In this article, we will be sharing some of the questions with answers that you might be asked in your interview as a Cocktail Server.
1. Why Are You Interested In This Role?
I applied for this position as I have been interested in customer interaction and being able to provide a great customer service experience. Previously, I was working in the same capacity in a restaurant and I do believe that I meet the requirements of this role with my experience and skills. I applied for your organization to grow in the hospitality field as you are internationally affiliated with pioneers of the industry.
2. What Are The Roles Of A Cocktail Server?
For this role, there are several responsibilities that I am aware of already like:
- Taking customer orders and providing complete menu information and recommending,
- Serving Drinks and generating their bill accurately,
- Multi-tasking by attending to several guests at a time,
- Ensuring tables are ready for the next customers,
- Adding Table accessories like napkins and straws,
- Having complete knowledge regarding drinks including beer, cocktails,s, and wine,
- Ensuring that customers can legally purchase alcoholic beverages as per law and
- Carrying trays to and from the kitchen.
3. What Are The Qualities That A Cocktail Server Needs To Be Successful?
To perform well, a server needs to have a fine dining experience to understand the standards of a restaurant. For Soft Skills, it is important to have a friendly attitude towards all customers and respond to their queries as soon as possible. For serving alcoholic drinks, knowledge of federal and state laws regarding liquor is important too. I believe that a blend of soft and technical skills is essential for this role and to ace this field. Match your qualities with the aim of the restaurant so that you can become an asset to the organization.
4. What Major Challenges Did You Face During Your Last Role? How Did You Manage Them?
When I first started working, I was unable to assist my customers when they asked for recommendations from the menu. I felt that I couldn’t offer my knowledge because what if they don’t like my recommendation? My supervisor noticed my hesitancy and helped me overcome my fear. He taught me well about the menu and a few questions I could ask the guest before any recommendation from the menu. Now, I can easily recommend and even offer them great food that they always like.
5. Describe Your Daily Routine As A Cocktail Server?
Usually, I have been working the evening shift in my previous role so my work routine started around 4 pm. At first, I get all information regarding the special menu that is being served today from the chef in the kitchen. They guide me regarding some basic ingredients so that I can advise the customer accordingly. Once I have gotten all information from the kitchen, I move to the dining area where I set the table accessories if required. Soon, customers start pouring in and I have to be on my toes then. I am taking orders, clearing tables, and generating bills from the counter. I have partially worked at the takeaway counter as well. Once the shift ends, I make sure that I clear the seating area so that cleaners can easily clean it and I move dishes to the washing station.
6. Describe Briefly About Your Experience?
I graduated in Restaurant Management in 2019 and have been working since then. I started my first job in YZ Restaurant where I was given the responsibility of greeting the walk-in customers and guiding them to the table as per requirement. I assisted in order taking tasks and making recommendations from the menu if the customer wanted to try something new. I passed out all information to the bartender and assisted while the drinks were being made. Once the customer left, I moved the tableware to the dishwashing area and arranged new on the table. Later, I assisted in the cash and card transactions as well. During COVID 19, I also took some online training in restaurant management online through Coursera and other websites that helped me a lot. The load at work was less than usual so I figured out a good time to polish my skills.
7. What Kind Of Strategies And Mindset Are Required For This Role?
This role requires friendly behavior throughout the shift. To engage the customer with the menu, it is essential that a server has complete knowledge about the menu and has great communication skills. A happy customer always returns sooner than ever! The mindset to provide the best customer service to all your customers can do wonders and help you in acing in this role.
8. What Is The Biggest Challenge You Foresee In This Job?
As per my knowledge, your restaurant is internationally affiliated with global chains in the food service industry. My biggest challenge would be to fit myself in this new challenging role because I have not worked in an international setup to date. My exposure has been limited but I am sure that I will be able to grasp the knowledge quickly and perform great in this role.
9. How Do You Stay Motivated At Work?
I am passionate about my work and this keeps me motivated. I am eager to learn new things about the foodservice industry and I am working to improve my skills. To keep my enthusiasm up to the mark, I challenge myself to try and learn something new and I inform my peers about it too. As a server, I enjoy working with my fellows as together we have one common goal i.e. great food served with great customer service.
10. Describe A Time You Failed In This Role And The Lesson You Learned?
As I mentioned that in the start of my previous role, I was unable to provide recommendations to customers due to a lack of confidence in my skills. I remember that once a customer asked me if I could recommend a summer cocktail from the menu or the chef special as he does not like mint flavor. I could not answer him and asked him to wait till I send a new server to the table. My supervisor saw me doing this and spoke to me after my shift. Even though the customer was attended by my fellow but I did feel like an incompetent person. My supervisor trained me next week with him and now I am here.
11. Why Do You Feel You Are Qualified For This Role?
I have the skills and experience that you are looking for in your advertised role. Even though I have worked in small setups but I have developed a variety of skills in the same role that can be beneficial for this role. I do believe that my customer service skills along with management and problem-solving skills would be well utilized in this multidimensional role.
12. Share With Us Your Greatest Achievement
I have gotten the title of the best employee of the month for 3 months consecutive for my skills. I have been friends with all my customers and even made a couple of them to return to the restaurant often.
13. A Customer Is Requesting For An Item On The Menu That Is Not Available Anymore. How Do You Communicate?
I would politely explain to them that the required drink is not available right now but I can recommend them something similar but better from the menu. With my knowledge, I will give her a few choices from the menu so that they can easily choose. If the order is made, I would make sure that I ask them in the middle if they are liking the taste or would they like an alternate. This would impress the customer that I am interested in her order and they can rely on my skills.
14. Seems Like You Are Fond Of Your Role, What Is Your Plan For Near Future?
I am happy to be part of the food service industry but obviously, I cannot be a server in the future too. As you know that I hold a degree in restaurant management, I am hoping that I would be in a management role in the future and provide great customer service opportunities for my new incoming customers. So far, I am enjoying the role and skills it’s developing in my personality.
15. Would You Rather Mislead A Customer Or Assist Them With An Alternate?
The rule is to never mislead! If a customer is asking me about the food serving that I am unaware of, I would be requesting them to wait for a bit while I get the person who can assist them better. Sometimes misleading a customer can turn out to be harmful to both restaurant and the customer. As a cocktail server, my knowledge is up to date regarding cocktails but if the person is inquiring about the main course or appetizers then another server who is efficient in it can sort their confusion easily. I don’t think that there is any harm in asking the customer to give some time while you bring someone else to them.
16. A Customer Asks You To Select A Cocktail For Them. How Will You Do That?
My first question would be to understand their needs and if there are any allergic reactions they have. This would help me in knowing what menu can work for them and what would they really enjoy. Sometimes a person can be allergic to a tiny ingredient that is an essential part of your ingredient. On the other hand, they can also tell if they are looking for some fruity taste in a sweet flavor or if they want something in sour like citrus. My recommendation is going to be dependent upon the information they share.
17. Have You Ever Worked At Cash Register Or Pos?
Yes, in my previous role, I was given responsibility for maintaining cash transactions and card ones as well. It was mostly on weekends when there is a load of customers and multiple hands are required as well. I can operate card machines and QR Code Scanning for online payments. I was also involved in closing the cash register on weekends and maintaining the summary of transactions.
18. What Is Cocktail Shaking?
As it is said, shake it not stir it- this is an art of cocktail preparation. By shaking, the drink not only gets chilled but also mixes the flavor completely. If you have added less ice then the cocktail will be over diluted as the ice is going to melt in seconds in shaking. To achieve the best shaking, the shaker should have at least 2/3 of ice with all ingredients and then to be shaken! Once done, pour the liquid into the glass without the ice.
19. What Is The Difference Between Standard Cocktail Shaker And Boston Cocktail Shaker?
Standard shaker has 3 parts i.e. can base, built-in strainer, and cap. The Boston shaker has 2 cones. One is made up of glass and another one is made up of stainless steel. While Standard one has a built-in strainer, Boston needs a Hawthorne strainer separately.
20. Can Bad Ice Ruin A Cocktail Taste?
It is one of the common mistakes being done while making cocktails. If the ice has been in the freezer for a longer time period, it gets the smell and taste of the freezer or other items that are in the freezer. If you pour the odd-smelling ice into the cocktail then it can spoil the flavor overall. I always prefer fresh ice in cocktails. Ice is an essential ingredient and cannot be skipped either. The ice used does not only chill the drinks but also helps in diluting to a perfect ratio of taste.
21. What Is The Right Way To Serve And Clear The Table?
At any table, the server should start serving the left side and move ahead accordingly. If there are ladies on the table then ladies should be served first. While clearing the table, the rule is to clear from right to left. The table needs to be constantly cleaned from dirty dishes or glassware so that it has enough clear space in front of the guests.
22. If A Table You Are Serving At Gets Into A Loud Argument. How Will You Respond To It?
If it is loud enough, I will politely inform the guests to maintain their cool as other guests are being disturbed and share restaurant policy with them regarding such matters. If the fight is turning into a physical one then I would be informed by the security and management team to be involved in this matter so that it’s sorted before any damage is done to the property or guests.
23. What Is Table Turnover?
This helps in calculating the load of the restaurant. The formula is simple i.e. number of guest parties divided by table quantity. This is beneficial when you have to schedule a busy time at a restaurant and you can manage your staff accordingly. A restaurant’s profit is dependent on the turnover rate because it is earning every single time a guest is ordering and how quickly they are being served so that new customer can take their place.
24. The Food Industry Was Under A Major Hit During Covid-19. Share Your Experience.
No doubt, this industry suffered the most in terms of loss of business. People were hesitant to step out of their homes even after being vaccinated. It took a really long time for people to join us back in their favorite restaurants and enjoy their meals and drinks. There was a major responsibility on our industry to ensure that all protocols were being followed like 6 feet distance, open-air dining, mandatory masks, and much more. Before we had to make sure of the person’s ID card to ensure the age for liquor consumption but now, we had to make sure all customers are fully vaccinated. Proper disinfection and sanitization duties were allotted to the staff in shifts to ensure safety.
25. In Your Role, Do You Prefer Working Alone Or In A-Team?
Servers cannot work alone as we have to manage the walk-in customer load around the shift. Sometimes, we need to divide the duties for smoother operation and provide the best customer service to every customer. I don’t remember a time in my career when I worked alone without my team’s support.
Overall, I do not have a preference as long as I get a chance to learn and polish my skills. Every restaurant has a working environment and our role is to work efficiently in it.
In this article, we have listed basic and technical interview questions that are required for the position of Cocktail Server. Be confident about your skill and experience and don’t forget to smile. We wish you all the best in acing your interview. Let us know in the comments below what questions you get asked in your first round of interviews.