Great, you’ve got that job interview - Congratulations!
At Hospitality Jobs UK, we want you to know that it is quite normal to feel nervous about going for a job interview, so we want to ensure you are prepared for any interview before you go.
To help you prepare, we’ve put together some tips & advice on how to get the best out of your interview, from interview preparation, planning your journey, to questions you may be asked at the interview, through to obtaining feedback.
These tips will help boost your confidence and chances of a successful interview and will leave a lasting positive impression to your potential new employer.
The best answers are the ones which are said ‘clearly, honestly and positively’.
You may be asked some very generic structured questions:
- Tell me about a situation where you have used your initiative
- Give me an example where you have given excellent customer service?
- Tell us about a time when you have had to deal with a difficult member of staff?
What motivates you?
We would suggest you answer this positively e.g Career development, opportunity to learn new skills, work colleagues, promotion.
How would you describe yourself? / How would others describe you?
Be honest and pick your best attributes e.g. Excellent team player, motivated, innovative, keen to support and develop colleagues, happy.
What was your greatest success? How did you achieve it?
You should try and pick an achievement that is related to their needs
Work through an example.
- This is what I did
- This is how I did it
The outcome was – e .g Cost savings, delivered a project within a certain timescale, business or team benefit or service level agreements were reduced etc
What has been your biggest failure?
Try to pick an example that you were able to correct and overcome
Do you know how to motivate other people?
Hopefully you can say “Yes”, and say that you have to find out what motivates a person and give them recognition for a job well done. You should always give them encouragement and help them when required.
Tell us about a time when you have worked under pressure?
Think back to a time when you have been in this situation and talk through it and how you dealt with the pressure. You could ask how much pressure the job involves.
How long do you think it would be before you were making a significant contribution to the team/company?
If you think that you could contribute from day one then say so. Then turn the question round on them and say how soon they would expect it.
Tell us about a time when you have increased sales or profits in your role?
If you have increased sales and/or profit then do not be afraid to shout about it e.g. General downturn in the market, etc. It might then be a good idea to mention an achievement in a previous job if your performance was better there.
Tell us about how you have reduced costs within your role?
If you have reduced costs say so – companies are always looking for ways to reduce costs.
Why did you choose a career in …?
Be positive about your reasons. If you have changed careers make a logical argument as to why you did so.
Why are you changing careers?
This question will only be asked if you are making a radical change in your career. Always stress the positive aspects of the change rather than the negative aspects of your previous career. Say why you think you will be good in the new career – this should come from your experience and achievements, stress the transferable skills you have, such as leadership ability etc.
Explain the organisation structure in your last company and how you fitted into it?
This sort of question may be used to find out whether your old job is at a comparable level to your new job. If the new job being discussed would be a step up the ladder you will need to show that you are ready for a more demanding position. You may be able to show that you have already had many of their responsibilities and the necessary skills that would be required for the next step.
What are you looking for in a new job?
Make sure your answer fits in with the company who is interviewing you. A suitable reply would be that you are looking for a new job where you can apply your existing skills and learn new ones.
What would your ideal job be?
Again, remember where you are! Describe the job in terms of the criteria they have used to describe their job. An ideal job might include things like challenging work, nice colleagues, good career prospects, good team atmosphere, opportunity to learn new skills, apply old skills, etc.
Are you considering any other positions at the moment?
If you are say so, but do not give too many details away – it will weaken your negotiating position later. If you do not have any other job offers at the moment just say that you are looking for the right opportunity.
How has your career progressed?
If you progressed faster than normal you should say so. If growth was not as good as expected then be careful how you phrase this.
What sort of manager are you? / What makes a good manager?
Again this is a very personal answer. Ideally it is someone who listens to other people and can delegate whilst maintaining overall control of the task at hand, bringing in the project on time and to budget. Good planning skills are essential.
What management style gets the best results out of you?
Try and think about how you have reacted to different managers and which factors have motivated you.
You may be over qualified for this position?
Tell them that you feel that your extra experience would enable you to make a bigger contribution sooner.
Are you prepared to relocate?
If you are, say so. If you do not want to move then you do not have to accept the job – try and come across as someone who is positive.
What are you currently earning?
You have to be very careful when answering this question because once an interviewer knows your current salary they will try and fix your next remuneration based on this figure. This may be satisfactory if you only wanted a modest rise in salary and your current salary is in line with their salary range, but, what if your current salary is substantially lower than the rate for the job, or if you want a substantial salary rise? In these cases you would be best advised to say that you do not really want to prejudice yourself by being too high or too low. Ask if you can discuss this later after the responsibilities for the job have been discussed; you may also want to ask them what the range for the job is (if you do not already know).
What level of salary are you looking for now?
If you are applying for a specific vacancy you could ask them what the salary range is. Once they have answered you could say “I think my experience would place me at the top end of your range, don’t you?” If they ask you this question fairly early on in the interview you could delay answering by saying “It is hard to discuss salary without first knowing a little bit more about the job and the responsibilities”.
The interviewer may ask further probing questions for any of the above questions
- What was the situation?
- What difficulties did you have to overcome?
- How long did the project take?
- Who did you report to?
- Who did you support?
- Were did you get your ideas from?
- How did you achieve this objective?
- How successful were you?
- Looking back what did you learn from this situation?
- How did you feel at the time?