How to rise above the pack in your hotel interview
You got the interview! Congrats. Now what? How are you going to make a “memorable” impression and get the job?
Your interview is like a performance. You have to make the right impression, dress the part, know your lines and be confident. If you sit there quietly, with your hands in your lap, answering only when spoken to, you likely won’t impress the hiring manager. But if you show that you’re personable, friendly, enthusiastic and prepared…. Well, this is the hospitality business. right? Warm, friendly and enthusiastic is what’s it’s all about.
Here are some tips to get you on track for a strong, memorable interview. Even though you’re excited and possibly nervous, being prepared and confident will make all the difference.
- First of all – Be on time!! Figure out how you plan to get to the interview and know what traffic conditions to expect, check the bus/train schedule if necessary and where to park. Make sure you know where you’re going and confirm the address, too.
- Dress the part – Even if you know that the hotel is casual, dress one step above that. Pressed and clean clothes, good shoes that shine and appropriate accessories.
- Do your homework so you know about the company culture. Check out the website and read about the hotel’s focus, amenities and accommodations and any special events they host.
- Bring along your resume and any other information that speaks to your experience, recommendations, samples, certificates, etc.
- Be confident – look interested and ask questions. Have some ideas about what you would bring to the position. Then listen attentively. Ask follow-up questions, ask about expectations, timeframes and what the hotel’s needs are.
- Sell yourself! – This is really where you’ll stand out from the crowd. Make sure you clearly convey how your skills and experience will meet the hotel’s needs and how they will benefit from hiring you. Spend some time thinking about this ahead of time and planning what you’ll say. Tell a story (a concrete example) about how you solved a problem and the happy outcome that resulted. What really interests you about this job? What talents and skills will you be able to share? What do you have to offer that is unique? How does that relate to this job?
- Always send a handwritten Thank-You Note – Do not skip this step. A handwritten note shows that you took the time to thank them properly – mention something you learned or appreciated about the interview and reinforce your interest in becoming part of the team. Make sure all names are spelled correctly and send it within 24 hours of your meeting.
The Bottom Line
To really make a lasting impression, you need to demonstrate that you understand the job, have the skills and experience and most importantly, how you will make a difference. Carefully review the job description and take the time to explain how your experience will bring something special to the position.
Show them you’ll fit into the company’s culture and are someone they’d like to work with, that you have the energy and drive to do the job and are passionate about customer service and the hospitality industry. Help them imagine you excelling in this position.