How to win at Interviews

How to win at Interviews

Langley College’s Higher Education HND Business and Foundation Degree Tourism and Hospitality students recently welcomed Jade Humphrey from JWH Hospitality Solutions to the College for a seminar focussing on employability skills – ‘How to win at interviews’.

Introducing Jade...

Jade has over 30 years’ experience of working within sales in the hospitality industry and now works as a specialist consultant. On top of this, he has a passion for supporting individuals to positively develop their careers and employment prospects.

His fantastic seminar was too good not to share! His advice and feedback has relevance to all industries and highlights comments that are typically made by employers following job interviews.

Here are his top tips for success!

Interpersonal and communication skills

People buy people. In the same way that we choose our friends, based on good, strong relationships, business relationships are often developed on the same basis.

We all like to be treated kindly and with mutual respect - good manners are essential, will be noticed and go a long way to securing success within the workplace.

If you are communicating with an employer ahead of an interview by email, remember to structure your emails politely and professionally. Begin your email by addressing the interviewer by name e.g. ‘Dear Matthew’ or ‘Dear Mr Smith’, or even Hi Matthew. Be sure to check your spelling and remember to take your time in responding to ensure that your response is polite, appropriate and has the right tone. We have all misread the meaning in a text or message, don’t let a rushed response ruin your potential success.

Be a quality candidate

Employers will often talk about those candidates that really stand out from the rest. Tailor your CV to the role you are applying for, focussing on why you’re the ideal candidate and arrive on time for your interview, dressed appropriately, ready to impress. Your CV must be factual and 100% accurate.

Try to remember the name of your interviewer (through the nerves!), have a firm handshake and make good eye contact.  All of these things will be noticed and demonstrate confidence.

Be prepared. Take the time to research the company, have some questions ready to ask at the end - these could be about something you have seen on their website, about the role itself or about why the company are so great to work for. LinkedIn and Google are invaluable tools.

Be sincere and show that you are keen to work for the organisation. Remember, never chew gum during an interview, avoid smoking right before as the smell will follow you into the room and linger on your breath and make sure that your phone is turned off or on silent. Ideally, keep your phone out of sight!

Practise makes perfect

Interviews are scary and nerves can get the better of all of us. Prepare some standard answers ahead of time. Interview questions will often be related to the person specification on the job description, so check these beforehand and think about examples that will help you to show that you have the relevant experience that the interviewer is looking for.

Ask if you can bring a notebook in with you. This will enable you to jot down any questions you may have during the interview, or that you would like to ask about at the end.

Don’t be disheartened if sometimes things don’t go well. Interviewing is a skill - reflect on the things you could have improved on for next time and don’t be scared to ask the company for feedback on where you could improve.

Take as many opportunities as you can to attend interviews, the more you experience, the more confident you will become.

Most importantly, interviews are a two-way process. They are checking you out; you are checking them out. Both of you are potentially making a huge investment of time and resource in each; it has to be right and feel right.

Remember that hotels offer diverse career opportunities from business functions, maintenance, through to health and fitness. You never know where an expression of interest in working for a company may lead you, so don’t be afraid to enquire about job opportunities even if they are not promoted.

If you are in Level 3 and thinking about your next step, gaining a Higher Education qualification is a great way to develop your employability so make your application now.

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