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Kempinski Hotels Interview
Questions

30 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

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
Describe for me your idea of a luxury holiday.
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How to Answer
There is no right, or wrong, reply to this question. The interviewer wants to get to know you, and what your expectations may be when it comes to a luxury experience. When a question is open-ended like this, it is easy to ramble on, so be sure to stick to a few key points. For instance, discuss where in the world you would go, where you would stay, and how you would be treated. Perhaps you can mention which amenities would be available to you, on this ideal luxury holiday.
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Top 30 Kempinski Hotels S.A. Interview Questions with Full Content
1.
Describe for me your idea of a luxury holiday.
There is no right, or wrong, reply to this question. The interviewer wants to get to know you, and what your expectations may be when it comes to a luxury experience. When a question is open-ended like this, it is easy to ramble on, so be sure to stick to a few key points. For instance, discuss where in the world you would go, where you would stay, and how you would be treated. Perhaps you can mention which amenities would be available to you, on this ideal luxury holiday.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I would love to stay at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. Did you know that the project cost $3B to build? I have read about how exquisite it is, with a thousand crystal chandeliers throughout the property, fountains, and pools everywhere, and the most luxurious spa. I would purchase their 5 1/2 hour spa day which includes a steam body cleanse, pedicure and manicure, full body massage, and a sea salt exfoliating ritual. To me, it sounds like the ultimate luxury holiday."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Staying with Kempinski Hotels S.A. sounds like a luxury vacation stay, to me. I have not had the opportunity to travel often in my life so the chance to stay here, and experience your luxury spa, fine dining, and relaxing pools would be an incredible experience."
2.
How has your post-secondary education prepared you for this role with Kempinski Hotels?
Most upscale hotels will prefer to see education within hospitality, travel and tourism, business administration, or something of the like. Walk the interviewer through your post-secondary education, discussing any specific coursework that may relate to this role. If you do not have formal education, you can refer to on-the-job training that you have received, or even skills that you have acquired along the way, which would help you succeed in this role with Kempinski Hotels S.A..

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have a Bachelor's degree in Hotel Management. My best courses were Communication and Presentations Skill as well as Organizational Behavior in Tourism. These courses gave me a great amount of knowledge in how to best communicate with my team, and guests, always delivering over and above expectations."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"My on-the-job training includes courses and workshops on Special Events Management, Food Production and Safety, as well as Food Costs and Budgeting. My current employer gave me the opportunity to take these courses, based on my exemplary work ethic. I am confident that I could help the Kempinski Hotels S.A. food and beverage department in many ways including keeping costs low, and training service staff to deliver exceptional experiences to your guests."
3.
Our hotels host highly discerning guests. How will you accommodate the needs of these special guests?
With high-end, luxury accommodations usually come guests who are very particular about their experience. Are you able to brush it off when a guest is extra fastidious, or do you take the event personally? Assure the interviewer that you can keep professional composure when it comes to fussy customers.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I handle an extra-discerning customer with utmost care! I listen and do my best to deliver above their expectations. In my current role, I keep highly detailed notes of every guests' needs and preferences in our customer management system. The next time they visit, I am one step ahead and ready to impress."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I have spent many years working in the resort, hotel, restaurant, and other customer service based industries. I no longer take it personally when a customer is difficult to please. I will do my best to make them happy, learning their preferences and being one step of head of them, at all times."
4.
How would you respond if a customer left a negative review of yourself or Kempinski Hotels online?
In our digital age, with so much riding on our online reviews, it's imperative that negative reviews see a swift and adequate response. Some businesses will hire experts to handle their online reputation. These online reputation management services are precious to companies, such as hotels and resorts, where many potential customers first go online to read reviews before making a reservation.

If this situation has happened to you before, you could give an example; however, be careful not to draw too much attention to the negatives and focus primarily on the positive outcome.

Experts suggest the following when dealing with negative online reviews:

- Respond quickly to any reviews that are reasonable or understandable
- Do not become defensive
- Give a brief public response then offer a more personal private response if possible
- Address the most important parts of the feedback
- Reinforce the fact that you care about your quality and customer experience

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I would be upset to see a negative review online because I put so much pride in the service that I give. However, I would address the situation quickly without becoming defensive. If the complaint were legitimate, I would ask the customer how I could win them back. Do you have an online reputation team at Kempinski Hotels S.A.? If so, in that case, I would follow their lead and recommendations to the letter."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I am sure Kempinski Hotels S.A. has an effective protocol in place when situations like this occur. If a customer wrote a bad review online, I would respond if it was appropriate to do so. I put a great amount of pride in the customer service that I deliver and hope that every one of my customers leaves, thrilled with the service they received."
5.
What does the word 'hospitality' mean to you?
Hospitality is referring to the exchange between a customer and someone in the service industry. The interviewer understands what hospitality means, and now they want to see that you know the nuances behind providing excellent levels of hospitality to the esteemed guests of Kempinski Hotels S.A..

Rachelle's Answer #1
"There is a famous quote by Maya Angelou that says, 'People will forget what you said, forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.' To me, hospitality is making my guests feel comfortable, cared for, and welcomed. They should always leave with a smile on their face, knowing they received the utmost care and respect."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"When a guest is smiling, appears relaxed, and tells me that they are coming back or recommending the hotel to a friend, I know that I have delivered utmost hospitality. The concept is not only being hospitable but also making people want to return again and again."
6.
Tell me about the worst guest you have ever dealt with, and how you persevered through the situation.
Guests will complain, be nit-picky, snarky, and at times - downright rude. Situations like this are par for the course in the service industry. Luckily, these experiences are not the norm, and you get to choose how you react. Show the interviewer that you are not one to take it personally if a guest is acting out. Discuss a time when you have been in an awkward situation, and how you came out of it unscathed.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I once had a guest dislike their appointed room so much that they threw their suitcase at the bellman! It was the oddest experience for me to see a grown adult throw what looked like a tantrum. I politely let him know that we would seek out another room for him, according to his preferences. His behavior was disturbing, yes, but it was important to us that we delivered our 5-star service standards, regardless."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"We once had a couple arrive at our hotel, and unpack their car, when the wife realized that her husband did not pack her suitcase. She was verbally berating him in front of everyone, and the situation was very uncomfortable. I empathized with both of them and let them know that we would have the situation fixed before the morning. We put our heads together and decided that our senior service staff member would drive the three hours to their home, to retrieve the wife's bag. He drove the six-hour return trip in the name of customer service. Luckily the situation was saved, as was the husbands' feelings."
7.
How would you handle a co-worker who was acting unprofessionally towards our guests?
One difficult workplace situation is when a co-worker is not performing how they should be, yet, you may not be the manager or supervisor. The problem is - do you interfere or do you let it go? Talk to the interviewer about a time when you have been in a position like this, and discuss what you did to remedy the situation.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I once worked with a co-worker who unknowingly rolled her eyes a lot. Our hotel would be put off, and she wouldn't understand why she continually received complaints. I asked her if she was open to receiving feedback, and she agreed. I went on to explain to her that she was an unintentional eye roller. She had no idea! We worked together for a few weeks on it, and she eventually retrained herself to no longer make that expression."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"It's important to the reputation of Kempinski Hotels S.A. that everyone is held accountable for their behavior. If the hotel receives a negative review, that could affect my livelihood as well. If a co-worker were unprofessional, I would discreetly pull them aside to discuss my concern."
8.
Are you comfortable ensuring your guest services team is well groomed, meeting our clients' satisfaction expectations?
Appearances are everything when it comes to the guest services team of an upscale hotel. Before your interview, take a good look at the presentation of the staff at Kempinski Hotels S.A. and note what you see. Is everyone in a pristine uniform? Chances are, the team looks very well put together, approachable, and well kept.

As a manager for Kempinski Hotels S.A., it would be your responsibility to ensure that everyone on your team arrives to work in the best shape possible. Express to the interviewer that you are comfortable having these types of conversations with your team. How would you handle the situation, if a team member showed up to work unshowered and unkempt?

Rachelle's Answer #1
"For the past two years I have worked as a sales manager for a high-end leather goods store where our dress code and appearance expectations are stringent. I fully understand the importance of having a well-groomed team, especially in a luxury and upscale setting. If I need to have a conversation with a team member about their appearance, I will handle it with tact and sensitivity, just as I would any other constructive conversation."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Just last year I had a team member who was not abiding by the dress code. He was showing up with wrinkled clothes, unshowered, and very messy looking. I pulled him aside and asked him if he could return home, and come back asap, abiding by the employee presence expectations. We have all of our staff members initial this part of their employment agreement, so I always have that that to fall back on, should the situation escalate."
9.
Do you have experience collaborating with various departments to ensure all guest requests are addressed efficiently?
Hotels have multiple departments including:

- Housekeeping
- Front Office
- Human Resources
- Security
- Spa & Retail
- Food & Beverage

When it comes to all of these departments (and more!), operations will run smoothly when communication is strong. Talk to the interviewer about the experience you have working cross-departmentally. If possible, give an example of how you diverted a crisis or gave excellent customer service, by actively collaborating with the team members of another department.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"In my current role, I work alongside the Human Resources and Accounting departments on a nearly daily basis. When I need to hire a new team member, my Front Office department holds a meeting with HR and Accounting to determine budget, timeline, and process. Positive cross-collaboration is critical to the success of a hotel operation as it takes all of these specialties to make a business run effectively."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"The bulk of my experience is working independently; however, I do meet with my corporate head office on a monthly basis, where we hold brainstorm style meetings. I enjoy the feeling of team collaboration. I look forward to meeting your various teams, and working cohesively with all of the important departments at Kempinski Hotels S.A.."
10.
What do you know about the Kempinski Hotels guest loyalty program?
Most hotels will have guest loyalty, or rewards programs, for regular customers. There are often different programs available for personal, and business customers, and even corporate accounts. Before your interview, visit the Kempinski Hotels S.A. website and take note of the various offerings available to their most loyal customers. Talk to the interviewer about the perks and benefits that you noticed. With enthusiasm, you could also discuss the perks that excited you most.

Many hotel loyalty programs include:

- Higher service levels on-site
- Preferred availability and priority waitlisting during peak times
- Discounts on spa bookings
- Invitations to exclusive events

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I was most impressed with the loyalty rewards and generous discounts offered by Kempinski Hotels S.A. when it came to the luxury spa services. I know that if I traveled as frequently as many of your guests do, I would greatly appreciate an offer of a spa discount to help me get some rest."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I researched online and saw a brief description of the loyalty program at Kempinski Hotels S.A. such as exclusive events, a club level with complimentary beverages and snacks, and also discounts on some of the luxury service. I would love to learn more in detail, when it comes to how guests qualify, for example."
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