Any hotel or tourism institute worth its salt spends a lot of time teaching its students about dealing with tough customers. Checking your textbooks for answers is a good idea, but please do so before the interview takes place. If you know somebody in the industry, then it would be a good idea to speak to him or her and ask about how such situations are handled in the workplace. If you have time, then give an example or two about how you dealt with an angry or bad customer in the past with tact, politeness and firmness. Acknowledge that the approach taken with angry customers may depend on the style and formality of the institution, for example a five star hotel may have a different approach to a fast food café.
There are two things that you can touch upon as an answer to this question. The first relates to the statistics regarding the sector. Tell your interviewers that it is a dynamic sector that is growing at a rapid pace and you want to be in the middle of the boom, the excitement and the energy. However, before saying so, make sure that you have the required data to support your claims. What is the growth rate of the industry? What is the size of the industry? When did the boom start? Who says there is a boom? Basically, doing your homework well is advised. The other aspect that you should always touch upon as an answer to this question is how you and your personality are well suited to this sector. Convince the interviewers that you are made for the industry and the industry is made for you. Talking about basic traits like people skills, patience, ability to work under pressure etc, which are prerequisites to succeeding in the hospitality and tourism sector and how you excel at all these, should constitute a good answer.
This seems like a simple enough question, but it is more like a trick question. Many interviewees, either due to anxiety, or because of the overconfidence that comes from being asked such a simple question, mess this up by missing out an important step of the process. Think this out carefully, remember everything that you have been taught or have done and then answer this question slowly and methodically, convincing your interviewers that you can handle a situation under pressure well. Attention to detail is key in this industry, as well as following a brief accurately.
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