The Top 20 Hospitality and Tourism Interview Questions to Ask Candidates

The hospitality and tourism industry offers exciting career opportunities, but finding candidates with the right mix of knowledge, skills, and service mentality can be challenging. Asking insightful interview questions is key to selecting top talent who will provide exceptional guest experiences and drive your business forward.

In this comprehensive guide, I’ll share 20 of the best hospitality and tourism interview questions to vet candidates for front desk, housekeeping, food and beverage, concierge, event planning, and other roles.

For each question, I’ll explain why it provides valuable insights into candidates and give examples of strong responses. Whether you operate a hotel, restaurant, resort, casino, cruise line, theme park, or any other hospitality and tourism business, these questions will help assess if candidates have what it takes to succeed on your team. Let’s get started!

Why Hospitality and Tourism Interview Questions Matter

Thoughtful hospitality and tourism interview questions evaluate both hard and soft skills You’ll want to gauge each candidate’s

  • Past experience providing excellent customer service
  • Hospitality industry knowledge
  • Familiarity with your specific business
  • Communication skills and style
  • Problem-solving abilities
  • Work ethic and reliability
  • Teamwork and collaboration
  • Passion for hospitality

The right questions will reveal all of this key information to help you make informed hiring decisions. Let’s explore exactly what to ask.

20 Interview Questions to Identify Top Hospitality & Tourism Talent

Here are 20 of the most effective hospitality and tourism interview questions:

1. Why are you interested in working in the hospitality/tourism industry?

This open-ended question reveals candidates’ motivation and passion for hospitality and tourism Listen for sincere enthusiasm and commitment

Strong response: “I’ve always loved travel and new experiences. Hospitality allows me to help create meaningful experiences for others while building relationships and growing professionally. I’m genuinely excited to begin a career in an industry I’m passionate about.”

This showcases intrinsic passion for hospitality and tourism over just wanting a job.

2. What makes you a strong fit for this position?

With this question, prompt candidates to connect their skills and experience directly to the requirements of the open role.

Strong response: “I have over 5 years of experience providing excellent customer service as a restaurant server. Key strengths I’ll bring to this front desk position include attention to detail, communication abilities, and problem-solving skills. I’m committed to delivering world-class service, just as I have in my past serving roles where I received rave reviews.”

The candidate aligns relevant experience with the precise skills needed for the job.

3. What do you know about our company’s brand and values?

It’s important candidates take the time to research your business before interviewing. Their knowledge demonstrates genuine interest.

Strong response: “I’m impressed by [Company’s] commitment to sustainability. You compost food waste, donate leftovers, and implement energy and water conservation initiatives. You also have a strong workplace culture focused on diversity, inclusion, and professional growth. I’d feel proud to work for such an ethical and values-driven company.”

This example highlights research on both the company’s social and cultural values, showing alignment.

4. How would you handle an angry guest complaining about a bad dining experience?

Hospitality roles require defusing tense situations professionally. Use scenario questions to evaluate candidates’ approach and mindset.

Strong response: “First, I would listen calmly and apologize sincerely that they had a poor experience. I would then ask questions to understand specifically what went wrong. If we made a mistake, I would offer to make it right with a complimentary meal or refund. If the issue was a misunderstanding, I would politely explain how the situation occurred and offer suggestions to improve in the future. My focus would be resolving the issue respectfully.”

This demonstrates empathy, problem-solving skills, and a commitment to guest satisfaction.

5. How do you prioritize when handling multiple guest requests?

Multitasking is crucial in hospitality. This reveals candidates’ composure under pressure.

Strong response: “When handling many guest requests at once, I take a deep breath and evaluate which are most time sensitive while remaining calm on the outside. A polite acknowledgement that I’ll be right with them puts guests at ease. I complete urgent requests first, without rushing, while informing other guests I’ll return to them shortly. Written lists keep me focused when needed. My priority is ensuring every guest feels valued.”

The candidate stays composed under pressure, communicates transparently with guests, and multitasks effectively – all must-have abilities.

6. Describe a time you spotted and resolved a safety hazard. What precautions did you take?

Safety is paramount in hospitality environments. Listen for proactive hazard identification and responsible responses.

Strong response: “I once noticed a wet floor without a warning sign after a spill. I immediately blocked off the area so no one would slip, then put up a wet floor sign. I stayed onsite to verbally warn approaching guests. I also got a mop and bucket to clean up the liquid, only removing the sign once the floor was completely dry. Guest safety always takes priority for me.”

This showcases safety vigilance, quick reaction, and precautionary steps above and beyond expectations.

7. How do you keep up with hospitality and tourism industry trends?

Ongoing learning is key. Candidates should demonstrate curiosity and initiative.

Strong response: “I read industry publications like Hospitality Upgrade daily to stay on top of emerging technologies and best practices. I also network with peers at conferences and participate in online forums to exchange knowledge. Experimenting with new innovations gets me excited, so I’m constantly looking for ways to implement cutting-edge tools and technologies to elevate guest experiences.”

This displays genuine interest in the industry and continually expanding one’s skills.

8. What does going “above and beyond” for a guest look like to you?

In hospitality, exceeding expectations differentiates good from great service. Look for commitment to wowing guests.

Strong response: “Going above and beyond means anticipating guest needs before they ask, giving sincere personalized recommendations, and providing special touches like complimentary upgrades orhard-to-get reservations. Simple gestures like walking guests to their destination or remembering preferences make a difference too. I enjoy surprising guests with random acts of kindness to put smiles on their faces.”

This outlines many options for delighting guests in a way that feels genuine, not just checking a box.

9. How do you handle last-minute booking requests or reservation issues?

Expect the unexpected in hospitality. This assesses grace under pressure.

Strong response: “I stay solution-oriented when addressing last-minute issues. If we’re booked solid, I use creative problem-solving to meet guest needs, like contacting partner properties for room assistance. For booking problems, I apologize, investigate how it happened, and fix it immediately with discounts or complimentary amenities to restore trust. I view challenges as opportunities to demonstrate care.”

The candidate’s poise, accountability, and win-win mindset are standout qualities here.

10. What hospitality experience excites you the most and why?

Look for genuine enthusiasm – does the work intrinsically motivate candidates?

Strong response: “What excites me most is having the chance to create meaningful experiences for guests. Like when I planned a surprise anniversary dinner on the beach for a couple and got to see their joy and gratitude in person. Knowing I created lasting memories makes every day fulfilling.”

This type of purpose-driven passion sets top candidates apart.

11. How do you ensure guests have a consistent experience when different employees assist them?

Consistency is key for hospitality brands. This question reveals commitment to alignment.

Strong response: “I make an effort to communicate well with fellow team members by documenting guest preferences and needs clearly for the next shift. If I hear guests compliment something, like a particular server or menu item, I log that praise to ensure we continue meeting expectations. Regular team meetings also help align us on brand standards so service remains dependable, even as faces change.”

The candidate focuses on clear handoffs, feedback sharing, and internal collaboration for consistency.

12. Tell me about a time you had a disagreement with a co-worker. How did you handle it?

Conflicts occur in hospitality like any workplace. Is the response mature and solution-focused?

Strong response: “When a co-worker and I disagreed on the best way to process reservations, I asked if we could discuss our approaches calmly and find a compromise. We listened to each other’s perspectives with open minds. Ultimately, we blended both methods into a new streamlined system incorporating our best ideas. Focusing on teamwork resolved the situation.”

This example demonstrates emotional intelligence, humility, conflict management skills, and team orientation.

13. Why is it important to work quickly in hospitality while also avoiding errors?

This tests candidates’ judgment when balancing competing priorities.

Strong response: *”Speed and accuracy are both crucial, and focusing on guests helps achieve that balance. Making guests wait without explanation, even if you’re triple checking work, frustrates them. But mistakes disappoint guests too

Soft skills interview questions

  • Please describe a time when you had to deal with a difficult customer or guest and how you did it?
  • How do you organize and keep track of all your tasks and responsibilities when you work in a fast-paced environment?
  • How do you get your team to meet and go above and beyond what customers expect?
  • You had a disagreement with a coworker or team member. Can you describe that? How did you handle it and get it resolved?
  • How do you deal with and answer questions or complaints from guests or customers to make sure they are happy?
  • How would you respond to customer complaints about how dirty the hotel is?
  • Could you give an example of how you led a group of people well during a busy time or event?
  • How do you make sure that all of the hotel’s guests and employees are safe and sound?
  • Can you talk about your experience and what you know about managing revenue and filing financial reports in the hospitality business?
  • How do you stay up to date on the newest trends and technologies in the hospitality business to make the experience of your guests better?

HOSPITALITY Interview Questions & Answers! (How To Prepare For A Hospitality Job Interview!)


How do I pass a hospitality interview?

Let your personality shine. Hospitality managers seek out staff with a confident and bubbly personality, a ready smile and friendly disposition. Your role is to help customers enjoy themselves after all. During your interview you should smile often and be warm, polite and authentic.

Why should we hire you for a hospitality interview?

SUGGESTED ANSWER: “I am a hard-working, conscientious and flexible person who can work either on my own or as part of a team. I have chosen a career in hospitality because I enjoy interacting with other people, I like serving customers, and I enjoy the challenges that come with the role.

What questions are asked in a Hospitality interview?

Overview of interview. General interview questions are the most asked questions in almost all interviews for a job in the hospitality industry. 1. Please introduce yourself This is the most common question interview for any job vacancy.

Why is service important in a hospitality job interview?

Why they’re asking: Service is a crucial part of hospitality industry jobs, so your interviewer is trying to understand your mentality about service. They’re looking for someone who is service-oriented at heart, so a good answer to this question can help you stand out among other candidates.

How do I prepare for a hospitality job interview?

When preparing your answer, consider the skills you have the most confidence in and often rely on in hospitality roles. It can also help to reflect on the specific skills the hirer may be seeking in prospective candidates, so it’s wise to review the job listing carefully.

What should be included in a hospitality job interview?

HOSPITALITY JOB INTERVIEW TIP #3 During your hospitality interview, refer to the importance of health and safety, and the ability to follow food hygiene procedures at all times within your work. HOSPITALITY JOB INTERVIEW TIP #4

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