How to Nail the Interview

20 April 2011 By Erica Lay of YCO Crew, Palma

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

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

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

·      Turn off your mobile. If you forget and it rings, apologize, but don'tanswer it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Networking…the Right Way

Keep Your CV on Top