What NOT to Do in a Crew Job Interview

10 July 2008 By Kelly Sanford

Crew shortage or not, captains and owners have noticed that many crew behave totally inappropriately during an interview.

The pressure of a job interview can be unnerving. Sitting face to face with an owner or captain who has the power to decide whether you are suitable for a job that you really want can make even the most qualified candidates feel a little awkward. But discomfort is no excuse for lack of courtesy, unprofessional or bad behavior.

The following is a list of common mistakes candidates make when interviewing for a job.

Let other obligations supercede the interview: First impressions are everything as the decision not to hire often occurs in the first few minutes. Don’t be late, make sure you’re properly groomed and don’t show up in attire that is not expressly chosen for the interview. Definitely do not schedule yourself in a way that you may have to rush the interviewer because you have other obligations.

Forget to make a proper introduction: Be sure you do not forget to shake the interviewer’s hand, look that person in the eye and say, “I’m [insert your name here], thanks for taking the time to meet with me.”

Bash your former boss: Even if your last boss was a real piece of something, never treat an interview as a venting session. It makes you look bitter and difficult. If asked to explain why you left your last job and the reason is because of a boss or co-worker, try to keep your remarks positive and philosophical. There is often no need to elaborate any more than, “It just was not the right fit.”

Use slang and street lingo: Resist the temptation to use the same vernacular that you would use with your peers. No matter how the interviewer speaks, use no expletives. Try not to use works like “awesome” “sweet” and “cool.” And even if the captain interviewing you looks young and hip, don’t call him “dude;” it shows an utter lack of respect for his position and disregard for propriety.

Make lots of demands: Don’t walk into an interview with a list of requirements and obligations. If you have a cousin who’s getting married in two months, that’s a topic that needs to be approached after the job is offered to you. Likewise, negotiating things like raises, perks and bonuses is totally inappropriate during an initial interview. Making demands before the job is even offered to you is always a mistake.

Lie, lie, lie: Don’t say anything that’s not true. It will eventually bite you -- if not right away, it will down the road. Don’t claim to hold a license or certification unless you physically possess it. Getting caught in a lie calls into doubt the validity of everything else you say and eliminates your prospects for the job. If you cannot get the job on your own merits, then the job quite simply is not for you.

On any yacht there will be a reasonable expectation for the observation of a proper chain of command, which means that crew should show the utmost respect for those in a position to hire them.

In order to get those jobs on the yachts with the best reputations, be sure to step aboard with your best foot forward.

Do you have any job interview tips or nightmares to share? Any stories about great interviews or unbelievable unprofessionalism? Let us know. Leave your comments below and be sure to vote in our interactive poll.