Hospitality interviews – they can differ wildly between the company and the role; it’s sometimes hard to know what to expect.
When you work with a hospitality recruiter to find your next role, they will be able to provide you with everything you need to know. But if you’re going it alone – the following are my top tips from 25 years of hospitality recruiting experience for you to have your most successful interview ever.
Let’s start with the job description…
1. Read the Job Description More Than Once
When you see a great new role that you’re excited about applying for, sometimes it can be easy to miss out or gloss over the less desirable aspects of the job.
Read the job description thoroughly, at least twice, and a good idea is to print out a copy of the advert and make notes about what skills and experience you have that are suited to the role – and use this sheet when you are preparing before your interview.
2. Look the Part
While hospitality interviews can sometimes be a little different to ‘standard’ interviews, this does not mean that you shouldn’t make an effort to look as smart as possible.
If your interview involves a trial in a kitchen or elsewhere, bring some clothes or your chef whites that you can change into, but for the question and answer part, you should aim to be as smart and groomed as possible.
3. Smile and Be Positive!
While some chefs have a reputation for having a short fuse, anyone interviewing for a hospitality role should remember that hiring managers are not looking for temperamental applicants – the more positivity, the better!
Increasingly, establishments are realising that their success is built on the cohesiveness of the team – moody lone-wolves are out; optimistic team-players are in!
4. Answer the Question
Many candidates, due to understandable nerves, fail to answer the questions that they are asked, and can instead begin to ramble about a general topic area.
Listen carefully to the question that the interviewer has asked, and don’t be afraid to ask them to repeat the question if you didn’t hear or understand fully – it’s always better to do this than to give an answer that is off-tangent because you misheard or assumed something!
5. Do Your Research
In today’s hyper-connected world, there are more opportunities for you to research than ever.
Most places will have a website that you can use to research the establishment or the company, and now there are also social media profiles that you can use to find out extra information.
Does the business have a company Facebook page where they share up-to-date news? Or an Instagram where they post pictures of the team or new dishes? Being able to say “I was reading about your new menu on your Facebook page”, or “I saw a picture of the team on your Instagram – it looks like a great place to work!” will get you noticed by the interviewer.
6. Bring the Energy
One of the most sought-after skills that managers look for in hospitality staff is energy. You will catch the attention of the hiring manager when you demonstrate enthusiasm and pace in your interview; likewise, a lack of energy will reduce your chances of being offered the position.
You can display your enthusiasm for the role by listening carefully and responding to questions without long pauses in between, smiling genuinely and being attentive during your trial shift, rather than trying to do everything at 100 mph or talking so fast that the interviewer can’t hear what you’re saying.
7. Ask (These) Questions
Many hospitality candidates are left stumped at the end of the interview when asked if they have any questions, as the interviewer has done such an excellent job of showing you the role and company that you are left blank.
However, this part of the interview isn’t strictly for you to ask any questions; it is your last opportunity to show your enthusiasm for the role. The following are examples of questions to ask-
- What does a typical day in this role look like?
- Will there be any development opportunities in this role?
- What is your favourite thing about working here?
- Which members of the team will I be working mostly with?
These questions demonstrate your interest in the role and the company, and will set you apart as a top candidate.
This guide will hopefully have shone some light on what hospitality hiring managers are looking for in candidates right now.
If you are looking for your next hospitality role and need assistance finding positions that are right for you – we can help. Get in contact with our team today or call us on 0121 702 1428 to discuss what you are looking for in your next role and find out how we can help.
About KSB Recruitment
We are expert recruiters in the catering and hospitality industry with over 28 years in business, placing the best candidates in their perfect roles with obsessive attention to detail.
KSB is proud to be a Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) member, accredited investors in people, and both Data Protection and Home Office Compliance registered.
We specialise in roles in Birmingham, Staffordshire, the West Midlands, Warwickshire, Oxfordshire, Worcestershire and Northamptonshire.