The interviewer wants to know that you recognize what lousy customer service is and that you fully understand how it can negatively affect an establishment. Briefly discuss a time that you experienced bad customer service but beware of rambling and sounding negative. Just state the situation, and what you feel could have been done differently.
"Airlines are often the culprits of poor customer service. I lost my luggage once on a flight to Sydney. I approached customer service and was told to wait since all their representatives were busy. After several hours of waiting and jumping through hoops for security measures, I finally got my luggage back. Response time and pro-activeness are two key performance indicators of customer service, and when dealing with something valuable to a customer, it's important to be quick and efficient. Failing to do so results in loss of trust and loyalty in the brand/establishment. After that frustrating experience, I vowed never to let my customers feel that their concerns are trivial or that they aren't being prioritized."
"I have experienced bad customer service within a retail environment more times than I can count. I believe that poor customer service often comes from disengaged employees. I will ensure that I am always engaged, and ready to work with a smile. I want my clients to feel important and valued."
"Bad customer service from one individual can ruin an entire establishment's reputation. I have stopped going to certain places because the staff seems miserable. I believe that bad customer service is too prevalent these days which is why I go over and above for my clients, always offer a smiling face and an attitude of willingness."
Interviewers want to hear the unique thing that sets you apart from the other candidates applying for this job. If you can't think of ways that you are unique, ask a few friends or family members what they feel sets you apart from other people. Their observations may help you understand how you are perceived. Perhaps you already know what sets you apart! This could include any industry accolades, individual achievements, additional industry related training, a second language, or how involved you are in the community. Don't be afraid to brag about yourself a bit. In an interview, you are your most influential advocate.
"You should hire me because I am unlike anyone else you have interviewed before. When I started with my current company, I was the youngest person they had ever hired. That didn't stop me from becoming the #1 concierge in the entire hotel chain within six months. I am dedicated to my craft and engaged in this industry to the point where I commit myself to taking at least one customer service or leadership related workshop every business quarter. I am a competitive achiever. You won't be disappointed when you hire me."
"I know that I am the best candidate for this role because I have three years successful customer service along with valuable education in Hotel Management and Hospitality. I was the fastest promoted in my previous position and am bilingual, in English and Mandarin, which would make me a great asset for your high volume of foreign travelers."
"I have over a dozen years of experience in the industry at one of your largest competitors. I have a proven track record of successes there. I have creative solutions and an understanding of how to position your concierge services and help elevate your business to the next level. Having been a part of the industry for nearly half of my life, I have seen a ton of change and have adapted to every change or innovation with ease and excitement, and I look forward to doing that at your hotel as well."
Some businesses have trouble with employee theft, and they need to make sure that they are hiring someone who is honest and trustworthy. Talk to the interviewer about the steps you would take if you caught a co-worker stealing.
"I am sure that you have an internal policy for employee theft so I can assure you that I would follow the required steps to report the theft. I am a trustworthy person with a strong track record of honesty with my previous employers."
"If I caught an employee stealing, I would report the incident immediately. As a previous manager, I understand the value of employee honesty."
"When I work for an organization, I tend to take pride in the work we are doing. With a focus on delivering value to a company wherever possible, I would feel obligated to report a co-worker stealing from the hotel. I will refer to any policy or guidelines available and speak to the manager in charge of the department where theft is taking place."
Open-ended questions are some of the hardest to answer in an interview. It's important to train yourself how to talk about yourself. It may sound a little silly because you've been talking about yourself for years! In an interview, you should leave out the highly personal stuff. No need to talk about your new puppy or your favorite foods. Keep it professional and concise. Interviews typically last for about thirty minutes to an hour, so keep that in mind as you prepare. Sometimes practicing with a friend or timing your response can help. Focus on your interest or passion for the field, your education, and accomplishments. Keep it relevant to the job at hand! Also, consider the fact that there is plenty of time for you to talk about your skills and strengths during the interview, so you don't have to say it all in one gulp.
"I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Communications and Marketing from UBC in 2014. Since then, I have been actively making my way to a leadership role in hotel management. I am an energetic and positive person, ready to make a difference in a growing organization."
"I am a seasoned professional concierge with ten years of experience. I got my Bachelor's Degree in Hotel Management, then eventually went back for a Master's Degree in business. I have worked my way up in my field, and plan to continue my progression. This is why I am most interested in joining your organization as the concierge department head."
If you're having trouble thinking into the future about your plans when you haven't even landed the job you want now, you're not alone! The best thing you can do is to take some time to prepare for this question. Not only will it help you impress the interviewer, but it may also give you some clarity. You can keep it very simple. The interviewer doesn't expect you to have your whole career planned out, but they do want to hear you are interested in staying in the field and growing in your knowledge. Any plans for furthering your education are welcome!
"In 5 years I would like to see myself in a leadership based role. I would like to expand my industry related education a little bit as well. I currently have my Diploma in Hotel Management which I would like to elevate to a full-fledged degree."
"I would love to continue working in a hotel environment, perhaps as a department manager or team lead. I just finished hospitality school, and I know there is so much to learn. I plan to continue my education and look for opportunities to learn more about leadership and customer service in the hotel industry."
"In five years, I would like to be leading my department within hotel customer service. I do not need to have a large team, but I think that I have good leadership skills, and I would like to train the next generation of workers."
The interviewer wants to know that you are capable of maintaining a harmonious relationship with those who are considered your leaders. Some basic ground rules for a stable working relationship with your boss are open communication, proactive listening, and not taking things personally. Discuss the ways that you cultivated a healthy relationship with your boss.
"My current boss is a very particular individual. Over the years I have taken the time to understand her preferences, her stress triggers, and what she enjoys seeing in my work. I find that if I stay one step ahead and maintain a positive attitude, we can work productively together."
"If your relationship with your boss wasn't fantastic, what efforts did you take to make it better? Here are some suggestions: - Try to understand what your boss values the most - Keep your cool, even when you want to lose it - Anticipate their needs and stay one step ahead - Take leadership opportunities to show your worth - Adapt to their preferences "
"I value having a strong working relationship with my boss. I want to learn what they do and take on as much work to help our team as possible. I schedule regular update meetings with my boss and go the extra mile whenever possible because I want her to succeed, as well."
As a professional concierge, you will be working with, and for, a wide variety of people. Are you accustomed to working with a very large or diverse team of individuals? Assure the interviewer that you are able to handle an environment that offers diversity.
"I have worked with diverse groups of people most of my customer service career, including my time in university. I am most comfortable, and happy, in this type of environment because it offers many opportunities for continued learning."
"In my current role, I work alongside cross-functional teams regularly. Together, we manage our business and effectiveness."
"I would say that pretty much every company I have worked for has valued diversity. Working with people from all walks of life helps shed different perspectives. As a professional concierge, I am also lucky enough to meet tourists from all over the world. The differences in culture are fascinating!"
The interviewer would like to know your preference when it comes to a predictable vs.unpredictable routine. Are you the individual who prefers to know what the routine will be, or do you thrive on the challenge and excitement of unpredictability?
"I prefer working in a more predictable environment because I can be more effective in my tasks. With that said, I can certainly work in an unpredictable environment from time to time."
"I am accustomed to working in an unpredictable environment and tend to prefer that pace. It's fast and makes every day different. I certainly enjoy the challenge!"
"I am comfortable either way, but I would probably grow bored if nothing ever changed. Having a few days of status quo now and then is good for my sanity though! As a professional concierge, most days change in some way, depending on each guests' needs."
Display to the interviewer that you can do more than just the bare minimum. Show that you can react appropriately when you see that your employer has a need that goes beyond your usual day-to-day expectations.
"Last week I noticed that my manager had not completed the schedule for the following week. Some of the staff were complaining that they didn't have their work schedule yet. Rather than going to my manager with the complaint, I offered to take on some of her workloads so that she would have the time to complete the schedule. We worked together for a couple of overtime hours that day and were able to catch her up on everything. It felt good to help."
"I often go above and beyond what is expected of me. Most recently, I agreed to cover for a co-worker who was on short-term medical leave. I worked 10 hour days for two weeks so that our hotel service did not suffer any setbacks."
"I enjoy going above and beyond in my work. In my last position, I regularly called customers just to check in and see how we could better serve them. I believe going above and beyond for customers is what kept them loyal to our hotel brand."
If you were permitted to take tips, then it's okay to discuss this. However, you can add that, while you appreciate the small tokens of gratitude, you don't expect them. You're focused on providing the best service possible, regardless of whether or not the guest will tip you.
"We were permitted to take tips in my most recent position; however, I have worked in environments where tips are not provided. What is your policy surrounding tipping, here?"
"I have worked in tipping environments as a server and hostess; however, never as a concierge. Could you share with me your policy on tipping?"
"In my current position, tips are often provided, but they are not expected. I would estimate that 20% of our guests do tip. Do you allow the acceptance of tips in this environment?"
Obviously, your answer to this question should be a confident "Yes!". Then, you can support your answer with examples of how you've displayed these qualities at your previous job.
"I certainly do possess poise and an air of professionalism. I would like to give you my references to call so they can attest to this as well. It's important, especially as a concierge professional, to be seen as a reliable and classy part of your hotel group."
"I am incredibly professional and exude class at all times. These qualities come forward in my appearance and my attitude. I come to work early every day, in a clean uniform, and am well groomed. My language is clean and professional, and I am organized and prepared for my day."
As a professional concierge, you've likely worked around high-profile clients before. Draw on an example from your previous job that can perfectly illustrate your capability to the interviewer.
"Because of the location of the hotel I previously worked at, we attracted a lot of noteworthy and distinguished clients. We were trained extensively on how to handle their requests and to provide the first-rate service. It all comes down to dressing the part, and being a well-poslished communicator."
"I am able to fit with any demographic because I have learned to lean my communication style to the needs of the person I am assisting at the moment. Paying careful attention to my interaction style with various types of customers helps me to remain professional yet relatable to everyone."
"I have worked only in high-end hotels and have come across a wide range of clients, including business professionals, millionaires, and celebrities. I treat everyone the same, despite their status. By dressing well and being polished, I can fit in with all clients."
Have you been asked to change your priorities on a dime? How do you react to this kind of shift in priorities? Assure the interviewer that you can respond professionally when it comes to sudden changes.
"I had to shift my focus when I learned that we were acquiring a smaller hotel competitor. I had to change my plans to incorporate a new customer service team, with new ideas, process, and procedures. Instead of working solely toward increased productivity, I had to back up work toward bringing our new team up to speed and integrate them into our processes."
"In my current role, our work schedule is changed on a regular basis and always at short notice. I have been able to adapt very well to these frequent, sudden changes."
"I was recently given a new hire to train, with pretty much zero notice. I was able to spend time bonding with my new teammate and learning from their expertise in the new-to-me area. By leaning on the team and being open to a new opportunity, I was able to grow as a concierge professional and as a leader in the hotel's customer service department."
There are many options for communication software and messaging applications. Give the interviewer a brief overview of the apps you are experienced in and assure them that you can learn their internal system, should it be new to you.
"I have used a variety of team-based messaging applications. I am best versed in Brosix, AOL Instant Messenger, and Freedcamp. No matter which system you use I am sure that I can pick it up very quickly."
"I have limited experience with team messaging apps in the workplace. However, I have used them for extracurricular activity planning and enjoy them. It would be great to have a simple and quick messaging system at work."
"I love team-based messaging applications! I have utilized many of them with direct teams and remote teams. They are effective for updating communications and keeping on track with the progress of team-based work projects."
In which manner do you prefer to communicate - written or verbal? Discuss your preference with the interviewer and support your answer.
"I prefer verbal communication because I feel that with written communication, a lot can be misread due to lack of tone, fluctuation, expression and body language. I will always choose a face to face conversation whenever possible."
"I do not lean one way or another when it comes to verbal or written communication. Both are equally important to me. If I have to choose just one, I will choose written communication as one can always look back on written communication for reference."
"I like to leverage both methods of communications when dealing with business. Sometimes, situations call for verbal communications and other times, written. As a rule of thumb, I tend to practice verbal communications, with written follow up or vice versa. Utilizing multiple methods creates repetition and therefore, change."
Pick a weakness that is not a core skill for this position. You can be candid in your answer; recognizing that you aren't great at something and acknowledging your need to improve. Be sure to have an action plan in place for improving on this weakness. Perhaps you are watching TED talks to gain skills in a particular area, reading the latest-and-greatest book on the subject, or maybe you are taking a seminar at a nearby community center. We are all human with our weaknesses, so don't be afraid to share yours!
"I believe I could improve on some technical skills including Excel and PowerPoint. Currently I am at a beginner to intermediate level; however, I would be more comfortable at an advanced level. I have enrolled myself in an evening/weekend workshop for the next six weeks. We will see how stellar my skills are, after that course!"
"I tend to try to be too organized. I am always striving to be, and do better, that I forget sometimes it is best to embrace the chaos and learn from it. Not every situation is under my control, and I recognize that more and more."
"This is super cliche, but it's also true. I am not good at delegating to others. When I become submerged in a project, I don't like to give away any of the control. While this can be good, it can also inhibit the outcome of the project and my growth as a team player and individual. I am currently working on this, as I know it is a deficit."
The interviewer would like to better understand why you chose a career as a professional concierge. You can answer this from a more personal perspective to allow the interviewer to get to know you a bit better.
"I always knew that I wanted to be in the customer service industry. I was the kid in school who always volunteered to be part of a committee or community effort. I enjoy the interaction and I find it a privilege to be in a position to help make people happy."
"After completing my Bachelor's Degree in Hospitality Management, I knew that I wanted to work in the hotel industry. To me, the position of concierge seemed the most fulfilling and exciting."
"The profession of butlers and concierge has always been interesting to me. My mother worked at a luxury hotel when I was young, and I would see them in their tuxedos, helping the hotel patrons, and it fascinated me. I chose to work in this field at a young age and have carved out a fulfilling career for myself over the last fifteen years."
The interviewer is testing your knowledge of the local restaurant scene. You may have clients who are looking for exceptional dining or a particular type of cuisine. You must remain confident in your suggestions and be able to make them quickly. Provide not only the restaurant's name but also its best-selling dishes, price range, feedback and reviews; and you'll be sure to impress the interviewer with your thoroughness and knowledge of the local area.
"The highest end restaurant is just four blocks from here. It's called River Cafe. I recommend sitting on the patio as it overlooks the river and the trees are beautifully lit this time of year. I am well known by the manager of this restaurant and would be able to swing additional perks for your clients at this particular establishment such as a complimentary glass of Prosecco or a complimentary appetizer."
"The highest end restaurant in the area is, to me, not necessarily the most expensive one. I believe that the classiest restaurant in this area is Teatro. The service is second-to-none, and the menu offers a new level of decadence."
"I have two initial suggestions when my clients ask me about the two highest-end restaurants in the area. First, is the in-house hotel restaurant. I will always recommend it as it's a great option for those who wish to stay close. Second, I recommend The Catch, the highest end seafood restaurant in the area. Their wine menu is incredible, as is the fresh local catch. Which is your favorite recommendation for high-end dining in the area?"
The interviewer would like to know that you are tech savvy, and resourceful when it comes to making suggestions to your tourist clients. If a client comes up to your desk and asks for the nearest Ethiopian cuisine - how do you make that quickly happen? Discuss the apps and other resources that you most frequently. It's a great idea also to ask the interviewer what their favorite resources are. You never know what you can learn!
"I have a few tricks up my sleeve which is all tech-based since I am a fan of technology and the many apps that are available. First, Google Maps is my go-to. I also utilize online review sites such as Yelp and Zomato. I also keep tabs on all of the local sites and attractions like museums, parks, and festivals. Which resources are your go-to for helping tourists find a great new experience?"
"The resources that I use for myself would likely be the resources I would use for my clients. Google Maps, some review apps, and local restaurant guides. I am new to this career and would love some suggestions as well!"
"I use the Big Concierge system for absolutely everything. It's a full-service reservation and referral system that I have found to be a must-have. I also keep physical maps as well as digital options on my iPad. I often read food critics reviews and take notes, so that I am on top of the new and hottest restaurants in the city. Which resources do you most often use?"
Among the many duties of a concierge is to provide information on the local scene. This includes shopping, nightlife, restaurants, tourist spots, and more. Be prepared to give the interviewer a rundown of all the establishments in the area, including their store hours, price range, whether they're family friendly or not, and other details that you think might be helpful to a tourist.
"I have lived in this region my entire life and, in addition to being fully aware of the best restaurants, shopping, and more, I am also well connected with many of the business owners and managers. I can bring great packages and discounts to your valued clients, through these connections."
"I would say that I have an intermediate level understanding of this area. I have lived here for a couple of years and am becoming more involved in the community as of late. I have also begun studying the area in preparation for this role."
"I know this area very well and am more than comfortable making suggestions to your hotel patrons. I have worked as a concierge for many years and will come prepared to exceed your expectations in all areas."
If you are interested in working for this hotel, you must be prepared to highlight the main reasons why you are excited about the opportunity. In which ways do they stand out from their competitors? Don't forget to tell the interviewer that you want the job! Perhaps they are prestigious in the area, have fantastic health benefits, or an irresistible growth plan. Highlight a couple of the reasons why you want to work for this hotel and be sure to close your statement with an expression of pure enthusiasm.
"The primary reasons your hotel stands out to me include your focus on employee development and continued education. You have a strong reputation for nurturing the resources that you have. I would be so grateful to work here and flourish as a professional concierge."
"You are the undeniable giants in the hotel industry. I have been planning my job here since I graduated with my Diploma in Hospitality Management. I now feel that I am ready to really accelerate my career by making this move. There are so many growth opportunities with your hotel group, and that truly excites me."
"Your hotel brand has an impressive industry reputation, and I would be thrilled to learn from your leadership team. From my research, I find that you are very involved in the community and put a lot of efforts into developing your employees."
A concierge is an employee of an apartment building, hotel or office building who serves guests, with duties similar to those of a receptionist. The position can also be maintained by a security officer over the graveyard shift. A similar position, known as the portero, exists in Spanish-speaking regions. In medieval times, the concierge was an officer of the king who was charged with executing justice, with the help of his bailiffs. Later on in the 18th century, the concierge was a high official of the kingdom, appointed by the king to maintain order and oversee the police and prisoner records.