Interviews

Job interviews are an important step to convincing a potential employer you would be a great asset to their company. While they can be a stressful event, a little preparation will go a long way in helping you quell your nerves and help ensure your interviewer will leave a good impression of you. Review the following tips to learn more about how to ace the process, and get started on your hospitality career.

Before You Go

Before going to your job interview, you should take some time to learn more about the company, some of its important staff members, the nature of its business, major competitors and other relevant facts. Educate yourself so you are more comfortable with what you know about the business for which you could soon work. Practice answering a few possible questions as well but watch that you don’t memorize your answers too much or you could sound rehearsed in your job interview.

Appearance

Hospitality careers call for professionalism and your interview will, too. Dress for the part. “Appropriate attire supports your image as a person who takes the interview process seriously and understands the nature of the industry in which you are trying to become employed,” Virginia Tech explains on its website.

Timing

Allow yourself enough travel time to arrive at your interview a few minutes early. This way, you can be certain unexpected delays won’t make you late and you’ll also have some time to settle in and relax before the interview begins. If necessary, take a practice trip to the interview site so you know how long it takes to arrive there.

Don’t arrive more than 15 minutes ahead of schedule, however, Dave Sanford, executive vice president of client services at the Winter, Wyman Companies staffing firm, suggested in a Boston Globe article.

Body Language

Your body language during an interview is important, and conveys a great deal about how you may be feeling during the interview and the type of person you could be in the workplace. Avoid such behaviors as rubbing your neck, drumming your fingers, or rocking back and forth in your chair. Doing so can make you seem unfocused and disinterested. Crossing your legs and folding your arms across your chest can also make you seem closed off.

When visiting with your interviewer, keep good posture. Sit up in your chair, lean forward slightly to indicate interest and face yourself toward the person you are addressing. Gesture appropriately (but not excessively), and keep a comfortable distance between you and your interviewer. If you are interviewing with a panel of people, briefly look at others in the room but chiefly keep eye contact with the person who asked you the question.

Ask Questions

Interviewers frequently include opportunities for job applicants to ask questions as well. It’s best to have a few questions in mind beforehand so that this point in the interview, should it arise, doesn’t leave you “caught off-guard with crickets in your head,” Caroline Howard wrote in her Social Medea blog for Forbes.

Consider asking your interviewer how they would describe the best candidate for the job offered. When you hear his or her description, you possibly can find opportunities to explain further how you fit the ideal they have explained to you.

Also, ask how the interviewer sees the position for which you are interviewing as helping him in his own work. “Instead of more me-me-me talk, it translates to I’m-all-about-you,” Howard wrote. You convey that you are interested in learning how you can help your interviewer in his or her duties.

Not all questions are appropriate, though. Wait to inquire about vacation days, salary and other perks until you have received a job offer.

After the Interview

When the interview is over, shake the interviewer’s hand and express your thanks for his or her time. Send a thank you note after the interview, as well.


Last Updated: 05/23/2014

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