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 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,,  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.

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10 Things that Will Make You A Better Manager

September 15th, 2014

The internet is full of generic, general, articles that tell you the ‘catch phrases, which are promised to make you a good manager. Unfortunately, you can read these articles for weeks and all you will learn is what you need to learn. You will not learn how to make the transition from your current job position to the management position you dream of holding.

So what are the 10 REAL things you need to become a good manager

1. Coaching

Learn the art of coaching. As you study under a reputable school, supported by the International Coaching Federation ICF, you will learn how to use the skills needed to motivate people. In fact, you’ll learn the skills needed to help your team members grow into emotionally healthy, satisfied – and loyal – employees.

2. Read

One of the most frustrating parts of the job hunting process is learning in hind sight. There are management terms and theories that you may have, but you’ve never learned how to articulate them. You walk out of interviews knowing that you missed something. You were one question away from landing the job. But you just can’t put your finger on the problem.

3. Self Analysis

One of the best ways to analyze other people is to learn how to analyze yourself. Once you learn how to change negative behaviors, and improve your performance then you’ll be able to motivate others and build a stronger team.

4. Look Outward

Most people are self centered, by nature. When everyone is focused on their own desires and needs, the team suffers. A good manager learns how to create a team, and keep focused on every member.

5. Communication

The better you communicate the more authority you have. There are online courses that teach grammar and communication skills. Practice, until you find you are talking in complete sentences and using the lingo a manager would use in the hospitality industry.

6. Manage Money Like a Millionaire

The rich people learn how to manage money differently than we do. It is a tangible building tool that is needed to make things happen. It isn’t a pile of ‘chips’ that are meant to be spent. Once you read a bunch of financial books, learn budgeting and put it into practice, and study wealth building, then you will be ready to manage a restaurant. The benefits will create a domino effect that will impact every level of the restaurant.

7. Develop your ethics and beliefs

A manager’s ethics are put to the test every day. If you do not live by your ethics, you will be found out in the job interview and loose the opportunity for landing your dream job.

Your beliefs determine what you expect from yourself, your colleagues, and what you tolerate. Weak beliefs can be the only thing holding you back from your dream job.

8. Goal Setting

If you cannot set goals and learn the art of project management then projects will be started but not finished. Money and time will be wasted and lost. This skill includes strategic thinking, problem solving, self leadership, and time management. It can be a daunting skill to learn, but when handled one day at a time it becomes part of your behaviors.

9. Take Action

There are people who talk and plan. There are people who do. The trick is learning where to focus your energy and what to delegate.

10. Network

If you want to be successful you need to associate with successful people. Don’t start networking with the belief that it is about selling yourself. Instead, look at how you can help. Involvement is one of the best ways to learn.

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Bounce Back From a Poor Performance

September 15th, 2014

An unsatisfactory review doesn’t need to be a career killer. Recovery is possible if you are willing to fight for your career. First, restaurant management candidates must be careful not to appear to pass the buck when in a job interview. You don’t know what the references will say about your last job position, especially if they let you go for unsatisfactory performance. The best offense is to come clean, be honest, and highlight what you’ve learned, not where you failed.

Evaluate What Went Wrong

It is human nature to blame someone else. The hospitality industry is a difficult place to reach goals as the best plans can be ruined by one or two disgruntled employees on the floor. We’ve all heard stories where situations out of our control destroyed a manager’s moment of glory. A shipment didn’t arrive, the flu went through the staff, a freezer broke, or a snow storm, any or all of these can conspire to ruin what should be a successful event.

Managers continually work hard, long hours, only to watch their efforts produce little or no results. The cause can be priorities or lack of communication, or the staff were unable to perform to the level needed.


When coming back from a poor performance it is necessary to work on relationships first. You need to stop people from creating their own perception of what happened. Leverage what you have. Play up at what you do. Work harder. Promote better.

Make sure you didn’t become complacent. Just because you can slack at your current job doesn’t mean you should. Start putting things on paper. Keep reports and measure success. It could be that the boss didn’t see a drop in turnover by 25% in the last year, or time wasted handling conflict resolution dropped 80%. Look for everything, even a reduction in waste in the kitchen needs to become a part of your focus.

The one thing about reports is their ability to travel farther than intended, even when blocked by a superior who doesn’t like you.

Turn It Around? Or, Move On?

You might be in the wrong job. The workplace dynamics may have changed. Maybe the current employer doesn’t need, or value, your skill set. In these cases it is a waste of time working harder. You may never receive the affirmation you are looking for. You may be ready for a change.

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Developing a Personal Brand That Will Land You a Hospitality Job

September 9th, 2014

One trendy buzz that is not going away is the ‘personal brand’.  It is becoming one of the most powerful sales tools, and one of the most misunderstood elements of job hunting. The hospitality job market is one of the biggest trends at the beginning of 2014. The competition is aggressive, but unfortunately most people don’t understand what the job demands.

One of the hardest parts of a recruiter’s job is understanding what a restaurant manager’s job description is. Those Candidates who feel educated enough to land a job as a restaurant manager are under experienced and lack the personal skills. Those potential candidates who do have the skills do not feel they have the education needed to be taken seriously.

One of the hardest parts of a job seeker’s search for a new job is learning how to present your education and skills in the best light, to become what the recruiter is looking for.

The hospitality recruiters is looking for confidence, charisma, and the personality to thrive in stressful situations. The Candidates organizational skills and communication style needs to shine through. Personal branding is the best way to show hospitality recruiters that you have everything they need to manage a restaurant.

Step #1: Define Your Brand

The first thing you need to understand is how to define a personal brand.

Step #2: Keep it Professional

Make sure that your personal life doesn’t bleed over into your professional life. The biggest mistake is getting your ‘Friday friends’ to join your professional Facebook. A good recruiter will check out your associates and friends to get a ‘real’ look at who you are, and whether you are a good risk.

Step #3: Content and Context

Everything you write will be under scrutiny. Your spelling and grammar will reflect your communication style.  Your writing, and lack of writing, will reveal your passions, dedication, skills, and experience.

Step #4: High Performers Attract High Performers

Take a hard look at your friend’s list. Do they represent your personal brand?

Step #5: Social Networking Mistakes

What types of pictures are on your Facebook? If it is full of selfies and chatter about your next vacation, or does it talk about your courses, volunteer work, etc?  Are you following industry friends or are you following the local baseball team? 

When a recruiter looks at your profile they will measure your resume and interview performance by the people you associate with present and past. 

One thing they will look for is whether your past associates, employers, and managers are on your LinkedIn and facebook pages. Do you communicate with them?

More important, is your Facebook a place where you promote yourself and ‘take’ or is it a place where you communicate and form relationships.

Step #6: Confidence

Confidence is something that can only be mimicked for a short time. The unfortunate thing, if you don’t have confidence then you will quickly reveal that fact. You may not even realize the mistakes you are making. This is why many professionals engage a life coach or performance coach to help them create behaviors and confidence that can endure the strictest scrutiny from a recruiter or hiring manager

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Is Your Competitor Stealing Your Business with Stellar Marketing? What You Can Do To Step Up Your Game

September 8th, 2014

Every hospitality business has a limited amount of time and energy to invest in moving the business forward.  When a competitor’s investment in marketing pays off, you may find your business suddenly being outpaced by the other venue’s stellar marketing – and you may see customers wandering in the direction of your competitors as a result.


What should you do when a competitors’ outstanding marketing strategy starts stealing your business?  Consider stepping up your game by applying the following tips:


Analyze your competitor’s marketing campaign.


The first step in figuring out how your competitors are calling your customers away is to find out what their marketing techniques are.  But merely identifying the methods and copying them isn’t enough.  Just like in a game of chess, if you start one move behind your competitor, you will stay one move behind as long as you only copy their moves.


Instead of copying your competitors’ moves exactly, analyze why your competitors are using these marketing strategies and why customers respond to them so strongly.  When you know the “why” and “how” of your competitors’ choices, you can address those same issues – but better.


Engage with social media.


Social media offers myriad marketing benefits: it establishes your presence on well-developed channels, it gives you a flexible communication platform, and it allows you to hear from your customers as well as to speak to them.  When marketing efforts lag, leverage the communication aspect of social media.  Find out what your customers are looking for, work their recommendations into your marketing campaign, and make it publicly known that your efforts are for your customers’ benefit.


Call your recruiter.


The connection between your staffing and your marketing isn’t always intuitive.  But great people can improve your business in myriad ways.  Good managers and staff put a positive “face” on your business, adding an element of humanity and individuality that will draw customers back time and time again.  Talk to your staffing partner about your company’s short-and long-term strategic staffing goals.


At Gecko Hospitality, our experienced hospitality recruiters strive to match our clients with top candidates who know the industry and do their jobs well.  Contact us today to learn more!

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Three Leadership Behaviors of Successful Restaurant Managers

September 2nd, 2014

These are three behaviors that every restaurant manager should demonstrate in the job interview. It is important to focus on social and cultural aspects of restaurant management which have a significant impact on the staff’s success including negotiation, problem solving and politics.

However, while the leadership framework can be taught in any Bachelor of Science or professional development courses, leadership behaviors need to be learned and demonstrated if you want to land a hospitality job.

Results Driven Management

Effective restaurant managers take responsibility for results. They learn to demand the truth from their teams, and build performance on meeting the needs of the team. This minimizes problems and reveals issues which could sabotage the restaurant’s long term plans.

A good manager may be willing to take the data management job, leaving some leadership positions open to team members who will thrive and support others. 

The reality of the day to day management of any hospitality job makes organization difficult. It can be stressful and frustrating, and the administrative challenges can detract from the long term projects. Focusing on the end goals are easier said than done. This is why it is so important to highlight your successes in the resume and job interview.

Demand Integrity

One of the first things managers need to eliminate is toxic communication. Is there an employee hand book? Can you volunteer to write one for the restaurant, and encourage management to incorporate it into the organizational behavior? Successful execution can catch the attention of a recruiter or hiring manager.

Honesty is the best way to find out what the real issues are, and what the real risks are affecting a project. Don’t fall into the trap of having a stooge. Incorporate a program that gives everyone the opportunity to have someone listen.

One way to show this is to avoid corporate rhetoric and political spin. Don’t speak down to the team, and they will give you ‘successes’ that will make your resume stand out from the others.

Demonstrate Courage

Confidence and courage can help you explain to a job interviewer why a project failed.  The ability to handle failure and turn it into something good is a valuable skill for a manager. In some organizational cultures the tendency is to avoid reporting bad news. The person reporting the news may have to face consequences instead of affirmation and reward. Managers who present a positive and team focused approach to improving results, and can handle the situation with courage not emotional outbursts, have an advantage. They are able to broach situations and be listened to in a constructive way, instead of with fear or disrespect. They also learn of risk long before it is too late.

Being able to show these skills in a resume and job interview is one way to make your resume stand above the crowds.

It is difficult to categorize all leadership skills and behaviors needed to land a restaurant management job. A commitment to customer satisfaction, continuous improvement, stress management, and focus on quality are only good if the manager is able to present them effectively in their resume.

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Taking Control of the Job Interview Process

September 1st, 2014

Many people feel that a job interview is a passive inquisition where they must cater to the interviewer’s whim. If the Candidate is successful then they will be rewarded with a job. This is not true, especially in the millennium generations.

An interview is a game of chess, you can either be slowly eradicated, or take control of the interview.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of possible interview questions for job candidates to ask hiring managers, but they are questions that demonstrate to the employer that the job seeker is confident, prepared, and interested in the organization.

Asking questions requires a little finesse. Approaching the questioning using coaching methods of asking and incorporating listening techniques will not only help open doors to discuss how to fit into the company, but it offers an opportunity to show off your management and people skills.

Some Career coaches suggest waiting until the interviewer asks, ‘do you have any questions for us?  The job interview is a two way street. Whatever direction the question goes, the Candidate needs to have their research done if they want to maintain any ‘active roll’ in the recruitment process.

Make sure when you are asking questions you include the follow ups:

·         "Can you clarify what you said about...?"

·         "Can you give me some examples of...?"

Questions you can ask:

1.      How would you characterize this organization?

2.      What are the challenges I will face in this job position?

3.      What do you expect me to accomplish in the first six to 12 months?

4.      What skills and achievements would make me a success at this job?

5.      How does this company measure success?

6.      What are three key things that really drive results for the company?

7.      How does this position contribute to the company’s goals, productivity, or profits?

8.      How do you describe the company’s culture?

9.      What do you think are the most difficult aspects of the job I’m interviewing for?

10.  Based on the interview, do you have any concerns about my ability to perform the job that would prevent you from selecting me?

11.  What is the next step in the process?

12.  When do you think you will be making a decision?


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.

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