10 Common Interview Questions for the Hotel Front Desk
Front desk staff are among the first interactions that guests will have in any hotel. They set the tone for the stay and comprise an important part of guest’s first impression of the hotel. So situational questions will comprise a significant part of this interview so employers can gauge your character. Are you friendly, yet professional? Consistent in both your work and your personality? Grace under fire?
These 10 questions will help you to better understand and prepare for inquiries in the job interview focused on behavior.
1. Why do you want to work at this hotel?
Essentially, the interviewer is trying to suss out your familiarity with the property as well as the company’s culture. Make sure you do adequate research in advance of the interview and can cite specific positive attributes of both the hotel as well as the hotel brand.
2. Are you a team player?
Of course, the answer is always yes. But the interviewer wants you to give specific examples of when you were part of a team that was able to drive successful results. Be sure to note the results as well as your own role as a contributing member of the team.
3. How would you former boss/coworkers describe you.
Of course, this question is never meant to elicit a negative response, but some generic “good employee” adjectives such as “hard-worker,” “quick-learner,” “patient” and “diligent” along with some highlights of your own personality such as “…and my coworkers always appreciated my sense of humor and my easy-going manner.”
4. What is a best practice as far as communicating with the general public?
This is a fairly straightforward answer as you want to be sure to talk about the importance of making eye contact, smiling, speaking clearly and maintaining a calm and friendly demeanor.
5. How do you prioritize work responsibilities?
As a front desk agent, you will have multiple responsibilities. But there will be times – like high occupancy periods – when you could be overwhelmed if you don’t follow proper procedures or have your own plan of action in place to handle the pressure. You’ll also want to note that guests are always the priority.
6. What aspects of your last position did you enjoy and which did you dislike?
Be careful with this question, especially if there are similarities between your previous job or employer and the hotel where you’re interviewing. Definitely talk up the high points. To address the downside, discuss faultless and unchangeable traits such as “Some of my coworkers and I always thought the employee break room seemed especially cold in the winter. Everyone else would tease us for eating lunch with our scarves on.”
7. Describe a time when you went above and beyond for someone else?
You should have a response at the ready because this question is a no-brainer. Was there a time when a guest asked you where they could find a particular type of wine and you directed them to the hotel restaurant and then immediately called the restaurant so the guest was presented with the bottle when they arrived? This is the moment to recount that success.
8. Describe a moment when you had to deal with someone who was irate. How did you successfully turn the situation around?
Whatever situation you describe, do not speak poorly about the guest. Instead, talk about how you knew it was important not to take anything they said personally, but to listen carefully, show that you were engaged by maintaining eye contact and that you apologized for the negative experience and offered a solution on the spot.
9. How do you manage stress when you’re under pressure?
The interviewer wants to know what types of situations stress you out and also to make sure that you don’t react to stress in an outwardly negative manner. It’s always a good idea to go back to how you prioritize tasks and mention how you thrive under pressure. Also, you’ll want to include in your response a specific instance of a stressful situation that you handled well.
10. Why should we hire you?
This is an opportunity to reiterate some of the skills and experiences that you highlighted during the course of the interview and to talk about how they overlap with the needs of the hotel, which, if the interviewer didn’t willingly share during the discussion, you’ve hopefully already asked about.