Hey ya'll...I love articles that talk about "Secrets of Interviewing". Please...what secrets?? Come on guys and gals, there are no secrets. Think about it, what goes into being successful?
Have you ever heard the phrase “knowledge is power”? Well it’s true!
So how does it apply to interviewing? Now I am a restaurant management recruiter, so I deal with restaurant professionals each day, many of whom have not interviewed for quite some time, and I fully understand the fear that comes with that. But let’s try and put some of those fears at ease…
Using the understanding that “knowledge is power” let’s think about what knowledge we need…really it’s about knowing 2 things.
#1) Know thyself… very simply…know who you are and what your skills are. In interviewing restaurant managers each week one overriding factor I detect is that most veteran restaurant managers do not “know who they are”. Why, because every day we do what we do out of habit. We never think about the functions we perform, we do them out of a “rhythm”, not out of a thought. Consequently, we probably really don’t know how we fit with a company and what specific talents we bring to them. So candidates…if you are preparing to interview…then start by KNOWING WHO YOU ARE!
Start by asking yourself who you are. What specific talents do you have? What motivates you to get out of bed each morning? What are you seeking out of your career? Ask yourself what Value, what Benefit, and what Impact do you bring to your next company?
In asking these questions, I mean you should actually answer them. Get your note pad opened up and begin to write down the answers to these questions. And don’t skimp on the answers! For example, restaurant managers if you are skilled at controlling food and labor costs, then list that and then below that, write down specific things that you do to keep these things in line. GET SPECIFIC. If you are seeking upward mobility in your career for example, make a note of this and make a note of what level of position you want to attain and the timeline you have given yourself to attain it. Think about the “specific value” you bring to your next company, and be able to deliver that in an interview. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER…knowledge about you that is!
#2) Know the company that you are talking to …do your research! In fact, do your research before you decide to interview with a company. Amazing as it sounds, candidates more often than not do not do this. In the restaurant management recruiting industry I am amazed at candidates who “think” they want to work for a company just because they like eating in their restaurants. Come On! My 2 year old likes eating at McDonalds, but she wouldn’t want to work there! No…do your homework on a company to determine if they fit with who you are…and if you fit who they are! And…know why they fit who you are.
For example, if a restaurant company looks for managers who are very skilled in controlling P&L’s, and you are skills are more driven toward guest service, you might not be a good fit for them. Or if a company does not allow quick movement upwards for their managers, and you are an aggressive grower, be aware that they might not fit you.
As a National Restaurant Recruiting Agency, I can tell you that in any interview there are basically 2 questions a hiring manager is looking to have answered…
Why do you want to work for me?
Why should I hire you?
And if you cannot answer these questions specifically and concisely, you are going to become the “weaker of the species” in the eyes of a hiring manager.
But, by taking time to know yourself and to know your potential company, your interview comfort will increase dramatically. You will be more calm, cool and collected…ready to bring together your “specific management talent” and “your specific excitement about a company” and in the eyes of a hiring manager you look like a superstar compared to everyone else!
Come on people…DO YOUR HOMEWORK!!