Questions for Interviewing an Innkeeper


A common question I get asked is, “We need to hire an innkeeper or assistant innkeeper, is there a list of frequently asked questions that we can use for interviewing people?”

This is a general list of questions. We would suggest that you use the ones you think are necessarily, and applicable to your own Inn/B&B and modify questions to suit your needs.

General Questions (and these all relate to dealing with the public)

  • Tell us about a time that you had to adapt to a difficult situation?
  • Have you ever had to deal with conflicting deadlines?
  • Why did you decide to pursue this career?
  • What was the most stressful situation you have faced?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years time?
  • What would you say are your strong points?
  • Give me an example that best describes your organizational skills?
  • What do you think you can bring to this position?
  • What attracted you to this position?
  • What do you think this position involves?
  • What irritates you about other people?
  • What do you think you like and dislike about the job we are discussing?
  • Tell me about how you worked effectively under pressure at another position?
  • What kind of personality do you work best with and why?
  • How do you keep track of things you need to do?
  • Tell me of at least two reasons this job is a good match for your skills, strengths, experience and background?
  • What new skills have you learned or developed recently?
  • How do you keep track of things you need to do?
  • If offered the Bed and Breakfast Innkeeper position of ___________, how long do you plan to stay at the establishment?
  • Give me an example that best describes your organizational skills.
  • What is your strongest qualification for this job?
  • What do you think is most important when dealing with guests?
  • Describe the most difficult scheduling problem you have faced as an Innkeeper? (if they have done prior)
  • Describe the most difficult problem guest you have had to deal with as an innkeeper and how did you deal with it? (if they have done prior, have them give several examples.)


  • What reservations software have you used before? (if any).
  • Do you know WordPress and how well? (for website updates if applicable) and if they say yes, ask them for a demo.
  • Do you have social media experience and on what platforms? (if applicable) and if they say yes, ask them for a demo.
  • What types of cooking skills do you bring to the table?
  • Are you familiar with, and able to do food costing? (the correct way).
  • Have you ever taken a ServSafe course (if yes) and/or are you currently certified?
  • Are you familiar with food inventories? (get specifics from them, how often have they done them, are they incorporating the pricing into the inventories, and adjusting recipes to reflect.)
  • Are you familiar with food allergies, gluten free and dairy free cooking and recipes, and how to cook them?
  • What is your skill level with MS Office? (if you use Publisher or advanced Excel, again you may want to ask them for a demo).
  • Are you familiar with the basics of SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?
  • Are you prepared to work 24/7?
  • Give them some examples of a problem guest and ask them how they would handle it. i.e: -Guests show up late at night at the inn and are drunk and disturbing other guests. -Guests threaten to post a bad review on Tripadvisor/Yelp  and want a refund or other Compensation.

Interviewing others is something most innkeepers, unless they came from a background in HR, or owned or ran another business previously to being an innkeeper, may not have much experience with, and asking the right questions is key to a successful interview, and finding the perfect person to fill the position you need.

I would recommend additionally, make sure you check those references, many employers ask for general references, but specifics of professional only references help separate the casual wanna-be innkeeper from the professional.

Find them on social media as well if they have it. While you are not allowed to ask for access, you can take a gander at what’s publicly posted.

Google their names as well. “Jane Doe” Flint, Michigan, as well as if they listed they worked at another inn, or hospitality business in management in the last 5 years, Googling their name plus the business may turn up additional information. “Jane Doe” Assistant Manager, Jane Doe Inn, Flint, Michigan.

If you are in doubt about a potential employee’s resume or background, please feel free to shoot me an email, I’d be happy to do a little research.

About Chef Forfeng

Innkeeping Tip and Tricks: Please check out some marketing ideas for Inns and B&Bs, Blogging ideas, Facebook Tips and Social Media Tutorials
This entry was posted in B&B, Hospitality News, How tos, Inns, Interviews, Lodging and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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