Common interview questions for a hotel job
When interviewing for a hotel position, many of the questions are designed to highlight your ability to think on your feet, interact positively with a wide variety of people and calmly handle stress. Of course, the interviewer wants to evaluate your current skills and experience to fit a particular job, but he/she is also interested in your attitude, work ethic and flexibility to fit into the company culture and thrive as part of a team.
Recruiters ask open-ended questions to give you an opportunity to express your ideas and explain your decision-making process to arrive at a solution to a problem. Whatever the question, stay positive and focus on the intent of the question.
Here are some common questions you can expect in a hotel interview:
1. Why do you want work in the hotel industry? Regardless of whether you’re applying for a resort hotel, business hotel or extended stay hotel, the hiring manager wants to know that you’re passionate about giving your guests the best possible experience. If you’re committed to providing superior customer service, he/she knows you will work hard to create loyal, repeat customers.
2. What do you look for in a good hotel/hospitality professional? Answers to this question reveal what you’ve observed when working with other hotel professionals and how much you’ve traveled. You want to show how much you know about your own job and how you compare yourself to others in the industry.
3. Are you a team player? This is a common question in many different industries, but especially in the hotel business. You need to back up your answer with examples. Provide some teamwork examples and focus on what you’ve learned about being a successful teammate, working with a typically diverse group of people in a hotel and how you handle conflict.
4. What do you know about our hotel? Be sure to go to the hotel’s website and at the very least read the “about us” section, and look for any press releases or recent news about the company. You don’t have to go into detail about what you’ve learned in your research, but be sure you are able to talk about the culture, market niche and any special services that are unique to the hotel (is it a spa?, conference center?, resort?, etc.).
5. Why do you want to work at this hotel? This is the logical follow-up to the “what do you know about our hotel” question. You can build on what you know about the company and express what you like about it or how you see yourself fitting in with their culture and values. This is a good time to show how you identify with their target market, specific services or location.
6. What types of people do you have the most difficulty getting along with? This isn’t about pointing fingers at a specific group: the hiring manager wants to see how you handle a difficult situation and ensure that you can communicate with those individuals. A good answer would include mentioning a specific trait that you find frustrating and explaining how you would go about building a rapport with that person.
7. Are you willing to relocate? Relocation is often a path to advancement in a large hotel chain. It’s important to be honest, but it may help to have a bit more information. If you determine a move is possible in 2 years, how will that fit into your plans? Once you find out some details, it may make it easier to answer this question.
8. Are you comfortable working different shifts? The interviewer is interested in knowing how flexible you are here, so it pays to be honest. If anything is fine, than yes, you can work any shift, even if you don’t really want to; if you have a constraint, you need to speak up and let him/her know when you cannot be available.
9. What would you do if we received a guest complaint about your service? No one wants to hear that a guest was unhappy with you, but hotels are always looking for repeat business in the future. You have to be willing to: listen to the complaint fairly; be open to their point of view; offer a genuine apology; and figure out what solution will make them happy and act on it right away.
10. What would you do if you saw a co-worker stealing? In a hotel, trust and security are critical and guests must feel certain that their privacy or property will not be violated in any way during their stay. You need to find out the hotel’s procedure for reporting this type of incident and emphasize your understanding about how important it is to be honest and care for the hotel’s reputation. Of course, you would never gossip about the incident and would remain professional with the rest of the staff.
11. How do you make guests feel welcome when they check in? A smile and a warm greeting are so important. Take the time to make a little conversation about where they’ve come from or what event they’re attending; it lends a personal touch to the interaction. Ask if the guest has any special requests or would like recommendations for local restaurants or activities. Let them know they’re welcome to ask at any time for whatever they need and you’re genuinely happy to assist them.
12. What questions do you have? Be sure you have a few questions to ask at the end of the interview. This isn’t just about wanting information, it lets your interviewer know you’ve spent time thinking about the job and want to ensure a good fit. You want to impress them with your insight and develop some rapport. Be sure to limit your questions to things you cannot easily read on the website. For example: Is there anything else I can tell you about myself that will help in your decision? What opportunities for advancement are logical from this position? What do you like most about working here?
Job interviews are almost always a little scary. You want the job and you have to make a good impression. Successful candidates are prepared, project a calm demeanor and are friendly, warm and flexible.