Ready, Steady, Interview!
So, your cover letter and resume have been accepted. Congratulations!
This is a tough first step to get through, and you’ve done it.
Now comes the interview, and let’s face it, competition can be tough. It may all feel a little overwhelming at first, and knowing what employers are looking for can seem impossible.
To make your experience easier and more successful, we’ve spoken to employers in the hospitality industry to find out what they’re really looking for in candidates.
First Impressions. These do count! A good haircut, clean nails, and fresh breath can make or break your chances of securing the job. Make sure you choose clothes appropriate for an interview; modest, clean, and preferably ironed. According to the business owners we interviewed, this might not seem such a big deal to you, but first impressions are the key to setting up a successful interview.
Just. Be. Yourself. A polished version of you certainly helps, but trying to pretend you’re someone you aren’t, will just not cut the mustard. It’s easy to spot a fake so relax, and be confident in who you are and why you’ve applied for the position.
Speak Clearly and Confidently. Engaging in small talk isn’t always easy, but it’s essential to know how to greet someone politely and professionally. Be ready to shake hands and always look your interviewer in the eyes, smile, and relax. They’re human too. And most importantly, remember to switch your phone off! Monique Lambert, a beachside café owner, says, “If their phone is on, then the interview is off!”.
Be Prepared. Your prospective employer may ask why you have chosen to apply for the position. Make sure you know the answer to this and respond clearly, honestly, and articulately. Perhaps you’ve just finished training as a barista, and you live in the local area and want to work within your community. Maybe you love working with people so being a part of a team in a busy restaurant would suit you perfectly. Or you could be looking to secure part-time work while you explore new places.
Customers Come First. Tim Stevens, Sydney café owner, says he wants his staff to think of the business and his customers before themselves. When you’re in an interview, make sure you consider the benefits you would bring to the business. For example, you’re friendly and sociable and like making people feel welcome.
When You Have No Experience. This is always a tricky one. So, what do you do? Firstly, honesty is key. Do not say you’ve worked with Gordon Ramsay if you haven’t but, do talk about your love of cooking and the hours you spent with grandma learning family recipes. Everyone has to start somewhere, and most employers appreciate this. During your interview, showing your enthusiasm and willingness to learn is essential to your early success.
Troop’s Fun Tip:
Practice Makes Perfect. Rehearsing your interview scenario with a friend can be both fun and help to take the edge off the big day.
Your future employer awaits, so brush up on your interview skills and put your best foot forward with Troop Employment.