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Step 3: How to Hold an Effective Structured Job Interview

Doris Benitez
Reading time: 4 min

Now that you know what a structured job interview is and what steps to take before scheduling structured interviews, let’s explore how you do it!

How to Hold the Structured Job Interview

  1. Meet & Greet

Introduce yourself to your applicant and escort him (or her!) to your office  where you will be conducting the interview. Get the ball rolling and ask if he has ever visited your restaurant and eaten here.

You will want him to be comfortable and confident as multiple studies from Wharton and UCLA have shown that introverts have performed better than extroverts in team-driven job roles.

  1. Provide Job Details

Outline your operational tactics for processing orders, desired serving time, customer service priorities, and other restaurant-related duties.

Why not share a taste of the hourly earnings he may get to enjoy as a result of his hard work? Share any potential opportunities for future growth as well to encourage employee retention. Perhaps an opening for Assistant Manager could open up in the next few months if the applicant demonstrates high caliber.

  1. Ask Your Questions

Verify the applicant’s past work experience by a posing a range of behavioral questions. You can also appraise his skill bracket by asking different situational questions as well.

Make sure you do not ask any illegal interview questions such as his political outlook or age etc.

Potential Behavioral Questions for A Waiting Position
  • Describe your past experience in the world of waiting and how would you relate it to this position?
  • Tell me about the last time you went to eat out with your family and how you found the quality of the customer service. What would you change?
  • Was there a time when you disagreed with your co-worker about who was responsible for assigning tables? How did you resolve it?
  • What are your favorite wines and which ones would you recommend to your customers?
  • Recall a time when a customer complained about the food quality and was extremely unreasonable. How did you handle that?
Potential Situational Questions for A Waiting Position
  • Imagine it is New Year’s Eve and it is a busy night at our restaurant. You have been on your feet for many hours and are scheduled to change your shift. However, two of your co-workers just called in sick. How would you manage this situation?
  • How would you react to negative feedback given by your supervisor?
  • Sometimes our staff has to juggle different duties simultaneously such as processing orders, serving drinks and handling the cash register. Would you be comfortable with such multi-tasking?
  • Would you be open to doing a paid shift as a trial?
  1. Read Between the Lines

Quietly listen and rate your applicant’s answers to each question. Observe his body language, tone of voice and overall confidence as he speaks. Paying attention to non-verbal indicators will give you an insight into his personality and attitude that could have an impact on your final recruiting decision.

  1. Explain Restaurant Code

Before you invite your applicant to ask questions about your restaurant, explain what your general policies are in terms of dress code, menu memorization, punctuality, courtesy and general working culture.

  1. Final Call

Be an open book and tell your candidate to ask you questions pertaining to the role, colleagues and your restaurant. Try to answer them as comprehensively as possible.

When done, thank the applicant for taking the time to come in and communicate the time frame it will take you to get back to him with your decision. Of course, if the candidate is available immediately and you need him to start, hire him right away!

Put your structured job interview skills to the test and download our mobile app. Go ahead and post a job for free, you will receive applications within moments!