Working as a waiter or waitress can certainly be difficult at times, and there are several things that a potential employer may ask you in order to determine whether or not you are the best fit for the job. The following waiter interview questions and answers will help you stand out from your competition and increase the likelihood that you will be hired.

Have You Worked as a Waiter Before?

One of the first questions you will likely be asked when you are being interviewed for a position as a waiter or waitress is whether or not you have any previous experience. Since you will be required to perform a variety of tasks which include taking orders, delivering orders, prepping workstations, handing disgruntled customers and even handling money, most employers prefer experienced wait staff. If you have experience, simply provide this information. If you do not, a statement such as, “While I don’t have formal experience, I enjoy working with people and I learn very quickly” should suffice.

Do You Work Well with Others?

While a customer is dining in a restaurant, the waiter or waitress is often the only face the customer sees and is therefore the face that customer associates with the business. Your demeanor will have a huge impact on the business, and as such, employers often ask whether or not you work well with others. Rather than simply providing a yes or no reply, be descriptive in your answer. Something like, “I do work well with others and I enjoy being part of a team” followed by any examples you can provide is often the best answer to this question.

Can You Describe a Situation in which You Helped a Difficult Customer?

As with any business, restaurant patrons will sometimes have complaints and it will likely be your responsibility to resolve them. Perhaps a steak was underdone; perhaps another member of the wait staff was rude or unkind to the customer. Whether or not the example you can provide is directly related to the restaurant business is often irrelevant. For example, “When I worked in retail sales, I once assisted a woman who had purchased a defective product. Although she had to go through the manufacturer for a replacement which made the process difficult, I walked her through it each step of the way to achieve a resolution” is a perfect answer.

Do You Have any Related Degrees or Certificates?

Most waiters and waitresses do not have any degrees or certificates that are specific to their fields. Thus, if you are able to obtain any certifications such as those in food handling or even a certificate in foodservice, you will be a much more valuable asset to your employer. “I earned the Oregon State Food Handing Certification in 2012 and I took a six-week course in proper foodservice techniques in 2010” would be a great reply. You should bring any certificates with you to the interview and present them when this question arises.
Every interview is different and will likely vary based upon the type of restaurant in which you are applying for a job. However, these questions arise very frequently, so you should have your answers prepared and be ready to speak confidently about your abilities.