Hospitality Interview Tips 

Interviews can be daunting but we have a few hospitality interview tips that will help see you through and give you that extra bit of guidance that will make you stand out from the crowd. 


Have you ever been on a job interview and you’re asked: do you have any questions for us? On the surface, this may seem like your chance to find out more about the company, but really, it’s still a part of the interview that’s actually focused on you.


The interviewer wants to find out what you’re thinking, what your first impressions are and where your focus truly is.


Hospitality Interview Tips

Here are our 10 hospitality interview tips that you should talk about when the interviewer turns it over to you: 

1. Discuss Corporate Culture

The main objective of an interview is to determine whether both the candidate and the employer are a good fit. Discussing the company culture, mission and philosophy will facilitate this goal.  If the business model is not compatible with how you do business, find out sooner rather than later. Determine how best to fit in with the company and hit the ground running once hired.

2. Team’s Strengths and Weaknesses

Asking about your prospective team’s strengths and weaknesses (or areas for improvement) can helps determine where you will fit in and what you can bring to the table? 

3. Fixed or Flexible Schedule

Whether you are working for an hourly wage or salaried, what are organizational expectations about showing up at 9:00 a.m. on the dot? Is the culture more flexible as long as all work is completed? How often are extra hours, weekday evenings, and weekend hours required?  

4. Turnover Rate

A high turnover rate in a company may be an indication of trouble. It’s a good idea to ask about a company’s turnover and do some checking if the rate is high.

5. Room for Advancement

A new job can be very exciting. Staying in the same position for an indeterminately long time can leave you treading water in a lake of stagnation.  If you’re very career-focused and want to move up, this is a must-ask question. 

6. Temporary, Temp-To-Hire or Independent Contractor

While you may be excited about the position, don’t rush out and buy a house until you understand the nature of the position. Some positions are filled with independent contractors, or on a temporary basis, or a temp-to-hire basis where the pool of entry-level temporary employees is much larger than the limited number of positions available for hiring. 

7. Is business Travel Required?

Some people love to go globetrotting and travel constantly. Others, not so much. Wherever you fall in this spectrum, ask about travel expectations so there are no surprises when you arrive on the first day and are told you will be departing for the other country tomorrow.

8. Raise & Bonus Calculations

Find out if you get a raise annually, or if it’s based on merit alone. Both have their advantages, so find out. Also inquire about other perks and benefits that come with the job. 

9. Potential Relocation

It might be a shock to say the least, if you successfully complete three months of training, only to be told that you have to relocate. To avoid any surprises, find out up front if you will be asked to relocate, potential locations, how frequently, and moving reimbursement policy.  

10. Expense Reimbursement Policy

With a position that will requires extra expense, such as taking clients to dinner or driving across the state, consider asking about the expense reimbursement policy. Many companies have expense accounts for these purposes, but you don’t want to take any chances.

·      Salary / Benefits

Once you’ve proven yourself well qualified for a job during the interview process, you have to start asking yourself the tough questions. Do you have a strong desire to work for this company? What if they don’t offer quite as much money as you’d like? Is there a way to ask for a higher salary without alienating the employer?

It’s normal to feel nervous. But you can learn effective negotiating skills that will help you get what you want, need, and deserve in terms of compensation.

Here are our top 5 hospitality interview tips to help you work out if the role is for you:

1. Understand Benchmarking

You don’t want to waste your valuable time on a company that is never going to pay you what you’re worth. This means you need to understand how employers decide their salary levels and adjust your job search accordingly. Companies use a variety of benchmarking tools. These include comparing pay rates with:

  • Average pay at other companies in their industry
  • Average pay for professionals with your level of experience and education
  • Average pay for professionals in your field in their area of the country

Most employers who are interested in great talent will be in the upper quartile of their market when it comes to pay. However, employers have also figured out that paying significantly more than their competitors actually doesn’t motivate employees to stay over the long term. So, don’t expect to be able to negotiate for significantly higher pay than the norm – no matter how qualified you are.

2. Wait for It...

There’s an old saying “The first person to bring up money, loses.” Starting a discussion about salary prematurely sends a signal that you don’t place a high priority on being a good fit for a company’s culture – you just care about the almighty dollar. In the same way, if a recruiter brings up money right off the bat, it’s a good idea to smoothly change the subject so you can fully demonstrate your qualifications before talking about your salary requirements.

3. Negotiate Performance Pay

An employer who really wants to hire you but has limited resources may offer a lowball figure with the excuse “This is what we can afford right now”. If you want the job, ask if they would be open to discussing a performance based bonus. You could start by saying “Let’s talk about specific, measurable results that would improve your bottom line and increase my earnings.” Get any incentive pay agreements in writing during the hiring stage so your employer is committed to following through.

4. Don’t Just Talk Cash

Any discussion of salary should be about your total compensation. If the recruiter isn’t familiar with the dollar value of the benefits package the company is offering, you might ask to talk with their benefits specialist. Remember to negotiate for non-cash perks that might bridge the gap between your asking price and the employer’s offer.

5. Walk through It in Training

One of the best ways to prepare is by practicing. Practice a career coach who can prep you by role playing an entire interview including the salary negotiation phase. This process gives you the confidence to talk money with a potential employer without being afraid you are getting it “wrong”.

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