Unsure Why You Were Shut Out of the Hiring Process

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.

On 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.

1.     I don’t have time to network

Professionals 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.

The greatest 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.

2.     No time for Education or upgrading

Education is 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.

3.     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. 

Degrees 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 solutions.

1.     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.

2.     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?

3.     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.

Listen Now:

Interview Tips: Overcoming a Lack of Confidence

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 deal.”

“Keep practicing. You didn’t want that job anyway.”

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 interviewer.

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?

Research 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 best manager.

Behavior isn’t a set of tasks you need to learn, it is a mindset. It is method of dealing with problems and communication.

The 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.

Communicate 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.

Communicate 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 development ladder.

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

Listen Now:

How to Land a Manager’s Job: Eliminate Excuses

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?

Message Map

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.

Step #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.

Step #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 motivation.

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.

Step #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.

How 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 behaviors.

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.

Listen Now:

How Restaurant Managers Can Impress Recruiters and Hiring Managers

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 interview.

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 job.

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. 

Get 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 weekend off.

Don’t Place Blame

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.

Discourage Cliques

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.

Active Listening

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 a day.

Listen Now:

Five Signs You Should Promote a Manager

December 29th, 2014

Both good 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 handle themselves.

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 employees.

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.

At Gecko Hospitality, our experienced hospitality recruiters can help you find the management talent you need.  Contact us today to learn more!

Listen Now:

10 New Interview Questions for 2014

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 Seekers 


#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 effort’

“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 gather.”

There is no right answer to these questions. You may answer hunter in job interview one, and gatherer in job interview two.

“I’m neither, I’m the chief.”

“I hunt the gatherers and steal from the hunters.”


#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 company politics.”

“It’s my biggest character flaw”

“Management must be honest or projects are sabotaged.”

“Honesty is subjective. History is accepted as the truth, but we know it isn’t.”


#6 “What was the last gift you gave someone?”

“My time.”

“I listened.”


#7 “Have you ever spent a weekend at a cottage?”

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.”

“It doesn’t”

“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 feet.


#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 island.

#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.


Lean forward

Remain Calm

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.    

Listen Now:

Can You Pass an Interviewer’s Interrogation?

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 industry.

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.

Listen Now:

How The Interviewer Tests Your Behavior and Personality

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 strategy?
  • 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 deadlines?
  • Share an example of how you were able to motivate employees or co-workers.
  • How would you describe your listening skills?
  • What do you do if you disagree with your boss?
  • 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 goals.
  • What is your problem solving strategy?
  • What happens when you do not meet your goals?
  • What is your relationship with co-workers? How do you handle conflict?
  • What would make you postpone making a decision?
  • How do you handle being interrupted? Provide an example of how you handle it.
  • How do you fit into a team?
Listen Now:

Behavior that Can Cost Managers their Job

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 their efforts.

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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 customer service.

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 patrons.

5. Negative Attitude

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.

6. Illegal activities

It is very difficult for a hiring manager or recruiter to identify an employee who bends the law.

7. 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.

8. 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.


Listen Now:

20 Questions Not to Ask the Job Interviewer

November 24th, 2014

There are some questions you should never ask the interviewer.

  1. Never ask for information you could have learned by surfing the web, or studying the business.
  2. Never try to negotiate the salary, schedule, or job details
  3. If the company brings up emails, computer time, etc. remember that you can’t ask whether the company monitors emails, keystrokes, or PC use.
  4. Bringing up gossip, even news articles, is a definite mistake.
  5. Never ask the interviewer about their background or personal life. There must remain a degree of separation for them to do their job right.
  6. Never ask or start a casual conversation. The interviewer is not your newest best buddy.
  7. Topics that are taboo include, pay, vacation time, benefits, whether the company does background checks, how quickly you can be promoted, etc.
  8. 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.
  9. Can I leave early on Thursday? Or, can I come in after dropping the kids off at school?
  10. Do you drug test?
  11. Do you have employee discounts?
  12. Why should I take this job?
  13. How long is the lunch break?
  14. How did I do? (in the job interview)
  15. Any question that starts with why.
  16. How often will I be reviewed?
  17. Can I work from home?
  18. Will you monitor my social networks?
  19. When can I expect a raise?
  20. Do you have flexitime options?

One last question, never ask any question

The Unspoken Interview Questions

There 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.

Listen Now:

Skills and Abilities Questions Interviewers ask Restaurant Managers

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.

Employer Questions

  •   What do you know about our restaurant/franchise?
  • 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 a purpose.

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 unorganized/motivated position.

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.


Listen Now:

Interviewing Secrets: Strong vs. Weak Management Candidates

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 communication skills.

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) tiered answer.

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 failures.

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.

Listen Now:

Personal Questions Interviewers May ask Restaurant Managers

November 3rd, 2014

Even managers with experience can be caught off guard by some of today’s Hiring Managers or company reps. The manager’s ability to handle these questions in a professional and calm manner can mean the difference between landing a dream job and hitting a ceiling in your career.

It is not the Hospitality Recruitment professional’s job to prep their clients for job interviews. Career coaches can help but they are expensive. One way to pass the interview is to have a quick list of interview questions and develop a list of answers you can rehearse before the interview.

Personal Questions:

  • Tell me about yourself?
  • Why do you want to work for us?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What do you look for in a job?
  • How long will you stay with us?
  • Your resume suggests that you are over-qualified/experienced for this position. What do you think?
  • Are you a good Manager?
  • Can you provide some examples?
  • What do you find most rewarding?
  • What is your biggest accomplishment/failure?
  • What experience do you have?
  • How do you evaluate success?
  • Why are you leaving/did you leave your job?
  • What are your future goals?
  • _________________ What are you doing about it?
  • What happened?
  • How did you ensure the desired outcome?
  • How do you know it happened?
  • What lessons did you take away from the situation?
  • How do you describe yourself as a manager?
  • How would others describe you?
  • Do you prefer to work independently or on a team?
  • Give some examples of teamwork?
  • If you know your boss is wrong, how would you handle it?
  • How has your management philosophy evolved?
  • What is the #1 reason most people fail at management?
  • Why have you been unemployed for ____ months?
  • What is your strength/weakness?
  • Are you easy to talk to?
  • How do you handle stress/pressure?
  • What motivates you?
  • What has been the greatest disappointment in your life?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • What do people criticize about your?
  • When was the last time you were angry?
  • What would you change if you could re-live your life?


When answering these questions it is important to keep in mind what the recruiter/interviewer is looking for:

  • How you handle stress?
  • Are you narcissistic or a bully?
  • Are you friendly? Do people like you?
  • Can you think on your feet?
Listen Now:

Career Development Questions Interviewers ask Restaurant Managers

October 27th, 2014

Many job seekers search the web looking for the right answers to their interview questions. As a career coach I understand the motivation, but this is the wrong thing to do.

Each management candidate is a unique person. They have their own strengths and weaknesses. Their skills sets are unique to their passions, beliefs, and perceptions.

This goes for the potential employer. A Hospitality candidate may be coached until they have the poise, self-confidence, self-awareness, and polish needed to land an executive job positions – and still remain unemployed. This is because not every restaurant is looking for a manager like this.

Some jobs require someone who is on the floor every night mingling with the customers. Others require an administrator who almost never talks to their team. Candidates need to determine which type of job they will enjoy and what environment will inspire them.

The hospitality industry is unique in the fact that it has a ‘perfect position’ for managers at every stage of their career development.

Manager’s Career Development Questions:

·         What do you feel you should earn?

·         Why aren’t you earning more at your age?

·         What did you think of your boss?

·         How successful have you been so far?

·         What do you think the most difficult thing about being a restaurant manager?

·         What is your management style/philosophy?

·         Please give me your definition/perception of ____________.

·         Do you believe you have top manager potential?

·         What do you expect from a manager?

·         What do you bring to this restaurant?

·         Tell me about an employee who became more successful as a result of your influence?

·         What was your starting/final level of compensation?

·         What major challenges/problems have/do you face?

·         What complaints do you think the people you’ve managed would have against you?

When a recruiter asks the question, ‘What do you think will make you successful in this job? They are not looking for a list of your skills. What they want to know is whether you see this position as a career stepping stone, a place to live out your career, or a stop gap till something better comes along. Your answers are only half of the mix.

The interviewer is also looking to see whether you’ve been studying and reading. Will you use industry jargon and ‘coaching’ terms? Will you fumble trying to come up with your own answers’? Can you keep eye focus when answering questions? Do you become frustrated/angry when asked questions you think are stupid, or do not know the answer to?

Listen Now:

40 Personal Job Interview Questions for Managers

October 20th, 2014

Even managers with experience can be caught off guard by some of today’s Hiring Managers or company reps. The manager’s ability to handle these questions in a professional and calm manner can mean the difference between landing a dream job and hitting a ceiling in your career.

It is not the Hospitality Recruitment professional’s job to prep their clients for job interviews. Management Candidates need to come to the job seek process ready to enter the job seeking process.  If not, then a recruiter cannot help them.

Career coaches can help but they are expensive. One way to pass the interview is to have a quick list of interview questions and develop a list of answers you can rehearse before the interview.

Personal Questions:

1.      Tell me about yourself?

2.      Why do you want to work for us?

3.      What are your long term goals?

4.      Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

5.      Why should we hire you?

6.      What do you look for in a job?

7.      How long will you stay with us?

8.      Your resume suggests that you are over-qualified/experienced for this position. What do you think?

9.      Are you a good Manager?

10.  Can you provide some examples?

11.  What do you find most rewarding?

12.  What is your biggest accomplishment/failure?

13.  What experience do you have?

14.  How do you evaluate success?

15.  Why are you leaving/did you leave your job?

16.  What are your future goals?

17.  _________________ what are you doing about it?

18.  What happened?

19.  How did you ensure the desired outcome?

20.  How do you know it happened?

21.  What lessons did you take away from the situation?

22.  How do you describe yourself as a manager?

23.  How would others describe you?

24.  Do you prefer to work independently or on a team?

25.  Give some examples of teamwork?

26.  How would you handle a disgruntled employee?

27.  What do you do to relax outside of the workplace?

28.  If you know your boss is wrong, how would you handle it?

29.  How has your management philosophy evolved?

30.  What is the #1 reason most people fail at management?

31.  Why have you been unemployed for ____ months?

32.  Are you easy to talk to?

33.  How do you handle stress/pressure?

34.  What motivates you?

35.  What are your greatest weaknesses/strengths?

36.  What has been the greatest disappointment in your life?

37.  What are you passionate about?

38.  What do people criticize about your?

39.  When was the last time you were angry?

40.  What would you change if you could re-live your life?

We will discuss questions designed to offer the interviewer clarity on career development and behavior in our blog over the next few weeks. To win a job as a manager, and keep it, requires long term commitment to your future.  You are the product. It cannot be allowed to become out of date or out of style. You need to prepare for your next job placement even if you believe you will hold your current position for several years.

Listen Now:

When the Job Interview Goes Wrong

October 14th, 2014

You’ve had a good interview. There has been plenty of time to talk about your past successes and your management strategies. You’ve been given the opportunity to tell a couple anecdotes and the interviewer has done a lot of head nodding and asking questions.

But your gut tells you that something is wrong.  If this happens too often, then work with a recruiting agency who can match you with the right job postings.

There are a lot of articles in the www.geckohospitality.com blog that talk about job interviews where you make mistakes and how to correct them. This blog will discuss what to do when you did everything right, but the interviewer is not responding the way they should.

You may have done something wrong. The interviewer may be tired. It may be 3:30 on a Friday afternoon before a long weekend.

1. Don’t own the problem this will make you defensive and instead of turning things around you are just digging a deeper hole.

The Interviewer is Not Interested

The interviewer is laid back. They are actively engaged. They are actively listening. They are very professional. They are not looking at their watch, but their smile lacks sincerity, their questions are hollow. They pause, and there is a lack of excitement.

The interviewer may need to ‘think’ over the next question, and after a long pause they ask vague questions. They may even ask silly questions to confirm that their judgement of you is not wrong.

2. Don’t take the bait. This is not the time to jump in with both feet and try to prove that you are the right candidate for the job.

Did you take the time to establish a relationship when entering the room? If not, just sit back. You don’t have the job at this point so there is nothing to lose. Think of the interview as a conversation.  Forget the well-rehearsed list of interview questions and answers. It is time to take control.

3. Look at the interviewer as if they are a real live person, not just a stepping stone to your next job.

Sometimes personalities clash. Maybe this interviewer is looking for a leader and not a manager. There may be nothing you can do to land this job, so use it as a learning experience.  Ask the questions you want answered. By this point the interviewer has picked up that you’ve caught on. So don’t ask another question about the company.

Instead try being honest, “I really want this type of job. What are the most important qualifications needed?” Is this job about behaviors and personality or success and education? What are the top three things you are looking for in a candidate?

The interviewer may brush you off and say goodbye. They may answer your questions. They may even smile guiltily that you figured them out. Your only option at this point is to leave on the best possible terms, just in case you are sitting in front of this hiring manager in the future.

Listen Now:

Self-Management | Five Principles for Successful Job Hunting

October 6th, 2014

Restaurant management candidates need to understand what hiring managers are looking for before they can successfully present their skills at the job interview.

All Qualified Mangers have the same foundational skill set:

1.      Understand personality and motivational types
Continually developing leadership skills
3.      Constantly improving communication skills
4.      Ever evolving problem solving skills
5.      On top of the latest conflict management skills

Candidates do themselves a disservice if they apply for jobs without first learning to manage their own behaviors, and use life coaching principles on themselves. 

If you can’t manage your behaviors and motivate yourself, then how can you manage others?

There are several benefits to self-management. The first is the control it gives over your own performance. You will achieve more goals. Your level of success will increase. Goals will be met and exceeded. Eventually the time needed to reach goals decreases.

Your interpersonal skills will improve. You will become the solution, not the problem, in most conflicts. Your intelligence and strategies will control situations, not your wants, needs, and emotions. You will respond to crisis, not react to chaos.

Career Self-Management

A Candidate’s self-management also reveals their position on the learning curve. A management candidate will not need to waste five minutes listing all the coaching and motivational courses they’ve taken. All they need to do is display ‘active listening’ and make sure their answers reveal their inner growth.

A person who has moved through the five stages of inner growth doesn’t need to tell the interviewer that they’ve learned time management skills. Instead, they can show that they reduced the time needed to solve conflict by 10% in their last workplace, or they eliminated some problems that plagued their last restaurant.

A Candidate who has learned self-management doesn’t see themselves as a person who is trying to win a job over other candidates. They see themselves as a ‘bundle of resources and skills’ that are needed, somewhere.  They outgrow focusing on what they do, and start focusing on what they accomplish.

You are no longer a ‘restaurant manager.’ Instead you are an asset at that restaurant who can manage yourself and take control over your own performance, but the performance of others. There is purpose to each task. There is an outcome beyond getting to the end of the day.

The Job Interview

It is worthwhile to invest in self-management even before looking for a new job. This is a skill set that can be taught very quickly but needs time and experience to develop.  When it is developed you don’t need to type it in bold on your resume. It will come through in what you talk about, and how you talk about it.

Listen Now:

What Is The Purpose of a Job Interview?

September 29th, 2014

Filling a restaurant management job is one of the most difficult of any hospitality jobs. The restaurant manager is the one who takes the owner’s goals and turns them into reality. The restaurant manager is the one who deals with staff, customers, and late shipments or incomplete orders. They can make or break a restaurant.

This is why the job interview is so important. But many management candidates go into job interviews without understanding the purpose. They leave feeling they had the best presentation of their lives, but lost the job. They didn’t lose it because they were unqualified, but because they didn’t realize why the job interviewer was asking specific questions. They missed the nuances and didn’t read between the lines.  This left the interviewer with a wrong perception, and cost the candidate their job.

Is The Management Candidate Lying?

Hiring managers have a lot of experience wading through charisma and resume stuffing. They know you want the job. Don’t waste your time telling them you want to work for the company. You wouldn’t be there if you didn’t want the job. Pay attention to what the interviewer wants to know.

When you are asked questions do not be vague. Use details, times, places, and people’s names. A lie is often shrouded in a lot of talk that says nothing, and is vague.  In fact, if you can produce a report that you wrote highlighting your project and its success, complete with contact information of your superior, then you have totally diffused the situation.

Is the Management Candidate Masking?

Masking is a behavior created to hide our weaknesses. Liars and alcoholics turned masking into an art form. It is the interviewer’s job to see if the behavior’s outlined in the resume match those you express in person.

This is where mirroring and playing sales games can work against you. What you may see as a good sales technique the interviewer may see as a masking technique to divert attention away from you and hide your true behaviors by mimicking someone else’s.

Answering a question with a question can also be a form of masking. You are trying to divert attention away from yourself by giving the interviewer the chance to be the center of attention.

What is the Interviewer listening to?

If the interviewer is paying most attention to you when you are bragging about how honest you are, then it is a giveaway that they do not believe you. The internet is full of articles telling job interviewers how to test the Candidate. The Candidate should use the same body language cues, swallowing, and diverting eye signals to gauge the interviewer’s true thoughts and feelings.

Listen Now:

Mindfulness Management – Using Latest Practices to Land a Management Job

September 22nd, 2014

The business world creates new problem solving theories every year. Management training and practice evolves yearly. This can make it difficult for manager to keep up. If you’ve been in a management position for a long time and are just returning to the work place you may find the new interview questions and practices daunting.

Instead of listing your accomplishments and work history, employers want to know if you are “up to date” on your people management skills. In short, they want to know if you are going to be a problem, or if you are binging solutions to the team.

As coaching evolves in the work place so does the level of behavior management skills a manager needs. One new trend is to separate the problems and the behaviors. No one is a problem, instead, managers are encouraged to listen and find out why the problem person is behaving in the manner they are.

This is called mind management, and it can solve a lot of problems. One thing that managers are learning from coaches is that listening can divert social and personal problems before they start. Most problems are diffused by making people feel that they are important enough to listen to.

How to Use This to Land a Management Job

Hospitality job candidates have more pressure to adopt these new practices. In the resume they want to show the recruiter that they have been keeping up. But what is more important is showing that you’ve mastered the skills needed.

This is one reason for the unique and often absurd interview questions. The interviewer is providing an opportunity to show off your management skills.

Mind management is little more than negotiating. Once the basics are learned then a manager possesses enough skills to manage the average team. Showing this to an HR manger can be more difficult.

How To Show You’ve Mastered This Skill

You can say nothing that will impress the recruiter as strongly as your body language. Show your skills.

  • Stay calm
  • Keep eye contact
  • Smile
  • Relax
  • Do not fidget
  • Do not mirror and patronize the recruiter
  • Breath steady
  • Do not be in a rush to answer every question
  • Breath deep
  • Do not let your eyes dart to the left or right
  • Do not let the interviewer goad you in to reacting to the situation
  • Turn the conversation around and ask the interviewer questions that are pertinent to the job
  • Respect the interviewer’s time and focus on giving a strong, revealing, answer. No one wants the smart, humorous answer. In fact, this can be interpreted as stress and fear
  • Let things develop on their own. Use patience. Don’t try to push the interview
  • Do not be afraid of sitting quietly for a moment. Just make sure you take advantage of active listening. You don’t want the interviewer to believe that you’ve lost your train of thought.

These are only a few ways that you can show that you’ve learned to control your mind, the first step needed to convince them that you can use mind management to control any situation.

Listen Now:

Career Development: I’m Not Landing a Job

September 22nd, 2014

One of the most difficult aspects of the job interview is trying to be everything for everyone. Trying to land a hospitality job, especially a restaurant management job, can be difficult. It is more difficult when you are trying to be something you are not. This can actually cost you a job.

Landing a job is like winning a race. It takes hard work, lots of pain, and the willingness to push yourself harder than anyone else.

You the Person - You the Manager

Not every manager needs to be a team player, a good strategist, a visionary. If you are not, don’t pretend to be. If you would rather sit in front of a computer instead of engage in small talk then say so. Honesty is the best way to land your dream job.

There are management jobs for introverts. There are management jobs for people who are good with numbers. The first step is to identify your strengths and weaknesses. Once you have a list of these, put the list away. In one month write it again. Then put it away. In one month write it again then bring out all copies. You’ll be surprised how the list changes as you become more aware.

  • Once you have your list of strengths, make a list of what you want in your perfect job. Then ask yourself what you want.
  • Do you want a simpler lifestyle?
  • Do you want a slower pace at work?
  • Do you like repetition?
  • Are you a number cruncher?
  • What are you willing to give up and what are your nonnegotiable items?

Once you have settled on a goal then stop passively pursuing it. Look for a recruitment firm. Take your career seriously.

Robert Krzak, head of one of the top Hospitality job recruitment firms in the United States, http://www.geckohospitality.com,  talks about the number of candidates who visit the website but are not committed enough to fill out a form and apply for a job.

The fastest way to fail is by trying to embark on a passive job hunt. Many people are satisfied with the project of looking for a new job, but they never actually try to get a job. In many cases this is a life coaching issue. They have misguided beliefs and fears that prevent them from applying. The belief is that if you don’t try then you won’t need to deal with rejection.


The second place that many people sabotage their career goals is by being too inflexible in their negotiations.  It is important to negotiate for a job that fits your needs, but going for more than you need, can cost you the job.

When negotiating avoid being bitter or resentful. Any negative feelings can turn off a prospective employer. Even if you left your job due to a stressful or unfulfilling work environment it is always best to look forward.

Remember to do your homework before going to a job interview. Negotiation isn’t the place to decide that you need a few days to research the establishment.  Being unprepared can cost you the job.


Are you serious about finding a job? Even someone who is unemployed may not be serious about their next job. Of course they want to pay the bills, but that is not always enough to motivate them into aggressively searching for another job.

If you are one of the job hunters who are passively waiting for a job to come along then take action. Contact a recruiting firm that focuses on your niche. Then, read a few coaching books. When an athlete wants to win they train hard. Those who are most prepared and ready to win, stand in the winner’s circle.

Listen Now:

Loading Plays



  • Subscribe

    • add to iTunes
    • add to google
  • Feeds

    • rss2 podcast
    • atom feed

  • Quantcast