The job of a manager in the hospitality industry is never done.
An increasing complex environment, the 24/7 nature of the work, the digital age driving the necessity for instant response or action, health & safety, budgets, staff counselling, endless administration, oh and I nearly forgot, guests…need I go on?
Whether it’s the GM or a departmental head, there are always a thousand things that they need to be doing to stay on top and ahead of the game.
So, when HR calls and tells them that they have 5 candidates to interview for that position that has been vacant for 2 months, it’s probably the last thing that they want to hear!
As a candidate, motivated, keen and ready to be interviewed for this seemingly fantastic job, all of the above is potentially very good news!
Most managers hate interviewing and see it as a time-wasting chore given the other demands on their precious time. What’s more, many lack either the training or desire to conduct a successful interview, so for the prepared candidate, this is a fantastic opportunity.
As you ready yourself to sit down in front of the interviewer and subject yourself to endless and pointless questioning about your strength and weaknesses, describing your last conflict with your boss, or who would win a fight between Batman and Superman, do you want to know what’s going through the interviewer’s head?
It’s pretty simple really, they want to know the following: –
Can you do the job?
Will you fit in?
Will you love this job?
Address these three issues in your meeting and you are well on the way to getting that dream job…
Can you do the Job?
This is the key focus in most interviews. Does the candidate have the technical skills, background and experience to do the job? Do they have the right personal characteristics? Do they have the management and leadership skills? If anything is lacking, is it a deal breaker or are we able to train, guide or mentor them to reach the required level in an appropriate time?
So much of an interview is taken up to try and find out this information and frequently this is not fully established due to poor interview technique. As a candidate, understand this, so you can prepare to reply to these questions by telling the interviewer what they want to hear. Sell your positives, and if there are negatives, address these head on rather than wait for the awkward, or frequently more difficult, questions you know the interviewer has written down.
Will you fit in?
First and foremost, the hiring manager/interviewer will ask themselves “can I work with this person?” “Is this candidate someone I can get on with or are we going to clash?” If the answer is no, then no matter how good or how suitable you are, it is unlikely you will be selected.
If yes, then they will then ask themselves, “will this candidate fit in with my current team?” Does this person have the characteristics required to complement and/or enhance the current team?
Good managers try to ensure balance in their management team, both in relation to the skills and personality types required, so you need to present yourself in the most appropriate fashion to meet these needs.
Remember, in more cases than not, the most likeable candidate is hired from a group which have similar skills. These are candidates that are likely to develop harmonious relationships rather than conflict in the team.
Will you love this job?
It is a widely held belief that people who love their job will find a way to be successful in it. They will have the drive and enthusiasm to go that extra mile that the unmotivated never will. They find ways to get through challenging situations, be happier and have a positive aura that will impact on other team members.
This can be the one of the most difficult things to assess at an interview when you have just met and have limited time, so the ability to present passionate, positive energy, and talk about the reason you love your job is a must to lever into the discussions.
So, as you approach your next interview, keep these simple points in mind – address these successfully and you are already part way to your next career opportunity…
About the Author
Tim Johns is a former Hotelier and Managing Partner with Elite Search – a leading hospitality recruitment firm. For more information about Tim and Elite Search visit http://www.elitesearch.com.au and The Elite Hotelier http://www.elitehotelier.net