The Top Interview Tips from Hospitality Recruiters

As hospitality recruiters, we want nothing more than to see the most qualified candidate get hired and to assist job seekers at every step. So, we’re just as frustrated as the candidate when they meet every experience requirement and pass all the screening tests, only to see a bad interview wreck their chances. Since most hospitality jobs have high levels of customer interaction, interviews are a vitally important part of the hiring process.

So, what can a candidate do in their next interview to make sure they leave a good impression?

Ask Questions

Then, listen! Studies show that candidates who listen more than they talk in an interview are more likely to impress. You don’t need to save your questions until the final “So do you have any questions for me” prompt, either. The first 10 minutes of an interview is the most crucial, so be proactive and start the interview by clarifying what they are looking for and showing your listening skills. Ask them what the top priorities will be for the person in this role, and what they need to accomplish in the next two to three months to be successful.

Yes, you should still do your research on the company before an interview, but seeing the interviewer’s point of view will give you a much better understanding of how you can fit into the company picture and what experiences you should highlight during the rest of the conversation.

Also, don’t be afraid to ask the interviewer about their own career with the company. This can give you a glimpse into the company culture and what internal support and learning paths the company provides employees.

Stick to the Facts

You want to make sure that you can speak accurately about your accomplishments, duties, and even job changes, so have a copy of your resume handy. There’s no need to recite every bullet point on your resume, but be able to briefly expand on your experiences most relevant to the position (remember when you asked about the role’s priorities earlier?)

Be Able to Tell a Story

Many hiring authorities, HR managers in particular, like to use the prompt “Tell me about a time when…” Here, you want to provide details and context to your answer but take care not to ramble. Make sure your answer tells a story with a definite beginning, middle, and end.

Be Smart About Salary

Especially in earlier interviews! These are not the best moments to have a salary negotiation. You’ll want to give the company a clear picture of the value you can bring before broaching the subject of specific compensation. Even if you’re asked about your salary needs, respond with a simple “My current base salary is this, and I am confident your company would pay fairly for my experience and the value I will bring to your company.” If you’re working with a recruiter, they will be your best resource in negotiating compensation packages.

Finish Strong

As the interview comes to a close, let the hiring manager know just how excited you are about the opportunity. Also, ask them what the next steps in the process look like, and when you can expect to hear from them. Finally, do not forget to follow up and thank them for their time, whether via email or a handwritten note. Just be sure to double-check for spelling and grammar.

Let Your Recruiter Help

Before you even get to your car, give your recruiter a call. Your memory will be the freshest on what went right, what went wrong, and what you forgot to mention. They can also get in touch with the interviewer and possibly smooth over any gaffs or missed opportunities. Also, utilize your recruiter to your advantage in helping to negotiate the best possible compensation package. An experienced recruiter will typically have more negotiation leverage with the employer than you do.

The best hospitality recruiters will provide the resources and expertise to help you put your best foot forward. The hotel and restaurant recruiters at Horizon Hospitality will do just that. Take the next step in your hospitality career today.


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