A job interview for the hospitality industry is probably one of the most nerve-wracking experiences that anyone will go through in their life. Even for those with nerves of steel, the prospect of having to sit down with someone who has the power to offer you an exciting new role in a bar, restaurant or hotel can be one that leaves you with butterflies fluttering in your stomach for days in advance.
Of course, it's perfectly natural to be somewhat nervous before you go to any interview – in fact, some might say it would be a bit worrying if you weren't feeling the pressure a little. After all, there's a lot to be gained from any job interview, and you want to make sure you perform to the best of your abilities.
That's not to say that you can't do everything in your power to help reduce the worries you might have before the big day, though. Most interviews will be arranged at least a few days in advance, and it's unlikely you'll have it sprung upon you at a moment's notice, so use this to your advantage. If you set aside time to prepare before your interview, even just a little at a time, you'll find yourself far more relaxed as you sit in your prospective new employer's office, waiting to be seen.
We look at some of the best ways to prepare yourself for that important job interview ahead of time to reduce stress.
There's nothing worse than getting off on the wrong foot with an interviewer, and one of the most common ways to do this is having to admit that you know little or nothing about the company you've applied to. Remember, you've probably already written a cover letter expressing how excited you are to get a chance to work for said firm, so it's understandable that they might be a bit miffed if you know nothing about them.
The best way to alleviate this is to simply do a bit of research on the company. It doesn't need to be too much, and in the age of the internet, it's easier than ever to do. Most websites will have an 'about us' section, and a little glance at this will be enough to tell you most of what you need to know.
Practice makes perfect
You're probably worried about what the interviewer is going to ask you. We all fear being interrogated and ending up sitting there just staring at the interviewer feeling dumbstruck. The good news is that all it will take is a little bit of preparation to ease your worries about the questions you might face.
Print off a list of the most common interview questions from the internet and sit down with a friend to carry out a bit of roleplay. Have them ask you the questions and practice giving confident, clear and concise answers. After a couple of run-throughs, you'll feel ready to face anything the interviewer has to throw at you, and you can go in feeling a lot less nervous.
Stress can lead to nerves and worry, and there is no worse time for this to strike than when you want to relax before your interview. For this reason, you're best to have everything ready for the big day in advance, and that includes your clothing and appearance as well as your mindset.
Getting your hair cut, buying a shirt and trousers and making sure everything is ironed the night before are all great ways to lower stress levels. After all, if you're rushing around on the day of your interview, one eye on the clock as you try to iron a shirt with one hand and shave with the other, you're hardly going to go into the interview feeling relaxed and ready to face the day. Setting aside as little as an hour the night before can go a long way.
As well as making sure you're dressed and groomed, you'll want to make sure you've also planned out your journey. If you've looked into your route, any public transport times and where to go when you reach your destination, then you're less likely to be darting around on the morning of your interview in a city you've never visited, desperately asking locals for directions.
Print off maps, book tickets in advance for travel and make sure to give yourself plenty of time to get to the employer's place of work. If you know exactly where you're going, it's one less thing you need to worry about on the morning of your interview, and you can focus on making sure you know exactly how to sell yourself to the interviewer.
Berkeley Scott is a specialist hospitality recruitment agency.