Getting your first restaurant job is relatively easy if you have the right tools.

Restaurants are always looking to recruit fresh blood to the dark side, but there are a few things you’ll have to prepare to really persuade a hiring manager that you have enough of a backbone to handle the work.

Be sure you are prepared before your restaurant job interview. Knowing a few questions they might ask and preparing ahead of time is a plus. Having strong questions to ask them after they are done interviewing you is even better. How you present yourself is everything so pay attention to these tips and you’ll get a job quicker than you can figure out how to say Worcester.

1 – Get your Food Handlers Card & Alcohol Server Card

You might be thinking why would you get your certifications before you have a job? Well, I’ll tell you why — it makes you look good and you need it anyway. Not only will having your certifications show your ability to anticipate needs, but it will also give the hiring manager one less thing to worry about once you’re hired. They want to train you and get you going quickly, so it’s important they know you already have a base knowledge of handling food and alcohol and that they don’t have to get on your case when you forget to get it within 30 days of employment.

2 – Spice up your resume

Resumes aren’t that interesting, but yours can become interesting to the hiring manager if you know what they’re looking for. Start by reading the job description. Unless it’s a poorly written job ad, there will be specific words used to describe the company culture, the open position and the type of person who would fit in well.

Pick up two or three keywords and try to emphasize them within your resume. For example, a job ad might say, “Team-player needed for a high-volume, well-known family restaurant.” In this one sentence, you already know they want: A team-player, someone comfortable with high-volume (aka “must be fast”), and someone personable who can develop relationships with the customers. So focus on those things within your resume.

3 – Apply on Poached

The internet has a plethora of job boards, but you only really need to use Poachedjobs.com if you’re looking for a restaurant job. Poached is the number one job board for the food and beverage industry and so you’ll not only find a job quickly — you’ll find the best job quickly. On Poached you can apply to as many jobs as you like with just a click of a button and also track where your applications are at in the hiring process. Hiring managers can message you via text or email (your preference), so you can get the ball rolling more quickly than anywhere else.

4 – Prepare for the interview

Once you get asked to interview, practice for the big day. I recommend re-reading the job description, checking the location of the interview and mapping how you’re going to get there. Lastly, practice how you might respond to certain questions.

There is no way for you to know exactly what an interviewer might ask you, but there are some common questions like: How did you hear about us, tell us about yourself and why do you want this position. If you’ve never worked in a restaurant before, I’d practice talking about how some past experiences would transfer to the restaurant job you’re applying for and also explain why you want to work there.

After you take these tips into consideration and then practice, you’ll be seating guests, bussing tables or washing dishes in no time! Working in the food and beverage business can be rewarding and fun, so good luck!


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