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Restaurant Manager Job: Behavioral Interview

This is the part of the job interview where a restaurant manager can practice. A restaurant manager knows the basic questions they will ask, Team Work and Leadership. The job interviewer will ask you ‘how’ you solved problems. This isn’t the place to talk about your education or mentorships. It isn’t the time to talk about collaboration or mentoring.

A Restaurant manger needs a resume that includes words like ‘detailed’ or ‘organized’ then an experienced interviewer will assume you are trying to ‘bait them’ into asking about an amazing experience you want to share. Don’t disappoint them. This is your moment to shine.

Restaurant Manager Job Interview – Objectives

The Behavior Job Interview is the time for you to cover a specific question in detail:

How did you solve the problem?

Did your problem meet with the company’s management style, labor laws, or industry standards?

Did your solution cause employee problems?

What problems did it solve?

Did it save the company money either specifically (reduced waste) or secondarily (reduced time invested in the hiring process)?  Do you know the percentage?

Use the STAR approach

ST – Specific Task

A –  Approach/Action

R – Resolution/Results

Write this out clearly. Make sure there is a happy ending. Then, send it to an editor. Have it reduced. Cut out the fluff. Keep it short.

The worst thing is to misunderstand the question and give an indirect or ambiguous answer. If you are not 100% sure then ask for clarification. Or, state the question back in the ‘active listening’ fashion.

Traditional Job Interviews vs. Behavioral Interviews

In a traditional interview, you are asked questions which need a straightforward answer like “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” or “What challenges did you face and how did you handle them?” or “Describe a typical work day.”

In a behavioral interview, an employer has decided what skills are needed in the person they hire and will ask questions to find out if the candidate has those skills. In this type of interview they will not ask ‘how’ you would do something, they want to know ‘what’ you did. Pay attention to the ‘passive voice’ in the grammar.

They don’t want to know what you might do. They want to know what you did do. The important part of this type of interview is the defining of skills. The employer knows what skills and abilities they need. Their goal is to find out which management candidate possesses those skills and has enough cognitive understanding to employ them successfully.

A restaurant manger will not know what questions you will be asked. This is why it is a good idea to start a notebook. You can start keeping a portfolio long before looking for your next job. Over time you will forget vital details that can be important in your next job interview.

Do not stress. There are no right or wrong answers in the behavior job interview. The interviewer is simply trying to define whether you are following a methodology or management strategy or winging it. How did you behaved in a given situation? How did you treat people? How you respond will determine if your skills fit the position you are applying for.

Listen to the question carefully, form a clear and specific answer and most importantly, be honest. There is always the temptation to try and twist your answers to fit what you think the job is looking for, but that can be dangerous. It creates in consistency in your answers and you may loose a job that was perfect for you.

The most important thing is to understand your industry. Not all industries follow the same pattern. The hospitality industry is a prime example. We asked Robert Krzak what was normal in the hospitality industry. ”As headhunters, the traditional in person interview does not exist and has been replaced with telephone interviews. This has happened for the past 15 years. Companies still conduct traditional interviews as well as behavioral interviews and panel interviews take place only when it is a V.P. or higher. I hope this helps.”

A restaurant manager candidate, in the hospitality industry, rarely tries DIY job hunting. They work with recruitment firms, like Geckohospitality. This highlights how important it is to know the current hiring trends in your industry.


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