Job Qualifications: More Powerful with a Results-Oriented Job Description

Tradition has it that job qualifications are stated separately at the end of the job description. This is a waste of time since the job description already states what knowledge, skills, and abilities an employee must have—and states them in more concrete terms. Consider the job description below where a waiter/waitress job includes (#2): “suggesting courses; explaining daily specials; answering food preparation questions.” A traditional job qualification statement would read: “Good communication skills.” But the specific requirements already in the job description provoke a rich conversation aimed at exploring the job applicant’s pertinent experiences. While it is essential to evaluate an applicant’s qualifications to perform the tasks and duties of the job, even more important is the applicant’s ability to achieve the desired result with a diner. This is where a Results-Oriented Job Description comes in. Notice the result expected in #2: HELPS DINERS SELECT FOOD AND BEVERAGES. With this result as the goal, an interviewer can conjure up all sorts of challenging diner situations to test the applicant’s alertness and problem-solving ability. In the following example, we have arranged the job description into a checklist format. Special qualifications that are not normally mentioned in the job description, can be added to the list or to the job description. Job Qualifications Standards A guide for determining whether an employee is able to accomplish the Essential Functions of this job. WAITER-WAITRESS 1. PREPARES TABLES FOR DINING by  cleaning and covering tables;  setting utensils, napkins, decorations, condiments, candles, and service plates. 2. HELPS DINERS SELECT FOOD AND BEVERAGES by  presenting menu;  suggesting courses;  explaining daily specials;  answering food preparation questions;  offering beverages;  identifying appropriate wines. 3. TRANSMITS ORDERS TO KITCHEN AND BAR by  recording diners’ choices;  identifying diners’ special dietary needs and requests;  noting timing of meal progression. 4. SERVES FOOD AND DRINKS by  picking-up and delivering items from bar, kitchen, and service areas. 5. MAINTAINS DINING EXPERIENCE by  inquiring of needs;  removing courses as completed;  replenishing utensils;  refilling water glasses;  being alert to spills or other special needs. 6. CONCLUDES DINING EXPERIENCE by  acknowledging choice of restaurant;  inviting diners to return. 7. OBTAINS DINING REVENUES by  totaling charges;  issuing bill;  accepting payment;  returning change or credit card. 8. PROTECTS RESTAURANT AND DINERS by  adhering to sanitation, safety, and alcohol beverage control policies. 9. IMPROVES WAITER/WAITRESS JOB KNOWLEDGE by  attending training sessions;  reading technical publications. 10. CONTRIBUTES TO FOOD SERVICE AND RESTAURANT SUCCESS  welcoming related, different, and new requests;  helping others accomplish job results.


Roger Plachy and Sandy Plachy are a husband-wife human resources management consulting team. Their interest in results-oriented thinking and managing employee performance led them to establish the Job Results Management Institute, and to create the Results-Oriented Job Description. At they offer the world’s largest database of results-oriented job descriptions. They have also responded to management’s need to keep employment actions centered on job requirements instead of pers...

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