Are you an experienced chef or hospitality expert looking for a job? Your nearest IHOP branch may have an opening for you. IHOP is one of the most successful restaurant chains in America. It is widely known as a pancake house restaurant chain that offers a range of American breakfast foods. Fully known as the International House of Pancakes, IHOP was founded in 1958 in Los Angeles, California.
Our article will cover some of the interview questions you should expect when you apply for a job in any of IHOP’s branches. We have even included answers you can use to craft unique responses in case any of the questions we have covered are asked. Let’s get started and help you ace your upcoming interview once you make it to the shortlist.
1. What Do You Know About Us?
IHOP, fully known as International House of Pancakes, is an American pancake restaurant chain offering American breakfast foods. It was founded in 1958 in California, with its fast restaurant opening in Riverside Drive, Burbank, California. Currently, you have branches in 10+ countries, including Kuwait, Mexico, and The Philippines. Some of your main competitors include Chili’s, Cracker Barrel, and Applebee’s.
2. Why Do You Want To Work For Us?
Apart from being your customer for 10+ years and enjoying your offerings, I am particularly intrigued by your menu options that encourage healthy eating. It would be an honor to work for a company that values its customers’ health thanks to your well-made and delicious under-600 calorie options. I am also looking for an opportunity to learn more about this field, and working here will allow me to learn from the best.
3. Why Do You Think You Are The Best Choice For Us?
This is my tenth year in the hospitality industry, which gives me the experience needed to succeed in this job. As indicated in my resume, I have also served in different positions and can take up different roles if necessary. Lastly, I am an excellent team player and dedicated employee, qualities that will come in handy in this role. I am confident that I will perform excellently if given a chance.
4. Do You Have Any Restaurant/ Food Experience?
Yes. Even though I graduated recently and haven’t had an official job, I worked part-time at the school restaurant as a server and cashier. This experience taught me how to deal with different types of people and uphold excellent customer service. I also learned a few food preparation basics from hanging around the kitchen during low-traffic times. I am willing to apply whatever I learned to succeed in this job and contribute to the overall success of this restaurant. Lastly, I am a fast learner, so I can quickly grasp whatever I need to know by watching your senior employees.
5. Tell Us About Your Availability/ Flexibility
I have no commitments now, making me available for any shift, day or night. I may, however, not be available on Sunday, which is generally my rest day. However, I will work on Saturdays and holidays if called upon. I am also quite flexible and can step in for other employees, provided I am notified early enough.
6. How Did You Learn About This Position?
Being my favorite pancake and American breakfast food restaurant, I follow you on Twitter to stay informed of any news or developments. I, therefore, knew about this position from your Twitter posting, indicating that you were hiring. I had been waiting for such an opening and applied immediately, luckily making it to the shortlist. I am glad I learned about this position from social media, which has always kept me informed of your undertakings.
7. What Is The Biggest Challenge That You Foresee In This Job?
Even though I have the hospitality experience needed for this job, I have worked in relatively smaller restaurants and eateries, which makes this my first time working for a multinational establishment. Therefore, the biggest challenge I expect working here is increased pressure owing to the magnitude of this restaurant. However, I am a diligent and hardworking employee with extensive multitasking skills, which makes me confident that I will thrive regardless.
8. How Do You Intend To Stay Motivated On This Job?
I understand the importance of staying motivated at work, given my experience in the hospitality industry. First, I will focus more on my work life and less on my personal life during working hours since overfocusing on the latter can be a recipe for disaster. I will also think about my impact at the workplace whenever I feel demotivated. I normally find a reason to push harder every time I remember that my contribution positively impacts customers and my team members. Lastly, I will strive to maintain a positive attitude during work, which has always proven to help whenever I feel low or demotivated.
9. What Is The Main Challenge You Faced In Your Former Workplace? How Did You Overcome It?
Even though my former workplace allowed me to learn more about hospitality management and the restaurant business, I still faced a number of challenges. We were understaffed, so I had to attend to more than one role most of the time. Even though I am great at multitasking, I still got overwhelmed a few times, and noticing that the pressure was getting out of hand, I knew I had to do something. I applied my persuasion skills to convince the restaurant manager to automate some of our processes and hire an extra set of hands, which greatly improved our operations.
10. What Do You Like Most About The Hospitality/ Hotel Industry?
I am an outgoing person who loves human interaction. Working in this industry allows me to meet new people daily, which I believe is the fuel I need to keep going. I also get to positively impact customers’ experiences and put a smile on most people’s faces, which I find highly fulfilling.
11. How Would You Deal With An Angry Customer?
Working in the hotel industry means meeting and dealing with different types of customers. I have met my fair share of angry customers, which has taught me how best to serve them. Whenever I encounter one, I give them a chance to vent their anger and frustration before apologizing and finding the best solution for their issue or problem. It’s imperative not to interrupt them but to listen patiently and practice restraint. I may also escalate the issue to my supervisor or the manager if necessary so that the customer’s issue gets solved faster.
12. What’s Your Greatest Strength? How Will It Help You In This Job?
My greatest strength lies in my ability to work well in team settings. Thanks to my people and interpersonal skills, I know how to get along with different people, which has always given me an easy time blending in with others, both in my personal life and the workplace. I am confident that my ability to fit well into team settings will help me maintain valuable and resourceful relationships with my colleagues. It will also make the onboarding process easier and relatively shorter.
13. What’s Your Definition Of Excellent Customer Service?
My definition of excellent customer service is going above and beyond to give the customer an experience to remember. It means being ready to go the extra mile to ensure the customer is satisfied and involves anticipating and fulfilling the customer’s needs, offering additional help, and thanking them for their business. Lastly, excellent customer service means giving whoever walks into the restaurant a reason to return or become a loyal customer, which I am prepared to do if given this chance.
14. Do You Have Any Cash-Handling Experience?
I have extensive cash handling experience, acquired from the two years I worked as a cashier shortly after college. I know how to handle different payment avenues, including the point-of-sales system and the cash registry, which I am willing to showcase if given a chance. I also understand and can balance different accounts with a zero-error margin. Lastly, I can receive payments and give change without making any errors, which will be handy if I am tasked with payments. Extensive cash-handling experience also means I can step in for the cashier in case they call in sick or are running late, which will benefit the establishment.
15. What’s Your Stance On Employee Theft?
As a person of high integrity and an array of other values, I don’t condone theft, whether perpetrated by employees or customers. Everyone should strive to make an honest living; therefore, theft cases should be dealt with accordingly. I am sure that the establishment has its policy on theft cases, which I am ready to follow to the latter. I am also ready to inform the proper authorities or security of any theft in progress, which is my duty as a good citizen and employee. All in all, I hope that it won’t get to such a point.
16. How Do You Intend To Impact Your Team Positively?
I normally make it a point to impact everyone I come in contact with positively. I believe we can all learn from one another as team members. I will share any information in my possession that can lead to the betterment of my team, which I believe will make a positive impact. I will readily offer my help where needed and even step in for my team members if possible. Lastly, I will do my part to give my team members an easy time. I am confident that I will make a positive contribution.
17. How Would You Respond To A Vulgar Customer?
I normally prepare for different occurrences at the beginning of the day as I understand that I will be meeting different people. The first thing I’d do if I encounter a vulgar customer is to maintain my composure since I have to be on my best behavior as a representative of the establishment. I will then politely but firmly ask the customer to avoid using vulgar language. If they don’t, I will escalate the issue to my supervisor or another employee capable of handling them better. I may also have to involve security, depending on the circumstances.
18. How Do You Normally Deal With Criticism?
After several years of professional hospitality work, I have come to understand the importance of feedback, however harsh. I don’t normally take criticism personally but use it to improve my work. This is because handling negative feedback or opinion as a personal attack can negatively affect morale, ultimately impacting performance. I am open to feedback from customers, my coworkers, and my supervisor.
19. Do You Have Reliable Transportation?
Fortunately, I live roughly 300 meters away, so I can easily walk to and from work. I don’t need to board a bus, train, or drive to work and risk running late. I also have a bike as part of my efforts to conserve the environment, which I can use to get to work faster if needed on short notice. I can, therefore, confidently say that I will be punctual for work and, on most occasions, report minutes before the start of my shift.
20. Do You Have Any Weaknesses We Should Be Aware Of?
The greatest weakness I had and successfully dealt with was my impatience. During my first job, an employee had to intervene upon noticing that I was on the verge of losing it following an interaction with a rude and demanding customer. I knew I had to do something about it, and I started practicing a bit of yoga, meditation, and taking breathing lessons to build on my patience and composure. I am glad to report that I have built high patience levels that helps me get along with my workmates and handle customers better. Apart from my impatience, which isn’t a problem nowadays, I cannot pinpoint a particular weakness that should be of concern.
21. How Do You Feel Working With People From Diverse Backgrounds?
I appreciate and respect diversity. I love working with people from different backgrounds since everyone has something unique to offer, and with good relations, we can all learn from one another. In fact, I prefer working in places that appreciate diversity, such as IHOP. I will get to meet diverse people and learn from their experiences, which I normally find fulfilling, to say the least.
22. From Your Experience Working In The Hospitality And Hotel Industry, What Do You Think Is The Best Way To Solve Conflicts?
Conflicts are always bound to arise when people work together. However, I have discovered that the best resolution technique is to solve them as fast as possible so that they don’t spill over and negatively affect the morale and peace of the team. Employees should be taught to be transparent and point out when they feel wronged or offended instead of holding back. This can only happen if the establishment creates an environment where employees can freely express themselves. Therefore, effective conflict management and resolution is a two-way process that requires both the employee’s and the establishment’s input.
23. How Will You Deal With The Pressure That Comes With This Job?
This job can be highly stressful, especially during peak hours. Fortunately, I have the resilience needed to survive such times. I intend to maintain a level head and avoid panicking or getting anxious, which only worsens things. If possible, I will use my excellent multitasking skills, where applicable, to attend to several duties simultaneously. I will also take a few minutes to recharge if the pressure gets out of hand, and lastly, I won’t shy away from asking for help if I feel too overwhelmed.
24. Where Do You See Yourself In The Next Five Years?
My ultimate goal is to open my restaurant and allow people to enjoy quality, well-made food. Until that happens, I plan to be part of your team, helping the establishment continue offering excellent services to the clientele. I am confident that working here will expose me to some of the best hospitality professionals in the industry, who will give me helpful insights I will need in the future.
25. Do You Know What Our Values Are? What Do You Think Of Them?
I took some time to review your official website and discovered you have seven core values: community, integrity, inclusion, trust, excellence, accountability, and integrity. I profoundly respect all seven values and strive to live by them personally and professionally. I believe they are all important for the proper functioning of the establishment and society. I will readily uphold them if given a chance to work at any of your restaurants.
We have come to the end of our article, having covered some of the questions you will likely be asked in your IHOP Interview. Apart from brainstorming the best possible answers, remember to work on your grooming and first impression, which will definitely play a huge role in your success. We wish you all the best in your upcoming interview.