10 Most Common Job Interview Questions
You never know exactly what you’re going to be asked in an interview, but it’s wise to prepare as much as possible. If you have answers ready to some of the most frequently asked interview questions, you’ll have a good chance of getting to use at least a portion of those answers during your interview.
Plus, many other interview questions are variations on the most common questions. Once you prepare for these questions, you can tweak your answers to respond to almost anything you’re asked.
1. “What’s your greatest accomplishment?”
The ideal answer to this question describes an accomplishment that’s relevant to the position you’re applying for. For example, if you’re applying to be a revenue manager, you could talk about how you increased RevPAR at your last job.
2. “What’s your greatest weakness?”
Employers like to hear an honest assessment of an area where you could improve. Of course, you don’t want to list a crucial job qualification as your greatest weakness, because that would disqualify you from the employer’s point of view. Instead, mention something that you haven’t had experience with but that you would be happy to learn more about.
3. “How have you handled a challenge at work?”
Answer this question by telling a story. Identify the challenge, say how you addressed it, and conclude with the positive result of your actions. Show that you used empathy, creativity, leadership, or other positive traits in your response to the challenge.
4. “How well do you multi-task?”
Hospitality isn’t like a factory line where employees might perform one task repeatedly. You have to balance several responsibilities at once, and employers want to see that you’re capable of doing that. In your answer, try to give an example of multi-tasking in your previous job, and mention any strategies you use—such as keeping track of tasks with a checklist or memorizing them with a mnemonic—to help you get everything done.
5. “Why did you leave your last job?”
Turnover is a perennial concern in the hospitality industry, and employers try to gauge from your answer whether you’re likely to walk away. If possible, try to emphasize that you left your last job on good terms. Cite reasons for leaving such as wanting to gain new experience or learn new skills. Don’t bring up personality conflicts or difficulty fitting in with your last team, because employers will worry that you’ll have the same problems in a new job.
If you were terminated from your last position, frame that as a mistake that you learned from. In this case, you’ll need to give compelling reasons why the job you’re applying for would be a better fit.
6. “Why do you want this job?”
Highlight aspects of the job that match up with your skills or experiences. For each item you like about the opportunity, point out something in your background that has prepared you for it.
7. “How would you respond to an upset guest?”
Discuss customer service strategies like active listening, apologizing, and offering a comp or finding a resolution. Mention how you would escalate the complaint, such as by calling over your manager, if the guest is still not satisfied.
8. “How do you adjust to a new team?”
Teamwork is ubiquitous in hospitality, and employers need to know that you can work harmoniously with a diverse group of people. Try to describe a balance between respecting the team’s existing processes and learning from your coworkers on the one hand, and contributing with your own strengths and new ideas on the other.
9. “Where do you hope to be in five years?”
Envision a realistic timeline of moving up within the company where you’re applying to work. What are the skills you would need to develop to be a good candidate for promotion? Talk about how the job would help you learn them in preparation for the next step of your career, and make it clear that you want to stay with the company long-term.
10. “Do you have any questions?”