How to distinguish yourself during an interview with a hospitality employer
How many times have you left an interview confident that you were going to be hired—only to later hear the company went with someone else?
No, you’re probably not totally misjudging your interviewing skills. Even though you answered everything to the interviewer’s satisfaction, didn’t stumble or pause for too long, and used the appropriate body language, you didn’t get the job because you didn’t stand out.
In a competitive job market, it’s crucial that you distinguish yourself from the other candidates. Here are the top four ways of doing so in the hospitality industry:
1. Reference an experience with the company
Businesses in the hospitality industry are selling one main thing: an experience. Prove you understand that—and show your passion for the specific company—by talking about a specific experience you had with one of the company’s restaurants, hotels, casinos, cruise ships, etc.
This is most easily done in response to “Why do you want to work here?” or “What makes you a good fit?”
2. Wear the company colors
Incorporating the company’s signature tones into your interview outfit is a great way to both reinforce your interest in the job and prove you’d immediately fit into the workplace. However, that’s not to say you should wear their colors head-to-toe.
For example, if you’re applying for a position at Marriott (which has a crimson logo), you could wear a black blazer, black pants, and a crimson shirt.
3. Read the corporate blog
These days, almost every company has a blog. And for job-seekers, these blogs are gold mines: They typically contain invaluable information about company updates, culture,goals and press.
We suggest browsing the blog for two to four details you can mention during the interview. Maybe you read that the restaurant chain to which you’re applying just got a glowing review in a national newspaper—when you’re asked, “What draws you to our company?”, you could respond, “I’m eager to work for an organization that’s known for its high-quality food and service. Not only have I personally been impressed by your restaurant’s consistent delivery of those things, I know the New York Times is as well!”
4. Ask questions throughout the interview
By periodically asking questions throughout (rather than solely at the end, when your interviewers asks if you have any questions for them), you’ll make the interview feel more like a discussion than an one-way interrogation.
That’s actually really important. Creating a rapport with the hiring manager is one of the most effective ways to score the job, especially because most candidates can’t do it.
Wondering how to incorporate your questions into the conversation naturally? Turn the interviewer’s questions around.
To give you an idea, here’s a sample dialogue:
Interviewer: What’s your greatest strength?
You: I’m extremely calm and capable during stressful situations. It doesn’t matter if the septic system is broken, our website is down, we’ve got 10 people out sick, and the inspector is coming, I’m going to remain unflustered and fix the problem.
And yes, that situation actually happened to me at my last job—here’s how I handled it…
I’d like to know what strengths you think are important to this job.
Interviewer: Sure. Well, I think…
With these four strategies, you’re guaranteed to shine during your interview!