Common Hotel Manager Interview Questions (With Answers)
Updated 17 March 2023
Hotel managers are dynamic professionals who plan, handle, coordinate and implement a hotel's services to ensure the highest quality and customer satisfaction. Ensuring that you display your potential and skills exceptionally to potential employers in the hotel management industry requires extensive practice. Knowing about the common hotel manager interview questions and reading through the sample answers can give you a better idea of what and how to prepare. In this article, we discuss some commonly asked hotel manager interview questions and share sample answers to guide you in the preparation process.
Common Hotel Manager Interview Questions
Learning about the common hotel manager interview questions can help you identify your strong knowledge domains and the areas that require intensive preparation. Based on some common questions, you can better understand what to expect in your job interview and how to excel in a competitive environment. Reading through sample answers can also help you frame your answers most effectively and share your expertise to affect employers positively. Below is a list of some common hotel manager interview questions to help you prepare better:
Can you share your previous employment experience and your job role and responsibilities?
This question is general that the employer can ask to assess your previous employment experience, qualification and background to help determine your overall personality. Through a question like this, they may want to know how suitable and skilled you are to excel in a dynamic job role of a hotel manager. They may also want to know the lessons from your experience to understand your perspective and values and determine if you fit their organisation well.
Example: "In my previous role as an assistant manager for a beach-front hotel, I had the daily duty of managing over 400 guests and ensuring that the hotel meets their requirements. While my job required me to make the guests comfortable and resolve any issues concerning their stay, my primary responsibilities included overseeing the front desk staff for efficiency. I also answered guest queries to offer them able assistance and coordinated various catering, marketing and corporate events to promote our services. I also worked as an acting manager where I used my budgeting and financial skills to get great deals."
Have you ever had to pacify an unsatisfied guest? If so, how did you approach the situation?
The employer can ask you this question to get an idea of your conflict management and problem-solving skills. They may ask you this question to assess if you can work calmly in unexpected, challenging situations and how well can you resolve the problem to provide an alternative solution. When answering this situation, consider personalising your experience by sharing insights and lessons from that experience and how you can apply those skills to resolve any unexpected work situation.
Example: "When I was working as a front desk manager during the night shift in a business hotel, a guest came downstairs and told me they were unhappy with the room services. They demanded their money back and even wanted to write a negative review of the hotel. Our hotel's policies clearly stated that we do not refund the money to a guest, especially after they consume a meal. I explained this to them politely and later assessed their room for issues and sent people to fix them. I also offered them a free meal to compensate for the inconvenience."
What cost-saving measures have you implemented at your previous place of work?
The interviewer wants to know and assess your financial literacy, competency and budgeting skills through this question. Consider explaining the cost-saving techniques or initiatives you implemented during your previous role and how they helped save the overall company cost. You can also share statistics or percentages to show how much money you saved and how you helped the company make profits, despite following a pre-set budget.
Example: "In my previous role as an assistant manager at a business hotel, I found we were spending a large part of our finances on paying water and electricity bills, which sometimes exceeded our total budget of the month. After doing detailed analysis and research, I could find the causes for these hefty bills, including running faucets in bathrooms and the expensive hallway lighting, which were on at all times of the day and night. I spoke with our administrative and logistics team to fix this situation, and we installed hand-sensing faucets in bathrooms, which automatically gets turned off after use.
For lighting, we removed the expensive lighting bulbs from the hallway and replaced them with movement sensing lights on each floor, which helped us save electricity. Combining these two measures helped us save Rs. 1,50,000 on our total electricity and water bills. We made a profit, but we also used that money to improve our customer services without exceeding the budget."
What measures do you take to instill a sense of trust and companionship between the hotel staff and yourself?
Since a hotel manager's position requires a candidate with excellent managerial abilities, the employer wants to assess your leadership qualities and how you promote healthy companionship between yourself and the other employees. Consider sharing any previous experience where you showed your leadership capabilities in team building and provide a specific example to the employer. You can also share multiple ideas to help promote trust in a corporate environment. Sharing multiple methods lets the employer understand your personality better to see how you would contribute to the workplace.
Example: "One of the significant steps I take to help build trust and companionship within the office employees is setting up a daily and weekly meeting schedule to discuss projects, vision and ideas. It is essential for employees to work in a safe environment, so the second step is to ensure that they feel secure sharing and discussing their ideas and can work in a safe workplace. Providing a safe space to employees can also help them share their opinions and issues openly with the management team.
It also allows for clear communication between employees and helps avoid potential conflicts, mismanagement and enables employees to give open feedback regarding the work policies or environment. Once we receive honest feedback, we can use employee input to improve our workplace and make it more employee-friendly. Another step I want to take to promote a happy culture in the office is organising fun team-building activities and celebratory events to encourage employees."
Suppose you have a limited budget and choose between repairing the hotel's air conditioning and heating systems or upgrading the hotel's telephone line. Which one do you choose and why?
The employers ask situation-based questions to test your decision-making abilities and understand your employee values. Based on your answer, they can determine your overall personality and how you would handle a particular situation. This type of question also aims to assess your prioritisation skills as it helps the interviewer understand what would you choose and your reason for doing that. Since the question clearly demands an answer for the 'why', consider explaining your motivation behind choosing the solution you selected.
Example: "A hotel's success depends on its people and the customer satisfaction rate. No hotel can establish itself without significant customer support, which one can build patiently by providing maximum satisfaction to the customers and offering them value for their money. I understand the importance of communication in a hotel, but my top priority is replacing the hotel's heating and air conditioning systems. Because these systems directly affect the customers, and as a hotel manager, it is my foremost duty to work in my customers' interest and provide them with the best possible services.
As per your question, the telephone lines in the hotel are currently functional and may only require an up-gradation, which is not my immediate priority because it is not urgent. As a result, I can upgrade them later. The primary reason to upgrade telephone lines is for better hotel branding. It does not directly affect the customer's living experience since they can communicate using their mobile phones."
Suppose you double booked a room and both of your guests arrive simultaneously. Which one do you offer the room first and why? How do you explain you are running at total capacity?
In a hotel manager's job interview, you can expect a lot of situation-based questions since this is a full-time, creative, analytical and customer-oriented job. This question provides you with a typical hotel situation, and the question has two crucial aspects to it. Employers can ask you this question to test your customer service, problem-solving and negotiation skills. Consider providing detailed answers to both the questions and an example for better understanding.
Example: "As a hotel manager, in a situation like this, I take complete ownership of the situation and have one of the front desk assistants check which guest booked first. Then, I offer the room to the guest who booked it first and apologise to the second guest while explaining our situation. I can politely tell them that customers we are running at total capacity. To compensate for their situation, I may also give them a free stay in one of our next available rooms, depending on the policies."
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