April 11th, 2012
Getting ready for an upcoming hospitality job interview? Here is a quick list of 10 questions you should be prepared to answer:
- What do you consider to be good hygiene practices on the job?
- Can you give me an example of a situation where you solved a problem for a customer who was unhappy?
- How do you handle difficult co-workers?
- Can you explain what the Heimlich maneuver is, when to use it and how to perform it?
- How do you handle a rush?
- What did you like best (or dislike most) about your last job?
- How have you prepared yourself for this position (i.e., experience, special skills/training, etc.)?
- How do you help your team to be more successful?
- What can you tell me about the food/drinks we prepare/serve here?
- How do you ensure a great customer experience, time after time?
Preparing answers to common interview questions like these will help you feel more calm and confident. The more poised you are, the better your chances will be of landing the job!
If you’re looking for a great hospitality job in Atlanta, Central Virgina or the D.C./Baltimore Metro area, be sure to register with Penguin Staff. As a leader in hospitality staffing, Penguin matches job seekers like you with front of house, back of house and culinary professional employment opportunities. Contact Penguin today to learn more or apply online.
March 7th, 2012
When it comes to your job security in the hospitality industry, you have to depend on YOU.
Unfortunately, we live in a world where seemingly nobody’s job is safe. Downsizing, layoffs and company closures have made even the most successful individuals question how truly “indispensable” they are.
Still, everyone knows people who are always working on a consistent basis – even in shaky industries and during uncertain times. So, what are their secrets to success?
Honestly, there’s nothing magical about it. The people who enjoy long-lasting job security depend on themselves, rather than waiting for things to happen to them. By being proactive and responsible in managing their careers, they create their own luck. Every day, they find ways to contribute, grow and make themselves indispensable at work.
Learn from their success! Use these tips to proactively create your own job security:
- Take responsibility for your own career development. In today’s “right-sizing” workplace, don’t rely on anyone else to safeguard or guide you in your career. Be proactive in protecting your job by: learning new skills; finding a mentor to help you develop and grow professionally; investing in training and development courses in your areas of expertise; staying on top of industry trends that may impact you or your organization.
- Make your boss look good. Your direct supervisor is the most critical person to your success in the workplace. Like it or not, your success is closely linked to his. If you want to keep your job, get a raise or earn a promotion, one of the smartest things you can do is make your boss look good. Do what he asks, when he asks it. Try to anticipate his needs. Talk him up to his supervisor.
- Try to excel in areas where others are weak. Look for tasks your boss considers unpleasant, or isn’t particularly skilled at, and volunteer to take them on. Examine your co-workers’ proficiencies and try to strengthen your skills in areas where they are weak. Become an expert in a relevant subject that will make you a more valuable employee. When you possess skills, experience and/or knowledge others don’t, you make yourself that much more indispensable.
- Anticipate trends in the hospitality industry. If your job is in danger of being eliminated, you need to find out before HR sits you down to let you go. Research what’s happening in your area of the hospitality industry, identifying trends that could impact your job. Find out what skills you’ll need to stay at the forefront of your industry, and then seek out training in these areas.
- Go above and beyond the call of duty. If you want to cultivate value, respect and trust in the workplace, develop an entrepreneurial spirit on the job. Volunteer for additional assignments or identify opportunities to improve products, processes or services within your company. Make a habit of doing more than what you’re asked to do.
- Honor your commitments. Meet your deadlines. Do what you say you’re going to do. If you make a mistake on the job, find a way to fix it and take responsibility for implementing the solution. When you develop a reputation of under-promising and over-delivering, you greatly increase your value to your employer.
- Network regularly. If you start networking only when you need something, you’ll have a lot of ground to make up. Make networking part of every day. Keep in regular touch with key contacts – even if it’s only via e-mail – so that you won’t feel like you’re “bothering” someone when it’s time to reach out and ask for help.
Become an Indispensable Hospitality Employee with Penguin Staffing
Penguin does so much to help put you on the path to hospitality career success:
Contact Penguin Staff today and use the tips above to become an indispensable part of your next work team.
February 8th, 2012
The latest jobs report revealed that 167,000 leisure and hospitality jobs were added since mid-2011. But if you’re one of the countless unemployed Americans still trying to find a hospitality job, this encouraging statistic is of little consolation.
The simple fact is, it’s tough out there. A large portion of the hospitality workforce is currently unemployed, and has been for quite a while. To make things worse, unemployed hospitality workers now face yet another, seemingly unfair barrier to finding work – their employment status.
Right or wrong, some employers unfairly discriminate against candidates who have been unemployed for more than a few months. Despite numerous EEO laws and safeguards, these employers ignore the résumés sent to them by hospitality job seekers who aren’t working. They believe that requiring that a candidate be gainfully employed is just “smart business” – helping them control the flood of applications and filter out “damaged goods” before spending valuable time and resources on screening and interviewing.
So what’s a smart job seeker to do? First of all, don’t admit defeat. If you’re out of work and need a job, now is a time to stay strong. Use these tips to overcome the stigma of unemployment – and find a great hospitality job:
- Forgive yourself – and move on. Losing a job is nothing unusual, especially these days. Mergers, cost-cutting measures and total shutdowns have forced countless people out of their jobs over the past few years. Whatever your reason for being unemployed, you need a positive mindset to tackle what may be a tough job search. The best thing you can do is forgive yourself for being out of work, and then move on.
- If you’ve only been out of work for a short time (a few weeks or months), invest a lot of time and energy into networking and informational interviews. This will help you get past the initial human resources screening that would eliminate you from consideration. Use networking as a tool to demonstrate your willingness to work hard, and your drive to find a job may overcome the bias against you as a person out of work.
- Ignore the verbiage in job posts that suggests an employer intends to discriminate based on recent employment status. Just because the discriminatory language is present in a job listing doesn’t mean you have to adhere to the request! If your job skills and experience are a good fit for the posting, by all means apply for that position – regardless of your employment situation.
- Consider adjusting your résumé. If you’ve been out of work for awhile, you may want to switch from a chronological to functional résumé format. This will allow you to lead with your skills and qualifications, outside the context of your employment history. Additionally, you may want to omit dates from your employment history section. Once your skills have an employer’s attention, he can inquire about the dates.
- Solidify references from previous employer(s). When you’re unemployed, a strong endorsement from an employer – even one who let you go – may outweigh the length of your unemployment.
Temporary Hospitality Work – Your Best Bet for Beating Jobless Discrimination
Looking for a sure-fire way to overcome your jobless stigma? Go to work for a hospitality staffing service like Penguin – as soon as possible! It’s easiest to find a job while you’re working, so stack the deck in your favor. Beyond merely changing your employment status, on-call or temporary hospitality assignments can help you:
- Earn valuable income – at a time when you really need it.
- Keep your spirits up – by being productive and engaged.
- Build your résumé and keep your skills sharp – the variety inherent in temporary assignments presents you with new challenges, allowing you to grow and gain experience.
- Find direct employment – if you prove yourself on the job, your temporary or contract position may convert to a direct opportunity. Additionally, while you’re on assignment, Penguin Staff can actively search for direct positions that match your skills, experience and interests.
Contact your local Penguin Staffing office today to learn more about hospitality jobs in Atlanta, Washington D.C, Baltimore and Central Virginia.