Interview time!

Only, this time, you’re the interviewer, and you need to find the next manager for your restaurant. Where do you start? With such a vast number of things to take into account, how do you ensure you employ the best person for what is an incredibly challenging role?

As you’d guess, it starts with your questioning. Interviews are tricky affairs for all parties, and there’s no escaping the fact that you’ll rarely meet the ‘true’ person in that room; they’ll either be nervous, overcompensating or, unfortunately, telling porkies.

Here’s how to sniff out the best restaurant manager talent:

1. Why are you looking for this new opportunity?

There’s a myriad of reasons why people start looking for a new job – some good, some bad.

All you want here (as with every question in this list) is honesty. If it’s simply “a new challenge”, great. If it’s “well, I was sacked from my last job” – don’t dismiss them immediately; find out why.

2. What was the toughest situation you had to deal with at your last job?

To get a real insight into how the candidate handles the challenges inherent within the hospitality industry, ask this question.

Those who answer quickly and assuredly will probably have learned from the experience, because it’s clearly an event that has stayed with them. This is great; it demonstrates a will to learn and grow (and not shirk responsibility).

3. What impact did you have financially on the last restaurant?

This isn’t a trick question as such, but it will give you an insight into how business savvy the candidate is.

If they can link something they did specifically to a raise in profits or reduction in supplier overheads, they’ve probably got the business nous you need.

4. Tell me about your last team

Ask them what their last team was like. Did they enjoy working with them? Were there conflicts and troubling personalities?

Their response will tell you just as much about them as a person and colleague as it does about their previous team.

5. Do you enjoy recruiting new team members?

Let’s not beat around the bush; the restaurant industry is characterised by high levels of staff turnover, therefore a great manager will be adept at bringing new talent in.

They might even enjoy it…

6. How could we improve this restaurant?

Some candidates might be surprised to be asked this question – they may even seem uncomfortable answering it.

Those who have something about them, however, will be far more honest and willing to get involved. They’ll be polite with their suggestions, but the suggestions they make will be great. You’re onto a winner if they pass this particular test!

Wrapping up

We’ve only scratched the surface above, but go into each restaurant manager interview armed with these particular questions and you’ll quickly whittle down the candidates to those who are likely to do a stellar job.