Top 5 ingredients for interview success

Whilst you may know a crème brûlée from a soufflé or a Southside from a Sloe gin fizz, you may not be such a pro at interview. When it comes to the crunch, interview nerves can get the better of anyone. You’ve heard the saying “fail to pre- pare, prepare to fail” and this is very true of interviews. The key to a smooth path to success is planning and preparation. Whether applying for your first role or aiming for progression to a higher level, the same basic rules apply for everyone. We asked some leading hospitality employers to share their top tips with us. Find out more…

1. Believe in yourself If you’re struggling a little with self-belief, keep in mind you have passed the first test! The prospective employer has seen your application and are already impressed; they want to know more. That’s what an interview is all about for both parties. So, if you’ve got to the interview stage, then congratulations, you should feel great! Having said that, whilst it’s important to show confidence

in an interview, it’s also key you get the balance right. Over- confidence can be construed as arrogance and can work against you. Show the interviewer you know your stuff, but also that you’re open to learning new things. Everyone has the scope to learn more; let them see you understand that.

2. Be punctual It sounds so obvious but; don’t be late! Being late is never a good idea in any situation, and at interview it’s rarely forgiven. It’s actually very easy to be late, so take steps and prepare, to ensure you’re punctual for your interview. Check the route and travel time, give yourself extra time to get ready, and try and remove any distractions. At the same time, you don’t want to inconvenience your prospective employer by turning up too early and getting in the way! Ideally, arrive at the interview ten minutes before your allotted time, even if that means sitting around the cor- ner in a coffee bar for half an hour beforehand. That way you’ll arrive calm, cool, collected, and ready to impress.

3. Showcase success An interview is your opportunity to demonstrate your skills and what you will bring to the business. To do that, you need to give clear examples. Have a few ready, which demonstrate your delivery in previous roles or situations. Use techniques like S.T.A.R to highlight your successes. What is S.T.A.R? Well, it’s simply a way of clearly sharing your achievements. The letters stand for: S - the situation, T - Task, A - your achievement and R - the results. A classic interview question is; “Tell me about a

time when you …achieved success/delivered above expectation/took the initiative…”. It’s here that the S.T.A.R technique comes in useful, allowing you to give a clear example and also show that you gained results that are measurable.

4. Be yourself Interviews can feel a little unnatural at first, but as the candidate you can help the conversation flow. Treat your interview like a dialogue with a colleague or work friend, and this may help you relax and smile. Be your best self – but be yourself! Your interviewer will want to see the professional you, but more than anything they want to know the real you.

5. Do your research Do your research on the company, consider common questions they may ask and find out about any current rel- evant news about the brand. This way, you can let the inter- viewer see that you have done your homework. Showing you have invested time in understanding the business and the role you are applying for, goes a long way. This research will help you prepare one or two relevant

questions for them too. Remember an interview is as much your chance to assess if this is the right role for you, as it is a situation in which you are assessed. This is often forgotten by candidates, but if you remind yourself of this, it can help reduce interview pressure.

For more on careers advice and tips for success, plus thousands of hospitality job opportunities from employers of all sizes across the UK, visit

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