Top 25 Server Interview Questions and Answers in 2024

Editorial Team

25 Server Interview Questions and Answers

In this article, we will be sharing some of the questions and answers that will help you when asked in your interview as a Server. Remember, career growth attracts every individual is important and a candidate should be well prepared for the interviews.  You are lucky to have an opportunity to prove your skillset and knowledge.

The Server is expected to oversee our guest floor and the ongoing operations and procedures. He will be the company’s representative at that location for the efficiency of the business.

1. Why Are You Interested In This Role?

I like the food the restaurant serves. I love Italian food and I wanted to apply for a job where I could show my passion for the food when customers ask me questions, especially the tricky questions.

2. What Are The Roles Of A Server?

The roles of a hotel server include all the normal responsibilities of a food server in a restaurant, with some additions depending on hotel facilities and needs. Some hotels operate restaurants in addition to lodgings, and some have banquet halls and meeting spaces that need catering. The first concern is serving food and drinks to hotel guests efficiently and politely. You serve tables take orders, service banquets, and buffets, or work the bar in a lounge area. To ensure orders are correct and received by guests reasonably soon. Further, answering questions about menu items, including food and beverages, etc, and following service, sequence to provide consistent guest experiences. You clear away plates and clean tables if these tasks are not assigned to another worker.

3. What Are The Qualities That A Server Need To Be Successful?

The restaurant servers are some of the most overworked and underpaid members of the labor force. During any shift, a server acts as party host, mind reader, salesperson, acrobat, customer service rep. And, they usually depend on tips, meaning thereby they’re always looking for ways to provide better service. So as a server one needs to learn the steps of service and master the menu besides improving the hospitality skills and level of service.

There have to be some warm hand-offs that might improve the guest experience and guarantee a future visit. Above all, need to know the secrets to success meaning thereby how to make more tips.

4. During Your Last Role, What Major Challenges Did You Face? How Could You Manage That?

I used to work as a waiter in a local hotel. At times I was not able to recommend meals or maybe on occasions I was getting orders wrong. Sometimes I could not bring the order on time or it was like being overly friendly or in the way. Bad times can pop up any time when I did not “read” tables well as I was paying more attention to certain guests. A bad taste in the mouth comes when the guests kept waiting for their check.

5. Describe The Daily Routine Of A Server?

The day is divided into shifts. If it’s a morning shift, then I set up the breakfast and take customers over to their tables making sure each guest is asked if they’d like a tea or coffee before they have the hot breakfast they came in for. These small interactions with guests are really important as I see my attentiveness is what customers value the most about being a server.

If it’s an evening shift, I sit the guests down and bring them all a menu asking them if they want any water or drinks before bringing out their food. When not busy bringing out the restaurant’s specialty, need to make sure that I am around my guests enough and that they feel happy with the food. At the end of the night, I help to clear up the tables and then set up for breakfast to do it all over again.

6. Describe Your Experience Briefly?

I have served at four high-class hotels first as a waiter and then as waiter-in-charge too. I have always displayed the highest standards of hospitality and welcome are demonstrated at all times within all food and beverage areas. I also used to take orders for, serve food and beverages to guests as per the hotel’s standards in a friendly, timely, and efficient manner.

I feel good while greeting guests and presenting them with the menu. I always inform the guests about the special items for the day and menu changes if any. Besides this, I suggest food and beverages to the guest and also try to upsell. Part of the job is to take food and beverage orders from the guest on the order-taking pads or on the handheld point of sale (POS) system. I can punch the order on the POS machine and make sure to enter the special requirements made by the guest while ordering the food like No Garlic, less spicy, etc, Without the egg, etc.

Once a guest is served, the next step is obtaining revenues, issuing receipts, accepting payments, returning the change. The next is performing basic cleaning tasks as needed or directed by the supervisor. On the back end, I communicate to the guest and assist with their queries coordinating with kitchen staff, bar staff to ensure smooth operation and guest satisfaction.

7. What Strategies And Mindsets Are Needed For This Role?

Some people are born for working in the hospitality industry where friendliness and an unending willingness to give guests a pleasant time are second nature to them. We certainly can be friendly at times and we want our clients to be happy, but we are glad to have these restraints on while on the job.

Hospitality people are indeed a special breed. They are the face of your organization, your living business card. Your staff is in continuous contact with your customers and as such, they are the go-to people when something isn’t exactly as your demanding guests expected. I must say that the ideal hospitality employee has an impressive skill set. We’ve done extensive research into what makes a good server.

8. What Is The Biggest Challenge You Foresee In This Job?

The top challenge is technology and it can pop up from any corner. Plus, the consumers always want more from a hotel – an experience not just a stay. A great experience is when a positive feeling is created between the hotel and the guest. An important challenge is recruiting new and retaining existing staff. Then we have competition from platforms like Airbnb which can often be as much as 50% cheaper than the hotel stays.

9. How Do You Keep Yourself Motivated At Work?

A server derives motivation from coaching and teaching those under him how to be successful. In some cases, he needs to inspire those below him, he is motivated to continue striving. These servers are often looked on as mentors who encourage others to take chances together with micromanaging every move. Some leaders in this position use a personal conviction or mission as a motivator. This is particularly true if the company itself can support that mission.

10. Mention A Time When You Failed As A Server And The Lesson You Could Learn?

Once a VIP guest had to face service failure from our hotel. The guest preferred to receive recovery resources that match the type of failure that he suffered. However, he preferred an apology and an organization-initiated recovery as the process failure happened. Moreover, we offered that was refused but he was somewhat happy by a personal handwritten note from the service provider boosting consumer recovery and even reciprocal customer behavior like more tips.

11. Why Do You Feel You Are Qualified For This Role?

I was born in a hotel as my father used to be a hotelier. We kept hearing about hotel stories in childhood. Working in the hospitality industry is my passion. My first job was in a 500-room resort and a club. I also worked for a four-star hotel for five years followed by six years with InterContinental. I became the resort manager of a new hotel they were opening along the seaside when I was only 29 years old. I know ins and outs of this industry as my basic training is going to help me all the way through.

12. What Was Your Greatest Achievement?

My big achievement is to have the “Employee of the Year” award two years back at InterContinental. It was altogether an acknowledgment for my services at a new bar where the clientage increased exponentially.

13. What Is The Role Of A Server During Covid-19

This impact was a shock to the industry, to say the least. And now, when we all move toward a post-COVID-19 world together where outdoor dining and indoor dining are both allowed in varying manners, it is only right that we acknowledge how the role and responsibilities of the average restaurant server have changed due to COVID-19. The changes are like ensuring the safety of guests in the restaurant, taking extra health precautions like wearing a face mask at all times, disinfecting and sanitizing all shared surfaces between guests, and taking contactless payment when possible.

14. What Is Your Take On Service Failures And Recovery

Service failure is an instance when customers feel satisfied as a result of an actual service performance not meeting expectations. Simply providing a clean, neat, and organized service environment can enhance the level of satisfaction when service failures happen. Interestingly, a clean and organized environment paints a professional image that makes consumers attribute the cause of the failure as a random event. Consequently, they will hardly blame the organization for the mistake. If the service environment is unclean and disorganized, the reverse is true: consumers become more dissatisfied with the mistake.

15. Can You Explain What Is Your Greatest Strength?

I am a superb motivator, problem solver, performing well under pressure, loyal, positive attitude, eager to learn, taking the initiative, attention to detail. This much is part of my experience too that we can always discuss in detail

16. Do Prefer To Work As A Team Or Just Want To Stand Alone?

I am an excellent team player as I cannot think of serving in any organization as a loner. I can be a coordinator or maybe a lead of the team but my key skills include leadership together with being a great motivator.

17. Tell Me What Is Your Favorite Part About Being A Waiter?

Being a waiter was a great time too as it allowed me to learn on my feet and I get to serve different customers. As there are always new people in the restaurant daily, it means every day is different. This especially happened during COVID-19 when we were even more responsible for each other’s wellbeing as restaurant staff has always been built on shared family and teamwork values, but during COVID-19 it taught us wonders.

18. Tell Me Have You Ever Bent The Rules To Achieve A Goal?

Everybody loves to see his plans win but there are organizational rules. We cannot cross the line in any situation so I will say a plain No! if someone expects me to bend the rules for achieving a certain goal. I have to remain true to company policy.

19. What Are The Steps That We See Your Service In Action?

I always try that within 90 seconds of the guests being seated: Greet table; take drink orders. Within 4 to 5 minutes seated: Deliver drinks; take meal orders. In the next 9 minutes seated: Drop off condiments, cutlery, napkins, and other supplementary items; check where refills are needed and food is delivered: Ask “Is there anything else I can bring you?” Then 2-4 minutes after the food is delivered: Check on the quality of food and ask about refills. We also need to turn tables but there is a fine line between turning tables and rushing guests. 

20. How Do You Ensure Yourself Safe At Work?

A server’s role is energetic, fast-paced, and engaging. There can be potential dangers at work too. It is important to clean up a spill right away and also move anything that stops anyone from moving around the restaurant. Be sure of your surroundings, especially when everything is happening fast. Above all do wear a good pair of shoes so it keeps carrying you safely. Just keep going!

21. Shoes? What Type Of Shoes Do You Choose?

Restaurant servers do walk miles upon miles during a shift. Restaurant shoes that protect you from spills and splatter, stop you from slipping all over the kitchen, and do not leave your dogs barking at the end of the night are worth their weight in gold. If you are on the hunt for a pair that gives you arch support, protects you from sharp objects, and prevents you from falling on your butt when you are frantically buzzing about after being triple sat with five-tops.

22. Are You Familiar With How The Pos System Works?

Ah, the POS system at the restaurant: the gateway to placing and fulfilling guests’ orders. Your restaurant runs on a cloud-based POS or a legacy POS, you must know how to use it quickly, efficiently, and without error. Yes, I know how it works and how to maintain its connectivity.

23. What Can You Contribute To Improving Profits?

Restaurants earn profits when they may seat as many people as they can throughout the day and when the patrons order higher-priced items. Guests occupying your tables for hours, working away at their laptops, and ordering nothing but coffee take up valuable space where you could seat several other parties ordering potentially more expensive menu items. We should have our table turnover to be as high as possible to generate higher revenues while providing customers with a pleasant dining experience. The table turnover rate measures how often parties occupy your tables during a measurement period.

24. How To Calculate The Rate For Table Turnover? 

Divide the number of parties served by the number of tables for the table turnover rate. For example, if you have five tables in your restaurant and you serve 20 parties over the lunch hour, then your table turnover rate is 4 turns per table during the lunch hour. Larger tables may have lower turnover rates because it takes longer to serve more people and because you may have fewer larger parties visit your restaurant.

25. Give A Final Comment To Advise Your Colleagues?

Pace yourself. So, knowing what needs prioritizing and what can wait. And then I think good patience as well. Sometimes people can get very stressed so you just need to learn how to deal with it, tolerate it, and just keep going.


The above-mentioned questions will surely help ace your interview! Remember, a server needs to have good interpersonal skills! Overall, being a server is a demanding job that needs the presence of mind and full involvement from the team members. Hope you are passionate about organization, can prioritize the workload, and do multitasking, this position is for you!  Don’t forget to wear a nice dress to your interview and carry it with a smile! Good luck!