employers to evaluate your skill level and ability to contribute to the overall success of the restaurant you work in.

Common server interview questions

Review these questions and example answers to get ready for your server interview:

How would you describe your customer service experience?

Interviewers will likely ask this question to get a better understanding of your experience level as a server. If you have several years of experience, highlight this by first detailing your experience level, and follow up with how your experience contributed to your ability to fulfill customers’ needs and provide quality service.

Example: ‘I have over six years working as a server, and during this time, I have continually approached my customers with the goal of providing the best quality service I can. Helping customers choose menu options, making menu suggestions to fit their budgets and offering reparations for order errors has led to repeat business in my past positions. My goal is to make a customer feel welcome as soon as they enter the restaurant and provide an enjoyable experience throughout.’

If a customer asked you a question you didn’t know the answer to, what would you do?

Restaurant managers and supervisors want to know that you can creatively solve problems even if you don’t know the answer immediately. You might provide a specific example of a scenario where you had to seek a senior staff member or manager to find an answer to a customer’s questions. Detail the outcome to show how you’re dedicated to providing the best experience possible.

Example: ‘I recently had a customer ask if they could substitute one side order for another that wasn’t an option for the entree they ordered. I politely asked them if they minded that I double-check with my manager that we could honor the request. I finished taking the rest of the table’s orders, then asked my manager if we could make the substitution, which we could. I entered the order, then informed the customer that we could make the substitution without an extra charge, and that I already submitted their order. The customer was pleased with how proactive I was in the situation.’

Tell me about a time you handled a conflict with another coworker in your past role. What did you do to solve it?

Employers ask this type of question to get an idea of how you work under pressure and find solutions to problems you may have with your coworkers or even a customer. Use this opportunity to showcase how effectively you calm tense situations, or you can highlight how you would approach solving conflict if you haven’t experienced issues like that before.

Example: ‘I’ve been very fortunate that I haven’t encountered conflict too much in my past roles. However, I did have an issue between a coworker who was sporadically taking over my tables before I had a chance to greet them. I resolved this issue by communicating with my coworker and reviewing our serving stations with our manager to ensure we both were working where we needed to be.’

Are you comfortable with up-selling additional menu items?

Restaurants tend to generate additional revenue by the extra menu items they sell. Things like dessert, coffee, tea and side items can all add to the revenue a restaurant makes, and managers likely ask this question as a way to gauge your ability to confidently suggest additional menu items to customers. You can highlight your abilities in attracting customers to make additional requests by providing examples of how you did this in your past roles.

Example: ‘I love suggesting dessert options to my customers. When our restaurant started incorporating homemade desserts that varied every month, I got excited because I love to share my favorite desserts with customers. I typically include my up-sell techniques toward the end of customers’ dining experience. Also, if the restaurant has limited or special menu items, I love to let my customers know what we have going on.’

What do you like best about serving?

An interviewer may ask another question that’s similar to this, and they all have the same goal. Managers want to know that you take pride in your work and that you find enjoyment interacting with customers and working as a team to contribute to brand growth and revenue. Be honest in your answer, and highlight your attributes by describing experiences that resulted in an accomplishment.

Example: ‘I love meeting diverse people. Working in the restaurant industry has given me so many opportunities to meet interesting people and make lasting friendships. I also love it when I can help customers enjoy dining out by providing suggestions and answering questions. When I can help customers make healthy eating choices and ensure their requests are fulfilled, it makes me feel productive and that I’ve succeeded in my job.’

How would you help a dissatisfied customer?

The way you approach customer satisfaction is also an essential aspect of working as a restaurant server. Interviewers likely ask this question to ensure you have the ability to follow restaurant protocol when handling dissatisfied customers and approach these types of situations with compassion and empathy. Consider providing a specific example of how you successfully helped a customer.

Example: ‘I once encountered an issue where a customer received the wrong order. I apologized profusely and got them the correct order as quickly as possible. I also comped their drinks and offered free dessert. When a customer is dissatisfied about anything in their dining experience, I try to fix it as quickly as possible.’

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