One of the many things I do (I left it off of my blog header) is manage a seasonal restaurant. We open in barely two weeks so we've been busy interviewing and hiring staff for the season...which is the ammunition for this post!
I've applied for plenty of jobs...okay not that many, but thats only because I've been hired for pretty much any job I've applied for. I'm a people person, what can I say (plus I have experience putting the following tips to work!)
Anyways, after no less than 20 interviews a season....I've seen a lot of different interviewee types. As it's a restaurant, you can just imagine the range in personalities we see. So here, for all that may be in this terrible market looking for a job, are my own tips for being a "Must Hire" at your interview!
1. Do some research! ~ It blows me away that people would apply for a job without finding out everything about the company they are applying to work at! It is as easy taking 10 minutes to check out their website. In our case, peruse the menus and wine list. Read the newsletter. Check out the events page. You may find out that the company isn't someplace you are interested in working. If it is....you'll impress your interviewers by your found knowledge! In all our interviews, we only had ONE person who said they checked out our website. Yup, we hired them on the spot. Even if it just for schmoozing purposes, it shows that you took the extra step to learn more! One last point to this rant - if you ever sit down for an interview and have to ask what the company does....you will NOT get the job. This I promise you.
2. Dress & Look professional! ~ What I mean by this, in relation to interviewing for a position in a restaurant, is to dress respectfully. Put some effort into it. Wear your "nice" clothes and for goodness sake, spend some time on your hair and keep your makeup tasteful. It's time to leave your personal taste at the door and be more "vanilla" if you will. When you are applying for a "professional" position. Wear a suit. Even if the position is the Secretary, dress for the job you aspire to (which is of course, President of the Company...right?...It should be!)
3. Eye contact, Eye contact, eye contact! ~ pretty self-explanatory. If you're scared of your interviewer (or nervous), whatever it is.....don't you think we'll think you're scared of everybody! We are in the business of serving the public. It's rather imperative that you're able to talk to strangers. I shouldn't have to throw this in, but I will...SMILE!
and last but not least....
4. Ask questions! ~ Okay this one won't make or break your chances at getting the job...with us anyways. But you should prepare yourself with questions for any interview. Whether its as simple as what our expectations are of full time or part time staff. Or for other employers....if you've done the research (see #1), you should have come up with some questions easily. It all comes down to showing that you want to learn about the company and their expectations, challenges or goals!
It's a tough market out there...or so I hear. The only way to stand out among the masses of people looking for jobs, especially with the varying levels of experience, is to WOW them with your personality. You won't be the right fit for every position you apply for, but if you've done your research, you might know that already!
Best of luck to all of you currently on the job hunt! I hope my interview tips have helped...a little!