Top Hotel Manager Job Interview Questions

…………….And how to answer them. If you are interviewing for a hotel manager job, here are some suggestions on how to avoid the pitholes and problems in the most commonly asked interview questions.

What times can you work?

The employer will be looking for:

Flexibility – the more flexibility you can show as opposed to restrictions on your time the better
Meeting the hotel’s needs – in other words, how well can you solve some of the problems of the hiring manager?
Hotels love to hear that you are available:

You can be available at short notice
You are able to work night shifts as required
School holidays
Public holidays
Christmas and New Year
Seasonal times
Local events and festivals

How would you deal with an angry or abusive guest?

Your answer here is critical. Don’t ramble on, be very specific. Give a short and sharp answer that includes the following 4 things:

De-escalate the situation
Listen – in most cases, guests just want to be heard. So listen and let the get it off their chest. Also mention that you would take the customer away from the more public part of the hotel and talk privately about the situation.
Be Proactive – actively look for solutions to the problem and put them into action immediately.
Resolve – the ultimate goal is to ensure that the guest is happy and will return to the hotel

Why did you leave your last job?


Avoid at all costs attacking your previous employer

Conflict or Disputes – do not bring up issues of conflict. The hiring team will never know the full story and it therefore leaves a question in their mind that you were the cause of the conflict

Salary – don’t moan about how your employer was not paying you what you thought you were worth


Be enthusiastic about the new position that you are interviewing for. This is also a good opportunity to show that you have done your research on the hotel
Relocation – you have relocated to their area because your partner go a job nearby is a good reason
Family – you have moved there to be closer to family. This also shows that you are more likely to stay in the position
Progression – you are ambitious and would like to progress in your career

How do you prioritize your tasks as a hotel manager?

Short, Medium and Long Term Planning – you need to show that you understand and can action these various planning stages. Short term will be things that you need to address in the hotel urgently or on a daily basis. Long term might be for example your strategy to get your hotel from a 4* establishment to a 5*. Medium term would then be how you break down the stages to achieve your long term goal.
Business and Customer Impact – say that you will prioritize issues that will directly impact on the hotels profitability as well as guest satisfaction
Anticipate Pinch Points – acknowledge that there will be times of the day that will be much busier than others and that you have already worked them into your daily planning schedule
Ensure the smoothing running of the hotel – Summarize by saying that by doing all of the above you are committed to the smooth and profitable running of the hotel

Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

This is a very common interview question, but also a potentially dangerous one if not navigated correctly.

Be reasonable – avoid giving overly ambitious or unachievable goals. Also avoid and answer that invariably means you would be leaving the hotel or even worse, the hospitality industry completely.
Be sensitive and crafted – Avoid saying that you would like to be in the position of the hiring manager or even a few levels higher. Make sure you have researched the company’s organogram and hierarchy and craft your response accordingly
Development Focus – If you are going for the hotel manager job and this is the highest job in the company, your promotional opportunities don’t exist. Therefore adhere to a focus on your own development within the role. Talk about what training or further education you would undertake to improve your own skills that you can in turn can bring to the benefit of the hotel. Also talk about developing your team and upskilling them as well as hospitality recruitment for success.
In summary, know what the hotel wants and what you can bring to the table that you know will meet their needs.

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