Hiring Workshop - Interview Checklist for CandidatesEarly 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

 

Interview Preparation

Hiring Workshop - Interview Tips for Candidates

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!

Professional Dress Tips

Hiring Workshop - Professional Dress Tips for Candidates
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.

Before the Interview

Hiring Workshop - Interview Tips for Candidates

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

Patrice & Associates Resume Tips For Candidates

  • 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

Patrice & Associates Copy Of Your References Tips For Candidates

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

Hiring Workshop - Enthusiasm Tips for Candidates

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.

Compensation & Benefits

Hiring Workshop - Interview Questions for Candidates

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

Patrice & Associates Common Interview Questions Tips For Candidates

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.”

 

What Candidates Say About Patrice & Associates

  • Helen Nourai THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH!!

    After being COVID laid off in 2020; I spent the next year floundering, and looking for work. I had my resume up on all the different sites, and applied to anything that was even close to a good fit. No luck, and very few calls or email responses. Until one day out of nowhere Helen contacted me. Helen was extremely personable, positive, and prepared. After speaking for some time, completing the initial introductions, and basic information. Helen already had a position in mind for me. I sent her all of my relevant documents, and she worked her magic. Just a couple days later she emailed back my beautifully reworked resume, and double checked that I was ready for her to submit to potential employers. Then things went very fast! The next day on a Tuesday I had 2 phone interviews. Then Thursday another interview with the Director. Helen kept in touch every step of the way; calling even when I had forgotten to keep her posted. Then the General Manager contacted me on a Saturday followed by the VP!! Less than a week after Helen had submitted me I had completed the interview process, and was waiting on an offer pending reference & background checks. Helen, again was in amazing communication with me. Discussing my needs from the offer to ensure that when the offer was made; it included everything I wanted. It worked out exactly like that too! In the midst of the whirlwind offer that was exactly what I wanted (something I've never experienced before), and all the different company leaders reaching out to me. Helen was right there with me too. Checking in, sharing in my excitement, and giving me all her congratulations. Again, I had never experienced a hiring process with this much of a personal touch before ever! Definitely never one that was this smooth, and fast. If the Company went a day not talking to me, Helen was on it and reaching out to push the process forward.
    13 months of the unconscionable COVID under employment; with all the stress, worry, and insecurity, doing anything and everything to scrape together as many dollars as possible, to finally land a dream position that is a perfect fit, in my ideal location, industry, and salary. It is all still so unbelievable, and I know Helen was more than a major player. She was the key! The difference maker! I cannot express my level of gratitude for her help, and perseverance. Helen is the most gifted recruiter I have ever interacted with, and should I ever be looking for work, Helen will absolutely be my first call.
    Much Gratitude,
    Ben Whetstone
    Helen Nourai THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH!!
  • Jonathan Litt is a wonderful person and great recruiter!

    Thank you for all the assistance you provided me during my job search. I appreciate the information and advice that Johnathan Litt had given, as well as the connections you have shared with me. Your expertise and help have been invaluable during this.  I’ll never forget your help and your friendship, you are one and only one, thanks again.
    Sincerely,
    Shahriar Lou Mehrdad
    Jonathan Litt is a wonderful person and great recruiter!
  • I’m still in awe of Gary Kinsinger's abilities!

    It has been such an honor to work with Patrice & Associates, but more specifically with Gary Kinsinger. I’ve worked with recruiters in the past, however none as detail oriented and diligent as Mr. Kinsinger. From the moment he initially reached out to me, all the way to my first day in my new position, Gary was and is still very present in making sure my comfort and needs are met. I truly can’t put into words how beyond grateful I am to have worked with Gary. And with no doubt in my mind would recommend his services to anyone in the market. Gary matched me with the role of my dreams in just one and a half weeks. Thank you so much, Gary Kinsinger!
    Best,
    Angela L DeFalco
    I’m still in awe of Gary Kinsinger's abilities!
  • Kathy Helfand is a true asset to Patrice & Associates

    I worked with Kathy Helfand and I was very lucky to have her help getting me placed with an amazing company. She was there with me every step of the way from the interview process to even the follow up after I started the job. She knew from the beginning what the client wanted and was able to place me where she knew I would be a great fit. I am very grateful for everything she did to help me on my way!

       

    Thank you,

    Daniel Nichols

    Kathy Helfand is a true asset to Patrice & Associates
  • Shannon Wilcox was absolutely amazing throughout the whole recruitment process!

    I have never met such a professional and dedicated recruitment person. I cannot thank him enough for his full support, for believing in me and for helping me start a new chapter of my professional career within just one week! Shannon, you are brilliant at what you do.
    Sincerely,
    George Acosta
    Shannon Wilcox was absolutely amazing throughout the whole recruitment process!