Most Common Post-Job Interview Mistake
If you’re like most hospitality job seekers, you’ve spent numerous hours preparing for your job search. It takes time to research employers, perfect your resume, and prepare your responses to dozens of tough job interview questions. The investment is always well worth it—particularly when all that diligence leads to a face to face meeting. However, those who have been successful in their pursuit of hotel and restaurant management positions have learned that a dazzling verbal exchange doesn’t guarantee a job offer. You must also avoid the most common post-job interview mistake: neglecting the follow up.
How can anyone from a new management program graduate to a seasoned executive chef tackle this task correctly? Consider the following suggestions to help you woo your next potential employer and secure that job position.
1. Ask about next steps.
Before you leave the job interview, ask the hiring manager if you will be required complete a second interview, testing, or any other evaluation before he or she makes his or her final decision. You should also inquire about the timeframe for filling the position. It’s important to understand what the hiring manager’s plans are—whether they need a sous chef who can start next week, or if he or she intends to fill the front office manager position next month—so you can follow up at appropriate intervals.
2. Ask for a business card.
It will be easier to follow up if you have the essential details. Exchange business cards with the hiring manager so you have his or her phone number, email address, and business mailing address. Let him or her know that you intend to follow up with them soon—and state a timeframe for doing so.
3. Send a thank you within one business day.
One 2011 survey found that 86 percent of employers viewed not receiving a post-interview thank you negatively. Most felt it showed a lack of follow-through by the applicant, a flaw hospitality employers would like to avoid in hotel general managers, as well as restaurant kitchen managers. Whether you communicate by email or snail mail is less important than the message you send. Take the time to reiterate your qualifications, mention specifics from your discussion, and thank the professional for his or her time.
4. Be a man or woman of your word.
Do you remember when you told the hiring manager you’d be following up on that shift supervisor job? Don’t forget to do so. Whether you told him or her you’d call next week or check back in ten days, note it on your calendar. A call is best for facilitating a dialogue about your chances. If you do not reach the employer by phone, you can always follow up with an email.
5. Don’t be afraid to ask why.
So you just learned the employer didn’t select you for the dining room manager or executive housekeeper job. You can still gain valuable insight from one final follow up. Contact the hiring manager—email is probably best this time—and politely ask for an explanation. You may learn that you can improve your chances next time by obtaining additional education or experience. You can also reiterate your interest in working for the hotel or restaurant and ask him or her to consider you for future opportunities.