Restaurant Manager Interview Preparation Checklist

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Restaurant Manager interview preparation is similar to many other roles but also has a few twists and turns that you would not normally expect in other interviews. Here is a great checklist to follow when preparing.

Restaurant Manager Interview Preparation – Company Knowledge

Make sure you have researched the company. Go online or ask colleagues you know in the business. Find out how the concept began. Go visit the restaurant, if at all possible, and make note of your observations.

Practice how you will share both the positive and constructive feedback you observed. Always start with positive, share opportunities you observed, and finish positive. When you discuss deficiencies that you observed, present them as opportunities. Try to relate them back to a similar problem you’ve overcome in the past, so the interviewer gets a sense that you are “solution-oriented” and not the type of employee who just points out problems.

Preparing for a Phone or Video Call

Most interviews today begin with a phone or video call as an initial screening.

  • Take 15 minutes to focus on the upcoming conversation before the interviewer calls – be ready for the call ten minutes early and don’t worry if they are a few minutes late.
  • Make sure you are somewhere that your cell phone reception is strong with no connection issues.
  • Be stationary and in a quiet place, with no interruptions or background noise (tv, computer, people, pets, lawnmowers, etc). If your call is a video call, don’t interview from a car (if at all avoidable). It is just not professional.
  • Dress in professional attire—it’s a phone interview, but you still want to be focused and in the right mindset.
  • Keep a high energy level throughout. Some people need to walk around to maintain their energy level while on the phone; but, be sure this doesn’t affect sound quality or connection.
  • If sitting, sit upright and stay alert, always being mindful to project your enthusiasm for the position. Your voice is your main ammunition!
  • Have a copy of your resume in front of you, along with a pen and notepad. You can highlight certain things on your resume or have notes that you think are important to share during the conversation.

Preparing for Questions During the Interview:

  • Speak slowly and clearly and think about your answers before you respond. Your answers should be clear and concise. Don’t ramble.
  • Be specific in your answers and avoid the “textbook” version. Anchor your answers in real-life experiences by using names, dates, places, timeframes, etc.
  • What would you say are your strengths and weaknesses? (role play)
  • Pick a weakness that shows you can self-analyze and self-correct. Something you’ve identified but have already taken steps to overcome. Describe what specific steps you’ve taken to compensate for that characteristic.
  • When it comes to questions that you may not know the answer to, be honest, but use the experiences you have to give the best answer you can.
  • If the interviewer asks why you want to work for them, how would you answer that?
  • When speaking about a past employer, keep it 60 seconds or less, and ALWAYS STAY POSITIVE—share what you learned and why it was an important step in your career.
  • Are there any questions they may ask that would make you nervous? (role play with them)
  • If you have gaps in employment, terminations, etc., plan how you will discuss those during the interview.
  • Throughout the interview, focus on your ‘A’ game and what you’re passionate about, whether it be guest service, building sales, training, bringing money to the bottom line, etc.
  • Prepare at least three questions you would like to ask the interviewer.
  • DO NOT ask questions about salary, benefits, bonus, or hours/schedule.
  • Some good options that show interest, and that you are thinking of yourself in the role are:
    • What challenges are you looking for a new employee to overcome?
    • Please explain the training program.
    • What is the advancement track?
  • Any time the subject of salary comes up, it is important to keep it in a range and to punctuate the conversation by stressing that the company culture, growth opportunity, brand connection, etc. is most important to you.

Prepare for your interview with these guidelines, and you are sure to ace it and make a positive impression.

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