Interviewing for a new job is always nerve wracking, causing many people to feel overwhelmed. We interview over 10,000 people a year, so really are the experts in what- and what not- to say!
At HAP we are a great stepping stone to future employment and career opportunities, not only do you gain great experience with our work placements, but you can also work your way through our online HAP Training Academy to learn vital skills and earn certifications to add to your CV. You can access the HAP Training Academy from your Account Page.
We want you to succeed, whether it’s at an interview with us or your next career opportunity, so here are our best interview tips:
- Personality, Personality, Personality!
We often employ people without experience in the hospitality industry: this isn’t an issue as we can train people, but we won’t spend that time on people who just aren’t interested.
For us, anybody who is friendly, engaging and willing to learn is a win: experienced or not, we want people who will be a pleasure to work with, not a chore!
Nervous and struggling to get your words out? Just tell us! A simple, ‘Sorry I’m really nervous as getting this job is really important to me’, will let the interviewer know you are keen, and the honesty will make you feel a lot more comfortable. Believe us: everybody is nervous, some people are just better at hiding it!
- Tricky Questions: What Is Your Biggest Weakness?
This may seem like a cliched interview question, but it is far from it; the interviewer knows that everybody has weaknesses, they are looking at your self-awareness.
What is your real weakness and how are you trying to fix it? What steps have you taken? This will show that you are proactive, taking an issue and working on for your own self-improvement. However, make sure not to choose something that would make you unsuitable for the role; ‘I am terrible at making drinks’ wouldn’t go down well at a bartender interview!
- Do You Have Any Questions For Us?
Asking the usual, ‘how much is the salary/pay rate and what are the hours like?’ is fine, but you want to show that you are interested in the company itself. Doing your homework is a great way of proving that you are keen and diligent!
Do your research and prepare 2-3 questions that show your interest in the company. Have they worked on a project or with a client you are interested in? Ask them how that’s been going and if it would be something you would get the opportunity to work on.
- Practice & Prepare!
Preparation is key, so get practising! Ask your housemate or family member to start asking you difficult questions, to see how you react under pressure, and to gauge how your answers come across.
Think about your strengths and how they relate to the role, even if you don’t have experience in that exact job role, many skills are transferable.
Remember to be honest, to the point and engaging: use eye contact, smile, tell the truth (no fake it ‘til you make it here!) and keep your answers concise.
Common interview questions to get you started:
- Tell us about yourself
- Talk us through your work experience
- Tell us about how you work within a team
- What is an achievement you are most proud of?
- Why do you want to work for us?
And finally: get a good sleep, arrive 5 minutes early, dress to impress and we’re sure you’ll smash it!
Check out our current interviews here. Not one in your area? For the festival session we interview across the UK between March – August. The rest of the year we just interview in areas we have regular work in.