Restaurant & Hospitality Management Career Fairs (aka Job Fairs) offer you two great opportunities that you won’t find anywhere else in your job search — the chance to meet and interview face-to-face with restaurant management recruiters from multiple restaurants, hotels, or clubs in one place, in one day.
The second, less obvious opportunity, is the chance to quickly improve and hone your interviewing skills. This is the topic we will discuss here.
As most corporate restaurant recruiters tend to ask similar questions, a Restaurant Management Job Fair enables you to not only find out what these questions are, but to also repetitively answers them while under pressure. And, if you’ve been out of the job market for a few years, odds are your interviewing skills are going to be rusty so a Job Fair would be the perfect place to polish your presentation quickly.
As we’ve said before in another interview tip, being able to smoothly and confidently articulate your management (or Chef) experience, skills and capabilities will help reaffirm why your are the right person for the position.
Our suggested Restaurant Job Fair strategy would be to review the restaurants represented and then prioritize the ones of interest to you, from least to most important. Once that’s done, start your interviewing with the recruiters from the restaurant companies that are of the least interest. That’s right! The LEAST important ones are the ones to talk to first.
Why?? Because practice makes perfect! Starting with those restaurants that are of lesser interest gives you the opportunity to get warmed up and into your “interviewing rhythm” before you talk with those companies that are of most importance to you. (Plus, if you do well, you might end up with a number of job offers that might be used in negotiating your salary with your employer of first choice.)
As you work your way through each restaurant’s interview, remember to take a moment before moving on to the next to reflect back on not only the questions that were asked, but also on your responses and how well they were “received” by the recruiting interviewer. (Time to work on your people reading skills. Did they smile and perk up? Did they furrow their brow? Did they suddenly cut the interview short?)
By taking a minute to review, it will give you the chance to fine tune the message you want to convey about yourself and the kind of skills you can bring to the job.
Ideally, when you arrive at those companies that are of greatest interest, you will have lost most of your original nervousness and be able to answer their questions in a smooth, confident manner – just the way you manage your restaurant, hotel, or club. Right!?!?!