How to Answer "Tell Me About Yourself"



"Tell me about yourself" is pretty much a requisite in all job interviews. After all, employers want to find out and learn more about you, and see whether you are suitable for the position. You may think, "Why would I need to practice talking about myself?" In actuality, most people aren't fully prepared to answer this question successfully. So here are the key points you need to remember when introducing yourself to a hiring manager:

#1: Expand on your resume.

Do not word-for-word say what you wrote on your cover letter or resume. Recruiters have already seen them before they invited you into the interview. You may refresh them of your background, but only with the main items. For example, if you held several roles in the past, consider saying, "I am well-versed in the hospitality industry with four years of hotel experience under my belt."

#2: Mention your greatest achievements.

It's okay to boast a little bit. Highlight a quality or instance you were positively noticed for. Try to speak about something special and something highly quantifiable, rather than abstract, so that it can be easily retained in the recruiter's memory. If you are applying for an executive chef position, you can talk about how you had revamped the menu at the restaurant you previously worked at, and how resulted in increased sales of $20,000.

#3: Use descriptive words in your pitch.

Stick to a set of vocabulary that evokes professionalism. Your wording sets the tone and shows that you are capable and confident. For instance, use the words like leader, expert or established, rather than started or followed.

#4: Pace your speech.

Remain calm, and do not rush it. Talking too slow or using an excessive amount of filler words (um, like, etc.) is not good either. If it helps, you can also try pausing shortly between each statement, so your thoughts are more organized. Perfecting your speech comes with practice, so rehearse in front of the mirror or with a family/friend.

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How to Prepare for an Upscale Restaurant Job Interview



Five-star restaurants have higher standards, from food to service, as compared to smaller, chain or family-owned restaurants. Patrons and management at these establishments alike expect nothing short of the best, so interviewing for a job at an upscale restaurant will follow a different set of rules. Here are some tips for you so you can thoroughly prepare in advance:

#1: Review terminology.

Before you head to your interview, make sure you to not only research the restaurant, but also review the usual vocabulary used in a fine dining setting. For example, words that you definitely want to be familiar with include: "à la carte," "al dente," "mis en place," "garde manger," etc. Your hiring manager may or may not use these kinds of terms with you during the interview, but they will be important to know when you work at the restaurant.

#2: Go through the restaurant's menu.

Get to know what the restaurant you applied for offers. You can easily find this out through their website, calling them or requesting a copy to be sent to you via email. Knowing what the dishes the restaurant serves shows that you are set and ready to work there.

#3: Learn about food and wine pairings.

Wining and dining is common practice at upscale restaurants, so your interviewers will surely test you on food and wine pairings. They will typically question you what types of wine go best with particular dishes. If you are looking to be a server, you will need to know this when diners ask for suggestions and recommendations.

#4: Dress appropriately.

The wardrobe will be more formal, so it is recommended to wear a dark-colored business suit or dress. Be mindful of non-essential accessories and jewelry and grooming. Keep your clothing, hair and nails clean and neat.

#5: Don't forget about the basics.

HR managers will still probably ask you the general get-to-know you questions, such as, "Why did you apply for this position," "What is your greatest/weakness," etc. Refresh yourself and find out how to answer the most commonly asked restaurant job interview questions.

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How to Answer "What Is Your Biggest Weakness?"



"What is your biggest weakness?" is one of the most commonly asked job interview questions, and probably one of the most difficult to answer. Surely, you do not want to talk down about yourself, since it gives off a bad vibe. However, you can't just say you don't have one; nobody is perfect. So here are some helpful tips in approaching this stressful question:

#1: Be prepared.

Again, like mentioned before, everybody has flaws. Hiring managers want candidates to acknowledge that they have weaknesses or things they can work on and potentially overcome. If you have a hard time thinking up of a weakness, create a list–things you are great at, and others that you may need more help with.

#2: Keep it relative to work.

Stay on topic and keep it work-related. You want to remain professional, so avoid irrelevant answers and make sure the weakness you mention is applicable to the role you are applying for.

#3: Don't mention essential skills.

Although you want to mention a weakness that is closely related to you work, do not state skills that are crucial to the job. For example, you definitely do not want to say that you are bad at juggling multiple tasks when you are interviewing for a restaurant server or hosting job.

#4: Remember the S.T.A.R. method.

The S.T.A.R. method stands for: Situation or TaskActions and Results. First, think of a situation or task where you faced a problem. Then, point out what actions you took to deal with it. Lastly, discuss what the end result was, and analyze whether or not you made an improvement or came to a resolution.

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Avoid These Job Interview Mistakes



Going into a job interview is always nerve-wracking. Even before you enter and meet the hiring manager, you have to physically and mentally prepare. Previously, we have given you some tips for the question and answering portion of interview, but here are some other common practices you must steer clear of:

#1: Do not state how nervous you are.

No matter how much your nerves get to you, do not let your interviewer know. They know that everybody gets nervous, so admitting to it makes you look unprofessional and unqualified. In addition, it gives off an impression that you will not be able to handle the work environment and stressful situations.

#2: Do not go into your interview without doing research.

Make sure you do your homework prior to going into any interview. Find out everything you can about the business, its leaders and even who you will be interviewing with. Knowing such information will be only advantageous for you when being asked questions. It also proves that you are invested in working for the company.

#3: Avoid replying with one-word answers.

Hiring managers want to hear stories about your experiences and skills. You need to elaborate and expand on your responses. For example, when asked about your past position as a server, describe your role and what you learned on the job.

#4: Do not go in question-less.

At the end of the interview, you will most likely be asked 'So, do you have any questions for me?' You definitely do not want to end the interview with just a 'No'. Prepare at least three meaningful questions in advance to ask. Do not ask obvious or overused questions. Instead, try 'What do you most enjoy about your job?' or 'What makes the company different from its competitor?' to create a personable conversation.

It's relatively easy to fix these bad habits, as long as you prepare beforehand. Take these pieces of advice with you when go on your next job interview, and good luck.

 Looking to work in Hospitality?

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