The interview is the most critical part of the hiring
process. If you want the job to be offered, you must demonstrate your
value. This is your chance to show the company that you are the right
person for the job. Your future depends on a total stranger's impression
of you as an employee and as a person. Generally, you only have 15
to 30 minutes in which to convince the interviewer that their search
stops with you.
However, in order to impress them in the interview,
you need to be prepared. It is essential to arm yourself with the
skills and tactics necessary to sell yourself and not sell yourself
short. In order to do this, you must be ready to present your "best
you", and that begins with doing your homework. Of course you
know your industry, but how well do you know it in relation to the
job you want? Should you be thinking locally, regionally, or nationally?
Is the company more interested in customer satisfaction or in the
bottom line? To answer these questions you need to hit the books.
You should always keep up with the current trends
in the Restaurant and Hospitality Industry. Trade magazines like
Nation's Restaurant News, are a great resource for looking at how
companies are doing in the industry and how they compare to others.
Look for articles that relate to the companies you are interviewing
with. There are also several books available in local libraries,
which can help you research the company's history. You might also
consider the Internet as a great source of information. Most companies
have their own web sites and often have a mission statement or a
set of goals available. Remember: The more you know about the company,
the better your chances of getting the position.
to focus on the direction you want your career to go within the industry.
Learn not only about the organization and the market, but make an
effort to learn about yourself as well.
Know your strengths and weaknesses.
After all, if you don't know what you're selling
in the interview, you can be certain that the interviewer doesn't
"What do you have to offer?"
Consider what you have to offer the
company in these specific areas:
• Building Sales
Keep in mind the contributions you have made in
these areas at your other jobs and what you are willing and able
to do for this company. Plan on being able to demonstrate how you
will fit the organization's needs. You need to be proud and confident
of your past accomplishments and be able to relate them to the interviewer
without being boastful or self-deprecating.
Skills that are essential for the
Hospitality Industry are:
to Motivate and Lead People
Food and Labor
Computer skills, although not essential, are always a plus. If your
computer skills are lacking, consider a short course at a local
college or library.
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10 attributes listed below are some of the qualities that companies
try to ascertain from a Candidate. These are just a few of the things
they try to learn in an interview, from a resume and from your references.
You Results Oriented
Follow Through Skills
You "Hands On" Or Not
next step in preparation is to make certain that your references will
validate your strengths. Even if the interview goes great, if your
references do not confirm that you are indeed their dream employee,
you will not be called back. To make sure this does not happen to
you, follow these guidelines for references:
include your reference list with your resume, unless it is specifically
Try to have a minimum of four references,
the more the better. You need to have a minimum of 2 bosses and
References can be a boss, client, co-worker,
The majority of your references should have
direct knowledge of your work performance
Let your references know that they are on
Give a copy of your resume to your references,
which may be used as a guide
Make sure that your document
is up to date with telephone numbers and e-mail addresses
When you are hired, make sure to send a thank
you to your references
If you anticipate a bad reference
from a former employer, try to nip it in the bud. Tell the interviewer
that you had a problem with this particular boss, but refuse to
elaborate and instead concentrate on aspects of that job which you
did well. Also, try getting in touch with your former employer and
make amends. Let your former supervisor know that you are pursuing
a new job and would appreciate a fair reference in spite of the
differences the two of you had.
If you were fired from a job, try to minimize the
damage by writing a reference statement. The statement should be
about one page long, outlining your job performance with positive
statements. Ask your former boss to read and accept this statement,
revising it if necessary. Try to get at least two positive references
from other employees within that company to counteract the damage.
Most importantly, do not dwell on a negative reference.
Concentrate on those good references and be confidant that the truth
about your performance as an employee will become known.
that you know what you want, your strengths and weakness, and your
references, it is time to start working on your resume.
A good resume cannot get you a job but a bad resume
can prevent you from getting the interview and without the interview,
there's no chance of getting the job. Since your resume is your
primary marketing tool for finding a better career opportunity,
extra time spent on its preparation is a good investment. All resumes
should be accurate and truthful and should highlight your strengths
The best way to explain the "rules" of
resume writing is to explain what you should always do and what
you should never do.
your resume on standard size white bond paper
your significant accomplishments at each of your jobs
Always use short
Always keep it
simple, preferably one page in length
read your resume and have others proofread it, too
Always use a
plain font so it is easy to read
Always use plain
English. Stay away from multi-syllable words when a one or two syllable
word is clearer
Always use bullet
statements when appropriate. It is more readable and tends to stand
your resume before every interview - chances are the interviewer
Avoid the first
person pronoun ( ie. I, me...)
Save the details
for the interview
list references on a resume
your height, weight, or remarks about your personal appearance
Never use exact
dates; months and years are sufficient
Never have extraneous
pen or pencil marks or correction fluid on your resume
salary information on the resume. Save it for the interview
Never list your
high school or grammar school if you are a college graduate
your present employer's telephone number
Never state 'References
Available on Request'. It is assumed that you will have them
Never give a
reason for termination or leaving a job on your resume. You are
better off explaining it in person
interview is the employers chance to size you up. They are looking
for the right person to fit into the company and someone who can excel
at the job. They are also concerned with your reliability and motivation,
so now is not the time to become shy and demure.
If you really want this job: show it! Let your enthusiasm
and motivation show through in your demeanor and attitude. Remember
that positions in customer service rely more on communication skills
than on technical skills.
Before the day of the interview, make sure you know how
to get to the interview location. Make sure you have a telephone
number to the interview location, just in case something happens.
Check your route at the time of day you will be driving it so you
know how long it takes in traffic. Check your clothes for tears
or stains and take them to a dry cleaner if necessary. Make sure
your brief case is clean and tidy, and carry only the necessities
inside. Also, make sure you get plenty of sleep the night before
the interview and wake up a little early to give yourself extra
time. Also, don't forget to bring an umbrella-just in case. Be there
15 minutes early.
In your briefcase, carry...
Several extra resumes and a list of references
An industry magazine or company literature
Paper and pen
Hints to Remember.....
Be polite to the office staff, their impression
of you may be important
Be willing to make small talk if they initiate
Don't smoke prior to the interview
Use good posture
Do not chew gum
Shake hands firmly
For good or for bad, your appearance makes a strong statement about
the kind of person you are and where you are going. In the job interview
your dress conveys success, trustworthiness, intelligence and suitability.
Therefore, it is extremely important to dress well for your audience.
Remember that as soon as you walk in the building you are in the
spotlight and how you look and act is a critical part of the audition.
For starters don't neglect to:
shave and style hair neatly - avoid a lot of hairspray
beards and mustaches neatly trimmed
nails trimmed and free of bright polish
light on perfumes and aftershave
breath mints - especially if you smoke or drink coffee
flashy or excessive jewelry
sure shoes are polished and heels less than 2 inches
sure you clean your glasses
It is important to choose your outfit carefully, leaning toward
the conservative when in doubt. Try to buy wool or wool blend fabrics,
avoid loud colors and prints and be sure that the outfit is cleaned
and pressed. It also never hurts to carry a spare shirt, tie or
pair of pantyhose just in case.
CLOTHING TIPS - MEN
Conservative suit, navy blue or medium
to dark gray, but always be clear on what the company thinks is
Long sleeved shirt, button down collar, blue
Silk tie matching or complimenting in color
Black dress shoes and over the calf dress
Don't have a pack of cigarettes in your shirt
CLOTHING TIPS- WOMEN
Skirted suit or pants suit- gray,
navy or tan
Silk blouse- light and solid in color
Mid heeled pumps- black, gray or navy
Non textured, natural colored hosiery
VOICE AND BODY LANGUAGE
Your voice, enunciation and mannerisms
are all waiting to betray you. If you want to succeed in the interview
you must present a polished image and that includes the unconscious,
as well as conscious, details:
to speak in a low tone - it makes you appear calm and self-assured
the pace of your speech, not to slow or fast
to achieve a good volume - not too soft
try to sound confident and knowledgeable
good, clear enunciation
the "creepers" out - y'know, like, really, uh, um, err
not talking, close your mouth
Body Language - Do These
frequent eye contact
your hands out of your pocket
Body Language - Don't Do These
your arms or feet
with your hair
your throat repeatedly
your lips or nails
In the interview, be prepared to
tell the interviewer why you are the perfect candidate for the job.
Be prepared to back these statements up with facts and instances
from past performance. Show confidence in your self and your abilities,
but if there is something about which you are unsure, say so. Express
your uncertainty but focus on your willingness to learn and uncover
the answer. Be able to project the image that the company is looking
for by being professional, honest and sincere. Be sure to take notice
of your surroundings so that you may make relevant small talk with
the receptionist or interviewer.
Remember- the interviewer is interested in three
Can you perform the job?
Do you fit the company?
Are you a reliable, motivated employee?
telephone interview is the trial run for the face-to-face interview
and is an opportunity you must not bumble; your career and prosperity
may hinge on it. You must be prepared to handle the situation to win
the real thing - the face-to-face meeting.
Being prepared for a telephone interview takes organization.
You never know when a company is going to call once you start your
career search. Usually the call comes at the worst of times, when
you are walking out the door to go to work, or at 8 o'clock in the
morning when you are sleeping late. You can avoid being caught completely
off-guard by keeping your resume and company dossiers by the telephone.
The most obvious point to remember is: During the
Interview, the company has only ears with which to judge you, and
that is something you must overcome.
Take a surprise call in stride. Be
calm and ask the interviewer if he or she could wait a moment while
you close the door. Take three deep breaths to slow your heart down,
pull out all the appropriate information and your resume, put a
smile on your face, and pick up the phone again. Now you are in
control of yourself and the situation.
You should always refer to the interviewer by his
or her surname until invited to do otherwise.
Allow the interviewer to do most of the talking
- to ask most (but not all) of the questions. Keep up your end of
the conversation - this is, after all, a sales presentation. Be
factual in your answers. Brief yet thorough. Beware of giving yes/no
answers. They give no real information about your abilities.
Take notes. They will be invaluable to you in preparing
for the face-to-face meeting. If, for any reason, the interviewer
is interrupted, jot down the topic under discussion. When he or
she gets back on the line, you can helpfully recap: We were just
discussing . . . It will be appreciated and will set you apart from
A little flattery goes a long way. Admiring the
company's achievements is, in fact, admiring the interviewer. Likewise,
if any areas of common interest arises, comment on them, and agree
with the interviewer when possible. People hire people like themselves.
Remember that your single objective at this point
is to sell yourself and your skills. If you don't do that, you may
never get the face-to-face interview.
Take The Initiative
The telephone interview has come
to an end and you are asked whether you have any questions. Ask
any questions that will improve your understanding of the position's
requirements. By discovering them now, you will have time before
the face-to-face interview to get prepared.
If you have not already asked or been invited to
meet the interviewer, now is the time. Take the initiative. "It
sounds like a very interesting opportunity, Mr. Jones, and a situation
where I could definitely make a contribution. The most pressing
question I have now is, when can we get together?"
Once the details are confirmed, finish with this
request: "If I need any additional information before the interview,
I would like to feel free to get back to you." The interviewer
will naturally agree or give a contact you can call to answer any
further questions prior to the face-to-face interview. Don't take
advantage of it. One well-placed phone call that contains two or
three considered questions will be appreciated; four or five phone
calls will not.
Things To Remember
smile during a telephone interview - it improves the timbre of you
a phone interview like you would a face-to-face interview
directly into the telephone
not smoke, chew gum or eat during a phone interview
sure your answering machine message is appropriate and professional
your roommates, family, or anyone else who may answer your phone,
to answer courteously, in case a potential
employer is calling
you aren't feeling well, ask the interviewer to schedule a time
when you can call back
all calls in a friendly and energetic manner
friendly, yet professional
courteous to the employer's staff
factual in your answers. Brief yet thorough
The most difficult, and usually the longest part of an interview,
is the question and answer period. The interviewer is attempting to
find out if you are a good fit for the company and if you have the
skills to do the job.
Focus on your accomplishments
and skills which relate to the position.
When asked about your
salary expectations, express your needs in a range which gives you
room to negotiate.
BASIC INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
DO discuss strengths
which relate to the position.
DO find ways to turn a weakness into a strength.
DO know what your strengths and weaknesses are.
DON'T discuss strengths irrelevant to the position.
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
DO speak realistically.
DO mention short-term goals and how they relate to your long-term
DO express the desire to eventually move up the ranks.
DON'T discuss strengths irrelevant to the position.
Why should I hire you?
how your strengths could benefit the company.
DO show your enthusiasm for the job.
DO give examples.
DON'T fall into giving cliche answers.
DON'T convey the impression that you aren't hard-working.
What is more important - money or the job itself?
DO convey your
desire for the job.
DO admit money is an issue for everyone.
DO affirm your certainty that the company will pay you what you're
DON'T convey that money is everything.
DON'T mention your desire to purchase a new luxury yacht.
Tell me more about yourself.
DO respond in
relation to the position's duties.
DON'T offer a long-winded life history.
Do you consider yourself an overachiever? Explain.
an example where you went beyond the call of duty.
DON'T be overly
modest or boastful.
Who was the best
and worst supervisor you have worked for and why?
it in the context of work.
DO stress the positives
of the relationship.
DO stress that
you learned something from every boss.
your prior bosses.
your prior company.
More common Interview
If I were
to call your former supervisor, what would he or she be likely to
say about your performance?
Why did you leave your
Describe a typical day
on your last job.
What was the biggest
problem you faced on your last job and how did you solve it?
What did you like best
about your last job?
What did you like least
about your last job?
What is it about our
company that appeals to you?
How do you feel about
your career progression?
What are some of your
Asking Your Questions
an interviewer will invite you to ask questions at some point in
the interview. If you have questions at any time in the interview
don't hesitate to ask them, as long as they are relevant to what
the interviewer is talking about.
Don't ask questions about
money, benefits or vacation time before a deal is offered. Focus
questions on the position and it's duties as well as how the position
fits into the department and/or company.
Samples of what
to ask ...
What are the Company's long-term plans?
What are the key responsibilities of the position?
What is the potential for advancement?
Describe the corporate atmosphere / culture. (Casual dress,
What is the next step in the interview process?
What training will I receive and where?
Can you describe a typical day?
Do you know the location that I will be sent to?
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to preparation and perseverance the interview went extremely well
and the company offers you a job. Don't make any hasty decisions.
It is flattering that the company wants to hire you, but before you
commit to anything find out the particulars.
Ask the company to spell out the terms of the offer.
Now is your chance to ask the questions that you couldn't ask before.
Find out about the salary, bonuses, when are they paid, vacation
time, benefits, relocation package (if you have to move), and all
the other perks.
Some Other Key Issues to Handle
• Don't ask for less
or more than market value for the position.
• When the interviewer offers
a non-negotiable pay figure discuss the frequency and range of raises.
Tell the company that you would like
to think the offer over until the next day or whatever time is resonable
for the position. Let them know you want to discuss the offer with
your spouse, because you want to make the right long-term decision.
You need to expect a counter-offer and prepare yourself
for it. Here are the typical reasons that counter-offers occur:
• IT IS MUCH CHEAPER TO KEEP YOU THAN LOSE YOU.
There is always a considerable expense when someone leaves. It is
costly to train a new employee.
Your company runs the risk of others following your lead. Understaffed
restaurant management teams are not happy restaurant managers.
UPPER MANAGEMENT FROM LOOKING BAD. Everyone has an ego.
Your manager is being evaluated by their ability to retain staff.
REALLY GOES THROUGH A BOSS'S MIND WHEN SOMEONE QUITS?
1. This is one my best people. If I let him/her quit now, it will
wreak havoc on the morale of the restaurant.
2. I'm already short one manager and I don't have another one right
3. This will disrupt the entire vacation schedule.
4. Maybe I can keep him/her until I find a replacement.
Here's what you'll most probably
This is really disappointing
after all the things we have done for you.
will really affect the restaurant. How can you do this to them?
we just can't tell you everything that's happening. I guess now
must be the right time, you just got promoted.
raise was just approved.
going to work for who? Then they proceed to bad-mouth the company
you are going to.
YOU'LL NOTICE EVERYTHING IS CENTERED ON THEM
OR BASED ON A FUTURE PROMISE.
about the Counter-offer
70% of the people that take a counter-offer
leave within one year. They quit for the same reasons they originally
left for or they got fired.
It's always better to leave on your terms, not theirs.
Any situation in which an employee is forced to get an outside offer
before their present employer will suggest a raise, promotion or
better working conditions, is suspect.
Counter-offers are usually nothing more than a stall
device, to give your employer time to find a replacement.
Your reasons for wanting to leave still exist. Conditions
are just a bit more tolerable in the short term because of a raise,
promotion or promises made to you.
Decent well-managed companies don't make counter-offers
. . . EVER! Their policies are fair and equitable. They will not
be subjected to COUNTER-OFFER COERCION or what one may perceive
Having once demonstrated your lack of loyalty (for
whatever reason), you will lose your status as a team player and
your place in the inner circle.
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it is time to resign, you should think about the following:
an appointment with your boss to resign, don't explain the reason
for requesting the meeting, and do it in person
sure you are alone, the door is shut, and that you will not be interrupted
Tell him/her that you have reached a decision and that you would like
his/her respect and support of that decision
in a written letter of resignation
him/her that you are giving a 2 week notice
him/her that you are not interested in a counter offer
them know you will work hard for your last two weeks
him/her what, if anything, you should say to your co-workers about
him/her for the association that you have had with them and the Company
You should remember that it took the threat of
leaving to get the Company to address your concerns. A sad commentary
for your Employer; the new Company is offering those things without
ever having seen your work.
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