Do they really want the job? Do they have the right experience? Will they provide good service? Will they show up for their shift? Can they hack it?

When you’re hiring high school students for restaurant positions, you’re likely to have a lot of questions about candidates. Instead of wondering and trying to guess whether they’re a good fit, pick the right interview questions to ask so that you can pick the right candidate with greater confidence.

Looking for interview questions for high school students who apply to work in your restaurant? Try these questions that focus on five key areas:

Interview Questions for High School Students to Judge Interest

Just because high school students fill out an application doesn’t mean they’re really interested in working at your restaurant. To help weed out the people who really want to work for you and those who just want a job—any job—ask this straightforward question: Why do you want to work here?

You want an enthusiastic and thoughtful answer. Listen for answers specific to the restaurant industry—and to your establishment.

Here’s a great answer: I’ve been working at restaurants the past couple of summers, and really like the pace and interacting with people. I have a friend who loves working here—and I love your mushroom burgers.

Here’s another question to try to gauge interest in the job: What part of the job are you most excited about?

Interview Questions for High School Students to Check on Experience

An application will tell you if high school students have restaurant experience—or any working experience at all. (Don’t rule out candidates simply because they don’t have restaurant experience.) Whether they do or not, you’ll want to know how their past experience might translate to this job.

One question to ask: What do you know about working in restaurants? This question lets experienced restaurant employees share what they’ve learned in past jobs. It will let you know whether those inexperienced in restaurant work have realistic expectations—and if they’ve done their homework preparing for the interview.

Follow up with What experience do you have that prepares you for restaurant work (or this job)? The follow-up question gives high school students a chance to share relevant experience, whether in a restaurant or not.

Interview Questions for High School Students to Focus on Customer Service

At its most basic, the restaurant biz is about customer service. Find out a little more about how candidates handle customer service by asking: How would you deal with a customer who wants to send their meal back? Candidates reveal problem-solving and people skills through their answer.

Not everyone in a restaurant works with customers directly, but having a smooth-running team makes a big difference to the customer experience.

If a candidate is working behind the scenes, ask How in your role would you keep customers happy? Look for candidates who understand how prep work, clean up, keeping things moving, and quality keep customers happy.

Interview Questions for High School Students Related to Schedule

Schedule has been known to make or break an otherwise good work situation. If your schedule varies from week to week, you’ll need employees with flexibility.

Schedule flexibility also serves you if you need to get people to cover. Ask: How much scheduling flexibility do you have? This gives high school applicants the chance to share any schedule restrictions or preferences and gives you the chance to see if they can meet your needs—whether that’s evenings, weekends only, or some other specific shift.

Interview Questions for High School Students to Assess How They’ll Face the Demands of the Job

Picture a busy Saturday night. The phone’s ringing with take out orders and reservation requests. People are waiting for tables. The kitchen’s slammed. One table is ready to order. Another is waiting for its food that just came up, and a third is wondering how much longer it will be until their meal is ready. How do you handle the pressure?

You’ll really get the answer to this one when a newly hired employee is put to the test, but candidates can show you how they’ve handled pressure before. Look for the ability to move quickly, multitask, and handle tough moments with grace or humor.

Interviewing is a great way to find out if candidates are a good fit for your restaurant opening. Knowing the right interview questions for high school students helps you get the information you need to make the right decision. These five questions are a great start for any prospective restaurant employee.  #TeenHiringGap

It’s always easier to find the right fit for a job when you’re matched with good candidates in the first place. That’s where HipHire can help! Get started today.

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