Managers are always working towards a better job. Your employer knows this, even when they are hiring you. The hospitality industry is no different, but being careless can stall, or ruin your career. There are mistakes that can keep you from reaching a six figure income, or breaking out of the entry level management positions.
Do not undervalue continuing education. Keeping up with the best management strategies, human development, and software is better than trying to cram in a few conference crash courses when you see the red sigs that your current job is coming to an end.
Keep your CV or Resume up to date on a yearly basis. A resume that is updated continually has a flow that it doesn’t have when rushed, or written by a resume service.
- Have an Opinion
Like in a beauty pageant, you’ve been asked your opinion because the job interview professional wants to hear how you handle questions/problems under stress. It is more detrimental to your career to avoid answering questions, or offering a politically correct/ambiguous reply.
- Extra Copies
Have extra copies of any paperwork you sent in the job interview. This may include your CV, Resume, Cover letter, or other documents. Many managers have walked into the room to find 2 – 5 people on the job interview panel. Yes, they all may have a copy of your resume. But, without being condescending, offering a copy if anyone needs one is a way to show that you are accustomed to being prepared.
- Sitting Before Being Asked
This is another one of those subtle ways that an experienced job interview professional may test whether you are experienced or not, is to start talking friendly without asking you to sit. They are waiting to see how you handle the situation. Will you stand submissively and wait? Will you interrupt? Will you sit without waiting? What if someone else is standing, or getting coffee.
If in doubt wait until there is a paus and ask, or at least use a hand gesture to politely ask if you may sit.
- Body Language
Have you learned how to walk confidently? Are you fit? Can you sit without ‘plopping’ into the chair? Can you get up without shifting or heaving your weight? Are you physically fit enough to sit calmly, and confidently, for one hour?
It takes a lot of muscle to be able to act confidently without showing stress or fatigue through an entire job interview.
- Don’t Ignore the Gate Keepers
Your job interview starts when you get out of your car. Never assume that you are not being watched. The higher level the job is, the wider the circle. Don’t even be surprised to receive a ‘reminder of appointment’ call to see how you answer a phone.
Walk into the building as if you are already entering the job interview room. Walk tall and confident but be polite to everyone you meet. You are already ‘on stage.’
Do not think that there isn’t a ‘code’ the receptionist will use to introduce you that will alert the interview team to whether you passed the gate keeper, or will be shot down.
That said, do not sit down in the reception room and then pull out your phone. Wait patiently. In fact, to be safe, turn your phone off when entering the building.
- What is the right answer?
There are dozens of answers for each question asked at a job interview. The ‘right answer’ depends on what is most important to the company hiring, whether you are applying for the managers position, or another job posting.
For example, ‘what would you do to improve job safely.’ You may have some great ideas. Maybe you had a great idea at your last job which reduced accidents in the kitchen, or loading docks by 20%. But, is this what an investor is interested? This may impress a middle level manager, if they are holding the job interview. But what if the interviewer answers to the general manager?
Do you know the safety codes?
What are the labor board laws in your area?
Are you familiar with insurance limitations and expectations in your industry?
Do you know what the company’s current program is? Maybe they have an excellent program in place which is outstanding in their field and they want to know if you are aware of their success.
- How Do You Handle Stress
Don’t fall into their trap. You will be baited. Resist the urge. One of the most common ‘traps’ is trying to catch managers disparaging your past employer, or a colleague. Don’t worry about telling the interviewer that you have taken stress management courses and have a life coach – show them.
- Work with a Recruiter and Career Coach
A recruiter will help match managers with the right job. A Career Coach will help you answer the inevitable Team Work and Leadership Questions. Remember that these are part of your behavioral interview, not job interview.
Behavioral questions probe your background. But they don’t want to know ‘What’ you did. They want to know ‘how’ and ‘why’ you used your skills and education. In fact, they want to hear you use those skills that you listed in your resume as ‘most valuable’ or mentioned earlier in the job interview. Behavioral questions demand answers in very specific detail.
You’ve prepared. You are a qualified Management Candidate. You bought a new outfit in the latest style. Your shoes are not five years old. Neither is your leather-bound notebook or case. You are ready, so the time for worry and stress is over. It is time to impress.