Whether it’s your first time interviewing for a server job or you’re a seasoned veteran in the industry, you have to be ready for whatever they may throw at you. From how to present yourself to demonstrating your skills, here are some tips to help you dominate the interview.

Think of it as just another table

For me, approaching the interview like you’d approach your tables is the best way to express your qualities and personality.

Your interviewer is looking to see who you are when you’re at a table and what better way to show this than by treating them as you would treat a guest.

Confidence is key

Serving is all about confidence. Guests can tell from a mile away if you’re comfortable with what you’re doing or if you’re nervous as hell, and so can your interviewer.

It’s crucial to exude confidence, even if you’re faking it!

So, whether you know everything there is to know about serving or you’re in over your head, it’s crucial to exude confidence, even if you’re faking it! From dominant body language to assertiveness, showing your interviewer that you can keep your cool while being grilled will show them that, if you’re hired, you’ll do the same with your tables.

Stay positive

Positivity is contagious and attractive to a manager as well as a guest. Conveying that you’re happy with what you do and can keep a positive attitude despite the mayhem around you is a crucial element of both serving and interviewing.

So, do your best to keep on smiling even if you’re not totally feeling it.

All about the attentiveness

I try to incorporate this word in every serving interview as a fancier way of saying “guest/customer service”. In the industry, putting the guest first is elemental.

In the industry, putting the guest first is elemental.

Proving that this is important to you will delight your interviewer and reflect well on your priorities as a server. Use this buzzword and give an example of how attentive you can, and will, be.

Trust goes a long way

Establishing trust with customers is goal #1. If you can establish trust right off the bat, guests are more likely to be comfortable asking you questions and following your suggestions. This is good business for the restaurant and, not to mention, you’ll probably get a better tip!

So, it goes without saying, getting your interviewer to trust you goes a long way in demonstrating that you can do the same with customers.

Pro-tip: A great way to gain trust quickly is through your drink recommendation. If you have a suggestion for a drink that you know is universally enjoyed, the guest will likely feed off of your interest and try it. If you describe it correctly and they like it, you’re in. Expressing something like this to your interviewer will show off your know-how and get some extra points!

Make organization and efficiency a priority

When interviewing, be sure to articulate how important being both organized and efficient while serving is to you.

While most people believe that serving is a brainless, simple occupation, the amount of multi-tasking involved is far from easy. From drink and food orders to maintaining tables and helping out co-workers, there is a lot on your plate.

Describe your go-to strategy for staying organized and on-task while on the job.

Establishing that you can handle the multitudes of responsibilities and can manage your time efficiently is a sure-fire way to impress a manager and interviewer. To do so, describe your go-to strategy for staying organized and on-task while on the job.

Keep your head in the game

In the industry, we call it being in the weeds. You’re dealing with a fussy customer, trying to find a manager to comp a bill, thinking about the fight you’re having with your roommates; what do you do?

Freak out and cry in the corner or keep your head and breathe? The latter, obviously.

A simple way to impress your interviewer is to be aware of this and express how you would deal with the stress. Servers are ubiquitously known as prima donnas and have trouble keeping their emotions in check. If you show that you can keep your cool, you are on your way to getting a job.

The interview is half the battle to becoming a great server. Use these tips to nail it every time and the rest of our serving hacks for when you get hired!

You might also like…

Experience Sirvo for yourself

Sign up now to find hospitality jobs and hire top industry talent.