First things first – you should always be prepared for a professional interview. You will gauge from speaking to the chief stew if it is professional or if it’s more of a casual chat- however I recommend starting off by being professional then you can tone it down if the chief stew wants a friendly chat.
So let’s go here’s what chief stews look for:
- Good communication: We want to hear that you can speak well and communicate clearly as well as being able to listen. Don’t use slang or inappropriate colloquialisms. Find a balance between staying professional yet showcasing your personality. Relax and smile if its on zoom. Remember they are thinking about how you might sound when you speak to guests- so keep it classy!
- Someone that clearly knows their successes and skills: It’s important you know your CV back to front. I suggest having a printout of it in front of you if the interview is over the phone. You should have already highlighted your key skills on your CV for example it might be Silver Service or Mixologist. You must know your key skills and speak about them confidently as this is where you showcase your talents. You have something unique to offer I’m sure about it!
Keeping in mind, you probably don’t have any or much experience onboard yet. The person interviewing you knows that, instead of telling them how much you love the ocean and below deck, tell them how your land-based experience relates to the role advertised and convince them yachting is a well-thought-out career for you! This falls back on you to prepare for your interview as best as possible and to really look at the advertised role – I like to highlight the words they have used in the job ad and jot them down for example -if the word efficient is used – well I am going to prove in the interview how time management is my thing or if say the ad mentions rotating through all departments well then I would mention that you are eager to learn housekeeping, service, and laundry and to be able to rotate between all areas of the interior.
- Enthusiasm for the job: We want you to give off the vibe you are committed to learning and progressing in the industry (Do not mention gap year!) We want to employ green crew who plan to make a career out of yachting as these people will be the most Enthusiastic about doing a job. Chief stews understand green crew have limited experience they know there is going to be training needed so if the person if enthusiastic about the job role and won’t hear them complain then it’s going to be much easier to employ them
- Someone who can LISTEN carefully and respond accordingly: As a chief stew you delegate your tasks to the interior team. Having crew who listen carefully is a sign of respect and that they can understand what someone is saying. There is nothing more annoying than repeating yourself a thousand times or someone not listening to you when giving directions.
It’s a good idea to have a list of potential answers you can prepare your answers for such as “Tell me about your personality?” Or “What gives you the highest level of job satisfaction?” that way you are not put on the spot and give an average answer. You should always be aiming to impress your interviewer.
You also want a list of questions to ask in the interview. It shows you are very interested! In The Yachting Kickstarter Guide students have said one of their favorite downloads is the list of interview questions to ask and the questions to consider your answer for. It comes back to preparing the best you can to set yourself up for success! You don’t need to ask lots of questions, however, they are a guide for you to get the best possible idea of what to expect from the boat and the job role.
- Someone who is not immature. To be honest we as chief stews have a lot on our plate, yes we will dedicate time to training green crew and ensuring our team works well. However, we don’t have time to deal with immature crew and drama onboard it can be very draining. A part of employing green crew is that they are probably going to be relatively young, not all the time but for a junior stew position we are being mindful not to employ immature stewardesses. So we will be looking out for examples in the interview where you were defensive about a situation such as a past work situation, if you might seek validation or reassurance for every single thing you do or if you need a lot of attention to feel safe and secure. Of course we will always offer empathy and guidance however we are also looking to see if you will be a good fit for all the crew onboard already. Nobody likes a drama queen – we want someone who will just crack on and do a good job and enjoy the yacht life at the end of the day for what it is. My tip is to not be negative at all about any past work experiences and try not to sound to high pitched or over the top on the phone – there’s one thing about enthusiastic but when it comes across a little too much it does have the potential to sounds a bit immature.
- Show a glimpse of your personality- after all this is what helps to make you unique. Remember the chief stew is probably interviewing several candidates sometimes when someone is more themself it comes across with a lot more ease and confidence rather than trying to be this boring robot they are talking to
And my final sign off interview tips
- Don’t ask about pay they will tell you
- Know your strengths and weaknesses, and how to turn your weaknesses into strengths. I recommend doing a free online personality test to work these out if you are stuck, they help you work through and identify these characteristics through a quiz type format
- Always thank the interviewer for their time and for considering them for the position