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What Make a Good Hospitality Employee? How to Identify Them in an Interview?

admin March 09, 2016

Working in the hospitality industry isn’t easy. To perform well their jobs, quality hospitality employees should have some characteristics. No one is cut out for this industry, whether they are full time or temporary staff.

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So what should you be looking for when hiring hospitality employees? How do you identify good employees in an interview when candidates are acting at their best?

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1. Communication


This is one of first things you should look for. Many hospitality workers deal directly with your guests. Without effective communication skills, they can’t give your guests proper customer service that is crucial in this industry; and as a result, your guest will likely be unhappy. Even support staff and back-of-house staff must be able to communicate well though they may not constantly deal with customers.

How to identify this quality:

Look for candidates with good eye contact, well-formed answers to your interview questions, alert body language.

2. Multi-tasking


Every position in the hospitality industry must have the ability to do several things simultaneously. Hotel clerks must greet and answer phones; servers are required to pay attention to multiple guests at the same time. Without multi-tasking, the job won’t get done.

How to identify this quality:

Look for examples from their previous work that indicate their ability of multi-tasking. Try asking multi-faceted questions related to slightly different topics.

3. Attitude

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Different personalities may excel at different jobs. For example, aggressive personality may work well on the floor of stock exchange, but definitely will become a problem in hospitality industry. You need employees with ability to keep calm and deal with customers and potential problems in a straightforward-but-relaxed fashion. Without the right personality, your workers won’t do well with your guests. 

How to identify this quality:

Look for candidates who smile, give optimism-hinted answers to questions.

4. Flexibility

This is another important trait for quality hospitality employees. For temporary employees, it’s absolutely a must because they will be changing their assignments frequently. Generally, in the hospitality industry, a worker must be open and adaptable to changes. Things can happen quickly and your workers must be able to react to the changes to best serve your customers. Without flexibility, even the most confident and intelligent people won’t be effective employees in the hospitality industry at any level.

How to identify this quality:

Look for open-minded candidates who can explain to you the reason why flexibility is important.

Overall, quality hospitality employees often determine success of a business. If a customer receives superior service at your hotel during his business trip, he may remember that and book a room at your hotel next time he goes on business. He may even tell his co-workers about your hotel service.  Realistically, your customers have no idea whether they get that great service from a temporary or a permanent employee; they just remember that they would spend money with you again. 

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