The Draw Of Private Dining

Private dining may have been the bastion of the incredibly rich and famous, but a certain virus changed all of that. Since 2020, restaurateurs and other hospitality ventures have seen the benefits of offering this experience to the masses. While it certainly isn’t cheap, it’s no longer out of reach.

Private dining brings fine-dining chefs and restaurants home for service. It could also mean highly individualized menus at a private space in a restaurant or other venue, generally for a rather small number of guests.

The latter is rather like the concept of a Chef’s Table, now increasingly popular on cruise ships. Concepts like these offer epicurean guests the opportunity to interact personally with the chefs, understand what inspired each dish and really know the person who cooks their food, unlike the incredibly brief visits some head chefs make during meal service at some restaurants.

It’s possible that the need for open-air dining spaces is still instilled in our brains – chefs speaking to Food & Wine magazine in December last year have said they are continuing to see high demand for private dining, not just in restaurants but also in private apartment spaces.

Food television personality Martha Stewart pointed out that all things limited capacity and personal would trend in 2022, from wine tastings to pasta-making classes and white truffle dinners. These allow guests to feel like they’re part of an exclusive experience.

Following its international set up, the Take A Chef experience in Goa allows patrons anywhere in the state to hire a chef for a private dining experience in the comfort of their homes. With a few clicks, guests can choose the kind of food they would like served on a specific date in their homes. 

They can select a chef from among those registered on the platform, the number of guests in attendance, the preferred cuisine and a budget range. Patrons simply offer information on the kind of stove top they have at home (gas, electric or induction), whether they have an oven or not, if any dietary restrictions are being observed and a cuisine style that ranges from Mediterranean, Italian and French, to Asian, Latin American and an option to be surprised by the chef’s talents. Chefs prepare the food, serve guests and interact with them personally, and finally ensure everything is cleared and cleaned before leaving.

As a chef offering private dining, you will be expected to put great attention into curating a menu according to guest requirements, sourcing the right ingredients, pairing or suggesting drinks, and ensuring everything is made to perfection. While private dining was earlier relegated to celebrations such as wedding anniversaries or milestone birthdays, guests are now looking at everyday occasions as opportunities to meet close friends or family. 

It’s important to remember that as a foodpreneur, restaurateur or chef offering private dining services that you look into incorporating as many local and sustainable food sources as possible. Not only is it better for the environment, but it showcases your capabilities in incorporating these ingredients into global cuisine while also fostering closer relations with vendors, suppliers and farmers.

 

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Top Tips On Writing A Good Resume For Cruise Ship Jobs

In the hospitality industry, resumes never go out of fashion. Ensuring your master file is up-to-date at all times makes applying for new jobs easier and quicker. Recruitment firms such as Kamaxi Overseas Consultants are always on the lookout for skilled candidates to place in reputed companies.

Recruitment managers go through dozens of resumes a day, and many simply skim over to find what they’re looking for. It makes sense, therefore, to highlight these things so in the 6-7 seconds they glance through, you’ll stick out as one of the interesting candidates of the day. Here’s how:

 

LEARN ABOUT THE COMPANY & JOB PROFILE

It’s never a good idea to use one resume for all jobs. Learn about the company and job profile you’re applying for and edit your resume accordingly. Understanding what the company is looking for will help you tailor your application to meet their requirements. You should do this for every company or job profile you are applying for.

 

INCLUDE STATISTICS

Including vague information about your experience can make it difficult for recruiters to pick you out from the pack. Instead of pointing out that you have five years of experience, offer statistics of your accomplishments. You can show how you were a team player by detailing how you worked with a team of 15 people to cater to 500 guests on short notice. Using numbers and metrics helps recruiters more easily quantify how you made a difference at your previous workplace. 

 

STRONG ACTION WORDS

Starting every bullet point with words like ‘Responsible for’ or ‘Handled’ will get boring. Look for action words that describe the difference you made in your role, such as ‘Achieved’, ‘Improved’, ‘Curated’, Organised’, ‘Created’, etc and pair them with relevant statistics and information. This will offer far more information in a single sentence or point than more vague terms such as ‘detail-oriented’, ‘professional’ or ‘results-driven’.

 

LIST YOUR SKILLS

Divide your skills into sections – say skills directly related to the job profile you are applying for, soft skills, leadership skills and any other additional skills. Knowing how to use the internet and Microsoft Word no longer stand out as special skills so consider others you might have – perhaps a foreign language, or even sushi skills if you are applying as a cruise ship chef at a Mexican restaurant. 

 

RELEVANT EDUCATION ONLY

There’s no need to include your primary and secondary school education. Just the last one or two relevant qualifications are necessary – perhaps graduation from a culinary college and specialisation certificates. 

 

BEST INFORMATION FIRST

Recruitment managers typically skim over documents from the top down so you must aim to hook them in the top half itself. Place all your best accomplishments in the top third of your resume as this is the section that will show up first on computer screens and mobile phones too. 

 

BE BRIEF, EVEN IN BULLET POINTS

It’s no longer an employment necessity to fit resumes in a single page, but that doesn’t mean you should go on endlessly. Keep everything on your resume brief, including information in bullet points. Think about ways to include 2-3 skills in a single sentence. For example, stating that you successfully led a team of 15 to cater to 500 people at short notice showcases your professionalism, ability to work as part of a team and manage one, and ability to work under pressure. Include links to appropriately managed social media profiles or an online portfolio for a more in-depth look at your skills.

 

KEEP IT ERROR-FREE

There’s nothing that makes you look more unprofessional than errors in your resume. Read through every time you make a change and ensure there are no mistakes in spellings and punctuations. Get someone else to read it in case you missed something out.

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A Quick Review Of Q1 Of The Global Cruise Industry

Although revenues for cruise ship companies haven’t floated back to pre-pandemic levels, things are still looking up. Last year saw a 96 per cent year on year increase in recovery rates, which is excellent news for recruiters and ship employees alike.

According to Cruise Market Watch, 323 ships sailed into 2022 but there are likely to be 25 new vessels added this year. So far, seven of these were delivered in 2021 and are debuting this year. 

Among the first to set sail this year was the Viking Octantis, which set off on its first expedition cruise at the start of this quarter. Virgin Voyages’ Valiant Lady sailed from Portsmouth to Bruges earlier this month. The much-awaited Wonder of the Seas from Royal Caribbean also made its maiden voyage this quarter, sailing out of Port Everglades on March 04. 

A day later, Costa Cruises’ latest ship Toscana sailed out of Savona in Italy on its maiden voyage towards Marseille. This is the brand’s second cruise ship fueled by liquified natural gas (LNG), which can offer almost zero emission of sulphur oxides and particulate matter, reduce direct nitrogen oxide emissions by 85 per cent and cut carbon dioxide emissions by up to 20 per cent.

Interestingly, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has indicated that more half the number of new cruise ships ordered for 2022 and beyond will be powered by LNG rather than diesel, and nearly all of those still being powered by fossil fuels will be fitted with exhaust gas cleaning systems which remove 98 per cent of sulphur content from emissions.

The new 183,000 GT Aida Cosma embarked in February while Discovery Princess is seeing its inaugural cruise set off at the close of this quarter. Emerald Azzurra also left on its maiden voyage this quarter, calling on resort towns in Jordan, Egypt and Israel.

Cruise ship job opportunities are also opening via an unexpected route – the FIFA World Cup in Qatar later this year. The independent emirate has signed an agreement with MSC Cruises to offer fans a chance to live on board two floating hotels with a combined capacity of 4000 cabins that look out across the West Bay skyline. Europa and Poesia will berth at Doha Port and offer quick mobility to the stadiums.

The four-star Poesia offers four gourmet dining options and 15 bars and event spaces, while the five-star World Europa offers 13 eateries including six fine dining options and more than 30 bars and event spaces. Bookings for accommodation on these two cruise ships opened this quarter.

In a spot of humanitarian news, cruise ship companies are stepping up to offer aid to refugees affected by the crisis in Ukraine. Costa Magica – which has a maximum capacity of 3400 if all berths are filled – has been offered as temporary housing for refugees if needed while Carnival Cruise Line donated USD50,000 to World Central Kitchen and Carnival Corporation’s chairman dedicated a million dollars each to World Central Kitchen, medical aid and supplies and UNICEF USA. Costa Cruises and AIDA Cruises also donated medical supplies to treat injuries and common diseases in Ukraine. 

Cruise ship companies are also coming forward to offer support to their crew members from Russia and Ukraine.

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5 Best New Cruise Ships Of 2022

The launch of any new cruise ship is exciting news for those in the industry. It not only means the unveiling of exciting new features and modern technology but also recruitment and employment opportunities across the board. Here are a few ships that have caught our eye this year.

VIKING POLARIS

Following the launch of Viking Octantis in January, the Polaris is the cruise line’s second expedition cruise ship setting course for the edges of the earth. These are the first polar class ships by Viking and feature spaces specifically designed for expedition cruising.

This includes an in-ship marina to shield researchers and guests from the wind and waves when getting in and out of its Zodiacs, inflatables and Arctic kayaks; a laboratory that offers guests supervised access to learn from and participate in real-time research; a sunroom in every cabin that transforms into a viewing platform; and two six-guest submarines with 270-degree spherical windows.

RESILIENT LADY

Richard Branson’s Virgin Voyages followed the debut of Scarlet Lady last year with the Valiant Lady in March and the upcoming Resilient Lady in August. All three feature the same specs and layout, with an incredible variety of offerings for its size. 

Giant dining halls have been replaced with smaller, unique spaces while guest beds in staterooms turn into couches for the day. As with Virgin’s Scarlet Lady and Valiant Lady, the new 110,000 GT ship only permits adults. It offers dining in the cruise fare as well as three fitness zones and a wide selection of bars and interactive entertainment. 

NORWEGIAN PRIMA

The company spent the pandemic working on brand investment and innovation, preparing to launch its Prima Class in a couple of months. Reports suggest the 142,500 GT ship will offer the highest staff level, the largest variety of suite categories, and the most outdoor deck space of any new cruise ship.

Guests can expect a three-level go-karting racetrack, a 10-storey freefall dry slide, a glass-bottomed bridge, a virtual gaming complex with two escape rooms, a tidal wave inner tube water slide, and a part Broadway-style theatre, part Vegas-style nightclub as its main entertainment space. The Food Hall features a new concept with separate sit-down venues, each offering a distinctive cuisine style.

WONDER OF THE SEAS

This is the largest ship in the world, housing 6988 passengers, featuring a Suite Class Neighbourhood accessible only by keycard with an exclusive restaurant, elevated sun deck, separate plunge pool and bar. It also boasts Royal Caribbean’s newest concept – a cantilevered pool bar, as well as offerings that are staple on vessels run by the company – FlowRider, Ultimate Abyss, Perfect Storm water slides and more. 

DISNEY WISH

With its maiden voyage setting course for the Bahamas and Disney’s private island Castaway Cay, the Wish is highly anticipated with theatrical dining experiences, a first-ever Disney immersive water attraction at sea and Broadway-style shows of classic Disney stories. The 144,000 GT cruise ship offers indoor experiences driven by technology with mobile phone-based multidimensional digital games that bring the ship to life.

 

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What Cruise Ship Chefs Need To Know About Contactless Dining

The pandemic might seem to be on wane, but it has burnt many fingers in the industry and cruise ship companies are taking no chances. COVID-19 certainly upset the apple cart and cruise ship chefs will be looking at tweaks to their SOPs in the new era of contactless dining. So what could this look like?

 

Decreased menu size

Instead of the incredible variety of dishes that almost became synonymous with cruising, menus are likely to stay curated and smaller. This allows restaurants to streamline ordering  and service to ensure better efficiency. Chefs will therefore be able to focus on what they do best.

 

Tech-based ordering

Reducing touch points is a key feature of contactless dining. Cruise ship chefs might have to forget about handwritten tickets of orders for a while as updated systems kick in to offer automated slips. Service staff can use a mobile or tablet that sends orders directly to a system in the kitchen with features that allow meals to be modified for allergies, preferences or restrictions. This also helps reduce ordering mistakes.

 

Pre-ordering meals

To encourage a more efficient system that is faster and reduces contact between guests and service staff, many restaurants might consider pre-ordering meals. This way, guests can make their choices from the comfort of their staterooms and head down to the restaurant when their meal is ready.

 

Strict implementation of safety protocols

With the risks so high, cruise ship companies will ensure strict implementation of all safety and hygiene protocols. Some land-based restaurants are looking at restricting uniforms from being worn outside the place of work. This could mean that chefs will not visit guests at their tables. Regular temperature checks, social distancing, masks and frequent hand sanitisation will probably be the norm for some time to come.

 

Organised seating plans and traffic flow

Instead of allowing guests to walk in and order as they please, restaurants on cruise ships might consider more organised seating plans and planned traffic flow. Restaurant managers will look at limiting close contact and minimising social interaction, which could mean fewer guests served within a certain time frame compared with before. Chefs could be expected to speed up service to be able to accommodate more diners. 

 

Kitchen BTS 

Many guests are still concerned about what goes on behind closed doors. To counter that, restaurants might look into live streaming the action from the kitchen. With this, diners can see how their food is being cooked, although this means that chefs are under the microscope at all times. 

 

Case study

Here’s how Princess Cruises is rolling out contactless dining to keep guests happy yet safe. Through its OceanNow app, guests can order food from anywhere on the vessel at any time and it will be delivered to a place of their choosing at no extra charge. The app also allows guests to choose their desired seating location – outdoors, near a window or near the entrance, share dietary preferences and information about allergies, request the same time or venue each night, particularly if they prefer the same staff.

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First-Time Flying: How to overcome your Anxiety

Cruise ship employees from India often have to make a long journey to their vessels on the other side of the world. This typically includes long-haul flights, extended layovers and sometimes emergency landings. 

Some new recruits may have never flown before. Others may suffer minor jitters or aerophobia which can make it difficult for them to reach their cruise ships without fear or stress. Enjoying the last few hours of alone time can help before cruise ship life takes over.

You are not alone

According to a literature review on the United States National Library of Medicine, around 2.5 per cent of the general population in the US suffer from clinically significant phobia of flying while around 40 per cent have a self-identified fear. So if you do feel nervous on your first flight ever, or on any flight at all, know that the fear is common and there will probably be a bunch of others around you who share your anxiety. 

What does it feel like?

A fear of flying has been described as any other fear. The general and typical symptoms include chills, sweaty palms, nausea and shortness of breath. Sometimes the fear may be linked to other triggers such as a fear of enclosed spaces, of crowds, of heights or of not being in control. 

It could also manifest emotionally in the form of irritability and clouded thinking. In rare cases, people with an irrational fear of flying could have a panic attack such as heart palpitations or a tummy upset. If you are flying for the first time to join your cruise ship job, you might also be worried about your baggage and smoothly getting through customs.

How to deal with it

Given that you’ve chosen a career in the cruise industry, you will be required to take a flight (or more) at the start and end of every contract. So learning to cope with your anxiety can help immensely. Here are a few tips.

  • Learn about flying

The more you know about the mode of transport you are taking, the better you’ll feel in control of it. According to the International Air Transport Association, a person would have to travel by air every day for 461 years before experiencing an accident with at least one fatality. More people die in road traffic accidents. Learn more about how planes work, the sounds they make and their safety measures to help reduce your anxiety on the flight.

  • Think positive

This can be hard, but telling yourself positive things repeatedly can help reduce your anxiety. Instead of thinking you’re afraid because the plane will crash, repeat positive affirmations such as ‘flying scares me but I will be fine, I’m in good hands and I am safe’.

  • Distract yourself

Load your media device with your favourite music, movies or books. You can also download instructional breathing or meditation sessions. Choose comedy movies or series from the in-flight entertainment system and keep yourself occupied as much as you can.

  • Outsmart anxiety

Do the opposite of what your anxious feelings suggest. You can also enlist the help of fellow passengers by informing them what triggers you and what is most useful to overcome your anxiety. And remember why you are doing this – enjoy the excitement of joining a new cruise ship, making new friends and seeing new places.

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What To Look Forward To In Crusing In 2022

Since the beginning of 2020, loyal cruise-goers have been denied their indulgences and getaways. Two years on, they are hungry and raring to go. The industry has seen a massive surge in bookings – Oceania’s world cruise for 2023 sold out in just a day. So what can the industry look forward to in the coming months, and maybe even years?

INDUSTRY TRENDS

Vaccine passports

More cruise ships are mandating vaccines for some or all passengers, including children. Since requirements vary between ships, companies and ports of call, it appears that cruise lines are taking the most preventive measures to safeguard their own and their patrons’ interests. Norwegian, for example, requires every passenger and crew member to show proof of being vaccinated against COVID-19 and be tested for the virus before boarding. 

 

Contact-less cruising

Technology will play an even bigger role on board cruise ships as COVID-19 continues to return in waves. Prepare for contactless everything – from online check-ins and boarding passes to keycards on your phone and portable devices such as RFID wristbands to pay for food and beverages. The ship’s mobile app will offer everything from layout plans, children’s trackers, reservations, menus and even e-muster processes. Voice-enabled AI will probably answer any cruise-related queries you have in your cabin itself.

 

Private islands with strict protocols

Cocooning away from COVID-19 can be tough on vacation, but cruise ships are making it easy for guests. Many own private islands in the Caribbean and around the world where they enforce their own health and safety protocols. It is expected that most itineraries will include a stop or overnight at a private island in the coming year.

 

Destination-specific protocols

Every country and port of call will have its own set of rules for cruise ships to follow. And companies will work overtime to ensure they adhere to these. Cruise crew and passengers can expect companies to help them get COVID tests if required before returning home, or organise screenings before disembarking in port. Most will be expected to have contactless check-ins, temperature checks and maybe even PCR testing.

 

NEW SHIPS

According to Travel Market Report, as many as 17 new ocean-going ships are expected to launch in 2022 covering a range of sizes. Viking Cruises is launching the Octantis and Polaris with space for research scientists and a six-guest submarine each. The biggest ship in the world – Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seas – boasts a cantilevered pool bar and a suite class neighbourhood. Seabourn is launching its all-suite, all-balcony Venture with 26 expedition guides and 24 Zodiac boats. 

There are also new ships expected from Virgin Voyages, Discovery, Celebrity, Ritz-Carlton, Disney, Norwegian, and MSC Cruises.

 

RISE OF RIVER CRUISING

River cruising is seeing increased interest in longer sailings and bucket-list trips to places such as the Peruvian Amazon, Egypt or the Mekong in Vietnam and Cambodia. Many guests have been working remotely since the pandemic began, which makes it more convenient for them to take longer trips. Other trends in river cruising include solo travelers, cruise-and-rail combo trips, domestic cruises and add-on port excursions.

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How Cruise Ships Celebrate Christmas On Board

Christmas tends to be one of the biggest holidays in the year, particularly in the western hemisphere. Cruise ships with sailings around this particular day tend to go all out to create a festive spirit across the ship, with special decorations, menus and events.

This typically means that Christmas is a busy day for ship crew on duty. Most guests will want to indulge in something special and treat themselves. 

DECOR

Many cruise ships put up Christmas décor just after Thanksgiving, usually celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November. Cruise ship chefs will be tasked with getting started on entire gingerbread villages which can take a while, and edible yule logs. There’s even one in the crew mess room. 

Most cruise lines will, however, stay out of guest staterooms to respect the privacy of those who might want to escape the hullabaloo. Some crew like to feel at home and put up extra decorations or ones they’ve bought in their cabins. It’s important to remember that despite all of this, crew still have to pass cabin inspections.

FOOD

Food is a big attraction on holidays like Christmas. Cruise ships plan an elaborate menu with lots of traditional dishes as well as a few special ones. Dishes will largely depend on the demography of the passengers. Christmas menus are seen in the main dining room – where food is usually included in the ticket price – as well as specialty restaurants, many of which are paid. 

Through December, cruise ship chefs will go all out to have a wide variety of traditional treats available, particularly for children, including cookies, gingerbread and hot chocolate. There’ll also be lots of mulled wine, eggnog and cider. 

The most important meal is Christmas dinner, where one would be hard-pressed to find a cruise ship buffet without a stuffed turkey and all the trimmings. The Royal Caribbean, for example, has previously included honey-baked ham and chestnut truffle risotto alongside its oven-roasted turkey. Its holiday special Christmas-themed desserts included the traditional French bûche de Nöel and a spice cake served with brandy sauce and whipped cream.

The crew are extremely busy on Christmas day so their celebrations are usually a little while after. Cruise ship companies show their appreciation by organising a special Christmas lunch for crew featuring guest-quality food, and an end-of-year Christmas party that often has free alcohol.

ACTIVITIES

The entertainment section on cruise ships puts together special festive shows, often filled with songs, jokes, light-hearted family fun, musicals, plays and also nativities. Guests will also find choirs singing carols.

For children particularly, there’ll be appearances from Santa Claus and the elves, Christmas-themed story-telling and movies screened in-room or at onboard theatres. There are also festive arts and crafts classes, parades and themed karaoke to keep spirits up throughout December. 

Many cruise liners organise religious services such as Christmas mass with a priest onboard, or other non-denominational services. Tree lighting ceremonies, games and holiday trivia are also part of the fun, and on some cruises, crew might dress up as famous holiday characters such as the Grinch.

For crew, there’s usually a secret Santa gift exchange or office party as well as a crew sale at the onboard gift shop where they can buy presents at discounted prices. There may also be a Christmas show as well as a full-ship or department-wise staff Christmas photo that crew receive as a keepsake.

 

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What Can Cruise Ship Crew Do in Port

The COVID-19 pandemic seriously hampered cruise ship operations. Given that coronavirus outbreaks did occur on cruise ships and the high risk they pose with semi-enclosed areas, high population density and limited medical resources, the industry is nervous about extending pre-pandemic shore liberties to crew.

There’s only so much cruise ship companies can do about passengers, but they have greater control over crew behaviour. All companies across the world had suspended shore leave for crew through the pandemic, although it is slowly starting to open up, with Carnival Cruise Line leading the way.

Even pre-pandemic, not all staff were able to leave the ship and explore the ports. Maintenance and vital ship functions carry on through the day and night, and guests who decide to stay on board still need food and beverages, room service and housekeeping. 

Typically, a roster system ensures everyone has some opportunity or the other to go on shore leave during the duration of their contract. Since the itinerary is repeated regularly, they will have a chance to visit every port at some point in their career on board.

If they are permitted shore leave, cruise ship crew can join excursions organised for them by the company or if there is a last-minute non-refundable cancellation. Most, however, prefer to go it alone – on sightseeing tours or trips. However, it’s important that all crew who go on shore leave return an hour before departure. There can be dire consequences – even termination of employment – if a crew member delays and is left behind.

Most cruise ship crew find it useful to spend their shore leave in what’s often called ‘crew areas’. These are restaurants, bars and pubs that cater to them, offering inexpensive food and alcohol, high-speed internet and a variety of other facilities. Good Wi-Fi is in high demand since crew can spend time catching up with family and friends around the world.

One of the most exciting parts of working on cruise ships is the opportunity to explore different places. Crew often get inside information on secret beaches and hidden gems tucked away from the tourist eye. These are great places to unwind, relax and get away from the constant requirement to cater to guests all the time. 

Many cruise ship crew also utilise shore leave to buy gifts for family back home, wire money or send and receive mail. There’s an entire emotion involved in seeing a hand-made card sent by your child or a parcel of birthday wishes from near and dear ones. It also offers you a fun way to surprise your family back home with things as simple as a postcard or a small port souvenir that says you’re thinking of them.

With a dreary two years without shore leave of any sort, cruise ship companies are slowly easing restrictions for shore leave in the wake of the pandemic. Carnival Cruise Line allows all crew members who are fully vaccinated to go out in any port on independent shore leave. 

They must adhere to strict rules including staying two metres away from others, washing and sanitising their hands frequently, and monitoring their health after returning to the ship. They have also been advised to stay away from large gatherings and crowds and must wear a face mask if they need to go indoors. 

Local health authority protocols are still in force while in port, and shore leave may be restricted depending on prevailing health conditions on board or as required by port authorities.

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How to Answer Common Hospitality Job Interview Questions

As the world opens up post pandemic, the hospitality industry too seems to be getting back on track. This means interviews to fill roles that may have been laid off or for new positions are up for grabs.
The competition is still high, so get your foot in the door by going in well prepared. Here are a few questions you might commonly be asked.

Tell us about yourself
Interviewers sometimes use this question as a kind of ice breaker, to allow candidates to ease into the session. But it also gives them excellent insight into who you are. After all, they have read your resumé. So instead of repeating what you’ve already written, furnish them with anecdotes that show your professional growth and perhaps where you’d like to see yourself in a few years’ time.

Why are you interested in this job role?
Most companies are looking for loyal staff – they’d rather not hire someone who is going to quit a couple of months after they’ve been trained. You could describe why you like the company – perhaps its work ethics or sustainability practices – and discuss how you have the experience and skills to succeed in the job.

What does hospitality mean to you?
This is another way of asking why you chose a career in hospitality. Avoid descriptions of the hotel industry – the interviewers already know that. Instead, tell them why you will be a great fit in the industry – perhaps you have a friendly disposition, you love meeting new people and enjoy specific challenges of running a hotel or working on a cruise ship. It’s a good time to tell interviewers about any turning point in your life that led you to the industry.

How did you deal with an unsatisfied customer?
If you’ve had work experience before, it’s likely an interviewer will ask you this, particularly if you are in the service side. Be prepared with an experience that shows how you diffused a situation. This works even if you were in another industry in which you dealt with customers or clients. The hospitality industry takes guest reviews seriously, so having staff who can be relied on to deal with the odd unhappy customer is a huge plus point.

Describe yourself in three words.
Sometimes, instead of asking candidates about themselves, interviewers ask them to describe themselves. If you aren’t prepared, the right adjectives might not come to you in the moment. Use words that you can demonstrate solid examples of. For example, rather than being dedicated or passionate, describe yourself as being methodical or reliable.

What is your weakness?
It’s imperative that you turn the answer to this question into a positive. Offer an example of a mild weakness and an intention of how you plan to improve on it. Perhaps you are not as adept with hospitality software/technology as you’d like to be but you are working on it by taking a course.

Why have you been out of work for so long?
There is a possibility that a question like this might pop up. Yes, the COVID-19 pandemic is a perfectly reasonable answer, but there’s no need to leave it at that. Offer information of how you have been bettering yourself during this time – a course, volunteer work, a home-based venture, or even an unrelated hobby.

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