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How to Nail the Interview

Apr 20th 11
By Erica Lay of YCO Crew, Palma

You submitted your CV and the captain likes it. He's requested to meet you in person. How do you make sure you get the job at the interview?


·       Be on time. If you’re late and don’t have a brilliant excuse (i.e. a tsunami) you’ve ruined your chances of making a good first impression.


·       Dress smartly. A crew uniform is acceptable attire. If you’re working and don’t have the opportunity to arrive showered, at the very least wash your hands, change your shirt and apologize to the interviewer, explaining that you’ve come from work. This shows that you don’t normally turn up for important meetings with antifouling in your hair and fiberglass up your nose.


·       Turn off your mobile. If you forget and it rings, apologize, but don't answer it.


·       Bring a copy of everything: your CV, your references, copies of all your certificates, all of your visa information, etc. This shows not only preparedness, but also organization.


·       Do your homework. A bit of googling never hurt anyone. Find out as much as you can about the yacht. Dropping bits and pieces of info you learned demonstrates that you’re taking the interview and possible job seriously. Telling a captain something great about his current command is akin to telling your girlfriend she’s looking thinner – guaranteed brownie points.


·       Don’t answer questions with one word. Elaborate, but try to avoid waffling. Help your interviewer by providing sufficient information. But be careful that your responses don’t come across as bragging.   


·       Don’t be too nervous. Of course you’ll have a few butterflies if you’re sitting down to interview for your dream job, but fidgeting and fiddling in front of the captain isn’t a great start. Don’t lead him to think: "If s/he's a nervous wreck in front of me, what will s/he be like in front of the big, scary owner?"


·       Think about the questions you’ll be asked. Everyone’s good at pointing out their strengths and successes, but what if you’re asked about your weaknesses? Nobody’s perfect, so have a preemptive think about how to answer difficult questions with a positive spin. 


·       Let the interviewer take the lead. Don’t dominate the interview by not letting your interviewer get a word in edge-wise.


·       Don’t have a big night out before your interview. Smelling of booze and looking like you woke up in a dumpster won’t inspire much confidence in your desire for the position.


·       Ask questions. Prepare a few prior to the interview to demonstrate your interest, something other than how many days off a year you’ll get and the salary. Save those for later.


·       Don’t tell any fibs. Yachting is a very small industry and you will get caught!


·       Be polite, be charming and, most importantly, be yourself. The interviewer wants to know what you’re like. S/he’s seen that, on paper, you can do the job. Now, you have the opportunity show you can fit in with the rest of the crew.


Related Topics:

The Graceful Exit

Networking…the Right Way

Keep Your CV on Top

Tags: Essentials Careers 

Rating  Average 4.5 out of 5

  • Great advice. Thanks
    Posted by Therease 27/04/2011 08:03:55

  • Great points from Erica. Here are some more thoughts.

    First, be prepared to answer as many question as you can think of if you were the interviewer.

    Here are some of my questions cut down to the bare bones in no particular order.

    Why do you want this position?

    Why do you feel you should have this position and why do you want to work on this Yacht with us?

    Give me an example of a situation where things went wrong for you, it does not have to be working on a Yacht, just in your life, not how you got there, but what did you do to deal with it and what did you learn from it ?

    Tell me what you want to get from this position, what are your ambitions in the industry ?

    Where do you see yourself in say five years ?

    Give me an example of how you dealt with failure.

    What is the most exciting thing you have done? (This is not a question to see how much fun you are)

    If you had a situation where a guest was not listening to your directions how would you deal with it. Let’s say you are picking a guest up from a beach and they ask to ski back to the boat, but it is just you in the tender ?

    This is one I use that I got from Tony Hsieh (Zappos).

    What is the biggest misperception that you feel people have of you?

    followed by:

    What is the difference between misperception and perception?

    There are plenty more question, and they are always going to be different. Look at an interview and the success of it like varnishing.

    If you don’t do the prep work, then don’t expect a great results.
    Posted by simongb-N2 23/04/2011 14:42:12

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