Interview Do’s and Don’ts is the third installment of the Get Hired Series.
This is it. The moment of truth. The time has come for you to shine and showcase yourself as the best applicant for the job!
What you need now is some Interview Do’s and Don’ts.
In the two previous articles in our Get Hired Series, we’ve discussed how to craft a resume that captures the eye of a hospitality hiring manager. As well as the things you shouldn’t do in a resume if you want to avoid instantly turning them off your application.
We also talked about the proper way you should dress for your interview to make the best possible impression on your potential employer.
Now, when it comes to the actual interview, what are some of the things you need to remember to do (or not do?)
Here are a few Interview Do’s and Don’ts to set yourself up for that winning, I-got-the-job moment:
Interview Do’s – Do your due diligence.
This means doing your research on the company you are applying for. This is an important step that a lot of applicants overlook.
Hiring managers will definitely favor an applicant who has some knowledge about the company over someone who has no idea at all what the company does or what it’s all about.
Here are a few quick ways you can familiarize yourself about the organization you’re trying to get hired at:
Visit the company website.
Make a mental note of pertinent information about the property. Such as the number of rooms and F&B outlets. Whether or not they have function rooms that cater to events. And any other amenities such as a pool or a gym.
You should also find defining features or facilities that the hotel wants to be recognized for.
These may be promoted as giving them a competitive advantage over other nearby hotels. Or it might be their prominent or desirable location offering great views. Or they may have national or international renown for excellent customer service.
What does the hotel take pride in? Find out and keep that information in mind during your interview.
Check Review Sites
Check out the hotel’s reviews on sites like TripAdvisor, Google and on online booking sites. You’ll be able to find lots of great insights based on the reviews. As well as the responses of the management on the feedback.
Check Their Social Media Platforms
Take a look at their social media to get updates on their current promotions. Learn how they promote themselves to their followers through such things as recent Industry or internal employee Awards. Or their insta-worthy hotspots. Also check out their customer feedback.
Mentioning these during your interview gives the impression that you are truly interested in becoming a part of their team. And that you are the type of person who does their homework!
Interview Do’s: Read through the job description of the position you are applying for.
The job description lists the roles and responsibilities of the position you are applying for. As well as the skills and qualifications they are looking for in an ideal candidate.
By re-reading the job description thoroughly and understanding what exactly the company is looking for, you will be able to think about the credentials you have that will match their requirements.
A job interview is essentially you trying to market yourself. The best way to do that is to be able to explain directly and confidently how you, with your skills and qualifications, are the perfect fit for the position.
Interview Do’s: Arrive early.
As they say, when it comes to job interviews, if you are on time, then you are already late.
You need to be at the venue at least 15 minutes before your scheduled interview.
This gives you time to go to the bathroom, freshen up, catch your breath. You will have time to review the job description again and familiarize yourself with the environment.
It will also give you time to observe the employees. Do they look happy in their Jobs?
Interview Don’ts: Don’t EVER be late for an Interview!
Being late for an interview (or even arriving just in the nick of time for an interview) is a surefire way to turn off your potential employer before they’ve even asked you the first question.
If you can’t make it on time for your job interview your other credentials won’t even matter. Because the interviewer already has a bad impression of you.
Prepare well. Allot extra time for your travel and for any mishaps that could potentially happen on your way.
Do yourself a favor by making sure you arrive early.
Interview Don’ts: Don’t leave your phone on during the interview.
If you absolutely must have your phone on, at least put it on silent mode!
And don’t EVER place your phone on the table or anywhere visible during the interview. This gives the impression that you are not 100% focused on the interview.
And if you can’t be 100% focused in an interview, what does that mean for you when you’re on duty?!
Cellphones should be out of sight during an interview, and must be turned off or on silent mode. Only then can you make sure it doesn’t distract you or your interviewer during the interview.
Interview Do’s: Do watch your body language.
Your body language says so much about you even before you get a chance to open your mouth.
Make sure to make a positive impression by the way you carry yourself from start to finish.
Do not slouch (or sleep!) in the waiting area. Maintain a good posture and be mindful of your facial expression. Smile and be friendly to everyone you come across. Maintain eye contact and offer a firm handshake.
All these things are very subtle but could make a world of difference to a hiring manager who is observing your every move.
Interview Don’ts: Do not lie or generously enhance your skills or experience.
When you want to get that job so bad, it can be tempting to pad up your achievements or experience. Or present an exaggerated version of yourself to look more impressive.
But whatever you do, do not lie. Not on your resume, and never during your interview.
The truth always has a way of coming out. And when you get caught in your lie is only a question of time. It may not be right away. It could be a few months or even years down the road.
Perhaps you get caught during a spot check, a disciplinary or department investigation. or, worse still when you’re up for a promotion?
Using fake or exaggerated credentials in an interview may get you the job, but sooner or later the truth will catch up with you.
Interview Don’ts: Don’t ever badmouth your previous employer.
Your interviewer might ask you about your previous job and why you left. More than wanting to find out about your job history, they may be more interested to see how you will navigate this question.
Absolutely do not talk about how much your previous job sucked. Or how much of a douchebag your previous boss was. Such revelations say more about you than it will about them.
They might assume this is a pattern for you and you will talk the same way about them in the future when it’s time to part ways.
Remember that your interviewers are trying to catch a glimpse of your personality during this short period of time. And that includes your ability to be professional, diplomatic and discrete.
If you find yourself faced with this tricky question, it is best to remain professional and respectful and to keep your emotions in check. Keep the vibe positive.
As far as your interviewer is concerned, every previous employment and experience you had in the past has taught you something valuable that has brought you to where you are today.
Interview Do’s: Do actively listen and keep your answers concise.
The challenge a lot of interviewers face is when applicants beat around the bush. They just don’t answer the interview questions in a clear or direct manner.
The trick is to listen well to their question. Then take a moment to think about your answer. And then respond clearly using examples from your previous employment experience to back up your answer.
Don’t be afraid to pause to compose your answer in your head. That is far better than rushing to answer and ending up rambling away.
Your communication skills are among the things your interviewer will be evaluating you on. Especially if you are applying for a position that requires direct interaction with guests.
So make sure to listen, consider and answer clearly and concisely, with examples.
Interview Do’s: Do prepare thoughtful, open-ended questions for the interviewer beforehand.
At the end of an interview, you will often be asked if you have any questions for the members of the interview panel.
Of course, we want to give the impression that we are quick to understand and have absorbed everything that has been discussed.
But don’t fall back on a knee-jerk response and say that you have no questions. Having no questions at all could make you seem unprepared or not really that interested in the job or company.
And don’t forget, you did all that research before the interview!
By having a set of questions about the organization or the role, you will be further illustrating your interest and desire for the position.
Plus, it will make you stand out from the sea of other candidates who all said that they had no questions.
Interview Do’s: Do end the interview on a positive note.
The impression you make at the end of the interview is just as important as the interviewer’s first impression of you.
They are equally crucial as these are two things that the interviewer will likely remember about you.
So, wrap up the interview nicely by giving a firm handshake. Look the interviewer in the eye and say, “Thank you so much for your time. It was a pleasure meeting you and learning about the role and the company. I am looking forward to hearing from you.”
Interviews are definitely nerve-wracking. Especially if you desperately want to get the job. But hopefully these Interview Do’s and Don’ts will help with some of those nerves.
By doing your part in making sure you are well-prepared before coming into the interview, you can significantly minimize those jitters and be able to present yourself more confidently.
This will increase your chances of presenting well and landing that dream hotel job.