Early in her career, Patrice wrote a book and taught classes on how to land a job – covering everything from resume writing to interviewing skills. In this section she shares some of her vast knowledge which has helped thousands of people successfully land their dream job

 

Professional Dress Tips


You have 1 chance to make a first impression!
Talk to your recruiter before the interview, you can ask them about the dress code in the workplace and choose your outfit accordingly.

  • Don’t forget the little things. Shine your shoes, clean nails, no pet hairs, holes or stains on your clothes.
  • For men: make sure your shirt doesn’t look like it just came out of the dryer!  Pressed dress slacks and shirt.  General Managers should always wear a tie – preferable in a red tone.  A jacket and tie are optional for an assistant manager.  Starched Dockers are appropriate.
  • For women: professional attire – dress slacks or skirt.  Professional shoes.  Moderate make-up.

Compensation & Benefits

First interviews are a “get to know” interview. Unless the client asks you directly, never bring up salary and benefits on the first interview.

  • On the first interview you must convince the client that you can provide value to the company and you must show enthusiasm for the job.
  • If asked about compensation never use what we call a “hard” number. Simply state what you are making currently or in your last position, re-express your interest in the job, and simply state that you would seriously consider their best offer.
  • Listen to your recruiter. Your recruiter works with these clients every day and will inform you of a realistic range to expect from the company and for your current experience level.
  • We won’t send you out for an interview where the compensation package doesn’t fit the range you are currently receiving.
  • Asking for more compensation than your experience or the position warrants will swiftly eliminate you from consideration.
  • If you are currently unemployed, don’t expect an offer equivalent to what you were making. Sorry, but these are the facts of life.

Common Interview Questions

Tell me about yourself.” 
Don’t recite your autobiography. Instead, describe your greatest skills as a hospitality manager, accomplishments and qualifications as they relate to the job requirements. Indicate how you have saved them time and money or implemented any new procedures.

“Describe your strengths and weaknesses.”
This one’s a classic. Describing your strengths is always the easy part. Try to pick out a few strong points and back them up with specific examples, such as “why” you are a team player. Now comes the hard part. Zooming in on your weaknesses is never pleasant, so don’t dwell on them. And make sure to turn negative experiences into positive ones by reflecting on lessons learned. REFRAIN FROM BEING A “PEOPLE PERSON”. You can do better than that.

“Where do you want to be in three to five years?” 
This is essentially a hospitality career goal question. However, the interviewer might also want to see if you’re the type to jump ship in six months. Try and ease their concerns by stating your desire to progress within the position and company. PLEASE MAKE SURE THAT NO CONVERSATION OF RETURNING TO SCHOOL OR OPENING YOUR OWN RESTAURANT COMES INTO THE CONVERSATION. It raises a RED flag. This will only turn the company off. It will appear to them that you are not a long-term manager. LONG TERM goals need to include you working for the company with which you are interviewing and THAT is all.

“What made you decide to apply for this position?”
Briefly explain how your current restaurant management skills match the stated requirements for the position. Be sure to include how you were attracted to the organization based on what you discovered while researching the company.  Make certain you have visited the website and eaten in their restaurant recently.

“Describe your major successes or failures.”
Use the same strategy as in the strengths and weaknesses question. Recount scenarios and anecdotes about how you achieved success. On the flip side, downplay your failures by discussing how you used them to better understand a business challenge or life lessons.

“I noticed you have had three different jobs in the past four years. Why did you make so many changes in such a short period of time?”
If you have a history of job-hopping, employers are going to notice and ask about it. The best thing to do is focus on the positives. Starting with, “My boss was a total jerk,” is not a good way to get the ball rolling. Instead, say something upbeat like, “I was looking for a bigger challenge,” or “I wanted to enhance my skills.” If you were fired from a job, don’t lie about it; inevitably it will come back to haunt you.

“What do you know about XYZ Company? Or the industry in general?”
Once again, this is where your company research will come in handy. Make a positive impression by demonstrating your knowledge along with the fact you did some homework prior to the interview.

“What would your peers/boss say about you?”
Concentrate on positive relationships you have developed with various types of people from peers to management. Now is also a good time to site examples of how you have helped others or worked in a team environment.

“Tell me how you prioritize projects when you have several assignments due at one time.”
This question addresses your organizational skills. Be sure to give examples of deadlines you have met under pressure and how you accomplished the required tasks.

“Why should we hire you?”
This is one of the most basic questions. If you have prepared for the interview, it should be an easy one to answer. Tie together your top accomplishments and experiences relative to the position you are applying for, along with reasons why you are different from your peers.

“Based on our discussion, what questions do you have about the company or position?”
Hopefully, you took our advice when we told you about what to ask the employer. Even if the interviewer did a fantastic job explaining the facts, you should always have some additional questions to pose. Try personalizing it by asking what drew them to the company and their vision of where the corporation is going.

“What kind of salary are you expecting?”
It’s best to say “my recruiter told me the range of the position and I am fine with that.  I’m more interested in growing with your company for the future than what I will earn tomorrow.”

Interview Preparation

You have your job interview scheduled – congratulations!  Now it’s time to prepare and we’ve got you covered.  What’s the most important part of the interview?  The time you spend preparing for it.

  • Research the company so you can go into your interview understand the requirements of the job and what you bring to table that would benefit their organization.
  • For hospitality interviews – make sure you have visited the location and eaten in the restaurant.
  • Think about examples that showcase your accomplishments and be prepared to tell stories.
  • Practice! Actually practicing your answers out loud is a very effective way to prepare.
  • Your recruiter will give you actual questions to be prepared for and will role play with you to ensure your success!

Before the Interview

An interview is really an audition!

Be prepared! Before entering, take a deep breath. Relax. It’s Showtime! Put a smile on your face and walk in with confidence. Introduce yourself to whomever greets you and inform the person the reason for you being there.  Everyone wants to see the face their customer will see – friendly, relaxed and outgoing.

  • Make eye contact and always have a firm handshake.
  • Take a seat. Relax, but sit up straight. Don’t fidget. Act like you belong there.
  • Plan your schedule so that you can arrive 10–15 minutes early. Map out your route to the interview location so you can be sure to arrive on time. Consider doing a practice run. If you’re taking public transportation, identify a backup plan if there are delays or closures.
  • When you arrive early, use the extra minutes to observe the workplace dynamics.

Resumes

  • Format your resume wisely – list months/dates for all jobs. Explain any gaps in employment.  Include “reason for leaving” for each position.
  • Identify accomplishments not jobs job descriptions
  • Quantify your accomplishments – what benefit was there to your employer
  • One resume does not fit all – cater your resume to a specific industry and position

Always bring at least 2 copies of your resume. Often the employer is working from a faxed copy or has misplaced it or in some cases hasn’t received one.  Offer a clean copy to your interviewer. Keep the other copy in front of you to assist you in remembering dates and details as the employer goes through your resume.

You are going to do such a good job on this interview that the interviewer may want you to meet and interview with the next level of interviewer that day.

References

Have a typed copy of your references. Minimum of 3.

  • These must be professional references. Not your Aunt Sally who has always thought you have the most adorable dimples!
  • Provide names, position, company and phone number of each reference.
  • The less work you make your interviewer do in squeezing this information out of you as you nervously fumble through scraps of paper, matchbook covers, cocktail napkins, etc., just might have a bearing on your candidacy.
  • Don’t forget to inform your references that you are using their names as references and prepare them for phone calls verifying employment

Enthusiasm

Everyone likes the feeling of being wanted. Show enthusiasm!

  • Don’t appear to be what we in the business call a “shopper” or a “tire kicker”. The “What can you do for me?” approach to interviewing, even in this full-employment economy, gets you a quick exit to the front door. (Sometimes the back door, if you’re particularly offensive).
  • ALWAYS MAKE CERTAIN THAT THE COMPANY WITH WHICH YOU ARE INTERVIEWING FEELS LIKE THEY ARE YOUR FIRST CHOICE, NO MATTER WHAT OTHER COMPANIES ARE INVOLVED.
  • Always remember to thank the interviewer for his or her time and remember to get his or her card.

What Candidates Say About Patrice & Associates

  • I had been searching for a restaurant management opportunity for about 4 weeks and had very little luck.  I couldn't seem to find the "right" position or find the "right"person to help me.  Then I came across the ad from Patrice and Associates recruiting for a kitchen manager for one of their clients.  So I completed another application, submitted my resume and waited.

    To my surprise, I received a phone call the next morning from Tom Schmitt, a recruiter with Patrice and Associates about an opportunity for a kitchen manager.  Tom provided great details about the position, and the company.  He asked questions about me as a potential employee and also about what interest me outside of work.  He told me he would submit my resume and he believed I would be a great fit. 3 weeks later, I am in training with this concept and thoroughly enjoy every aspect of it. Tom was right.....it is a great fit!  By using his personal knowledge of the restaurant business and his contacts gained over 20 plus years, he is a great recruiter. Theresa Coker To my surprise, I received a phone call the next morning from Tom Schmitt ...
  • I want to start by saying this journey for me was truly a life changing move, and I had met and interviewed with 6-7 different recruiters. I immediately clicked with Margo in our phone interview. She asked all the right questions professionally and personally to really find the perfect fit for my first job in the city. Due to her hard work, I was able to take a leadership role instead of having to take a few steps back. Every interview she called no matter time, day, or night to ensure I was prepared. We talked almost every day to keep each other in the loop. I personally have never experienced such diligence, and expertise when it comes to recruitment. I truly thank your agency, and Margo for finding me my perfect fit in the city. Margo is one of a kind, and if I ever need a job she will be the ONLY recruiter I use to place me. Thank you again, your agency is the best!  Nicholas Manos This journey for me was truly a life changing move ....
  • “I want to thank Jillian Parker for reaching out to me with this amazing opportunity. I honestly think this was a perfect fit. I’ll be passing her info on to anyone who is looking for a management position. When Jillian reached out to me for a new manager position, it was like the window of opportunity flew open with hurricane force. I explained to her that I was being very picky about my next career move. She put me at ease, she put all the cards on the table, had immediate answers for my questions, and even did more research to help me make a decision. She knocked out any obstacles before the came and even gave me interview tips for every step. Her communication was impeccable and her guidance was even more so. Jillian made sure that I was taken care of monetarily by getting a nice increase with the transition. After two weeks at my new job I realize that this was a perfect fit and I owe it all to her. I want to thank her again for all that she’s done and I couldn’t be happier with my new career.” - Tanner Lahmers this was a perfect fit and I owe it all to Jillian in the Honolulu office!
  • “Chris is hands down one of the best recruiters I have worked with in my job searches. He is genuinely enthusiastic and highly motivated in finding that "perfect" match. Not only does he create a meaningful relationship with his candidates, but it is that same gusto that keeps him well connected to all his clients and opens up an abundance of possible placement opportunities.  He is honest, dependable, and always reachable. I am absolutely certain Chris will get you where you want to be!” Best of luck to Chris at Patrice & Associates!   Tianna Chris is hands down one of the best recruiters I have worked with in my job searches.
  •   Fajar is amazingly  professional, kind, and very easy to talk to.  She was always just an phone call text or email away. She responded extremely fast to every question I've asked her even if I emailed her after 5 pm. She anticipated my needs as an applicant. Fajar gave  me so much vital information that prepared me for my interviews. Honestly I wouldn’t have thought to research in such depth on my own. She kept me motivated whenever I doubted myself. She  is just a great person around the board and I know the sky is the limit for her because she is genuinely cares Paula Asaije . She kept me motivated whenever I doubted myself....Fajar helps someone else get a job!