Being Interviewed for Hospitality Roles

Arguably the most important phase of getting a new job is the interview process. We’ve already looked at job applications and how to write a CV on our site. So it seems you’ve followed our tips and have landed yourself an interview! It’s exciting, but it can also be a little scary too. Sitting down in front of a hiring manager is your chance to sell yourself. So you want to be sure to put your best foot forward. It’s not a one way street however, as this is also a great chance for you to see you would actually like to work for this business. So although the focus of the interview will be on you, be sure to be making your own assessment of the hiring manager and the company and deciding whether the role is a good fit for you as well. 
To help you be your best in your next hospitality job interview, here are our top five tips for your next interview: 

1. Be Prepared

No doubt you’ll be nervous, and rightly so, but don’t let nerves get in the way of you presenting yourself as well as possible. The best way to do this is to prepare. Get familiar with the job description so you can tailor your answers in a way that shows you’re the best candidate for the role. You can demonstrate by using key words describing your experience of completing similar tasks in the past. You can also practice your answers for questions you can anticipate coming up in the interview. This way, you won’t be caught off guard entirely and can answer questions confidently. Coming across as confident, not arrogant, goes a long way in an interview. 

2. Present Yourself

The phrase dress to impress has never been more important than when it comes to job interviews. Although an interview for a hospitality role may not be as formal as a corporate position, how you arrive at the interview and present yourself is still so important. Firstly, arrive early. Aim to arrive 10 – 15 minutes early. Not only does this show that you are punctual, it will give you a chance to mentally prepare before your interview instead of rushing straight in. Make sure your chosen outfit is clean, pressed and professional. For males, a tie isn’t necessary but a button down short and a jacket if the weather is cool. Do not wear scuffed shoes or too much aftershave/perfume. 
When greeting the hiring manager, be courteous, smile and offer a firm handshake. Try not to be enthusiastic, just present a calm and positive energy. Finally, be yourself. Don’t put on a facade – afterall, they are looking to hire you, not a person you’re pretending to be. 

3. Actively Listen

Conversation is a two way street. During your interview, you want to show that you’re engaged, rather than simply hearing what is being said. Simple things such as nodding and maintaining eye contact when speaking will show that you’re engaged. Do not talk over the top of or interrupt your interviewer either. Wait until they’ve finished speaking before answering their questions or responding to their remarks. This is more than just simple manners, it’s a strong skill required in hospitality. You will need to listen to customers when they are making requests or orders, so showing you can listen and take in what is being said is crucial.

4. Ask the Right Questions

Throughout the interview, you will answer countless questions. This is all part of the process. However, there will always come a point for the inevitable ‘Have you got any questions?’ 
Responding ‘no’ will be a strike against you. Even if you feel you have all the information you need, a lack of questioning shows a lack of engagement and interest in the role. So, some good questions are: 
  • ‘What does a typical day/shift look like in this role?’
  • ‘Who will I be reporting to?’
  • ‘What is it that you like about working here?’
  • ‘What’s the company/team culture like?’
This window also presents a chance for you to gauge whether this is somewhere you would like to work! 

5. Have the Right Attitude

Your attitude in an interview is so important. Present yourself as calm, confident and professional wherever possible, whilst being the best version of yourself. Coming with a ‘hire me please’ or desperate attitude is not appealing. You want to show desire for the role without begging for it. Confidence is key, as if you can show you can fulfill the role easily it will impress the hiring manager. There is a fine line however between confidence and arrogance, try not to cross into the latter as this will not reflect well on you. 
Following these tips, you’ll be ready for your next interview. Our final tip, although not in this list, is to be positive. The right job is out there for you, it’s just a matter of finding it. Should an interview not go your way, chalk it up as the wrong job for you. 
Keep your head up, keep practicing and you’ll land that dream hospitality job! 

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