How to Land a Restaurant Manager's Job - The Do's and Dont's

There are several ways to land a restaurant management job. Most of them follow common sense. But climbing the ‘Career Learning Curve’ is full of mistakes and blunders you wish you could forget. There are some skill sets that people never learn until after they have landed the job and gained some experience. These ‘intangible’ skills are the things that separate skilled restaurant managers from people trying to break into a management position.

One of these intangibles is the ability to control a situation, even if you are not in the room. Restaurant managers have all the responsibility but very little of the hands-on work.

This requires a skillset that most people don’t even consider when career planning. When you walk into a job interview, the Hiring Manager is more interested in your ability to manage the situation than what is written on your resume.

How do you confidently manage a meeting, presentation, or job interview without using behaviors or body language that can stall your career or cost you a promotion?

One of the biggest indicators of a manager’s ability to take responsibility and control situations is whether they tell excuses. This causes a problem for job seekers. Once you start making an excuse, or trying to explain why it wasn’t your fault, then it is too late.

The Message Map is a Powerful Communication Tool

The message map is a tool that you want to learn how to use long before a job interview. This is a tool that helps professionals collect their thoughts, and stay on track when communicating.  There are several advantages to this.

The message map creates a visual display of your story on a single page. You can use a white board or paper iPad or laptop.

Step #1 What Is The 1 Overlying Message You Want To Convey? 

Most mistakes are caused because what one person says isn’t what another person heard.

Learn to summarize your message in a twitter type message that focuses on one important point and no more than 4 sub points. Now that you’ve written down the points you want to say, rewrite the message so that your audience wants to hear what you have to say. This applies for business meetings and job interviews. Keep these points ‘important’ to your audience.

For example, you need the kitchen to reduce wasted food. You craft an excellent motivational speech with some solid solutions. The kitchen staff only hears that you are making their job harder. When this happens repeatedly the conflict increases, and the amount of food wasted in the kitchen may not be reduced.

Step #2 Do Not Be Emotional

Once you create the blueprint you can direct the conversation without becoming emotionally involved. This is especially important when you need to avoid defending yourself.  Do not own the problem. Do you need to eliminate the problem or the consequences of an action, which caused a problem? Think carefully about this.

Step #3 Connect to Your Creativity

This may seem impossible in a job interview, and it can be unless you practice. What you need to understand is that there is a difference between creativity and ‘making something up.’  Your creativity is what inspires you. It is your motivation.

Your creativity is what gives you the power to make things happen.  Just think ‘Steve Jobs.’ He says ‘creativity is just connecting things.’ He turns ideas into tangible products. You are a product that needs to be sold. Your consumer is the person you are talking to.

One mistake that many people make is only focusing on the practical aspects. Steve Jobs took Calligraphy in college. It had no practical application, but later it became part of the fonts on Mac which caught people’s attention.

Step #3  Learn to Say No

In American culture the person who has the power to say no is the person who is in charge. If you want to psychologically tip the balance in your favor then you need to learn ‘how’ to say no in a way that empowers you without creating negative consequences.

This can also include knowing when to say no.  A smart manager learns how to negotiate and take control without needing to start a fight.

How To Apply These Skills in a Job Interview

If you can master these things communication skills then you will be able to control a conversation.

Once you can do that you will be able to enter a job interview confidently. You will be able to handle the most stressful questions and face the most devastating problems without being bullied or forced to defend yourself.

Once you can do this you can avoid excuses in the job interview and your new management career.