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Hospitality Interview Tips

Are you ready to make an impact?

How to Walk in Confident and Prepared for Your Interview


Before the Interview

  1. Make sure you know the correct date, time and location of the interview. Now, double-check it! Prepare your route to arrive 15 minutes early (account for traffic during this time of day). Hiring managers expect this 15-minute early arrival from top candidates.
  2. Research the company. Start with its website and get to know its products and/or services, awards, reputation, size and location. Visiting social media pages will give you a look at how they talk about themselves and what topics are important. Be able to talk about what you’ve learned about the company during your interview.
  3. Wear a business suit, unless the recruiter tells you otherwise. Dress to impress, polish your shoes, go easy on any scents like aftershave or perfume.
  4. Prepare (ahead of time) 1-2 questions about the organization to show your interest in the opportunity. Bring extra copies of your resume and work samples (i.e., a training manual you developed) that pertain to the job.
  5. Feeling nervous? Practice with a friend or family member who will give you honest feedback. You can also rehearse your answers in front of a mirror.
  6. Turn off your phone before you walk into the building and put it away.

During the Interview


  1. Promote yourself as the best candidate for the job by highlighting your experience, accomplishments and desire to grow.
  2. Site specific, recent examples to support answers to the interviewer’s questions.
  3. Bring a notepad and take notes. 
  4. Make eye contact when speaking and listening.
  5. Remember the interviewer’s name and use it a couple times during the interview.
  6. Present your credentials with positivity. You should be honest about shortcomings but maintain focus on your strengths.
  7. At the end of the interview, ask for a business card or email address. Send a “thank you” email to everyone you interview with at the company. Let them know how interested you are in the position.


After the Interview

  1. Be sensitive to cues that the interview is over, but don’t leave before expressing your interest and enthusiasm about the organization and the opportunity.
  2. Thank the interviewer for his or her time and consideration before you leave. Ask about the next steps in the process and follow through on your part right away.
  3. Write thank you messages after your interview and send them promptly. Express your interest in the position, mention something you discussed during the interview, and thank them for their time.

Interviewing DON’TS


  1. Don’t fail to show up, cancel that day or arrive late for an interview — for any reason. If a real emergency arises, call the interviewer and your recruiter right away.
  2. Don’t forget to switch off your phone before the interview.
  3. Don’t begin the interview with any negative remarks, like “it took forever to get here” or “it’s really stuffy in here.”
  4. Don’t over-explain or defend your shortcomings. You’ll sound like you’re making excuses. Everyone has weaknesses. Accept them and focus on your strengths.
  5. Don’t be or sound uncertain, unfocused, or scattered about your career preferences. No, you won’t just “take anything” — even if you are in desperate need of a job.
  6. Don’t sell yourself short. Brag. Don’t leave the room without the interviewer(s) knowing the skills and talents you bring to the table.
  7. Don’t bring up salary unless the interviewer does.
  8. Don’t stick to yes/no answers. Elaborate when possible. Vague answers will end the interview quickly.
  9. Don’t chew gum or smoke.
  10. Don’t use obscenities or too much slang.
  11. Don’t disparage employers, employees, professors or anyone else for that matter. Positivity, especially when it comes to other humans, is a better stance.
  12. Don’t turn hostile, annoyed or angry if the interview doesn’t go well — for whatever reason. Maintain a professional manner.
  13. Don’t do a phone interview while driving or multi-tasking in any way. It’s rude to the interviewer, diminishes your ability to focus, and can be dangerous.
  14. Don’t expect to be hired on the spot. It rarely happens.
  15. Don’t expect instant success. For many reasons, some candidates go on many interviews before they get the right match.


Common Interview Questions You Should Be Prepared to Answer

  1. Why should our company hire you? What could you bring to our company?
  2. What would colleagues in your current company say about you, right now? What would they miss about you?
  3. Name the three most important qualities you’re looking for in a new job.
  4. Why are you looking for a new opportunity right now?
  5. Where do you see your career going? (Think 3, 5, 10 years down the road.)
  6. Describe your most significant contribution to a project or company goal.
  7. Tell me about an unexpected problem you’ve confronted, how you tried to solve it, and explain the outcome.
  8. Have you ever set a long-term goal (professional or otherwise)? What was/is it and how have you set yourself up to work toward and achieve it?
  9. Discuss a time you worked to create or improve a product or service.
  10. What’s your approach to organizing your workday?
  11. What is one of your weaknesses?
  12. Tell me about how you would maintain a congenial relationship with a colleague whose opinions differed from yours.
  13. Why do you want this job?

Questions You Can Ask During the Interview


  1. Describe your training program. Where is it located and how long is it?
  2. How are employees reviewed, given feedback and promoted?
  3. What do the first 90 days look like? What expectations do you have for new hires?
  4. What characteristics does a successful person possess in this organization?
  5. How much travel is normally expected?
  6. Can I see the place I would be working if I were hired?
  7. For whom and with whom would I be working?
  8. How much supervision would I receive as a new hire?
  9. Why is this position open?
  10. What does the company’s future look like? Is it growing, moving, changing?
  11. What is the next step in the interview process?

What people are saying about Gecko Hospitality

"...always had a great working relationship and good success..."

“We have always had a great working relationship and good success with the folks at Gecko as well as the candidates they have provided us over the years.”

Bamba Admin
"...Gecko saved me the time and frustration I usually encounter with the hiring process..."

Gecko Hospitality helped me fill a unique position in a fraction of the time it has previously taken. Chris used his extensive resources and knowledge of the hospitality industry to provide us with multiple, qualified applicants. Gecko saved me the time and frustration I usually encounter with the hiring process and filled the position within weeks.  I will definitely use them again.

Marla Neely | Vice President – Special Events, Foundation For The Carolinas
"...this team found exactly what I was looking for..."

I had the pleasure of working with Chris Shatto and Gecko Hospitality and had a great experience from beginning to end. The process went smoothly and the communication was direct and thorough. This team found exactly what I was looking for and would highly recommend their services for myself and for my hotel.  Thank you Chris and Gecko Hospitality!

Schuyler Clark