So you’ve bagged a hosting interview. Fantastic! You must be great for the job on paper; now you need to show it in person. Interviewers often expect a lot out of potential hosts. They’re the first people to greet the restaurant’s guests, which means that hosts have to be friendly, lively, and presentable. Your interviewer knows they have to find someone who impresses, so they can often be more selective when interviewing for host and hostess positions than for many other roles.
Everyone gets nervous during interviews, even if you know you can ace it and be great at the job. Some people are amazing candidates but are terrible in interviews, which means they do not get the opportunity to showcase their skills. Either way, the best thing you can do is prepare thoroughly. We’re going to give you 6 tips and tricks which will help you come across the best you can and snap-up that hosting job.
Here are the 6 hostess interview tips and tricks:
1. Visit the restaurant before your interview
2. Walk in with an upbeat attitude
3. Do your research
4. Practise answering questions
5. Highlight your experience during the interview
6. Get feedback afterwards
1. Visit The Restaurant Before Your Interview
Once you’ve scheduled your interview, you should have an idea of who your employer is or what restaurant you’ll be working at. You should go to the restaurant as a guest, even if you just get a drink with a friend. While you’re there, watch what the current host does. Note what responsibilities they have so you can know what might be expected of you.
Not all host roles are 100% the same. Some employers expect hosts to take orders as well as seat guests. Some expect hosts to prepare initial drink orders, which may mean knowing how to mix certain drinks and pour a decent pint. It’s good to know this information before the interview so you’re not caught off guard with a ‘Do you know how to mix a sidecar?’ question.
You can also see what the host is wearing and tailor your interview outfit to match the style. Observation has to be the best way to be prepared for your upcoming interview. Also note the type of footwear the host or hostess wears. Many do not know that there are industry-specific slip-resistant shoes available to help keep you comfortable on your feet all day long as well as provide added safety elements.
2. Walk In With An Upbeat Attitude
As we’ve already said, hosts are the first people to greet customers when they walk through the door, so your demeanour throughout the interview needs to match their expectations. Pay attention to your demeanour throughout the entire interview as nerves can often let this positive outlook slip. Plus, being really hyper and upbeat is not always seen as the most professional way to conduct yourself in an interview and isn’t our natural way to be in these situations, even if you’re normally a bubbly person.
For hosts, however, acting like a ball of sunshine and energy will be a great way to show your interviewers what they can expect if they hire you. The people interviewing you will be aware of these ideals and they will expect this kind of attitude from you, so there’s no need to feel weird acting lively and enthusiastic.
3. Do Your Research
Researching the company you’re going to work for is a great way to get ahead. Make sure you know little bits of history and key things that have happened recently. A common interview question is ‘Why do you want to work for this company?’ or ‘Why did you choose this restaurant chain?’ If you know about the company, you can reel off facts and recent accomplishments that relate to why you want to work there. It’s sure to make you stick out from the rest of the applicants.
4. Practise Answering Questions
There are loads of resources online that you can make use of to practise for your upcoming interview. Search for common interview questions and practise answering them. Think about your answers for both general and host-specific interview questions which apply to any job or sector. Having pre-prepared answers will help combat your nerves and make sure you’re not caught off-guard or leave you stuttering for an answer mid-interview.
5. Highlight Your Experience During The Interview
While you’re practising some questions, think about ways you can talk about your experience during the interview. Most of the time, interviewers won’t ask you to outright talk about your experiences. And while it’s easy to talk about it in questions like ‘Tell me about your last role’, sometimes employers won’t even ask you those types of questions.
It’s still relatively simple to find ways to talk about your experience in questions that aren’t directly linked with a bit of practise. For example, ‘where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time’. You can begin with saying, “I have recently been working at ‘x’ restaurant as a host, gaining valuable experience in greeting, answering phones, and preparing drinks. I want to build on those skills so that in 5 years time I will fulfil my dream of being a manager of a thriving restaurant’. With this simple incorporation, you can double the amount of time you’re talking about your relevant experience.
And if they do ask out right about your experience, for example, ‘in your last job did you answer the phones and make reservations?’, don’t be afraid to admit that you don’t have that experience if that’s the case. Explain that while you didn’t, what you’re really looking for is to learn and gain experiences in the industry/job you are passionate about so that you can fulfil your long term plans.
If you show a passion and willingness to gain new experiences, it can often present you as more employable than someone who has the exact experiences they’re looking for.
6. Get Feedback Afterwards
If you’re not successful, don’t panic. It’s a great learning opportunity to make sure you get the next one - as long as you get feedback. Emailing or ringing your interviewer after you find out you’re unsuccessful, or if they call you to let you know, asking them straight away for some feedback is totally fine and expected by most interviewers.
The best way to approach this task is to explain that as this is the industry and job you’re passionate about and actively looking for, any feedback they can provide would be greatly beneficial. You can ask more specific questions, too, if feedback is a bit general, for example “What can I improve on for my next interview?” and “What were the main concerns you had about hiring me?” Finding out what reservations they had about you means you can focus on that weakness in the next interview and make sure you talk about that specific point or improve in meaningful ways.
Other Helpful Tricks To Get The Job
And finally, there are many helpful tips and tricks that apply to any industry interviews and may be beneficial to bear in mind:
- Eat a good breakfast
- Plan your journey ahead so that you get there early
- Avoid alcohol the night before
- Get plenty of sleep the night before
- Plan your outfit and have it washed and ironed the night before
Footwear On The Job
As a host, you’ll be on your feet all day, moving from table to table. If you’re already working in the industry, you’ll probably have a great pair of specially-designed restaurant shoes which provide comfort throughout your entire shift. But if you don’t, you’ll want to invest in a pair of quality, professional, and safe shoes that will get you through your long shift AND get you home safely.
Slip-resistant shoes are especially important for hostesses as slips are the number one cause of accidents in restaurants. So, why worry about falling on the first day? You can be safe with SHOES FOR CREWS EUROPE LTD.'s specialist slip-resistant shoes for hosts. They’re a good investment for both the interview, and when you land the job.
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