37 Busser Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated December 3, 2021 | Published September 29, 2021

Updated December 3, 2021

Published September 29, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Bussers are key members of restaurant staff who clean tables, monitor inventory and prepare the restaurant's dining space for customers. When interviewing for a busser position, hiring managers may ask a wide range of questions about the candidate's experience, skills and work habits. Learning about common busser interview questions can help you prepare responses and feel more confident about an upcoming interview. In this article, we provide 37 busser interview questions, including several questions with sample responses.

General busser interview questions

General questions might focus on your communication style, work habits and personality and can allow the hiring manager to get to know you as a candidate. When you answer these questions, connect your responses to the job description to show your suitability for the role. Here are some general interview questions for a busser position:

  1. Why do you want this job?

  2. What's your communication style?

  3. Can you describe a time when you overcame a challenge? What did you learn from the experience?

  4. How flexible is your availability?

  5. How do you receive constructive feedback?

  6. What makes you an ideal candidate for this role?

  7. Can you describe your experience working in a team?

  8. How much do you know about our restaurant?

  9. Can you meet the physical requirements of this job?

  10. What are some of your long-term professional goals?

  11. Do you have any questions for me?

Related: Learn About Being a Busser

Questions about busser experience and background

These questions may focus on any part of the job description, including your cleaning skills, certifications and experience bussing tables for a variety of events. Here are some questions about your busser experience and professional background:

  1. What other roles can you fill in a restaurant dining room?

  2. What is your greatest strength as a busser?

  3. How much do you know about first aid?

  4. Do you know how to clean hazardous messes?

  5. How much experience do you have setting tables for banquets or weddings?

  6. Do you have an alcohol server permit?

  7. How much experience do you have working in a commercial kitchen?

  8. What are your expectations of this role?

  9. In your opinion, what are some key skills a busser might have?

  10. What methods do you use to keep silverware and flatware organized and safe?

  11. How much experience do you have with unloading trucks?

In-depth questions

These questions can help a hiring manager measure your critical thinking and problem-solving skills. When you answer these questions, use specific examples from your past bussing or restaurant experience. Here are 11 common in-depth busser interview questions:

  1. What is the most satisfying part of being a busser for you?

  2. Can you describe your inventory check process?

  3. Can you describe a time when you used teamwork to solve a problem?

  4. How might you handle a situation where a customer was unsatisfied with their service?

  5. Can you describe a time when you provided excellent customer service?

  6. How might you spend your time when the restaurant's traffic is low?

  7. Can you describe a time when you learned how to operate a machine or piece of equipment that was new to you?

  8. If you arrived at work, and the dining room needed cleaning, what tasks might you prioritize?

  9. Can you describe a time when you showed initiative at work?

  10. Can you describe a time when your workload was heavy? What techniques did you use to accomplish your tasks?

  11. Can you describe a time when you made a mistake on the job? How did you fix the situation?

Related: 9 Examples of Good Restaurant Customer Service

Example interview questions with answers

Here are some questions with sample answers you can use to prepare for your busser interview:

1. How might you stay calm and focused during the restaurant's busy periods?

Restaurants can be hectic places during peak periods, like evenings and weekends. A hiring manager might ask this question to assess your ability to complete your tasks when the restaurant is full of patrons. When you answer this question, provide specific examples of techniques you use to remain focused and connect your work to the restaurant's success.

Example: "When things are busy, I like to do breathing exercises and remind myself of my key duties. For example, if I'm bussing a table that's next to a large party, it might be loud or hectic, but I just take a few deep breaths and remember that my job is to take care of the empty table as quickly as possible. I might also ask for help if things are really busy. That way, the table takes half the time to clear and clean, which can be really helpful if the host needs to seat another party."

Related: 22 Lessons You Learn While Working in a Restaurant

2. How much experience do you have serving tables?

A hiring manager might ask this question to understand your skills and measure how much value you might bring to their restaurant. Sometimes, bussers might fill in for wait staff when the restaurant is very busy, or a server is absent. When you answer this question, describe any experience you have serving patrons or your understanding of the skills that servers use to be successful.

Example: "In my last position, I spent a lot of time with the service staff, learning about what they did and how they related to patrons. While I haven't held an official position as a server, I've served patrons their meals and refilled their drinks during catering events. I've also been a substitute server several times when a regular staff member was absent unexpectedly. In those situations, I partnered with an experienced server who helped me answer patron questions."

3. How do you resolve conflict with team members?

Because bussers often work closely with servers, cooks and hosts, interpersonal skills like conflict resolution might be key to their success. A hiring manager might ask this question to measure your ability to work on a team in a busy restaurant setting. When you answer this question, include specific details about what you might do or say.

Example: "I always like to use empathy during a conflict with a teammate. If I can identify why they feel the way they do, I can often approach the situation in a cooperative way. For example, if a server is frustrated with me because they want to seat a large party before I can clean the table, I try to remember that they're trying to do their job just like I'm trying to do mine.

Then I think about how I can work faster, maybe by enlisting another busser to help me, if possible. If I can show the server that I'm trying to meet their needs, they might compromise with me and ask the party to wait a few minutes."

4. In your opinion, how does effective bussing help a restaurant succeed?

A hiring manager might ask this question to measure how much you know about the operating structure of a restaurant. They may also want to hear your perspective on the value of your work, which can tell them how well you might fit into the professional culture of their workplace. When you answer this question, connect key responsibilities to a restaurant's overall goals, such as ensuring customer satisfaction and staying within an operating budget.

Example: "I think that quick table bussing can be vital to a restaurant's success because it can help the servers and host move more patrons in and out, which can increase sales. A skilled busser can clean a table quickly and thoroughly, which might cut down on wait times while still showing patrons a high level of cleanliness. If they're satisfied with their service, patrons might return or recommend the restaurant to friends and family, increasing profits."

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