Interview

17 Busser Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a busser, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

A busser is an unsung hero of the restaurant industry. This position is the backbone of the front-of-house team, and a busser’s responsibilities are many and varied. They keep the dining room clean, clear dirty dishes, and help the waitstaff with drink refills and bread service.

If you’re interviewing for a busser position, you can expect to be asked questions about your cleaning and organizational skills, as well as your knowledge of drink and food service. To help you prepare for your interview, we’ve put together a list of common busser interview questions and answers.

Are you comfortable working in a fast-paced environment?

Busers often work in a fast-paced environment, so employers ask this question to make sure you’re comfortable with that. They want someone who can keep up with the pace of their restaurant and be able to multitask. In your answer, explain why you are comfortable working in a fast-paced environment and how you have experience doing so.

Example: “I am very comfortable working in a fast-paced environment because I’ve done it for years. At my last job, I was a busser at a busy restaurant where we had long lines every night. We also had large parties come in on occasion, which meant there were more dishes to clear. I got used to keeping up with the pace and learned how to multitask effectively.”

What are some of your past experiences in the restaurant industry?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your background and experience. They want to know what you have done in the past that is similar to their job posting. When answering, think of a few things you did in previous positions that are relevant to this role.

Example: “In my last position as a server at a restaurant, I learned how to multitask while still providing excellent customer service. It was quite busy during peak hours, so I had to work quickly but also make sure all customers were happy with their food and drinks. I am used to working under pressure and being able to handle many tasks at once.”

How would you handle a situation where you have to clear a table that has left behind a mess?

This question can help interviewers understand how you would handle a challenging situation at work. Use your answer to highlight your problem-solving skills and ability to stay calm under pressure.

Example: “I would first ask the server if they could take care of it, but if they are busy I would start by collecting all the trash into one pile. Then I would clear the table of any leftover food or drinks before wiping down the surface with a disinfectant wipe. Finally, I would stack the dishes in the dishwasher and return the utensils to their proper place.”

What is your process for handling multiple tables at once?

This question can help interviewers understand how you prioritize tasks and manage your time. Your answer should include a specific example of when you had to multitask, the steps you took to complete each task and what the outcome was.

Example: “When I first started as a busser, I worked at a restaurant where we were always busy. One night, I had five tables that needed my attention. The first thing I did was check on all of their drinks and make sure they had enough food. Then, I checked in with each table to see if anyone needed anything else. After that, I cleared off one table completely so it could be ready for its next guests.”

Provide an example of a time when you went above and beyond to help a customer.

Employers ask this question to see if you are willing to go the extra mile for their customers. They want to know that you will be a team player and help out your fellow servers when they need it. When answering, think of an example where you helped someone who was having a hard time or went above and beyond to make sure a customer had a great experience.

Example: “At my previous job, I noticed one night that one of our waitresses seemed very stressed. She was running around trying to take care of all her tables while also helping other servers with their tables. I offered to cover some of her tables so she could take a short break. This allowed her to get a little bit of rest before the rush of dinner arrived.”

If you saw a co-worker not following proper food handling procedures, what would you do?

Employers ask this question to make sure you understand the importance of following food safety procedures. They want to know that you will speak up if you see a co-worker not washing their hands or using the proper utensils when handling food. In your answer, explain what steps you would take to correct the situation and ensure it doesn’t happen again.

Example: “If I saw a co-worker not following proper food safety procedures, I would first approach them privately and let them know about the mistake. If they didn’t seem receptive to my feedback, I would report it to my manager so they could handle it from there. It’s important for everyone in the kitchen to follow these procedures because it can help prevent foodborne illnesses.”

What would you do if you noticed a customer was unhappy with their meal?

An interviewer may ask this question to assess your customer service skills. They want to know how you would handle a challenging situation and make the customer happy. In your answer, explain what steps you would take to resolve the issue and ensure the customer has a positive experience.

Example: “If I noticed a customer was unhappy with their meal, I would first apologize for the inconvenience. Then, I would offer them something else on the menu or give them a discount on their bill. If they wanted to speak with a manager, I would let my manager know about the situation so they could help resolve it.”

How well do you follow directions?

Employers ask this question to make sure you can follow their directions and procedures. They want to know that you are a team player who is willing to learn from them. In your answer, explain how much you value the opinions of others. Explain that you will take direction seriously and do everything you can to ensure you’re doing what they expect.

Example: “I am very good at following directions. I have always been someone who takes pride in my work and wants to do things right. When I was working as a server, I would often get compliments on how well I followed instructions. If there were any questions about something, I would always ask for clarification before proceeding. I think it’s important to understand exactly what the expectations are so I can deliver the best service possible.”

Do you have any experience working with POS systems?

The interviewer may ask this question to see if you have experience with the specific POS system they use. If you do, share your previous experience and how it helped you in your current or past job. If you don’t have any experience working with a particular POS system, explain that you’re willing to learn.

Example: “I’ve worked with several different POS systems throughout my career, but I’m most familiar with Clover. The first restaurant I worked at used Clover, so I learned how to use it from the hostess station. I also had to learn how to enter orders into the system when we were busy, which helped me understand how to navigate the system more efficiently.”

When preparing tables for guests, what is your process for making sure everything is in its proper place?

This question can help interviewers understand how you prioritize tasks and manage your time. Your answer should include a step-by-step process for preparing tables, including the order in which you complete each task.

Example: “I start by making sure all silverware is on the table, then I set out plates and napkins. Next, I fill water glasses and wine glasses with ice, and finally I place drinks at their proper spots.”

We want to ensure our guests have a positive dining experience. How would you make sure a table was satisfied with their meal?

This question can help an interviewer determine how you would interact with customers and ensure they have a positive experience. Use your answer to highlight your customer service skills, communication abilities and empathy for others.

Example: “I want to make sure that every guest leaves the restaurant happy. I would start by asking them if everything was okay or if there was anything else they needed. If they said something wasn’t right, I would immediately get our manager so they could take care of it. If they were just looking for more water or another drink, I would be sure to bring it out quickly.”

Describe your experience working with kitchen staff.

Employers ask this question to see if you have any experience working with kitchen staff. They want to know that you can work well with others and communicate effectively. When answering, think of a time when you worked with kitchen staff on a project or task. Explain what the goal was and how you helped them achieve it.

Example: “In my previous role as a server, I had to work with the kitchen staff quite often. For example, one night we were running low on some ingredients for our dishes. The chef asked me to help find substitutes for the missing items. I went into the storage room and looked at all the ingredients we had in stock. Then, I matched up the ingredients with the menu items they corresponded to. After finding suitable replacements, I relayed the information back to the chef.”

What makes you stand out from other bussers applying for this position?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your qualifications and how you can contribute to their team. When answering, it’s important to highlight a skill or two that makes you unique from other applicants. You could also share an anecdote of a time when you used one of these skills to help the restaurant succeed.

Example: “I have been working as a busser for five years now, and I’ve learned quite a bit along the way. One thing that sets me apart is my ability to multitask. In my last position, we had a large rush during our dinner service, and I was able to handle all of my tables while still helping my fellow servers with their orders. This helped us get through the rush quickly so we didn’t lose any customers.”

Which restaurant services have you not worked in and would like to try?

Employers ask this question to see if you have any interest in trying new things. They want employees who are open to learning and growing their skills. When answering, think about which services you’ve heard of but haven’t worked in yet. Explain why you’re interested in them and what you hope to learn from the experience.

Example: “I’ve never worked as a bartender before, so I would love to try it out. I’m excited to learn how to make drinks and interact with customers while doing so. I also haven’t done much work in the kitchen, so I’d like to shadow someone there for a night or two to get an idea of what that’s like.”

What do you think is the most important skill for a busser to have?

Employers ask this question to see if you have the skills they are looking for in a busser. They want someone who is friendly, organized and able to multitask. When answering this question, think about what skills you possess that would be beneficial to the job.

Example: “I believe the most important skill for a busser to have is organization. As a busser, I am responsible for many tasks at once. If I were not well-organized, it could lead to mistakes or delays in getting food out to customers. Another skill I feel is important is communication. In my experience as a server, I learned how important it is to communicate with other staff members when there is an issue. It helps us work together to solve problems.”

How often do you clean your work station?

Employers ask this question to see if you are a clean and organized person. They want someone who can keep their work station tidy at all times. When answering, make sure to mention that you will clean your workstation every day or before the end of your shift. This shows that you have good time management skills and respect for your employer’s property.

Example: “I am very organized and always keep my workstation tidy. I clean it every morning before starting my shift and again before leaving. If there is any mess during my shift, I clean it right away so that it doesn’t get worse. I also like to organize other people’s workstations when they aren’t looking because I know how important organization is.”

There is a spill on the floor. What is your process for handling this?

Employers ask this question to see how you handle a challenging situation. They want to know that you can stay calm and focused in the moment, as well as communicate clearly with your coworkers. In your answer, explain what steps you would take to clean up the spill and ensure it doesn’t happen again.

Example: “I would first assess if there is any danger to customers or staff. If not, I would immediately alert my manager so they could help me get more supplies. Then, I would use paper towels to soak up as much of the spill as possible. Next, I would call for backup from other bussers so we could all work together to clear the rest of the mess.”

Previous

17 Athletic Trainer Interview Questions and Answers

Back to Interview
Next

17 Psychiatrist Interview Questions and Answers