Thanks for reading our first blog! This is for those that have ever interviewed someone or those that want to improve their success rate at interviews- it’s meant to be light hearted and with a little bit of advice thrown in!

I started SSC Hospitality three and a half years ago and in that time I’ve received nearly 2000 resumes-from this I have interviewed over 400 hospitality staff and can I tell you I have seen it all! So much so that I started doing something a little different on occasions-I started doing reference checks before I interviewed them! More often than not the responses I got re the potential employee was positive but when it wasn’t I had just saved both parties maybe ½ an hour each? I found this a great way to save time –I’ve even hired people without physically meeting them!

Let’s look at what I can find out on the phone-are they reliable, friendly, knowledgeable, good personal presentation/hygiene-do they have tattoos or dreadlocks?! I can ring three former employers and find this all out in 15 minutes-something I’d have to do anyway(after I’d met them)-and if the first one says “don’t think about employing that person!” well then it stops right there. Why someone would put this contact on their resume baffles me but I know most employers aren’t as thorough on back ground checks as we are-and we need to be! Obviously I speak to the applicant on the phone before I do any of this and find out a little about them, and its normally pretty easy to find out if they are “switched on” and friendly-probably the 2 key ingredients(sorry for the pun), that I think any employer looks for.

Another thing that disappoints me is what people wear to an interview, and I appreciate hospitality staff are not paid the best-but everyone has some nice clothes.

I’ve had chefs turn up in thongs shorts and t-shirts-wow-talk about going to some effort! I would say that unless what they said during that interview was amazing, on 95% of occasions the interview was over before it had begun! I think its bordering on disrespectful to the company you are seeking to work for not to go to a reasonable effort for a job. Please make some effort with your appearance and you’re ahead of the majority! I know it sounds obvious, but based on the 400 people I’ve interviewed –it clearly isn’t. I must say-I haven’t had many females turn up and disappoint -so well done ladies!

So you get offered another job before your next interview-just call and let them know-how hard is that? When I first started the business-I’d arranged about 15 interviews in a row-20 minutes apart-about 4 people turned up-wow! Talk about burning bridges. Seriously I’ve never done that-I once had 2 employers trying to hire me on the same day-I was honest and upfront with them, about what the other was offering pay wise and what conditions I was after. I wasn’t playing hardball or misleading them with fictional pay rates that was being considered-in the end I called the one back that I wasn’t interested in and explained why I’d chosen the other and that I was sorry I couldn’t accept their offer-will that person hire me if I as to apply with them again- I have no doubt-as I did nothing wrong-I’ve had staff that just don’t get back to me once I’ve offered them a job and they’ve accepted it-would you hire that person again if they came back to you six months later?

On a more light hearted matter-we have approximately 60 customers on the Sunshine Coast and are in the process of expanding-Cunnamulla, Cairns and the Gold Coast-so what have we seen? As a chef I’m often in the kitchen when all my staff are booked or unavailable-I like stress-and a kitchen is normally a good place to go for that fix! I haven’t seen too many things that make me upset but it’s amazing how many things get done the same (eg. Side salads) and how many things get done differently (eg. Dianne sauce) All of our customers have been great to deal with and I guess from my staffs point of view, is whilst being a temp staff isn’t for everyone the good thing is you don’t have the same old people to work with (you know the annoying type I’m talking about!) and you’re not doing the same old thing day after day after day.

Another couple of words of advice if you are heading to an interview-try and have a really well presented resume – include a photo if possible. And one last thing based on someone I interviewed recently-just answer the questions you are asked and keep it brief and to the point. If the employer wants to know more they will ask.

Anyway I hope this has helped, and if you ever have any questions just email them through and I’ll do my best to help! Remember the harder you work-the luckier you get!

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