Interview Tips

Are you ready to make an impact?

How to Walk in Confident and Prepared for Your Interview

1

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

2

  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.

3

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

4

  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.

5

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

6

  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

Enje Brown | Managing Director of Operations – See Forever Foundation

My name is Enje Brown and I am the Managing Director of Operations for See Forever Foundation / Maya Angelou Public Charter Schools located in Washington, DC.  At present, we provide about 250 daily vended meals to all staff and students located at our 5600 East Capitol St. location.  We are in the final stages […]

Bamba Admin

“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.”

Marla Neely | Vice President – Special Events, Foundation For The Carolinas

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 […]

Schuyler Clark

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 […]

Aaron Engholm

Thanks for your dedication and response…I had a great experience with your company and I will recommend you to anyone in the search!

Thomas Self

It’s been great working with Gecko Hospitality.  They made sure to thoroughly educate themselves on our company culture before seeking out candidates for us, and since, their communication and follow-up has been impeccable from candidate introduction to selection process scheduling.  They’ve matched us with some great candidates that wouldn’t have discovered us through our own […]

Julia Li

We would like to recommend Gecko Hospitality! We were opening our G58 fine dining restaurant and needed a resource to attract top management talent. We contacted Gecko Hospitality and they shared a tremendous amount of information. They gave us references on resources to help with formalizing the interview process and making valuable recommendations. We received […]

Matt Calamari

We would like to recommend Gecko Hospitality as a excellent recruiting partner. We approached the Gecko office with the task of finding an Operating Partner to develop our new Poke Bar concept. We discussed the details with the Gecko recruiter. Their depth of knowledge in operations and the market helped in making valuable suggestions. We […]

Datra Herzog – Owner | The Inns at St. Albans

I was fortunate to be connected with Megan and Chris in my latest search for a General Manager at The Inns at St. Albans. We are a family-owned Inn operation that was needing a professional approach and additional staff to help us get to the next level. We were referred by a world-renowned luxury resort […]

Zachary J. Jaindl – Chief Operations Officer, Vault 364

November 16, 2017 To Whom It May Concern: In early 2017 I introduced “Vault 634”, a new venture under my umbrella of companies that would transform a historic bank building in the heart of Allentown, Pennsylvania into the region’s premier wedding and event venue. We decided to harness the property’s irreplaceable gilded age architecture and […]

Ricky Lyons – General Manager, Westwood Golf Club

I wanted to thank you and your company for the tremendous guidance we received on our recent hiring of a Food and Beverage Manager for Westwood Golf Club. Karl Ludeke was outstanding in guiding us through the process and made my job very easy. He culled through the candidates only aligning us with the candidates […]

Drew T. – McAnderson’s Inc. dba McDonald’s

We approached Gecko Hospitality more than a year ago with some very specific hiring needs. Joan and her staff listened to our requirements and has been able to send us some highly qualified candidates. I appreciate the thorough job of vetting the candidates to make sure we only see individuals that meet our hiring needs.  […]

Rob Duckworth

We enjoy using Gecko Hospitality’s recruiting services. As we grow and add more brands to our portfolio it is always good to reach out to Gecko Hospitality and gather viable management candidates. They do a great job providing us with talented management on an on-going basis but also helped when we opened our new casual […]

Ray Smith

I would like to take the time to send in some acknowledgement for Rob Wallace. I personally had the honor to work with Mr. Wallace while seeking out my next opportunity. Rob went above and beyond for me. Not the cliche “politically correct” above and beyond. But, truly Rob took his time to assist me. […]

Rodrigo Velazco

We were searching for a kitchen manager candidate and the normal job sites weren’t doing the trick. We were spending hundreds of dollars a week and couldn’t find any candidates worthy of interviewing. That’s when we decided to reach out to Gecko Hospitality. Joan from Gecko immediately made us feel comfortable. She was knowledgeable about […]

Aaron Campos

Pairing up with Gecko to fulfill our staffing has been extremely advantageous, not only for our management team but also for the high caliber candidates that we have been presented with. The professionalism in which they work combined with amazing responsiveness created a strong foundation and business partnership.

Anne and Rick Becker

I wanted to follow up to let you know how much we appreciate you connecting us with our new hire. We understand this is your job but we can’t tell you what a fantastically perfect fit he is for our GM role. We have had a very difficult past 4-5 years with various GMs that […]

Chris Abbey

Throughout my long-tenured career, I have known many recruiting companies and numerous recruiters. That said, I can honestly tell you that you preside over the best Hospitality Recruiting Company in the country. Rest assured, whenever my current company or others in my network need talent, or when industry professionals are looking for a job, I […]