What are Hiring Managers Really Thinking in Your Hotel Job Interview?
Job interviews are stressful situations. Not matter how much experience you have with meeting face-to-face with hiring managers, you’ll always second guess what’s crossing the other individual’s mind during the actual process just as he or she will also be trying to gauge exactly what you’re thinking in the moment.
It can feel like a game of “don’t blink first.” But rest assured: there are some givens as to what hiring managers are actually thinking when they’re interviewing candidates. Here are several realities that are really behind the questions that they ask:
“Help me help you.” Hiring managers have limited time and other responsibilities beyond interviewing job candidates. They want you to make this easy for them. If they’re interested in moving you into the next round of interviews, it will be because you’ve sold yourself to them in such a way that they can check all the requirement boxes and easily sell you to their higher ups in order to justify why you merit a second interview or even the job. But that will be based on what you say; they don’t read minds and won’t make assumptions based on your responses. So be articulate and choose your words carefully.
“Please be likeable.” The interviewer wants you to be personable and easy to relate to because even if you have the desired experience and skill set, they won’t graduate you to another round of interviews or offer you the position if you don’t come across as amiable and easy to get along with. You’ll need to put your best foot forward and exhibit a friendly and outgoing demeanor from the outset of the interview.
“Please don’t be overzealous.” Face it: no one likes a hard sell. So even if you’ve scored an interview with the hotel company or for a position that you’ve always dreamed of, do not vocalize this at the start of the interview. Instead, show some professionalism and wait until the end of the interview when the interview asks if you have any questions about the position or the company and use what information you have about the company or the job as a lead-in to ask an insightful question. Being overeager can come across as desperate and desperation never comes across positively.
“Spare me the narcissism.” Yes, you’re expected to sell yourself in an interview and you should. But don’t cross the line into boastful or arrogant. Giving authentic responses that still position you as the leading contender for the job is the greatest skill of interviewing. So the answer to “why are you the best candidate for the job?” is not “there is no candidate better than me because no one else can…,” but rather a more direct response that simply addresses the experience and skill set that is unique to you.
“Does he/she fit into our budget?” It’s uncommon for a salary or salary range to be disclosed to job candidates before or during the interview process. However, there is always a budget for the position. So when employers put the ball in the candidate’s court and ask what salary the person is seeking, respond with a range. Better still, cite a source like the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, on which you’ve based that range, factoring in your own experience.
“Ugh. Not another gripe session.” Remember that job interviews are not a forum in which to air your personal grievances with past employers, coworkers or even guests. Be discreet because a potential employer will see this as an increased likelihood of how negatively you will speak of them outside of the workplace. So when discussing how you navigated difficult moments in previous jobs or situations, be strategic about how you talk about those instances. The other person’s point of view should be relatable from a human perspective while you had the hotel’s interests at heart.
“Ask me something intelligent.” In the latter part of the interview, the hiring manager will likely ask if you have any questions about the position or the company. No matter what was discussed during the interview, come prepared with at least two to three questions that show: 1. You’ve done some research about the hotel or the hotel company and 2. You want to know more as it will relate to the potential position. Not asking a question signals that, now that the interview is concluding, you’re no longer interested in the job or that you haven’t taken the initiative and done any preliminary research. But whatever question you put forth should have some direct correlation to the position and the possibility for advancement.