March 4th, 2015
One question can make, or break, your career. Answering this question has a serious impact on your future.
The question? 'What do you do?"
One simple, 4 letter question, but it is the most difficult question to answer.
- #1 'What do you do?' vs. 'Who are you?'
Many professionals have a difficult time separating who they are from that they do. The answer to 'what do you do' should be very short. If your answer is 100 words then it is too long.
What you do should also encompass your passions, but it shouldn't focus on hobbies, beliefs, and personal interests.
- #2 'What do you do' vs. ' What have you accomplished?'
What you do isn't interesting. What you have accomplished can you mention. This isn't time to brag or become ego-centric. Instead, try to come up with a few 'ice breakers' that interest the listener. Obvious as this sounds, it often takes a few tries to find the answer that peaks peoples interest and initiates a conversation.
What you never want to do is offer a 'stop answer'. These are answers where the only thing the listener can respond with is, 'that's nice'.
- #3 'What do you do' vs. 'What is your Job'
You are not your job. Once you tell someone you are a restaurant manager they automatically know that you are good with communication, budgets, and managing staff.
'What Answer I Really Want.'
When people ask what do you do, they mean 'What can you do for me'. Instead of saying 'I'm a restaurant manager,' try answering 'I create the best dining experience for anyone who wants more than just an expensive meal.' Another good answer might be 'It is my job to keep our restaurant's general manager from going insane, and to make the investors fat and happy.' Of course, the tone depends on the restaurant's image.
The question 'What do you do' is similar to the questions 'How are you'. The person asking really doesn't care. The question isn't about you. The listener has already stopped 'active listening' before you start you answer. That is why you need something to 'wake them up', and grab their attention.
If you ask this question the stop, it immediately puts everyone on guard. The become wary of your motives. The question is too general. If you want to build trust and relationship then ask specific questions. Then look the person in the eye and actively listen to their response. Carefully monitor your body language so that it tells the listener that you are interested.
February 25th, 2015
Every hospitality job has one thing in
common – success if built on service. As a manager you need to offer the best
service and motivate every member of your team to offer better service than the
When being interviewed the hospitality
recruiter is looking for these traits. These are things that are inherent, or
learned behaviors, in any restaurant manager. You cannot fake them. Any good
hiring manager or recruitment professional needs less than 20 minutes to
determine whether a Candidate is a born manager or just ‘putting on a front.’
- How to answer interview questions
The job interview is stressful. Even a good
manager can mess up a job interview. Here are a few tips to help make the most
of your new job interview.
- Answer Questions Mindfully
There is one rule – avoid answering ‘yes’
or ‘no. The recruiter wants yo to talk. Don’t let the fact that your recruiter
is tired of asking the same questions, or tired, cheat you out of a good
- Don’t Accidentally Send Up Red Flags
Interviews are designed to reveal problems
Candidates try to hide. Your responses will tell the recruiter more than they
could learn working with you for a week. Here are some of the ‘red flags’. That is, if you answer. Refusing to answer
some questions can bring an interview to a sudden stop. It might be better to
carefully script an answer before the interview then to avoid the question.
- Questions You Should Always Answer:
Why did you leave your last job?
Why have you had so many jobs?
Personal questions that are
intended to reveal personal or relationship problems.
Any question that will reveal
legal problems in your past.
Questions that define your
personality type, or your career commitment.
Whether employee turn over was
low, profits increased/decreased, and growth.
The tendency is to fully explain
everything. A better option might be to offer a few well scripted highlights.
Follow this by asking if the recruiter wants further details about any of the
topics. What is even better is if you can show documentation, reports
(sanitized to protect intellectual property), and even some plans and workbooks
you keep for your own use.
No matter how stressful, accusing, or
difficult the interviewer is remember ‘it is all a show.’ Do not be caught into
an argument or debate. Keep calm. Keep cool.
The interview isn’t over until your stress shows that S.E.R.V.I.C.E is
not your primary focus.
February 24th, 2015
February 23rd, 2015
Here are a few tips to help restaurant
manager’s work with career coaches and recruiters. The core virtue of both is
to help professionals assess their situations with honesty, empathy,
compassion, and develop realistic expectations.
1. Realistic Expectations
One of the biggest misconceptions is that
someone will give you a job based on your resume. Success in today’s world
depends on marketing. If you cannot market yourself then you are dead weight.
This is different than the sales pitch. Marketing creates a brand for yourself.
It associates your name with a certain image.
Creating a brand takes time. You can’t
leave it until you find yourself unemployed, or looking for a new job.
Marketing needs to become a way of life. You need to learn your strengths, who
you are competing with, and the needs and desires of your potential employer.
Why Restaurant Managers Career
The competition is volatile in the
hospitality industry, especially for managers. Everyone thinks they can do the
job. Everyone thinks the job is easy. The biggest problem is that some of these
people may be great at marketing themselves, taking jobs they are not ready
for. This leaves the skilled managers struggling to find their next position.
It is also possible that you are in the
wrong niche. Sometimes career stagnation doesn’t have anything to do with
ability, passion, or dedication. Your frustration may come from the fact that
you are in the wrong job. Maybe you are a general manager stuck in an assistant
restaurant manager’s job, or the kitchen manager.
3. Why Restaurant Managers Need a Recruitment
We’ve met dozens of Candidates who couldn’t
break the pattern of submitting resumes, even when nothing came from it.
Recruiters help match resumes with jobs, saving time, cost, and ultimately
There are a variety of assessments online
that can only go so far. Most of these are created for the corporate world –
not the hospitality industry.
You are Holding Yourself Back
We’ve all heard the excuses:
- “I hate my job, but I don’t know anything
- “I don’t know what to do with my skills.”
- “I feel trapped.”
- “I need help deciding what I want to do.”
- “I know what I want to do but I don’t know
how to do it.”
This is just job anxiety, and is something
every recruiter encounters frequently. People are even losing faith in social
media, LinkedIn, and association websites.
Take a bit of time to bring your life and
work-life into balance. Assess your beliefs. Reduce your limitations. Most
important – be honest
Are You Sabotaging Your
It is amazing how many people pay for a
coach or sign up with a recruitment firm, and then sabotage their own success.
They will not take advice. They will not try.
As a career coach I often ask people if
they are sabotaging their success. Or, are you depressed. The best answer is
yes, because that means they are willing to accept the truth and make a change.
They just need someone to point them in the right direction.
February 19th, 2015
Branding is a new trend where companies leverage the stickiness of content
marketing and social media to send a powerful corporate message that attracts a
better level of manager.
It is a tool
used by recruiters to attract the ideal employee. - like a moth to a flame. Instead of promoting
jobs, employers are branding themselves and making it easy for the best
candidates to find them.
Benefits to the
The best employees who
‘understand how the system works’ find the employer.
The employer can find a prime
candidate who is already employed but may be thinking of moving to a new
In the hospitality industry
success depends on your ability to attract the best and brightest. Companies
and recruiting firms aggressively fight to make sure the best work for them.
A company can have a list of
suitable candidates before a job opening comes available.
Hiring Managers can get to
research potential Candidates before starting the hiring process
You can find a potential
employer before leaving your current position.
You know ‘what is out there’ so
you can make an informed decision, to say, or leave, your current employer.
You may land your next job
before even telling your current employer that you are looking.
Finding a new job puts you in a
good position to negotiate a better contract, more pay, or a career
Why Aren’t More Companies Using Employment
reasons why HR departments do not use Employment Branding yet:
create an effective Employment Branding campaign.
2.They do not
want to invest the time needed to market
hesitant to spend money. As usual, marketing is the ‘bastard child’ in any
company. Because they cannot validate their expenses they often end up with the
companies do not realize is that it can cost more money to hire the wrong
manager. Geckohospitality has seen many restaurants in the hospitality industry
who continually hire the wrong employees. They also see the companies that
market themselves, and work with a recruiting company, find a manager who can
take their hospitality business to the next level.
Why Aren’t More
Restaurant Managers Researching an Employer’s Brand?
You have an
awesome recruiting agency working on your behalf.
You are a prime
Candidate for the recruiting firm’s clientele.
So why take the
time to research the hospitality and restaurant’s employment brand?
The answer is
simple. Your recruitment firm can only do so much for you. They can bring you
the job. They can position you for the job. But your Recruiter cannot choose
the job that will fulfill your dreams, help you meet your goals, and give you
the best and most fulfilling lifestyle.
February 12th, 2015
Almost every restaurant management
candidate wants to impress the job interviewer, or recruitment professional.
One of the most important methods is to discuss your well-honed, constantly
upgraded, team building skills. The HR managers running the interviews soon
become numb to the claims.
Restaurant manager’s need strong team
building skills. They also need some tangible way to show your skills on a
resume, and discuss them in a job interview. To successfully increase
performance in a restaurant it is important to build trust between the
executives and your management team, as well as the people on the floor.
The recruiter understands this, but they
are looking for Candidates that also build trust between the staff members and
the executives. This can be the most challenging and draining part of managing
“A team who doesn’t trust can never be a
Your profit and performance numbers can be
great. Your portfolio may have some amazing gains, but there will be something
intangible missing if you don’t develop your team’s talents and passions.
If a manager cannot build trust in their
team then they can’t include the results of employee teamwork exercises because
they will reveal the problem. So the manager goes into the job interview
without solid data showing their ability to manage a restaurant.
is trust so important?
Recruiters can separate management hopefuls
from true management candidates by the answer to this question.
Trust is essential for
sharing knowledge. If your team members trust one
another they are more likely to share knowledge and share information openly. They will have more involvement in the success
of the restaurant.
Trust is essential to
collaboration and performance. If your staff wastes
time covering their tracks and protecting their interests then they have less
time and energy to focus on the consumers.
Trust solves problems. When team members know that
their input is vital they will share concerns before they become problems. They
will also take responsibility for performance. They are more likely to offer
solutions to problems.
for Building Trust
Managers cannot build trust. Leaders can.
Lead by example.
Show your team that you trust
them and that you trust management. Team members are always watching and taking
cues from you.
Encourage talking in an honest,
meaningful way. Sitting around for coffee and ‘appetizers on the house’ may do
more for moral and performance than 100 motivational speeches.
Make sure that everyone knows
what is expected of them. Define a team charter. This gives everyone a purpose.
They know the boundaries. They know if they gossip and stab someone in the back
that they will lose their job. They also know that their ideas and suggestions
are encouraged and can lead to a bonus or perk.
Let the team ask questions and
offer ‘real’ answers.
Spend time face to face
Demonstrate that open
communication is important by taking action immediately after accepting an
February 5th, 2015
There are hundreds of thousands of web
pages telling Candidates how to answer resume questions. Unfortunately, they
can only offer vague answers to typical questions without any explanation or understanding.
If you don’t know why and job interviewer asks a question then your answer
doesn’t matter. There are no general or vague questions in a job interview.
Each one is meant to reveal something.
In the hospitality industry the questions
all have a double duty. The #1 problem is that people are not qualified to do
the job they are applying for. They have some education, and some experience,
but they do not understand the full scope of the job.
is important to a Recruiter?
The most important things to a recruiter
are those that make money for the restaurant. We’ve discussed several different
elements in the last month. One of the
biggest things that recruiters need to know is how well you can answer questions.
There are several ways to measure and
improve employee performance. They are some of the easiest to discuss in a job
interview. Traditionally all
responsibility was placed on managers to make sure the employees did their job
well. The old ‘command and control’ method offered no incentive for the
employees and creates an environment of frustration.
The new way of management is ‘trust and
track.’ This system works when the manager creates a culture around the
“I do this because I was told to.”
“I do this because if I do it will make my
job easier later.”
“I do this because if I do I can earn a
In this environment every member
understands exactly why things are done and they are encouraged to analyse the
way things are done. Each member has a share in shaping the system and
This leads to a reward system. This can
include free training, automatic raises when certain levels are completed, and
trusting trained employees to run courses for new employees. You’ll notice that
the reward is rarely financial.
Mangers who want to implement this type of
employee management strategy need to encourage feedback. They also need to
learn the different types of listening.
Coaching skills are important for today’s Restaurant Management Candidate.
Once you collect data and feedback it is
time to take action. Employees need to see changes at all levels. They need to
see that someone is paying attention to their feedback.
There is one element of the schematic that
every recruiter wants to discuss in the job interview. Do you know how
important the customer is to performance management? In the food service industry the strategies
evolve as customers continually define their dining experience based on their
likes, dislikes, trending, and prices.
January 30th, 2015
If you are looking for a job as a
restaurant manager then you need to highlight your personality on your resume. Successful
managers share the same skill sets and behaviors.
Restaurant Managers Need a Strong Sense of
Effective leaders know that the best
managers are those who incite others to follow them. They use empathy and
social skills to build a following. Fear and control have no place in a
Restaurant Managers are Naturally Justice
Many manager Candidates may wonder why
Recruiting companies and Head-hunters continue to talk about personality tests,
being just, and communication skills when they are not evident in so many
A person who is empathetic and works to be
just is the type of person who is going to take the investor’s seriously. They
are not going to become lax and abusive to the staff. A smart recruitment
professional isn’t going to focus on the good. They are going to unearth your
personality when things went wrong.
Restaurant Managers Have a Strong Sense of
Responsibility and Accountability
A manager may be low on their Career
Development Curve, and still land a good job. How? By showing that you have a
high level of accountability. Look at this
from the point of view of the restaurant owner. You have dreams. You have
plans. Some of these may take months, or years, to execute.
How can you know your team is ‘on board’ if
you can’t trust your manager to be honest and tell the truth. How can you find
where the problems are if your manager is hiding their own mistakes. If they do
that, then they will let their team do that.
Next thing – a business owner is abandoning
profitable, strong campaigns based on other people’s mistakes and bad
The best restaurant managers are hands on
people. They are willing to step in and take over any position on the floor or
kitchen – with a smile.
Restaurant Management Candidates Have a
Strong Sense of Courage
A restaurant manager with courage doesn’t
need to tell people that a task can be done, and done successfully. They have
already accomplished the task, worked out the kinks, and come up with a great
plan for success.
A courageous manager will be at the front
desk, and loading the dishwasher. They won’t tolerate toxic communication or
back biting among the team. They are not afraid of letting others take some
responsibility, advance their skills, and move up the ladder.
Self-Control is a Learned Behavior and
Important for Managers
It can be very difficult to show
self-control on a resume, or in a job interview, without revealing things that
went wrong in your last placement. This is where courage comes in. This is why
we suggest that managers document everything. Create ‘plans of action’ so that
when you become a Restaurant Management Candidate you will have the proof to
back up your claims of courage and self-control.
failure to plan is planning to fail. It is attributed to Joe Paterno, a famous
American football coach born in 1926. Any leader wishing to succeed as a
restaurant manager must plan his work, and then work his plan.
January 22nd, 2015
One of the most frustrating aspects of the
job hiring process is applying for jobs that the job interviewer does not
believe you’re not qualified to hold. In many cases, you may have already held
this job position. You can do the job. There are many restaurant managers
trying to move up the career ladder without understanding why all the doors
shut in their face. Why they never receive a follow up after the job interview.
The most obvious reason, you cannot
communicate your skills effectively.
In the professional world people who are at
the top of their career share the same behaviors and skill sets. You may be
able to do the job, but after failing to answer a series of questions properly
then the job interviewer will write ‘not qualified’ on your resume.
As a Career and Performance Coach I have
talked to many professionals. The same problems always come up.
The Job Experience and Hit The Ceiling
There is a job ceiling in the hospitality
industry. If you are trained on the job, it is fairly low. This is because most
people who learn on the job develop some mindsets that make it difficult for
their career to advance.
I don’t have time to network
associate with professionals. This is why the person who uses a recruitment
service like geckohospitality.com will land a job quicker than someone who uses
a job board.
source of mentoring and learning is from your peers. How will you know, what
you don’t know, if someone doesn’t help you see your limits.
No time for Education or
power. It gives you the tools needed to improve your performance. The moment a
recruiter sees a resume with no upgrading or education on it they see someone
who may resist being mentored or taking courses assigned in their new job.
Poor Communication Skills
It is very
difficult to manage effectively without being able to communicate. Inability to
communicate damage performance at every level. At the bottom there is increased
turnover due to team frustration, and wasted time and energy. At the upper
levels it is important to be able to succinctly highlight the improvements and
increases in revenue, or decreases in expenses in a manner that general
managers and investors will understand.
and BS but Cannot Get Past Entry Level Jobs
This professional knows ‘what’ to do.
However, they have not learned ‘how’ to do the job. They are full of
information but lack the practical skills needed to turn theory into real-world
Hiring managers fear putting
this person into a manager’s position.
New Management Candidates do not understand that not everything in books
translates to the restaurant floor.
Students have spent 3 or 4
years sitting at a desk reading and typing. The restaurant manager job is a
high stress job that requires physical endurance and a lot of patience. Working
at a summer job may not prepare you for a position as a restaurant manager. The
question is, Can you do the job?
Lack of connections. Face it,
connections make the job easier. Do you know the best place to buy vegetables,
or which contractor will work hard, fast, and for the lowest price? Do you know where to hire local help if
someone quits without notice? These are the intangibles that you cannot learn
in college or university.
January 15th, 2015
One of the most frustrating parts of the
job interview journey is the advice from well-meaning friends. The
condescending advice given is neither constructive or helps you improve your
performance next time.
“Get over it. Just keep trying.”
“Just imagine them in their underwear.”
“We’ve all had bad job interviews. No big
“Keep practicing. You didn’t want that job
Patronizing words of advice will just
increase your stress level. The secret to a successful job interview is to
appear confident. But most of us do not know what ‘confident’ looks like in the
real world. Our perception of confidence may be misinterpreted by others. In the job interview we try to exhibit
behaviors that are unfamiliar and send unintentional messages to the
The reality is, no one can tell us what
‘our’ confidence should look like. When we fake it we end up appearing
arrogant, self-absorbed, or even confrontational.
So how do we fix this problem?
What Confidence Looks Like
It is amazing how many professionals are
not interested in finding out what other professionals in their field act like.
They consider networking a waste of
time. They dismiss body language. They are so disassociated with their body
language that they lose a major part of their ability to communicate.
Professional Career coaches tell their
Clients to visit restaurants. Pick the restaurant carefully. Make sure it is
visited by the type of people you are trying to impress. This is not a onetime
task. Management Career Development requires behavior modification. Become the
Behavior isn’t a set of tasks you need to
learn, it is a mindset. It is method of dealing with problems and
Behavior Behind Communication
The coffee shop task is designed to help
professionals master several coaching techniques at once. Develop these skills
and confidence will become part of your behavior. Confidence is not something
you develop, not something you feel.
Confidence is communication. It is the
ability to communicate your ability to solve problems and handle stress. When
you are at a coffee shop frequented by professionals you’ll eventually start
noticing little things in their behavior.
Confidence By Listening
The root of all communication is listening.
When people panic they talk. The more stress felt, the faster they talk. A confident person has the patience and
experience to let others tell them what the ‘real’ problem is. If you learn to
listen then you can confidently ask the job interviewer what information they
are really looking for.
Learning to listen is the foundation to
appearing confident. But it takes a lot of effort to learn to listen.
Not all listening is the same. Active listening gives the impression that you
care without acting overt or condescending. It is more of an art than a
science. The best place to learn this is to watch managers have lunch. Watch
their body language when they are relaxed.
by Body Language
Everyone has heard of secret organizations
with private handshakes. This is a way of identifying each other. You’ll see
this tribal ritual in every aspect of society, and every level of the career
It doesn’t take a psychologist to identify
a professional waitress from a woman who wants a job real bad. The waitress
‘has moves.’ Managers have the same
secret signals. In fact there is a personality type drawn to the hospitality
industry that is easily identifiable.
If you learn this body language ‘on the job’. It
is a marketable asset. So if you want to get a job in the hospitality industry
then don’t try to be someone you are not. Trust yourself, and be yourself
January 9th, 2015
Restaurant managers are responsible for the
performance of their team. But once the first meal hits the grill everything is
out of the manager’s hands. The night’s performance may be in the hands of one
hundred other people. This creates a unique situation for managers.
How do you confidently manage a meeting,
presentation, or job interview without using behaviors or body language that
can stall your career or cost you a promotion?
Visual display of your story on one page.
This can be done on a white board, or paper. Even an ipad or laptop can help.
#1 What is the 1 overlying message you want to convey?
This should be a twitter type message. This
message should give the important point.
This should be filled out with no more than
4 sub points that your audience wants to hear. This applies for business
meetings and job interviews. Keep these points ‘important’ to your audience.
Once you have a blueprint then you can
direct the conversation. Stay away from trying to defend yourself. Do not own the problem. Do you need to
eliminate the problem or the consequences of an action, which caused a problem?
Think carefully about this.
#2 Connect to Your Creativity
This may seem impossible in a job
interview, and it can be, unless you practice. What you need to understand is
that there is a difference between creativity and ‘making something up.’ Your creativity is what inspires you. It is
Your creativity is what gives you the power
to make things happen. Just think ‘Steve
Jobs.’ He says ‘creativity is just connecting things.’ He turns ideas into
tangible products. You are a product that needs to be sold. Your consumer is
the person you are talking to.
One mistake that many people make is only
focusing on the practical aspects. Steve Jobs took Calligraphy in college. It
had no practical application, but later it became part of the fonts on Mac
which caught people’s attention.
#3 Learn to Say No
In American culture the person who has the
power to say no, is the person with the power. If you want to psychologically
tip the balance in your favor then you need to learn ‘how’ to say no in a way
that empowers you without creating negative consequences.
To Apply These Skills in a Job Interview
Unfortunately this article is primarily
about telling you ‘what’ needs to be done. What you read here is the result of
specific behaviors. The practical side is to learn how you can create these
Learn how to make message maps. Learn how
to negotiate. Learn how to say what you mean, and mean what you say. If you can
master these things then you will be able to control a conversation. Once you
can do that you will be able to enter a job interview confidently. You will be
able to handle the most stressful questions, and face the most devastating
problems without being bullied or forced to defend yourself.
Once you can do this you can avoid excuses
in the job interview, and your new management career.
January 5th, 2015
All restaurant management candidates, and
in fact everyone in the hospitality industry, know that team building and
collaboration is the secret to landing a good job and keeping it. It is vital
that job seekers make sure that they can satisfy any questions asked in the job
There are the standard questions asked in
any job interview. A good manager can offer great information and data. They
may come armed with employee evaluation programs they designed, and charts
showing how they decreased turnover or improved performance. They may even have
great motivational strategies and development programs but still not land the
Successful restaurant management candidates
have something more in-depth. There are a few things that professional managers
know which newer candidates won’t know. These can make the difference between
landing a job and spending another month going to interviews.
To Know The Team Personally
How much credibility does your stories
about team meetings and programs have if you use generic terms, instead of
people’s names. One way to build trust is to encourage your team members to see
each other as people.
Give them opportunities to open up, and
make sure that their lives are valued. Know when a school PA day is coming up
and ask if anyone needs the day off. Balance this by making sure that the
people who cover the PA days receive a perk – like a 4 day holiday or a long
Mistakes and disappointments are part of
business. Making a big deal or punishing mistakes will make employees afraid of
taking risks that can be profitable for the author. When everyone starts
pointing fingers the workplace becomes toxic. It lowers morale, undermines
trust, and lowers productivity.
Good managers encourage everyone to think
about the good, and bad, in a constructive way. Everyone needs to take
responsibility and work towards preventing the mistake in the future.
Managers can create cliques without
intention. Even when cliques are just groups of friends with similar interests
they can damage the effectiveness of a team. They also can create trust issues.
Cliques by nature are self-serving. This
can cause problems when you need a team to pull together in a crisis,
especially if one clique feels they are being discriminated against.
Coaching and negotiating skills are vital
for effective team management. The strongest skill learned in these disciplines
is active listening. The power of ‘active listening’ is so strong that you can
actually call it manipulation.
Sometimes just stopping and listening, then
responding proactively to the conversation can advert a possible problem.
Seeing potential and offering a way for
team members to improve their skillset, lifestyle, and work environment is a
powerful way to motivate a team and build trust. Keep training volunteer, and offer incentives
and perks for finishing training.
New Employee Orientation, Learn at Lunch,
and Cross Training are only three of the programs being adopted by corporations
across North America.
When in a job interview make sure that you
touch on these ‘advanced team building skills’. Take your game to the next
level and give the job interviewer answers and topics she doesn’t hear 50 times
December 29th, 2014
employees and good managers are worth their weight in gold to a hospitality
business. However, not all good
employees will make good managers –and managers who excel in their current
position won’t always shine if they’re moved up the ladder.
Here are five
signs that it’s time to promote a hospitality manager:
They’re clearly aligned with the company’s
goals. Part of a
hospitality manager’s job is to interpret the company’s goals for their
team. They ensure that the team’ work
supports those goals and that organizational objectives are met. Consequently, it’s crucial that managers or
potential managers demonstrate their understanding of and commitment to those
goals in their daily work and communication.They have good people skills. People skills are crucial for any
hospitality position, but they’re doubly important for managers. Not only do managers work regularly with
customers, they must also be able to guide workflow, train their team members,
communicate goals and expectations, and settle conflicts that employees cannot
They can see the big picture. Workers who specialize in handling the
details of one operation or line of work may not have the skills needed to see
how that job fits into the “big picture.”
Because hospitality managers coordinate workflow and projects across
several domains, however, they must have the ability to see how the work fits
into the company’s goals as a whole and to communicate this “big picture” to
They know how to motivate their team. Employee engagement is a reported problem
in many industries. Managers who can
keep their staff engaged and motivated, therefore, provide inestimable
value. Motivation is directly tied both
to productivity and to worker satisfaction.
A managerial promotion should only be considered for individuals who
know how to lead and inspire.
They’re motivated to manage. When deciding whom to promote in
management, don’t forget to ask the potential manager for his or her
opinion. Not every star employee wants
to be a manager; many are content to do the hands-on work they currently do,
knowing it’s where their best efforts lie.
Current managers may not want to move up the ladder, realizing that they
give their best to the organization right where they are. Trust the candidate’s estimation of his or
her own value in the new position and desire to take a promotion.
Hospitality, our experienced hospitality recruiters can help you find the
management talent you need. Contact us
today to learn more!
December 22nd, 2014
The new interview questions are more
interested in how Candidates think, behave, and whether they act or react to
stressful situations. There are no right answers. The recruiter is watching
your ability to think on your feet. They are also looking for clues that might
help determine how the management Candidates will perform.
As job hunting focuses more on
psychological and personality, and less on work experience, the interview
questions are changing. Restaurant Managers are especially pressured to give the
correct answers. A slight variation can make the difference between connecting
with a recruiter and continuing your job search.
There are other things the recruiter
wants to know. Do you listen? Are you able to take in the whole project, or
listen to a whole problem, and then come up with a solution? Or, do you barrel
ahead and try to solve the problem without having all the facts.
Are you the type of person who is self
centered or team oriented. Every resume has team oriented, but when the
Management Candidate is put on the spot, and a little stress is added, the
‘real’ personality comes out.
Do you accept responsibility or blame
others? The answers you give to the most abstract question can reveal this to a
good recruiter or hiring manager.
10 Interview Questions That Confuse Job
#1 “How Lucky are you and why?”
Your answer will give the interviewer
insight into your personality and goals.
“I don’t believe in luck – I believe in
“There is no luck, just experience and
skill in action.”
“I make my own luck.”
“Luck is nothing more than the ability
to seize an opportunity.”
#2 “Are you more of a hunter or a
There is no right answer to these
questions. You may answer hunter in job interview one, and gatherer in job
“I’m neither, I’m the chief.”
“I hunt the gatherers and steal from the
#3 “Do you believe in Big Foot?”
“It hasn’t been disproved.”
“I married him.”
“Uneducated people are always looking
for something to believe in.”
“I focus on my environment. I am sure
there are lots of creatures out there real or myth. Whether he exists or not is
not important to me unless it impacts my environment.”
#4 “What do you dislike about humanity?”
“Lack of Humanity.”
“Inclination to sabotage success.”
#5 “How honest are you?”
“I’m so honest I have a hard time with
“It’s my biggest character flaw”
“Management must be honest or projects
“Honesty is subjective. History is
accepted as the truth, but we know it isn’t.”
#6 “What was the last gift you gave
#7 “Have you ever spent a weekend at a
I tell a funny story, or relate what I
know about cottages.
#8 “How does the internet work?
“The internet is an intangible entity
comprised of millions of servers, lines, and computers linked together.”
“Not as good as it should.”
The next few are more arbitrary. There
are no right answers. The recruiter is watching your ability to think on your
#9 “Entertain me for 5 minutes. I’ll
just sit quietly.”
#10 “Are you enjoying your life?”
#11 “What song best describes you?”
#12 “If your life was written into a
movie what genre would it be?”
#13 “What anime character would you
dress up as?”
#15”You were stranded on a deserted
#16 “What Kind of Animal are you?
Why?”The answer isn’t the most important part of these questions. The hiring
manager really doesn’t care whether you imagine yourself as a lion, or a
butterfly. They are looking for body language, the ability to think, solve
problems, and handle stress. When you
are asked questions like this there are a few things you need to do.
Keep your voice positive
Do not stutter or ‘hum’
Do not repeat yourself
Other questions are subtle, but
revealing. Some companies have a "no excuses" policy. Others want to
know if you will stand up and accept responsibility and consequences.
There are responsibilities in today’s
work place that were not there 10 years ago. Many companies now have a policy
that specific employees be ‘on call’ 24/7 for a specific number of weeks. They
may be testing for resentment and self-serving attitudes that would make this
employee resent the policy. These
questions may also test loyalty and responsibility.
Most important, the recruiter is looking for job
seeker Candidates who can handle stress, even in the face of causality.
December 15th, 2014
The first thing you need to understand
when preparing for a job interview is that Hiring managers are trained in the
art of finding the truth and looking for places where people are trying to hide
the truth (masking). Many management
candidates fail to land jobs because they are afraid of telling the truth.
There are things that a manager wants to hear, that many people feel will ruin
their chances of landing a job.
Employers want to know:
•Will you be a team player? Will you
fit? Can you take and give orders? Do you share the company’s vision?
•Are you prima donnas? Do you see work
as part of your life, a place to live to the fullest, or is it just a job that
you tolerate so you can earn a paycheck.
•Will you be an asset or liability? Will
you make money or save money for the company? Will you cause a high turnover,
or will you calm employees and motivate them to work hard?
Before telling personal stories, write
them down, polish them. Say them out loud and see if they give the message you want to convey? Are they
too wordy and clumsy? Can you say what
you need to say in 60 seconds? Or, if it
takes longer, can you break what you need to say in 30 – 60 sound bites?
Are you reciting facts and figures, or
telling the story of your life? There
are a few stories that have a purpose. Tell them truthfully, but remember that
truth is based on beliefs and perceptions. The interviewer may not share yours.
Once you finish this exercise then try out your stories on friends in the hospitality
1. Times where you either made money or
saved money for your current or previous company.
2. A crisis in your life or job and how
you responded or recovered from it.
3. A time where you functioned as part
of a team and what your contribution was.
4. A time in your career or job where
you had to overcome stress.
5. A time in your job where you provided
successful leadership or a sense of direction.
6. A failure that occurred in your job
and how you overcame it.
December 8th, 2014
Many Job Seekers are surprised to find
that a job interview is similar to being profiled. The interviewer may be less
interested in your experience, and more interested in your behavior, and what
your personality type is. They may overlook areas where your education and
experience are lacking.
Experienced Human resource managers have
a plan in mind. A team of people can be developed who can outperform a team of
‘miss matched’ people at the top of their career development curve. This is
good news for new graduates and people who work their way through the ranks. It
levels the playing field so they can secure a job.
It also makes the interview process more
confusing. The best practice is to learn to identify behavior and personality
questions and then just relax and answer them as truthfully, and ethically, as
possible. Here are some samples. Now is the time to start reviewing these
questions and see if your first response is a knee jerk reaction, or the answer
which gives an honest depiction of you and your abilities.
- How often did you make a risky
decision? Why? What was the outcome?
- What is your project management
- How do you deal with company policy
you are in conflict with?
- Do you go above and beyond to
achieve a goal or complete a project?
- Do you enjoy/have problems with
- Share an example of how you were
able to motivate employees or co-workers.
- How would you describe your
- What do you do if you disagree with
- Tell me about a time you had a
conflict with someone within the organization.
- How do you motivate the team to
give 100% on a project, even when they are not behind management?
- Tell me of a time you took a
leadership role without being asked.
- Give an example of how you set
- What is your problem solving
- What happens when you do not meet
- What is your relationship with co-workers?
How do you handle conflict?
- What would make you postpone making
- How do you handle being
interrupted? Provide an example of how you handle it.
- How do you fit into a team?
December 1st, 2014
One of the most frustrating aspects of
working in any corporation is being stepped over for a promotion. Another
example would be the manager who solves problems, reduces turn over, increases
revenue, brings the restaurant out of the dark ages, and then is fired despite
A Poor Behavior Fit
Their skills, experience, and abilities
are not in question. You’ve never done anything to cause conflict in the team.
But there is an underlying tension. Your vision doesn’t match the rest of the
teams. They see problems in all their proposals, and they find your suggestions
petty and not worth a response.
Your successes receive no affirmation
while other team members receive approval and validation for just ‘doing their
job.’ This candidate is not a good behavioral fit for the team.
Poor Personality Fit
Everyone has their own attitude. These
can be defined as driver, casual, energetic, artistic, friendly and outgoing,
reserved and sophisticated. There is no right or wrong personality type. Each
one will fit into different organizations.
Honesty in the hiring process can
prevent this. However, if you do find yourself in an organization where you
don’t fit with everyone else, use the situation as a learning experience. The
communication and motivational skills learned here will be an excellent
addition to your resume.
Spotty Attendance/ Job Jumping
This can be a career killer for a
manager. Whether the disappearing act is the result of your personal life,
spotty attendance due to health issues, or dissatisfaction with your job this
behavior can haunt a manager for the rest of their career.
Job jumping is most damaging lack of
commitment. It can destroy a restaurant manager’s career.
Independence – irresponsibility – Diva Attitude
A manager who ignored procedures and
policy can alienate the team, bosses, and customers. The hospitality industry
needs team players who can work together to reach a common goal – outstanding
No one can be above the team. A sense of
entitlement can destroy a team’s moral and set back projects. Reckless and
indifferent behavior can also place the restaurant at the risk of a law suit.
A manager may see themselves as the
driving force behind a restaurant’s success. But the bosses may see this same
person as a problem and the cause of increased turn over or decrease in loyal
Negativity is contagious. The biggest
problem is toxic conversation. Within a very short time the entire workforce is
back stabbing, badmouthing management, and being disrespectful to customers.
Whether this fear is real, or only a possibility, the bosses cannot afford to
take that risk.
It is very difficult for a hiring
manager or recruiter to identify an employee who bends the law.
Poor Communicator – Indecisive Manager
As a rule, direct communication is the
vital to management. Once a manager discovers a problem, it's critical that
they take action instead or the problem will fester and get worse. Sometimes
only waiting a few days before taking action can cost a restaurant hundreds, or
thousands, of dollars.
Poor Emotional Control
A moody manager may not see themselves
as a problem. They get the job done. They meet goals. They follow procedures.
They motivate. But lack of control, and emotional outbursts, can cause an
undercurrent that eventually sours the team’s moral.
November 24th, 2014
are some questions you should never ask the interviewer.
- Never ask for information you could
have learned by surfing the web, or studying the business.
- Never try to negotiate the salary,
schedule, or job details
- If the company brings up emails,
computer time, etc. remember that you can’t ask whether the company
monitors emails, keystrokes, or PC use.
- Bringing up gossip, even news
articles, is a definite mistake.
- Never ask the interviewer about
their background or personal life. There must remain a degree of
separation for them to do their job right.
- Never ask or start a casual
conversation. The interviewer is not your newest best buddy.
- Topics that are taboo include, pay,
vacation time, benefits, whether the company does background checks, how
quickly you can be promoted, etc.
- Do not ask about changing jobs, or
how long you need to stay at one job before applying for the next. Do not
make it appear that you are not interested in the job you applied for.
- Can I leave early on Thursday? Or,
can I come in after dropping the kids off at school?
- Do you drug test?
- Do you have employee discounts?
- Why should I take this job?
- How long is the lunch break?
- How did I do? (in the job
- Any question that starts with why.
- How often will I be reviewed?
- Can I work from home?
- Will you monitor my social
- When can I expect a raise?
- Do you have flexitime options?
last question, never ask any question
Unspoken Interview Questions
are things that the interviewer will see that they may want clarity for, but
cannot ask for. These may include access to your social networking accounts, to
know how many kids you have, how old they are, to know why you are wearing a
cross, or whether you’re limp is permanent. Take a good look at yourself before
going to a job interview. The interviewer will see anything in your dress or
behavior as sending an intentional message.
November 17th, 2014
There is more to these questions than
just wanting to know if a Candidate is skilled enough to hold a job at a
particular restaurant. Think of a job interview as if it were a game of chess.
Each move determines the next set of questions. The outcome depends on whether
the interviewer puts the Candidate in check, or the hospitality professional
knows their industry well enough to out maneuver the interviewer.
What do you know about
- What new/important
trends do you see in our industry?
- What problems have you
solved for your current employer?
- What is the biggest
challenge/problem faced in your current position/last restaurant?
- How long do you expect
it to take for you to make a meaningful contribution to our restaurant?
- What do you look for
when you hire people?
- What can you do for
us/this department/to solve _________ problem?
- What are/were your
responsibilities at your current/last management position?
- What process do you
follow before letting someone go?
- What management
mistakes have you made in the past? What would you do differently now?
- How did you handle
them? What solutions worked for you?
- When was the last time
you fired someone/coached someone out?
- How many people have
been fired in the last 2 years?
- What questions do you
have for me? (for the recruiter/interviewer)
Print these questions out. They create a
wonderful set of interview questions you can use when hiring/promoting your
team members. A Strong manager will update their answers every few months. They
will keep these questions in their focus. This will help them remember
situations and even create situations that will sound good in a job interview.
Part of this process includes the
Candidate knowing what they can, and cannot negotiate and what questions the
management candidate asks the interviewer. But the Management Candidate needs
to know more than just what questions to ask. There must be a why, an outcome, and
Asking ‘What do you expect me to
accomplish in the first six to 12 months’ should have more purpose than just
wanting to know whether you can handle the job or will find it challenging. If
your boss cannot articulate the answer then you may be moving into an
This can result in a frustrating
relationship between executive managers and the restaurant manager which often
ends up in the floor people being fired as scapegoats.
November 10th, 2014
Weak candidates may have difficulty
articulating their experiences and what they learned. Weaker candidates are
satisfied with their ability to make it through the day without inciting chaos.
A strong candidate will analyse the situation and can give examples of how they
used their new found skills.
Weak candidates focus on incidentals.
They ask questions about the fringe benefits, pay, and promotions. Strong
candidates are looking for self- fulfillment, the ability to achieve and excel,
and personal/career growth.
A weak candidate will not have upgraded
their skills. The interviewer can tell by your vocabulary whether you’ve been
studying to be a better manager, to coach your people, and worked on
Weaker candidates focus on ‘what’ happened.
Stronger candidates focus on ‘why’ and do not hesitate when asked to explain
what they learned, and what they would do differently.
Weaker candidates have simple views.
Their answers are one dimensional. Strong candidates can describe a situation
in detail. They remember names, times, events, and can offer a two (or more)
Weaker candidates are unable to analyze
failure. This is often because they have never studied how to improve their
performance. They may also be egocentric in their view, putting the blame on
employees. Strong candidates acknowledge their role in both successes and
Weaker candidates are not self- aware.
They overstate strengths, are inconsistent when answering, try to format the
answer they feel the interviewer wants to hear. Weaker candidates ‘perform.’
Stronger candidates are aware of their strengths.
Weak candidate take things as they come.
They may not research the company, or have unique, relevant questions. If they
ask the interviewer questions then they may be canned and lifted ‘word for
word’ from the internet. A strong candidate not only has relevant and deep
questions, but if the interviewer asks ‘why are you asking that question,’ they
will have succinct answer.
Weak candidates have difficulty placing
themselves in the new job. A strong candidate will have done their research,
already have expectations, perceptions, and have a good idea of their ability
to succeed in this job interview.
Weak candidates only worry about what
the interviewer wants in a good restaurant manager when they are unemployed.
They read articles that tell them how to ‘look’ self- confident, and suitable
for the job. The result is often someone who hesitates, is stiff as a board,
clumsy, and tries little tricks like mirroring the interviewer. Strong
candidates will have worked hard to become a good restaurant manager. The poise
and attitude has become second nature by the time they need a new job.