Hospitality Interview Tips

  • Always wear a solid color, conservative suit
  • Conservative, long-sleeved shirt/blouse, preferably white
  • For Chefs, wear a white, spotless, pressed jacket without any logo or name, polished shoes, black socks and black pants.
  • Hosiery at or near skin color
  • Carry a light briefcase or portfolio instead (with resume, references, paper and pen)
  • Polished, dark, conservative, low-heel shoes
  • Clear or conservative nail polish, if any
  • Minimal cosmetics
  • No more than one ring on each hand and only one set of earrings
  • Well-groomed hair style
  • No gum, candy or cigarettes
  • Little or no cologne or perfume
  • Conservative neck tie
  • Clean-shaven face and neck
  • If you must have a beard or moustache, then be sure it is neat and trimmed
  • Clean, trimmed fingernails
  • Empty pockets – no bulges or jingling coins

Research the Company. Know the company’s operations (number of units, regions, menu, beverages, history, etc.) and the general responsibilities of the job for which you are interviewing.

Know the Job Description and requirements and make a list of all the reasons, with examples, of why you would succeed at this job. Then memorize this list for the interview.

Prepare Questions to ask related to the position, responsibilities, and the future of the company.

Arrive About 10 Minutes Early and, if you are going to be late, make sure you call your recruiter with enough time so that he/she can phone the employer. This means you should have your recruiter’s cell and office phone numbers with you at all times.

Be Confident. Project a positive “can do/will do” attitude.

Be Ready to answer clearly where you want to be in 3-5 years and how the job will help you get there.

Be Prepared to clearly, honestly and confidently discuss your professional strengths and opportunities.

Stay Focused during the interview by answering the questions that you are asked. Do not veer off into unrelated subjects, personal information or long explanations. Interviewers do not appreciate this as it can derail their plan for the interview.

Express Interest in the job at the end of the interview. (“Mr. Jones, I really enjoyed this meeting and I am very interested in going to the next level with XYZ Restaurants.”)

Send a Thank You Note after the interview to show your appreciation. The note should be no more than a few sentences of appreciation and interest.

Call your recruiter immediately after the interview to discuss the meeting. Your recruiter will follow up with the company, so do not call the company.

Joseph D’Alessandro

About Joseph D’Alessandro

Joseph spent 15 years in leadership positions in hospitality operations before becoming a full-time executive recruiter in 2000. Joseph founded SHS in 2002 and has grown the business from a one-person outfit to a full team of dedicated experts.