Regardless of the role you want, knowing these Hilton interview questions and answers could get you the job.
Since 1919 when Conrad Hilton bought his first hotel (instead of the bank he intended to buy), the Hilton organization has remained ahead of the curve in the hospitality industry. Their many “firsts” include:
Public rooms with air conditioning and cold running water (1927)
Televisions in guest rooms (1947)
A multi-hotel reservation system which morphed into what is used today (1948)
Direct-dial phone service for guests (1957)
A hotel certified by both Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and Green Seal (2008)
This impressive list goes on and is proof that “Hilton Hotels & Resorts stands as the stylish, forward-thinking global leader of hospitality.”
Based on this, Hilton conducts a thorough and often lengthy interview process to ensure new hires continue the tradition of excellence regardless of their role. The process begins with an online application followed by a phone interview and in-person interviews for those who make the cut.
How to answer Hilton's interview questions
Research has shown that Hilton interview questions are more focused on the soft skills of potential employees. In fact, Hilton interviewers ask this type of question 82 percent more often than other organizations.
Soft skills include traits such as leadership, teamwork, flexibility, and problem-solving which are critical in a service-based industry. As a result, expect to be asked competency-based interview questions that focus on four major “soft skill” areas: behavioral, situational, communication, and leadership.
The most effective way to answer these interview questions by using the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, and Result), where you give detailed answers about a Situation you were in, the specific Task required of you, Actions you took to complete the task, and the Results you achieved.
Preparing your answers based on this method will show that you have the skills and experience Hilton wants in a new employee.
Top 5 Hilton interview questions
Here are the top five most commonly asked questions in a Hilton interview — with sample answers.
Tell me about yourself
The interviewer is looking for your work history, not your personal history. Pick two or three key skills that make you successful in your current role and in the role you're applying for. Stay on point, speak naturally, be enthusiastic, and use the STAR method to provide solid examples.
I am known for my strong organizational and relationship skills, and I am passionate about excellent customer service. My current role requires me to solve customer problems and to be professional even when customers are angry. I love to dig deep and find the solution or answer that will make the customer happy and resolve the issue. In one case, [give specific examples when you did this and the outcome].
What is your greatest weakness?
This question is used to assess your level of self-awareness and your capacity for self-improvement. Your goal is to show how you've overcome a professional (not personal) “weakness” through motivation or education, improving a current skill, or developing a new one. Answered well, you can really sell yourself as the best candidate.
Recently, I completed training in public speaking to make myself both more confident and clear when explaining processes to customers, co-workers, or supervisors. I want people to believe that I know my stuff and am capable of handling any situation.
Tell me how you handled a stressful situation
Definitely use a work example here; the hiring person wants to learn whether or not you can “hold it together” when things really get difficult in your job. If you don't have a situation with a positive outcome, describe one with a negative result, stressing what you learned from it.
My group was given a very short timeline to provide data to a customer so they could make a critical business decision. We knew if we missed the deadline we could be responsible for losing that customer.
As group leader, I broke out the assignments by person and set a schedule for deadlines. There was some pushback, and I listened to their comments and adjusted the work accordingly. We pulled together as a team, worked long hours, and sent the data to the customer ahead of schedule.
Describe a situation that required you to go above and beyond for a customer
Your answer should clearly prove that you have solid customer service skills, can show compassion and empathy for customers, and that you can “think on your feet” when required.
A guest contacted me that they had forgotten to pack a specific medicine that they must take daily, and asked me about local drugstores. I told the guest there were several drugstores nearby and provided the phone numbers. Since the guest had no car and the store was quite far, I then told the guest to let me know when the meds were ready so I could pick them up and deliver them, to the guest's great delight.
Tell me what you liked or disliked in your previous position
Your particular likes and dislikes can reveal how well you'll fit into the company culture. The hiring manager is looking to judge your character by the tone and attitude with which you answer. Start by mentioning something you liked, then share what you disliked, and end with something else that was positive. In the example below, the person is also selling their skills while answering:
I really enjoyed “doing the impossible” for customers. It always felt good to know I had helped someone have what they wanted or needed in a timely fashion. It was sometimes tricky on shift changes when the person on the prior shift didn't come through with what they promised a customer, and I had to handle it in addition to my regular work, but that didn't happen often.
One of the best parts of the job was that my supervisor trusted me to make decisions up to a certain level without checking with them first because I had proved I could do it successfully.
20 more interview questions from Hilton
Below are more questions you can expect at a Hilton interview, broken down by categories.
Your answers here will show that you know how to behave professionally as a Hilton employee, regardless of your role.
Tell me about a time when you had to work with a difficult or disruptive person. It may be a client, manager, or co-worker. How did you handle the situation? What was the outcome?
How would you deal with an upset customer?
What would you do first if there was an emergency in the hotel?
Can you name a time you had to rise above adversity?
If you're interviewing for a leadership role at Hilton, these questions give you a chance to prove that you have the required skills.
Tell me about a time when you've resolved a problem for a frustrated customer.
Do you consider yourself an honest person? Tell me why.
How important is it to anticipate guests' needs?
Where do you see yourself in five years?
What are your long-term goals?
Tell me about your greatest professional accomplishment.
What is the biggest lesson you've learned from a mistake you've made?
Specific skill questions will depend on the job title. Here are the more general skills questions that are asked of every Hilton candidate:
Please walk me through your resume.
What experience do you have in this field?
Do you have any professional experience as a [job title]?
This is where you show that you've done your research on the Hilton organization, what it would mean for you to work there, and why you would leave your current job for Hilton.
What can you tell us about Hilton Hotels?
Why do you want to work for Hilton Worldwide?
How do you define great customer service?
Why should I hire you?
Why did you leave your last job?
Questions to ask the interviewers
The final piece to making a great impression in an interview is for you to ask questions of the interviewer. It shows that you've done your research and have a sincere interest in working for Hilton. You'll also look very professional in comparison to other candidates.
Here are some specific questions to ask your interviewer:
What do you like best/least about working for Hilton or at [specific hotel]?
How would you describe your ideal candidate for [specific job title]? How well do I meet those qualifications?
What specific aspect of [Hilton role] is the most important?
How would you and the Hilton organization measure my success, and what are your thoughts on how I could better succeed?
Which part of [Hilton job title] has the steepest learning curve? How could I get up to speed more quickly?
What opportunities will I have to learn and grow at [hotel name] and/or with the Hilton organization?
Hilton is a world leader in the hospitality industry, and they want their employees to live up to that reputation, whatever their job title.
Using these questions to prepare for a Hilton interview will improve your chances of getting hired by this innovative and forward-thinking organization.
Want some professional help brushing up on your interviewing skills before the big day? Connect with an interview coach today.