Job of the Week
Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others. —Jack Welch
New Entrants: View our guide, 'Careers advice'.
Candidates: View our guide, 'Getting Through the Interview'.
Clients: View our guide, 'Retaining Staff and Reducing Recruitment Costs'.
MLC 2006: Click here to read a draft of the Seafarers Employment Agreement.
Remember that, on the strength of your cv, recommendation, and/or prior discussions, you have been chosen – probably in preference to many other candidates.
The interviewer has probably been instrumental in your selection, and it reflects well on their initial judgement, for you to fulfil their belief that you are a strong candidate.
The interviewer wants you to be the ideal person to fill the position. Then their search is over and they can continue with the next vacancy or other issue in their busy working lives.
Understand the key components of the job, and try to analyse what it is about you that has attracted the Captain or company representative. Be prepared to reinforce this at interview.
Find out all you can about the yacht or company, through websites, word of mouth, etc. Don’t accept just one train of thought or opinion. Keep an open mind, and seek the views and experiences of as many individuals if possible.
Ask us what the essential requirements of the job are, as described by the Client. If we have introduced you, we are there to support your application. Sometimes our information is expansive, sometimes limited, but we will endeavour to tell you what we know or feel (provided always that it does not prejudice information given to us in confidence by the Client).
Focus on the words – written or verbal - that are used, when the job is being described to you. For example, if they ask for ‘a practical, well organised individual’, this is clearly what they want, and you can expect some questioning on the subject, at interview.
Study your own cv, and take an up to date copy with you. This document is very often the cornerstone of the interview and a major contributor of what information the interviewer has about you. It follows that you are likely to be ‘quizzed’ on it. So, if you say you are ‘highly motivated and professional,’ be prepared to give supporting examples and explanations of what you mean, or why you have said something in the cv. This is very pertinent to your description of yourself in ‘personal profile,’ or similar areas of the cv.
Study yourself. What are you good at, and not so good at? (Is it significant for the vacancy)? What do you enjoy? Ideally what are you looking for? How would you describe yourself? How do others see you? What motivates/demotivates you? In a close knit environment, how well do you connect with others and why? What are your long term goals? Think of 4 or 5 words that describe you? What are your main achievements? In asking and answering these, you are mirroring some of the interviewer’s possible questions and it will give you the confidence to respond positively in the interview scenario.
At/for the interview, the obvious checks:
Dress ‘appropriately’ and if you think it is necessary, check the dress code.
Shake hands firmly and smile. Obvious though it is, the smile is vital: it relaxes both you and the interviewer and acts as an ‘ice-breaker’.
Maintain eye contact and positive ‘body language’.
Question and answer
If you have the presence of mind and mental agility, try to look beyond the interviewers questions. They will be asked for a reason; and you should respond accordingly... but honestly.
If you have been asked for examples of anything, give one or two. Invariably, these are the most relevant. To give more, finishes on a low note and ‘dilutes’ your answer.
Be prepared to be interviewed - and therefore asked questions - by more than one person. In this case, good eye contact and sharing your attention between the interviewers is essential.
Make sure that you actually answer the question posed, and avoid being either too concise (which can seem abrupt) or too expansive (and therefore imprecise).
This is probably how you got to the interview stage. Now trust in your own unique ability and individuality to see you through.
End as you started – with confidence. Try to finish on a high note: smile and thank the interviewer; and be sure you know the next stage and the approximate timescale.