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Waitress Interview Questions

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  1. As a waitress, what experience do you have handling cash and card transactions? See answer
  2. Tell me about a time you had to deal with a demanding customer as a waitress. See answer
  3. What is your experience with making drinks for customers behind the bar? See answer
  4. As a waitress, how would you handle multiple tables during a busy shift? See answer
  5. Tell me about your experience accommodating customers with special diets, such as vegan and gluten-free needs. See answer
  6. Why do you think teamwork is important for a restaurant to be successful? See answer
  7. Describe a time when you had to handle a negative and angry customer. How did you approach the situation?
  8. Do you have experience working long shifts and being on your feet for several hours a day?
  9. What’s your process for waiting on multiple tables at once?
  10. Are there any precautions you take or follow to ensure a safe work environment for both yourself and others?
  11. Do you have any experience working in customer service? How would that relate directly to this position?
  12. Tell me about any food trends you’ve noticed lately.
  13. Describe an instance where you had to recommend wines to complement certain meals.
  14. Have you ever received a below average tip? How did you handle this situation?
  15. What are your thoughts on tip sharing?
  16. Do you have experience carrying several plates and cups at once?
  17. Have you ever dined at our restaurant? What improvements would you make to your experience?
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6 Waitress Interview Questions and Answers

Q:

As a waitress, what experience do you have handling cash and card transactions?

A:

Waitresses must be versatile when accepting payment forms. The applicant’s response to this question will allow you to gauge how much experience they have with basic math during work hours as cash transactions often require a quick exchange of money. The ideal candidate will know when to ask for payment and have a positive attitude toward customers during this experience. What to look for in an answer:

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Ability to perform basic math
  • Critical thinking skills

Example:

“At my previous waitress position, I had experience accepting multiple forms of payment from cash and gift cards to debit and credit cards. I would always wait until the patron seemed done with their meal before bringing over the bill.”

Q:

Tell me about a time you had to deal with a demanding customer as a waitress.

A:

In the restaurant industry, there are good days and bad days. An excellent waitress will have the skills necessary to handle tough situations and critical clients. The ideal candidate will show compassion when discussing a time they dealt with a difficult customer, and they will show how they offered ways to fix the negative experience for the individual. Focus on the applicant’s ability to pay attention to details that might have impacted the patron. What to look for in an answer:

  • Empathy and compassion
  • Detail-oriented attitude
  • Experience serving a difficult customer

Example:

“In my last position, I once assisted a patron who was upset about her meal as she felt it was cold. I had the chef remake her meal, and I gave her a free appetizer to ensure that she had a satisfactory experience.”

Q:

What is your experience with making drinks for customers behind the bar?

A:

Some establishments require waitresses to make simple alcoholic beverages; however, others might only require servers to handle beers and wine. The applicant’s response to this question will allow you to gauge their knowledge of a variety of drinks and how experienced they are as a waitress. Does the individual prefer handling only non-alcoholic beverages? Focus on the candidate’s confidence in their abilities. What to look for in an answer:

  • Confidence in the ability to learn new tasks when needed
  • Knowledge of different beverages
  • Experience serving customers and checking IDs if necessary

Example:

“I have six years of experience serving alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. At my last job, I learned how to make bloody marys and mimosas for our daily brunch service.”

Q:

As a waitress, how would you handle multiple tables during a busy shift?

A:

Waitresses are often required to deal with many tasks at once. During rush hours, one server might have four to five tables at the same time. The ideal candidate will understand the importance of time management and presenting each patron with a pleasant demeanor. Focus on the applicant’s tone when discussing how they would handle a busy shift. Are they able to stay calm under pressure? What to look for in an answer:

  • Positive personality
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Time management skills

Example:

“I would make sure to greet all the customers at each table and take drink orders before asking each table what entrees I can get for them. During busy shifts, it is important to interact equally with all patrons in a section, so I would make it a priority to be available to them.”

Q:

Tell me about your experience accommodating customers with special diets, such as vegan and gluten-free needs.

A:

In the restaurant industry, there are many different types of allergens and special food restrictions that people follow, which makes it essential for waitresses to know how to accommodate such customers. The ideal candidate will have experience knowing what ingredients are in meals on a menu, offering substitutions, and will understand what diets limit certain items. Is the applicant aware of the differences between vegetarian and vegan or foods that meet popular diet plans like keto or paleo? What to look for in an answer:

  • Willingness to always be learning
  • Ability to cater to special food requests by offering substitutions
  • Understanding of different diets

Example:

“In my previous waitress position, I would always highlight which specials were vegetarian or vegan and offer help with finding foods to meet specific diets. I am familiar with offering substitutions to make a meal fit a patron’s needs.”

Q:

Why do you think teamwork is important for a restaurant to be successful?

A:

For a restaurant to remain efficient and productive, all employees must be collaborative and work as a team to keep orders running smoothly. It's important to have waitresses on staff who understand the value of teamwork and how it makes a restaurant successful. Look for a candidate who has experience working on a team and who seems enthusiastic and motivated to work on an inclusive, supportive and collaborative restaurant staff.

The candidate's answer should emphasize:

  • Dedication to teamwork
  • Collaborative attitude
  • Experience working on a team

Example:

"I believe teamwork is significantly important for a restaurant to follow, since it can be a fast-paced and intense environment. As a waitress, I've appreciated previous coworkers who were there to run an order out to a table when I was busy with another one, and I always worked to return the favor. It's also important to have a respectful relationship with the cooks and bussers. When we all maintain positive and communicative work relationships with each other, the kitchen and dining areas run more smoothly, which means we're providing a more satisfying and enjoyable customer experience."

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