Monday, January 28, 2013

Interview Tips For Waiter and Waitressing Jobs - Part 3 - Use Smart Questions To Make You Look Good

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Part 3 of Interview Tips for Waiter and Waitressing Jobs is all about smart questions to ask during your interview. The typical interview will consist of two parts. First, the manager will ask you a series of questions, then they'll give you an opportunity to ask questions or express any concerns.

A lot of your competition for that waiter or waitressing job, will mistakenly pass up on, or not take full advantage of this golden opportunity to accomplish two things.

First, asking smart questions makes you look good because it shows you've come prepared and are knowledgeable about the restaurant business. Second, by using questions correctly, you have the opportunity to build rapport with the interviewing manager, and relate on a personal level.
Let's look at some examples of smart questions to ask during your server interview.
  • How many covers (# of guests served) a day does the restaurant average? Lunch vs. dinner? Weekday vs. weekend?
  • How many tables do servers get in their station?
  • What's the average check amount per person? Lunch vs. dinner? Do you notice that people spend more money here on a weekend night, or is it about the same?
  • Are there any server assistants (busboy)? What is their responsibility? How about food runners and/or host/hostess? How does the tipout breakdown?
  • Are there many other students or actors (whatever outside commitment that relates to you) that work here? How are you about working around their schedules? Has there ever been a problem?
  • Why is this position open? What would you like done differently by the next person in this spot?
If you notice, a few of these questions are lead-ins that leave you open to ask another question. These types of questions are very effective tools to use during interviews because they can help you build rapport, like displayed below.
  • You: What are some of the more popular items on the menu?
  • Manager: Crab cakes, baby back ribs, jumbo shrimp salad and the prime rib.
  • You: What's your favorite?
  • Manager: Actually, my favorite is the Alaskan halibut with lemon caper sauce.
  • You: Really? I actually used to work at a seafood market and fell in love with halibut. It's hard to beat when it's cooked just right. So, are you a big fan of seafood or is the halibut here out of this world?
  • Manager: Both, actually. I grew up in Seattle, WA and did a lot of fishing in my days there. I guess it's safe to say I've had my share of Alaskan halibut.
  • You: LOL. Okay, it's sounds like you've had more Alaskan halibut than me. I actually grew up in San Diego, CA and did a lot of fishing, too. We used to catch halibut down there, too, but anybody who knows halibut, knows the southern ones just aren't the same.
  • Manager: LOL. No, no they're not.
This is just an example of how the right questions can help you get valuable information without being too intrusive and prying into their personal life.
Again, knowledge is the key. Asking smart questions helps you obtain valuable information, giving you an advantage over your competition because you'll have the opportunity to relate with the interviewing manager on a personal level.
Part 4 of Interview Tips for Waiter and Waitressing Jobs will be about using humor to further build your rapport and give yourself another advantage over your competition.

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