17 Hotel General Manager Interview Questions and Answers

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

A hotel general manager is responsible for the overall operation of a hotel, from the front desk and housekeeping to the restaurant and bar. They make sure the hotel is running smoothly and meeting the guests’ needs. Hotel general manager jobs are in high demand, so you’ll need to be prepared to answer some tough questions in your interview.

To help you out, we’ve put together a list of the most common hotel general manager interview questions. We’ve also included sample answers to help you prepare for your interview.

Are you comfortable working with a team of people to manage a hotel?

General managers often work with a team of people to manage their hotel. Employers ask this question to make sure you’re comfortable working in a collaborative environment. In your answer, explain that you enjoy teamwork and collaboration. Explain how you would use your skills as a leader to help your team succeed.

Example: “I have always enjoyed teamwork and collaboration. I think it’s important for everyone on the team to feel like they can contribute ideas and opinions. As a general manager, I would encourage my team members to speak up if they had any suggestions or concerns. I would also hold regular meetings where we could discuss our goals and progress. This way, everyone would know what was expected of them and how they could improve.”

What are some of the most important skills for a hotel general manager?

This question can help the interviewer determine if you have the skills and qualifications to be successful in this role. When answering, it can be helpful to mention a few of your strongest skills that relate to managing people and resources.

Example: “I believe communication is one of the most important skills for a hotel general manager. It’s essential to keep employees informed about company news and changes so they know what to expect. I also think problem-solving skills are important because there may be times when unexpected issues arise. Having these skills can help me find solutions quickly. Another skill I feel is important is delegation. As a general manager, I would need to delegate tasks to other managers and staff members. This helps ensure everyone has the support they need.”

How would you deal with a conflict between two members of your staff?

As a general manager, you may need to resolve conflicts between your staff members. Employers ask this question to see how you would handle such situations and if you have any experience doing so in the past. In your answer, explain what steps you would take to solve the conflict. Try to highlight your communication skills and ability to lead others through challenging conversations.

Example: “I’ve had to deal with several employee conflicts during my career as a hotel general manager. I usually start by listening to both sides of the story without interrupting them. Then, I try to understand why each person feels the way they do about the situation. After that, I try to come up with a solution that works for everyone involved. If one party is unwilling to compromise, I will remove them from their position.”

What is your experience in hospitality?

This question can help the interviewer understand your experience in hospitality and how it relates to this role. Use your answer to highlight any relevant skills you have that relate to this position, such as customer service or communication.

Example: “I’ve worked in hospitality for five years now, starting out as a server at a local restaurant before moving up to bartender and eventually becoming a bar manager. I learned many valuable skills throughout my time working in these positions, including excellent customer service and communication skills. These skills helped me become an effective leader who could motivate my team members and ensure they were performing well.”

Provide an example of a time when you had to make a difficult decision in your role.

General managers often have to make tough decisions that can affect the entire hotel. Employers ask this question to learn more about your leadership skills and how you handle pressure. In your answer, explain what steps you took to make a decision and what the outcome was.

Example: “In my last role as general manager of a resort, I had to let an employee go for violating company policy. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my career, but it’s part of being a leader. Before making the final decision, I met with the employee to discuss their performance. They admitted to breaking the rules and apologized. After discussing all options with HR, we decided to terminate the employee.”

If we were to visit your hotel, what would make it stand out from the competition?

This question is a great way to show your knowledge of the local area and how you can use it to benefit the hotel. You should be able to describe what makes your hotel unique, including any amenities or features that make it stand out from other hotels in the area.

Example: “I would recommend visiting our hotel because we have an excellent location right on the beach. We also offer free Wi-Fi throughout the property, as well as complimentary breakfast for all guests. Our staff is friendly and helpful, and they are always willing to go above and beyond to ensure our guests’ needs are met.”

What would you do if we were experiencing high turnover among some of your key staff members?

High turnover among key staff members can be a challenge for any hotel general manager. The interviewer may ask this question to assess your ability to manage challenging situations and maintain the quality of service at their hotel. In your answer, explain how you would identify the root cause of the high turnover and implement strategies to reduce it.

Example: “I have experienced high turnover in my previous role as a hotel general manager. When I noticed that some of our front desk employees were leaving, I scheduled a meeting with them to learn more about why they were leaving. After speaking with them, I learned that we had not been offering competitive wages. To solve this problem, I met with the HR department to discuss ways we could increase salaries without increasing operational costs.”

How well do you know the local area? What are some of the best things about it from a tourism perspective?

The interviewer may ask this question to see if you have experience working in the area and how familiar you are with it. They want to know that you can use your local knowledge to help promote their hotel as a great place for tourists to visit. In your answer, try to highlight some of the best features of the area from a tourism perspective.

Example: “I’ve lived here my whole life, so I’m very familiar with all the attractions and restaurants in the area. There’s a lot of natural beauty here, including hiking trails and beaches. The city also has many historical sites, which is always something people enjoy seeing when they’re on vacation.”

Do you have any experience with marketing? If so, what have been your most successful marketing campaigns?

Hotel general managers are responsible for increasing occupancy rates and revenue. Employers ask this question to make sure you have experience with marketing strategies that can help them achieve these goals. In your answer, share two or three of the most successful marketing campaigns you’ve led in the past. Explain why they were effective.

Example: “In my last role as a hotel manager, I was tasked with creating an advertising campaign to attract more guests. We decided to focus on social media because it’s free and has a lot of reach. I created a few different ads using our target audience’s interests and preferences. The ad we used that had the highest engagement rate was one that showed a picture of a beautiful room with a caption about how much fun guests could have at our hotel.”

When reviewing financial reports, what metrics do you find most useful?

Interviewers may ask this question to see if you have experience with financial reports and how you use them. They want to know that you can review important information about the hotel’s finances and understand what it means for the business. Use your answer to explain which metrics you find most useful when reviewing financial reports and why they’re helpful.

Example: “I find revenue per available room, or RevPAR, to be one of the most useful metrics I’ve used in my career as a general manager. This metric helps me determine how much money we make on average per room each day. It also shows me how many days our guests stay in their rooms. Knowing these two pieces of information allows me to better plan staffing levels and other resources needed to keep up with demand.”

We want to improve our customer service. Give us one idea that would help us do this.

Customer service is an important aspect of any hotel. The general manager needs to be able to improve customer service and ensure that their team members are doing the same. When answering this question, explain how you would implement a new system or process that improves customer service.

Example: “I think one way we can improve our customer service is by implementing a suggestion box. I have seen this work in other hotels where guests can leave feedback about their stay. This allows us to see what they liked and disliked so we can make improvements. We could also use this information to reward employees who provide excellent service.”

Describe your process for evaluating each department and deciding whether or not to renew each manager’s contract.

General managers are responsible for evaluating the performance of their team members and making decisions about whether or not to renew each employee’s contract. This question allows you to demonstrate your leadership skills by explaining how you make these important decisions.

Example: “I start my evaluation process with a meeting where I discuss the goals we set at the beginning of the year, as well as our progress toward those goals. Then, I ask each department manager to give an update on their team’s performance. After that, I meet one-on-one with each manager to discuss their individual performance and decide if they should be renewed.”

What makes you stand out from other candidates?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your qualifications and how you can contribute to their hotel. To answer this question, think of a skill or quality that makes you unique from other candidates. You can also mention any awards or certifications you have earned.

Example: “I am the only candidate who has worked as a general manager for five years. I know what it takes to be successful in this role because I’ve done it before. In my last position, I was responsible for hiring new employees and training them on the job. This experience gives me an advantage over other candidates because I understand what it’s like to work at this hotel.”

Which hotel management software programs are you familiar with?

The interviewer may ask this question to determine your level of experience with specific software programs. If you have previous experience using hotel management software, share which ones and explain how they helped you in your role. If you don’t have any experience with these types of programs, you can still answer honestly by explaining that you’re open to learning new systems.

Example: “I’ve used several different hotel management software programs throughout my career. I started out working at a small inn where we didn’t use any special software. However, when I moved to a larger hotel chain, the company provided us with an online booking system that allowed me to check guests in remotely. This was helpful because it freed up time for other employees to focus on their work.”

What do you think is the most important thing a hotel general manager can do to maintain a positive relationship with their employees?

A hotel general manager needs to be able to work well with their employees. A hiring manager may ask this question to see if you have any special techniques for building relationships with your team members. In your answer, try to explain what you think is most important and why it’s so crucial.

Example: “I believe the most important thing a hotel general manager can do to maintain a positive relationship with their employees is listen to them. I know that sounds simple, but I’ve worked in several hotels where managers didn’t take the time to hear what their employees had to say. When you listen to your staff, they feel like they’re being heard and valued. This makes them more likely to go above and beyond for guests.”

How often should you update your hotel’s marketing materials?

Hotel general managers are responsible for creating and implementing marketing strategies that attract new customers. Interviewers ask this question to see if you have experience with updating a hotel’s website, social media accounts or other marketing materials. In your answer, explain how often you update these items at previous jobs and what factors influenced the frequency of updates.

Example: “I believe it is important to regularly update all aspects of a hotel’s marketing strategy. I typically updated our hotel’s website once per month, but I also made sure to update our social media pages more frequently when we had special events or promotions. For example, during the summer months, I would post pictures of our pool on Instagram twice per week. This helped us reach more potential guests who were looking for hotels with pools.”

There is a problem with a major event that was supposed to take place at your hotel. How do you handle it?

This question can help the interviewer understand how you handle stressful situations and make decisions under pressure. Use examples from your experience to show that you are decisive, organized and able to prioritize tasks effectively.

Example: “In my previous role as a hotel general manager, I had an event scheduled for one of our ballrooms. The day before the event was supposed to take place, the client called me to say they were canceling their event because they found another venue with lower prices. I immediately contacted other clients who had events booked in the same room to let them know about the change. Luckily, we were able to accommodate all of those clients at different times during the week.”


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