Hospitality Interviews: “You’re on!”

One of my mentors in hospitality told me, “The moment your feet touch the ground on property, consider yourself ‘on.’” He would repeat these words when addressing resort operations staff prior to high season, letting us all know that we are to be ambassadors of our resort brand to every one of our guests. This principle is directly related to interviewing. Consider yourself “on stage” the second you step foot on the employer’s property.

That same mentor also implemented “The 10-5 Rule” in resort hospitality. When ten feet away from another individual, you are to make eye contact. When five feet away, you are to extend a greeting. This simple rule was instilled in all resort staff and eventually became everyday habit, making a big difference in guest engagement. It puts guests at ease, and they always seemed grateful for the kind gesture. Most importantly, it sets the tone of the overall experience, even for the smallest of interactions at a resort.

At an interview, when you are walking toward the front desk or you come across an individual in the hallway, make eye contact and extend a friendly greeting. When you check in for the interview with the receptionist, be aware of your demeanor and your speech. Expert interviewers will follow up with all staff who may have come in contact with you, and ask them for their impression of you. Do you want them to report that you scowled when you looked up from your phone, or that you had a warm smile and hospitable twinkle in your eye?

Your qualifications, talents and skills will get you the interview for your dream job. Your soft skills – how you present yourself, your demeanor, body language, and engagement – will get you the offer!


The mission of Strategic Hospitality Search (SHS) is to partner with our clients throughout the US to create cultures of excellence and to enhance the careers of our candidates.  SHS provides expert talent acquisition and consulting services, empowering clients to develop a more aligned work environment resulting in increased profitability and amplified innovation.  To learn why hospitality leaders and entrepreneurs call on SHS When Talent Matters Most, visit








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.