IHOP Interview Questions & Tips

How to Get a Job at IHOP

IHOP, officially known as the International House of Pancakes, remains easily recognizable for specialty breakfast foods and all-day hours of operation. Made up of more than 1,500 locations worldwide, the chain holds a workforce close to 32,000 employees. With so many different locations, restaurants often use different interview formats to fill job vacancies. Regardless of interview format, job hopefuls should prepare accordingly for the company hiring process.

How Many Managers Will I Interview With?

International House of Pancakes job interviews often involve several managers and hiring personnel. A typical hiring session may require a store manager, assistant manager, and even shift supervisor, if necessary. Entry-level job interviews usually call for one-on-one question and answer sessions with high-ranking personnel. In the event of a surplus of applicants, group interviews or multiple rounds of interviews may prove necessary. With any format, applicants should arrive adequately prepared.

Preparation for Interviews

Conducting several practice interviews helps just about any IHOP applicant. Additional research into the company may help, as well. Demonstrating preparation displays a strong desire for employment personnel. Applicants should exude confidence at all times. Sample interview questions may include:

Patience and Scheduling

Availability encompasses a heavy portion of each IHOP job interview. Since each location operates 24-hours a day, restaurants need employees who can work various shifts and revolving schedules. Restaurants predominantly boast hectic, late-night crowds, and the restaurant prefers to hire applicants with a fair amount of patience. The chain also serves many families, which calls for friendly attitudes. To help find new hires with the right qualities, managers often pose several situational and behavioral questions. Candidates must use personal judgment and common sense to explain the best course of action.

How to Improve Odds of Receiving a Job Offer

As with just about every server and restaurant job, communication skills remain the most important factors for hiring consideration. IHOP considers communication more than just talking. Candidates must prove good listeners, as well. Display favorable skills and qualities during the interview by speaking in clear tones with complete sentences and logical thoughts. Candidates should display genuine interest in the job and desire to work.

IHOP Interview Video

Video Transcript

Interviewer: Please describe your job title and primary duties.
IHOP Employee: I was at IHOP, and I washed dishes, unloaded the truck, filled up the place, and did everything they needed me to do.

Interviewer: What was the work environment like?
IHOP Employee: The work environment was nice. It was always busy; customers are always coming in, so it was nice.

Interviewer: What was your favorite part about working there?
IHOP Employee: When we got busy I liked to wash the dishes, keep everything clean for the cooks and the dining room.

Interviewer: Please describe a typical day as an employee.
IHOP Employee: Fast, busy. It was good.

Interviewer: How would you describe the application and interview process?
IHOP Employee: It was very nice. You had to be clean, make sure you answered the questions properly. Everything was all right.

Interviewer: What kind of questions did the interviewer ask during the job interview?
IHOP Employee: “Do you have transportation?”, “Can you be on time?”, and if you could do the work they wanted you to do.

Interviewer: What other advice would you give to a job seeker looking to gain employment?
IHOP Employee: To be clean, to be on time, and to always pay attention to what you are doing.

IHOP Server Interview Video

Video Transcript

Interviewer: Please describe your job title and primary duties.
IHOP Server: I was a server, so when people would first come through the door, you have to make sure that they’re sat if a hostess isn’t on duty. After you seat them, you greet them, take a drink order. IHOP was really serious about taking an order right away, so if they came in and sat down, and you took their drink order and they were ready to order their food right then, you made sure to get it. If they weren’t ready, you’d go get their drinks, bring those back, probably start up some conversation. Ask them how their day is going. A lot of times when people go out to eat, they’re looking for a conversation with their server. They like that part of the experience. After that when they order their food, make sure you got everything right. You have to learn the computer systems, so you can put all of that stuff in. After you’re finished with that, take their food out, make sure they’re happy. Make sure after a few bites in, everything is tasting how they want it to taste. Cash them out when they’re all finished with their food, and make sure the table is all clean and that they had a good experience.

Interviewer: What was the work environment like?
IHOP Server: It could be very fast paced. Especially in the morning shifts because it is the International House of Pancakes. If you plan on working morning shifts, be ready for that. The midday shift was a lot slower. Since the IHOP that I worked at was twenty four hours and most of them are, the late night shift around three o’clock in the morning also gets really, really, busy. Those are usually the shifts that people are looking for. The firsts or the thirds, because the seconds are a little bit slower.

Interviewer: What was your favorite part about working there?
IHOP Server: I loved the people I worked with and honestly the customers too. When I first started working there, I realized that a lot of the people I worked with went to the University of Toledo or went to Owen’s and these are all schools in the area, so I got to meet other students. Not all of them had the same major as I did, but I would still see them in some of my extracurricular classes. It wasn’t just becoming friends with them at the restaurant, but then I would see them at school, or I would see them around town, and it really expanded my horizons of the city.

Interviewer: Please describe a typical day as an employee.
IHOP Server: You come in and you hope to get a table fast because usually when you come in the first thing that happens is you get a table, and can start taking care of them. You got to make sure that the pass bar is clean. All of the food sections are taken care of. Cleanliness is always very important. Sanitizer water being switched out, those kinds of things.

Interviewer: How would you describe the application and interview process?
IHOP Server: IHOP is actually special because a lot of restaurants these days you have to apply online, and that stresses a lot of people out. IHOP still has a paper application, so you can apply online or you can do it on paper. I actually got to go in and sit down in the restaurant, and fill out my application. A manager came out right away and spoke to me. That made a huge difference in deciding where I wanted to work, because I already felt like I had a connection with the manager, just by coming in and applying, and a lot of places aren’t like that.

Interviewer: What questions did the interviewer ask during the job interview?
IHOP Server: Well they asked me if I’d ever served before and I actually hadn’t. This was my first serving job. I had worked before, but this was very different because you have to talk to almost everybody that comes through that door. You have to be personable. They asked me are you going to be afraid to talk to people, are you nervous, are you shy, and is that something that you think you could overcome, if you were hired here. That was a big part of the interview.

Interviewer: How were you notified that you received the job?
IHOP Server: I actually received a call that night from the same manager that I spoke to when I was applying. She asked me if I could come in the next day for an actual interview, because all she really did was talk to me a little bit when I was actually applying. I came in for an actual interview, and she told me right then and there at the interview that I was hired, and I started filling out my paper work right then. It was fantastic. You do have to make sure that your ready to get a job right away when you apply there because it’s usually very fast.

Interviewer: What other advice would you give to a job seeker looking to gain employment?
IHOP Server: Make sure that when you meet the person that might be hiring you or might be your manager later on, that you’re giving a good first impression. Show up dressed nice, dressed well. If you know what the uniform is going to be like when you start working, try and show up in something that already looks like that, because it makes it easier for the manager to picture you in that environment. Working with their fellow employees.

More IHOP Interview Videos:


  • Ariana Hollomon says:

    How do I fill out an ihop application online?

  • Asia Smith says:

    U have to go into the store and pick up an ihop job application.

  • frabrizio22 says:

    What should I wear to an ihop interview and what are reasons they want to hear when asking why do you want to work here

  • colorful girl says:

    You can not work there with colored hair unless you are in the kitchen. I went to the interview looking very nice, with my blue hair, and was told I can not work where the customers would see me due to my blue hair. This is in Pittsburgh, PA. So colorful hair is a no go. 🙁

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