Receptionist; front of house; director of first impressions; or front desk executive: whatever the chosen job title, this role represents the face and voice of a business. Performing the critical position of delivering first impressions to a company’s clients, you need to be the best at manning your fort. So, how do you stand out
The hospitality industry is completely different to any other sector, so it follows that their interview process will be as well. If you’ve decided on a career in hospitality, it can be extremely flexible and rewarding, but the task of landing your dream role can be daunting. While the jobs in hospitality are varied, we’ve put together a few tips and tricks as to how to properly prepare for the process.
Know the business
It’s common for the interviewer to ask about your knowledge of their establishment, so make sure you’ve done your research. This will depend on your experience in the industry – if you’re applying for a hotel management job for instance, you probably have some exiting knowledge about the industry and where your prospective employer fits into the market. However, if this is your first role in the industry, you should find out information about the brand, their market-share, and any news that has come out in the press about the company. Another great way to conduct your research is to visit the establishment as a customer. Take a friend for support, but take note of what the staff in your future position are doing to get a feel for the place. This will make you more confident when you step through the doors for your actual interview, as well as give you a basic idea of the process in place.
Prepare your answers
If you have only ever interviewed in a corporate setting, you will be familiar with the kinds of questions a professional firm may ask. Some of these are transferrable, like those covering teamwork and problem solving, however most will be specialised to the place of work. If you’re interviewing for a hostess job, for example, you may be asked for specific examples of when you have dealt with a conflicting schedule or VIP guest.
When interviewing for a permanent hospitality job, it’s a good idea to prepare answers to questions like, “Tell me about a time when you displayed great customer service”, or, “Give me an example of a time when you responded well to an unprecedented difficult situation”. If you know a friend or family member in the hospitality industry, ask them to run through some of these common questions with you as they may be able to give you some help with your answers.
Dress to impress
As the hospitality industry has a large customer service component, it is important that staff are presentable and professional at all times. Your interview offers the first opportunity to make a great first impression, so our tip is to dress similarly to the prospective employer’s dress code. If the job is in a bar where staff wear all black, do the same when attending the interview. If you’re applying for a general manager job in a hotel, it’s a safe to assume that management will be wearing business attire. If you make an effort in choosing the right outfit, it can subliminally show the person you’re meeting that you will fit in to the existing workplace.
One of the traits that many hiring managers in the industry look for is stress tolerance. Your new job is sure to be fast-paced; you’ll also probably be dealing with a range of customers and clients. This can lead to some extremely stressful situations where you’ll have to think on your feet to get through it. One of the best things you can do is relax in your interview, so the interviewers sees a confident and prepared individual.
If you’re looking for a new role in hospitality, have a look at our active job listings and apply to your dream job today!