If you like meeting new people on a regular basis, working as a waitress may be the job for you. It may not be a dream job. However, it is a way to make extra money to pay your way through college, or a part-time job. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median hourly wage for a waitress is $8.93 per hour, $18,570 annually.
Meet the educational requirements. In some cases, waitresses are required to possess a high school diploma or GED. This educational protocol varies by dining establishment. Some establishments allow teenagers to work, provided that the teenager has a work permit. If you are a teenager, check your state's child labor laws before attempting to get a waitressing job.
Apply for waitressing positions at nearby dining establishments. If you want to receive better tips, try for higher-priced four- and five-star venues.
Tailor your job application to the job at hand. When listing job experience, only list relevant experience, such as customer service, cashier and restaurant server. If you list a lot of prior experience that requires a college degree, the employer may look at your application and consider you overqualified for the job.
Rehearse your response to typical questions that may be asked during a waitress interview. For instance, decide on your hours of availibility. Waitresses should have very few scheduling conflicts. If you have too many conflicts, it may cost you the job. Decide whether you are willing to accept an alternative vacant position, such as a bus person or cashier. Plan to ask questions at the interview regarding how tips are handled, whether or not uniforms are provided and cleaned. Ask if special "non-skid" shoes are required.
Show up at the interview well groomed. Be friendly and personable. Wear a smile. The interviewer is assessing everything about you to determine whether you would make a great waitress for his dining establishment. Don't wear a business suit to the job interview, as this is overdressed for a waitress position. Casual or business casual attire is sufficient. An example of business casual dress for a waitress is a well-pressed blouse and a nice skirt or pair of slacks.
Provide realistic salary requirements to the employer. If you ask for too much, you decrease your chances of getting hired. Before going to the interview, use resources such as the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics to determine how much the average waitress makes based on geographical location.
Faizah Imani, an educator, minister and published author, has worked with clients such as Harrison House Author, Thomas Weeks III, Candle Of Prayer Company and "Truth & Church Magazine." Her dossier includes JaZaMM WebDesigns, assistant high-school band director, district manager for the Clarion Ledger and event coordinator for the Vicksburg Convention Center.