9 Tips on Handling Job Interviews For Servers

This post details some things to watch out for during the job interview process.

Remember if you have been called for an interview that person wants to hire you. All you have to do is convince them they picked the right person. So as a waiter here are some things I have found helped me when I have looked for work in the past.

1. When you are being interviewed by the owner and the person says something like they are looking for people who really love the industry and working for tips should be secondary. This for me throws up a yellow flag. For a waiter money is of the utmost importance.

2. If you have multiple interviews do the one you want first. Let’s say you have an interview on Saturday and you get a call from a place you are more interested in for an interview on Tuesday. Phone the one for Saturday and ask them if you can postpone for a few days. You can even be honest and say you have another interview before that you would like to attend. This might open them up to give you an interview over the phone. If you ask the right questions you can get some answers.

3. Ask what the average check is per person and if they are busy during the week. On the weekends most places are busy. If you want to make decent money though it has to be busy during the week as well.

4. Always during the interview go over what you have to offer that would help them. Be proactive and go over your skills that fit the place you are applying for. Just don’t wait for them to ask the questions.

5. Say something nice about the place. An interviewer wants to hear someone say how nice his or her place is. Comment on anything you see. Appeal to their pride. This will get you ahead of someone else right away and get you remembered.

6. Just before the interview is over and the job is what you want erase all doubt in the interviewer’s mind. Let them know it is what you want. After outlining all your benefits you have to close. Throw something out there like , I can give my employer notice and start work as soon as two weeks from now. This way at least you can smoke them out by seeing how serious they are in you. They may stop their job hunt right there when they hear that.

Or they may say something like we still want to talk to some people. If so, tell them hiring you will not be a mistake and you look forward to the opportunity. If this doesn’t work then just ask when you can expect to hear from them and their final decision. Some employers just don’t know.

7. Visualize a successful interview. See yourself as the one they want.

8. What does your gut feeling tell you? Do you feel good about this place? If there is any doubt it probably is a mistake.

9. The last piece of advice is never appear desperate. If it is meant to be it’s meant to be.

What about you out there? I would like to hear what tips you have.



  1. i have been to a lot of interviews "I'm glad not hundreds" before and i dont really have a tip… I think it depends on what kind of service you are offering… I usually apply in a place where they offer legal service the tips that i get from my mentors and it usually work is that to appear like you really know more than you should, and you are right giving comment on the trophy and awards displayed in the office is a plus point… most people wants to brag in a way that is not so obvious "that is if they have something to brag about"… so give them a chance to do that by being interested on those matters…well i know the article is about food crew so my tip could be off topic but i'm just passing on what i learned.. (hehe)

  2. Stephanie….good advice on handling job interviews. It pretty much is the same across the board.

  3. Excellent post Steven. It can't be understated how important it is to ask the interviewer questions about per person averages and average server sales for weekday lunch and dinner shifts. Money is the reason why we work and those questions will tell you if you can make it at this prospective job.Another question I think that is very important to have answered deals with the staff turn over at the restaurant. I always ask how long most of the servers have been there. If it's the kind of place where no one leaves and everyone has been there for years, that's a good sign both in terms of money and work environment. If the staff is a mixed bag of mostly 'new' servers.. that's a red flag.

  4. The Jaded Waiter…finding out how long people have worked there is a good sign like you say whether it is a good place or not. I guess the idea is to extract as much info as you can so you can make the decision as to whether to work at a place or not. Nice.

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