Congratulations! You’ve written and re-written your resume, posted it on countless job websites and applied for dozens – if not hundreds – of positions. And now, finally – finally! – you received the call you have been waiting for. They want to interview you for the position!
Once the euphoria has worn off its time to get to work preparing for the interview. While every situation is different and approaches vary from industry to industry there are some common interview questions you can prepare for.
In the first of two parts we take a look at the anticipated questions for the graduates of our Hospitality Training Program.
- Tell Me About Yourself?
This is a great time to talk about your experiences in this field. What approach you would bring to the position.
However, the old adage of “all work and no play” also applies. No interviewer expects someone to say that work is the sole focus of their life. Yes, you are eager but let’s get real. You are not going to work 24/7/365. You have passions and interests outside of your work life. Pick one or two and be brief.
The interviewer is trying to see what kind of person you are. That said, look for outside interests that are broad in nature. Saying you enjoy volunteering at your kid’s school or that you enjoy reading history novels is probably better than saying you spend your off time playing fantasy football.
- What Do You Know About This Position?
You did do your research, right? You’ve been to the website, studied the company and read (and re-read) the job description. Your level of preparation goes a long way towards telling the interviewer how focused you are.
To say, “As I understand the description…” is an acceptable way to preface your comments. Do not be afraid to ask questions. Check on your response with the interviewer by asking: “Am I on the right track…”.
If you read the job description, it would also be smart to incorporate some of the responsibilities of the job into your response thereby demonstrating that you understand the position.
- Why Do You Think You Are The Right Fit?
This is the time to toot your own horn. Feel free to talk about your skills and how they translate to the position. Be specific. Highlight your accomplishments. At the same time make sure your answers fit the context of the question.
Remember, the interviewer is looking to see how you “fit” the job. The easier you can make her connect the dots the better your chances will be. If you have never had a similar job before, highlight responsibilities from other jobs you’ve held that have transferable skills or knowledge, like project management or just working in hospitality regardless of the position.
- What Did You Learn In The Hospitality Training Program?
While this is specific to our Goodwill graduates companies will ask you about your training and experience. There are two opportunities here.
First, talk about the specifics of what you have learned. Demonstrate a working knowledge of the skill sets you have acquired. Show a working knowledge of industry jargon.
At the same time, talk about what you have learned about yourself. How have you grown in the program. What perspective have you gained about what it takes to succeed in the industry.
- What Position Are You Interested In And Why?
Warning! This is a potential trick question. You are challenged with the need to balance your desire for this position while showing how much you want to grow and rise within the company.
The best thing to do is begin at the beginning. You are being interviewed for a specific position. You want that job! Talk about what makes that job appealing to you.
Then, you can talk about the company and how you hope to grow from and evolve as you gain more experience and success. Interviewers will be looking to see if you just see this as a temporary stepping stone or the beginning of a long journey.
Every interview is uniquely different. Your mission is to stand out and be remembered. You want that call back! Next week, we’ll look at an additional group of commonly asked interview questions.
In the meantime:
- What are some of the questions you have encountered in your interviews?
- If you’re an employer, what kind of responses are you looking for and what other questions do you commonly ask?