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Earls Restaurants Interview
Questions

30 Questions and Answers by
Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.

Question 1 of 30

Earls Restaurants values our customers. Do you agree with the phrase 'The customer is always right'?

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Earls Restaurants Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    Earls Restaurants values our customers. Do you agree with the phrase 'The customer is always right'?

      'The customer is always right' has been a long-standing mantra for service-based organizations. Do you agree with this mantra? Why, or why not? The interviewer would like to see you respond positively. If possible, take a look at the company website to see what their mantra or customer service statement is.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "Although I believe that the customer is not always right - it's important to treat them as though they are. Within the limitations of health and safety, etc.; I believe it's best to accommodate the customer within reason."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "Some customers are quite impossible to please so I would not go so far to say that the customer is always right. With that said, I do treat every customer with the utmost respect and do put their needs first in all reasonable situations."

  2. 2.

    Why do you want to work for Earls Restaurants?

      With many options in the family restaurant industry for employment, why do you want to work for Earls Restaurants Ltd.? Talk to the interviewer about your preference for their company. Dig deep when it comes to your response, bringing up specifics related to their menu, the shifts available, employment awards they have won, or their company mission.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "Since I am a university student, it is important to me that I join a company that will be flexible around my hours, and support my goal to finish my degree. Also, I have read a lot on your tuition reimbursement program for top performers, and it intrigued me. I look forward to joining an organization that supports its employees wholeheartedly."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I especially want to work for Earls Restaurants Ltd. because I have friends who have worked here previously, providing me with positive feedback on their experiences. I am looking for a positive work environment where I can stay for a long time to come. Also, your menu is delicious so it's food and quality that I can easily get behind!"

  3. 3.

    How would you respond to a customer who wanted to send their food back?

      Oh, the woes of working in the service industry! Whether you work at an upscale restaurant or a fast food establishment, you will come across customers now and then, who are difficult to please or take advantage of you or your restaurants' hospitality. Earls Restaurants Ltd. will likely have procedures in place for situations such as this. You can refer to previous training you received, and discuss with the interviewer how you would react. This question is not the opportunity to go on a tangent about terrible customers. Keep your answer to the point and present your solution.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I come from the school of thought that the guest is always right. This philosophy means that no matter how far into their meal they are - they can send it back. Now, with that said, if the person is a repeat offender I may approach the situation differently. Do you have a policy in place for this type of situation?"

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "If the kitchen did not prepare a guests' meal correctly, I want to know. I believe the only way to get better is to learn from constructive criticism, no matter how frustrating it may be in the moment. The customer is always right, but I will ask questions so that I can repair the situation rather than just put a band-aid on it."

  4. 4.

    Have you ever volunteered?

      Did you know that, according to LinkedIn research, 1 in 5 hiring managers prefers to hire candidates with volunteer experience? This question is an excellent opportunity to discuss how you are involved in your community and that you commit time to help others. If you have volunteer experience, you have a leg-up on other candidates.

      Many non-profit organizations have a long onboarding process with background checks and references required so if you need to gain volunteer experience pronto, here are some options for a quick turnaround:

      - Raise money for a cause, like the Red Cross
      - Donate blood on a regular rotation or organize a blood drive
      - Have a craft or bake sale to raise funds for a charity close to your heart
      - Run in a charity race where financial pledges are required
      - Advise high-school and University students on a crowd-sourced advice platform like CareerVillage
      - Write articles for non-profit organizations, for free
      - Sponsor a business owner in a third world country using a platform like Kiva.org
      - Volunteer at your church camp
      - Clean up a local park
      - Volunteer to tutor a student
      - Foster animals for a rescue society

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I currently volunteer every Saturday at the local animal shelter. I help to organize adoption applications and also screen the applicants. It feels great to help out, and it melts my heart when we make a perfect pet-parent match."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I saw on the Earls Restaurants Ltd. website that you have a few community events, where you serve hot meals to the less fortunate. I am very interested in becoming involved in these efforts. I agree that volunteer work is vital to my growth as a professional and as a person."

  5. 5.

    How do you handle a rude, picky or upset customer?

      In the restaurant industry, you will come across customers who are rude from time to time. This is par for the course for any service based job. Are you able to brush it off when a customer is extra picky, or do you take it personally? Assure the interviewer that you can keep your composure when it comes to demanding customers.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I have spent the past few months working in a retail environment. I no longer take it personally when a customer is picky or difficult. I will do my best to make them happy, but I fully understand that you cannot please everyone, all the time."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I handle an extra-choosy customer with utmost care! I listen, and do my best to deliver above their expectations."

  6. 6.

    What do you know about the workplace culture at Earls Restaurants?

      The interviewer would like to know that you have researched their organization before your interview. Company culture and fit is a critical factor when considering a career move. Assure the interviewer that you have put thought, research, and consideration into how the culture at Earls Restaurants Ltd. will work for you.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I know that Earls Restaurants Ltd. has a great reputation for hiring and supporting local university students while they work their way through school. I have a friend who worked at your York location last year, and she said it was one of the best service positions she had ever held. I look forward to learning more about the culture here."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "Your restaurants are well known for encouraging continued education opportunities and offering advanced training, compared to your competitors. I appreciate your focus on employee development and cannot wait to learn more!"

  7. 7.

    Are you a leader or a follower?

      You may not have held a significant leadership role in the past; however, the interviewer is referring to your character and nature as a leader vs. practical experience. Robin Sharma says 'Leadership is not about a title or designation. It's about impact, influence, and inspiration. Impact involves getting results; influence is about spreading the passion you have for your work.'

      With that said, keep in mind that it is not a negative thing to be a follower. You may not be the person to take charge of a situation or command a room, and that is okay! A good follower is good at following directions and working hard to accomplish tasks. Rodger Adair says, 'A follower shares in an influence relationship among leaders and other followers with their intent to support leaders who reflect their mutual purposes.' A follower is an incredibly vital role to play.

      Both have great qualities. Depending on the role, it may be more critical for you to instigate solving problems and creating innovative solutions, or it may be more important to get the work done. Share some of your strengths to show you have qualities in both categories.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "My role as a leader or follower depends on the situation. I am good at listening and following directions, but I am also great with people and working as a team to solve problems. I would say I have qualities of both, and I know I would rise to the occasion if given a leadership opportunity."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "At this point in my career, being just out of high school, I would say that I follow the lead more often than I take the lead. I am a sponge and ready to learn from those more experienced than I. With that said, I can be a leader when the time is right."

  8. 8.

    We offer great training at Earls Restaurants. Which areas do you feel you need the most training?

      Chances are, Earls Restaurants Ltd. is well aware they will need to train you before you are a great performer. What the interviewer would like to know is where you feel you are the weakest, and where they will need to jump in the most when it comes to your training. Talk to the interviewer about any job-related areas that you feel you may be lacking.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "If I could choose an aspect of training I would like to learn more about health and food safety. My end goal is to gain a leadership position with Earls Restaurants Ltd. so some training as a team lead would be valuable as well."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "When it comes to training in the restaurant industry, I feel that I could use more training in the operation of the point of sale systems. I like to fully understand the software programs and platforms that I work with, to ensure efficiency and faster service for my tables."

  9. 9.

    Delivering excellent customer service is of utmost importance at Earls Restaurants. How would you describe your customer service skills?

      To deliver excellent customer service you need first to recognize the skills that you have and play off of those. If you are naturally not a smiley person who give hugs, then being a smiley person may come off as fake. Think about your natural personality and how you can use those characteristics to deliver stellar service on the job.

      Some skills you may have are:

      - Patience
      - Empathy
      - Adaptability
      - Knowledge
      - Thick skin
      - Networking

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "As a server, and former retail sales associate, I believe in the importance of having thick skin. I come across a huge range of clients with varying needs in a day. Some are polite, and others are not. My ability to resist stress is one of the reasons why I excel in the area of customer service and dispute resolution. I can put my feelings aside and get down to the basics of what my customers need from me to be satisfied."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "Your customer service standards are one of the reasons I was so attracted to your company. I am highly trained in hospitality and am a very attentive individual. I would describe my customer service skills as genuine, friendly, and always a step ahead. When you call my references, they will attest to my great customer service skills."

  10. 10.

    Tell me about your experience with Point of Sale systems.

      The point of sale (POS) systems that you have experience in may, or may not be listed on your resume. The interviewer is looking for an idea of the systems and programs that you have used before.

      Some common POS systems include:

      - Toast POS
      - Square POS
      - Lightspeed Restaurant
      - TouchBistro
      - NCR Silver

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I have approximately eight months' experience with Square POS. I picked up the system very quickly and believe that I could learn your system quickly."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "The bulk of my POS experience is with Lightspeed Restaurant systems and TouchBistro. I can learn how to use any system that you require."

  11. 11.

    This position requires you to work around children. Will you agree to a full criminal background check?

      Pre-employment background checks are very reasonable requests in the family restaurant industry. A responsible employer will take the time to properly vet you for a role where you are working around children. Assure the interviewer that you can pass a criminal record check. If you have a criminal record, this is the time to disclose it.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I am happy to participate in a full criminal background check. I have a clean record."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "If you do have a mark on your record: "I will disclose to you that I received a DUI in 2014 but do not have any other marks on my criminal record."

  12. 12.

    How many tables are you able to manage at one time?

      Depending on the size of the restaurant, you may handle anywhere from 4 to 8 tables, an average of 16-32 guests. If you have previous restaurant experience, discuss the average amount of tables or people that you are accustomed to serving at one time. If you do not have any restaurant experience, you can ask the interviewer questions regarding how they train and prepare their new servers to handle peak volumes.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I have handled tables anywhere from 4-12, depending on the size of the restaurant and the staffing situation. Could you share with me the average section size at Earls Restaurants Ltd.?"

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I can commit to excellent customer service, and efficiency, up to approximately 30 guests. In my current role, that is around 6-8 tables. How large are the sections that you assign to your servers?"

  13. 13.

    Referring to the job description, what will be your least favorite part of this job?

      This question is an opportunity for you to discuss a little more in depth about how you might handle some of the challenging aspects of the role. All jobs can have frustrating moments. To show you have some knowledge of the difficulties you may encounter, share one hesitation you may have, related to the job posting or job description. If this is your first time in the workforce, you might not know all of the different problems to anticipate in the restaurant industry. If you're not sure, ask.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I believe that working on satisfying unhappy customers will be the most challenging aspect of this role. My experience in customer service has helped me understand how to listen, empathize and deal with conflict. I feel confident I can do the same in this role."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I would never want to enter into a job thinking that there are things I would dislike. However, as a realist - I understand that there may be situations that I don't particularly enjoy. If I had to choose a particular part of the role that I may dislike it would probably be the customer dispute resolution. I am confident in my abilities with dispute resolution, but I don't particularly love it."

  14. 14.

    In this role, you will be responsible for cash transactions. Do you consider yourself a trustworthy and honest person?

      In the restaurant industry, you could be completing dozens of transactions per day, many of them being cash exchanges. Can you be trusted with money when it comes to counting correctly, giving the right change, or making bank deposits after your shift? Draw on the strength of your references and assure the interviewer that you are a trustworthy and honest employee.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "One of my greatest strengths as an employee is my level of honesty and trustworthiness. I have multiple references who will attest to the fact that I am competent and honest. I have experience handling large amounts of cash and credit card transactions, without a single discrepancy."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I see myself and trustworthy and always honest. My integrity has never been in question, and my most recent manager will be happy to give you a solid reference regarding my reliability and transparent approach in the workplace; whether that be with a high volume of cash transactions or a large bank deposit at the end of the day."

  15. 15.

    The family restaurant industry is highly competitive. What do you think makes Earls Restaurants stand out?

      The interviewer would like to know what attracted you to this role, to begin with, and what prompted you to apply. Perhaps you prefer their menu, the ambiance, the clientele, or even the location. Your reason could also include their flexibility in hours, or that you heard their servers earn better tips that most of their competitors. Discuss how this position stands out to you over any others, and exactly why you want to work for Earls Restaurants Ltd..

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I believe that Earls Restaurants Ltd. stands out above its competitors because it has an incredible reputation for quality food and strong customer service. I'd like to work for an organization that takes quality and service as seriously as you do."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "Through my research of Earls Restaurants Ltd. I have found that you stand out most by your great online reviews and unique brand marketing strategies on Instagram and Twitter. I understand that you are planning to launch ten more locations in our city over the next couple of years. I could learn a lot when it comes to rapid growth, which is also enticing to me."

  16. 16.

    At Earls Restaurants we put a lot of pride in the cleanliness of our restaurants. How important is cleanliness to you?

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  17. 17.

    Earls Restaurants has gained a lot of momentum using social media marketing techniques. Do you follow us on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter?

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  18. 18.

    How do you feel about promoting a new menu item, or upselling, during every customer interaction?

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  19. 19.

    Tell me about the last customer service skill you learned.

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  20. 20.

    All employees must abide by our dress code. How do you feel about the Earls Restaurants uniform?

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  21. 21.

    How often should you ask a guest if they have a food allergy?

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  22. 22.

    During slow times in the restaurant, what would you do to keep yourself busy?

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  23. 23.

    How would you react if your friends came in to eat and asked for a discount on their bill?

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  24. 24.

    What is your favorite menu item at Earls Restaurants?

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  25. 25.

    Do you have any preferred shifts?

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  26. 26.

    How much money do you think this role should pay?

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  27. 27.

    Choose a dessert from our menu and sell it to me.

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  28. 28.

    Earls Restaurants likes to hire individuals who want to grow with us. Where do you see yourself in 2-5 years?

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  29. 29.

    Do you have reliable transportation?

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  30. 30.

    What questions do you have for me?

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