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Best interview questions for your hiring process

Busser Interview questions

Bussers will often be the first person a guest or customer in your restaurant speaks to. Therefore, their experience’s first impressions will depend largely on this team member. This means you need to hire a person who fits your company morals and culture.

These are the Busser skills a candidate needs:

• High level of customer service experience.
• Ability to stand and work on feet for extended periods.
• Excellent and friendly verbal communication skills.
• Problem-solving ability.
• Great teamwork skills.

Interviewing a Busser

Since your Busser will be one of the main points of contact between your business and your customers, their communication and people skills are critical. You need to be sure you can trust your potential Busser to boost the guest experience, answer questions, and solve problems in a polite and friendly manner. Therefore, establishing these skills during the interview process is vital.

The best way to do this is by asking the right questions. So, to help you out we’ve put together these example Busser interview questions which will help you to not only assess a candidate’s skill set, but also their personality. This is extremely important for such a people-centred role.

How to open the job interview

As you need to get a good idea of a candidate’s personality, you need your potential Busser to be relaxed and at ease throughout the interview. That means jumping straight in with the scary, technical questions might not be the best idea.

Instead, you should aim to warm the interview up with some laid-back, positive opening questions. This will get the conversation flowing naturally and give you a better overview of their skills and cultural fit.

Best interview questions for your hiring process

See our Busser job descriptions here

For the interview

A positive opener to start

How did you get started in your career as a Busser?

What is your favourite memory from your customer service career?

Behavioral Questions

Can you give an example of a time you went above and beyond for a certain diner or customer?

Knowing your candidate has the ability to understand a customer’s needs and go above and beyond to exceed these needs can make a huge difference in the experience your customers have. This answer will also give an insight into a candidate’s work experience.

Describe a time when you had a particularly argumentative or difficult customer, how did you overcome this and stay positive?

Difficult diners or customers can have a huge impact on your mood. However, it is good to know that your candidate can remain calm and professional throughout this experience. You will also get an idea of how a candidate reacts and rectifies these situations.

Describe a time when you helped a colleague with their workload.

As Bussers will have a multitude of tasks and skills, they may have to help with colleagues’ tasks from time to time. Knowing this is something that they are willing to do is great. You’ll also get an idea of some of the tasks the candidate is comfortable performing here.

Describe a time when you have dealt with a diner who had special requirements or needed extra help.

Each diner has different needs, knowing your candidate is capable of handling this and has experienced this before is very important.

Soft Skills

How would you help the Waiters and Waitresses during a particularly busy time in the restaurant?

Waiters and Waitresses can occasionally get a backlog of diners to serve, which can cause a ripple effect throughout the restaurant. Your candidate should show initiative and communication skills here, asking their colleagues where they can help with delivering orders or similar tasks.

If you noticed a colleague making a mistake with a diner’s order, how would you proceed?

While taking orders isn’t the main part of a Busser’s role, here you are looking for a candidate who is comfortable stepping in and rectifying this situation. They should have the communication skills and professional ability to quietly mention the mistake to their colleague, efficiently enough that the customer’s experience isn’t impacted. 

What skills do you hold that make you an ideal Busser?

This is a chance for your potential Busser to brag! Here, they will likely mention their confidence areas and strengths. The skills they mention may be hard or soft skills and may be ones you hadn’t originally considered, making this an ideal Busser interview question.

How would you deal with receiving a bad review or piece of feedback from a diner?

Here, you’re testing initiative and forward-thinking skills. A Busser shouldn’t be discouraged by bad feedback, they should take these views into consideration and use them to improve and guide future service.

What do you do when dealing with a chatty guest during a busy period in the business?

Chatty guests are well-meaning individuals, but they can cause quite a backlog of work if not correctly handled. A good Busser should be able to use their communication and people skills to politely finish the conversation and continue their tasks.

Hard Skills

Do you have any experience serving or waiting tables?

This won’t be a make or break question in some businesses, but knowing whether a candidate can jump into other tasks when needed is a good boost of confidence.

Have you used any computer software or systems to seat tables in previous roles?

Not all restaurants will use these, however, if yours does then it is a good idea to find out whether your candidate has experience with this or will need to be onboarded in-depth to this process.

What size business have you worked in previously?

This will give you an idea of how a candidate’s experience lines up with your current business. If you’re running a large chain restaurant, this will be quite different to a smaller café.

Have you received any customer service training or certification?

Most of the time, this won’t be necessary. However, it is good to know if it is something a candidate has and may give them a competitive edge.

What times are you used to working, and how long was a typical shift in your previous role?

Again, here you’re getting an idea of how well a candidate’s experience matches with your own business. You’ll get an idea of if a candidate has the skills needed to work a late shift or an early morning breakfast shift.

Operational / Situational Questions

Imagine you seat a couple of guests at a larger table during a quiet time, and the restaurant begins to fill up. A larger group then comes in. How would you deal with this?

Seating mistakes can happen from time to time. The candidate should mention looking to see if a smaller table is available, if so they can use their communication and people skills to move the smaller party to this table. If this isn’t possible, they should be able to problem-solve by offering the larger party an estimated wait time, offering the group to wait at the bar, or using a similar customer service technique. 

Imagine you notice a disagreement between your colleagues. How would you react?

This question tests the candidate’s teamwork ability. The Busser can decipher the cause of the disagreement and either use their knowledge to aid the situation or step in to remind the colleagues that the guest experience is a priority.

Imagine a customer isn’t satisfied with their meal and brings this up with you, what would your next steps be?

Here efficiency and communication are key. The comments should be passed on to the relevant team as soon as possible so the situation can be quickly rectified. The candidate can also offer to bring drinks or some sort of compensation while the customer waits if this is something they have previously cleared with the Restaurant Manager.

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