Five Star hotel interview? How to be a Five Star candidate.

If you’ve been working in the hotel industry for a while, you’ll be looking to further your career at some point, and what better way than to make the step up to a five star hotel? Jose Ruiz, HR manager at The Berkeley Hotel, gives some ideas on what to expect when you interview for a five star hotel position.

 

Q: How different is the interview process for the service industry as opposed to, say, an office job?

A: I wouldn’t say it’s completely different, although in the service industry the emphasis is firmly on personality and behavior. At our hotel, the recruitment process involves various stages, including interviews, a competency-based questionnaire and, for some positions, a technical or practical trial.

The process may vary slightly depending on the position applied for. For example, an application for a management position may involve up to five personal interviews. While this may sound excessive to some, we believe that it is critical to find the right person. This process also gives the candidate the opportunity to meet various people within the organisation and gives us the chance to understand the candidate’s values and motivation.

Q: What do you look for first when you get a resume?

A: Generally speaking, I look for experience first, although qualifications are important and would account for about 40% of my decision. Specifically, I look for experience in a similar environment where customer service (both towards guests and staff) is evident. I need to also see a commitment to a career in hospitality, such as a relevant hospitality qualification may indicate.

Finally, we invest heavily in learning and development initiatives that aid our succession planning strategy; therefore candidates who can demonstrate a focus on their own personal development and career progression are more likely to do well during the interview process.

Q: When you like a candidate’s resume, what process do you go through?

A: I often carry out an initial screening interview by telephone, which will help me assess the candidate’s communication skills and also understand the candidate’s interest in working for our hotel. During this initial chat, I also try to find out about the reasons why the candidate may want to leave their current employment. Provided that the telephone screening goes well, I then invite the candidate to attend formal interviews in the hotel.

Q: And what happens next?

A: I confirm the date and time of the interview and invite the candidate to complete an online competency-based questionnaire in advance. The questionnaire is yet another recruitment tool used to assess candidates against an agreed set of job competencies.

Q: What sort of questions do you ask at this stage?

A: During the personal interviews, we rely quite heavily on behavioral questions that help us understand how the candidate behaves in certain situations. Competency-based interviewing goes by the principle that “past behavior is a good indicator of future behavior”. It goes without saying that I also look for candidates who demonstrate high levels of customer care.

Q: So can you run me through what happens on the first interview?

A: The first interview would normally be with a member of the HR team and will start by engaging the candidate in conversation to put them at ease, followed by an overview of the interview process. This helps the candidate see the bigger picture and also helps us set expectations regarding both the recruitment process and the timescale.

The next part is the interview. As I explained earlier, we rely quite a bit on competencies and many of the questions will be based around the candidate’s previous behavior when dealing with specific situations. This initial meeting will normally last between half an hour to one and a half hours, depending on the position being applied for.

Q: If they’re successful at the first interview, what happens at the second?

A: The second interview would normally be with the manager they would be reporting to. This interview will go into more detail about the specific competencies and skills relevant to the department. For example, candidates may be asked to critically evaluate the processes they’ve used in the past. They may also be asked for examples of situations that they think demonstrated great service.

For certain positions we also want to understand the candidate’s level of technical knowledge, whether this may be the check-in process in front office, the service steps in food and beverage, or existing skills as a trainer.

For us, it’s also important to understand why the candidate wants to work at the hotel. We are incredibly passionate about our product and people and we want to make sure that future recruits are too. If they simply want a job, they will probably not be successful, as we’re looking for people who can add to and integrate with the culture at our hotel. I’m looking for someone who is dedicated and enthused by the hospitality industry in general but who also shares the strong values of our organisation. We’re looking for what we call “a Hotel person”.

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  • Hospitality Recruiter Helps Find Me a Job!

    Chris Giles was very helpful throughout this whole process. First he helped me get my resume polished to send off, he was very patient with me during this. I was very busy with my job search and interviews, but he always made sure to follow up if I didn't get something back to him and was always patient with me. Once we had my resume updated he got it sent off and set up my interviews, he was very helpful in coaching me and making sure I was prepared for the interview. Chris was always there to answer any questions I had and touched base frequently as we were waiting to hear back about things certain things. If I hadn't heard back from one of the hiring departments he would contact them and I would hear from them later that day. Now after getting hired and starting the training program he checks in with me weekly to see how things are going and provides a listening ear if I need to vent about anything. He has been very encouraging and has helped me be more confident going through this hiring  process. Thank you Chris!   Charissa Hahn     Have a Hospitality Recruitment Specialist work for you for FREE Hospitality Recruiter Helps Find Me a Job!
  • I would like to thank Frank Rondeau for leading me through all the steps required to land  a great job opportunity. Frank took the time to ask questions about my career goals and personal plans to create a personal resume, based on my career and work experience, in order to connect me with a great job fit for myself- and for my future employer. The end result was getting my interview process handled, and giving me appropriate advice on how to handle the interview for it to be successful... and it sure was. Thank you Frank and Patrice and Associates for helping me get started on this exciting next chapter of my life! -Elaine Garcia   Started on this exciting next chapter of my life!
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    Karl was the best asset in securing my new position. He was there coaching and teaching me every step of the way. I have been working in the food industry for 20+ years and this is the first time I have used a recruiter. I have been on both ends of the hiring process and Karl has helped to know what people are looking for and what I should be looking for when hiring new employees. I look forward to meeting Karl and shaking his hand. If needed I would seek Karl out again!         Mahmoud Elkhyati         Need help with your resume – Have a Recruitment Specialist help you for FREE       Hospitality Recruiter Can Help You Find a Job!
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    My interactions with Mr. Richard were professional. He was very accommodating to my wants in needs when it came to the company I was looking to become a part of. I had tried myself to obtain a position with this company, but I was not able to do so on my own. With Richard's help I was able to land the position.  He kept me in the loop when it came to every interview that I had from beginning to end and kept me very upbeat and positive about the experience. I believe this is how a head hunter or recruiter should perform when dealing with clients very professional and had integrity in everything that he did.     Albert Jones     Hospitality Recruitment matches YOUR skills with the perfect job Hospitality Recruitment Works!
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    Daniel was a great help to me on my job search. From the first time I was contacted by him I felt he was here not only to help the company find the right candidate but he was there to make sure I was right for the position.  Daniel is very persistent when he is working with you.  He knows that time is of the essence and he helps you adhere to a very strict timeline to be successful.  Daniel is there for you when you are feeling unsure and is always available to discuss just about anything.  He has a wealth of FOH & BOH knowledge and that really put me at ease because I have not met many recruiters with FOH & BOH experience. Talking to someone who has been where you have been really puts you at ease!  I am very appreciative that I had the chance to work with Daniel on this occasion.  I am thankful he was understanding, attentive, communicative, and seems to generally care about you as a person and a perspective candidate! Katherine Woods         Career Coaches that help you for FREE Hospitality Recruiters Are Here to Help