Chris Potter

Chris Potter

Pre-Interview Preparation:

  • Ensure you know the time and location of where you will be interviewing. Whether you are driving or commuting using public transport, give yourself enough time to be at least 15 mins early.
  • Make sure you look smart and sharp. Take pride in your presentation and this reflects on your attitude.
  • Have your recruitment consultant's number to hand in case of emergency.
  • Do your homework – research the company and find out as much as you can, including its history, its current situation, and its future direction
  • Do your homework – on the position. Have a thorough understanding of the position, the duties, and responsibilities of the role, and what's expected
  • Do your homework – on yourself. Review your career history thoroughly. Review dates, positions, duties, responsibilities, and achievements. Know your strengths and weaknesses.

 

During the interview:

  • Communication is an important part of any interview. Maintain eye contact, while speaking clearly and confidently.
  • Take a moment to understand the question and answer with relevance.
  • If you are financially accountable for your business, know your numbers. If you are not sure, do not make them up.
  • You will likely be asked some of the below questions.
  • What do you think are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • What will your experience bring to our business?
  • Why are you leaving your present position?
  • What did you enjoy most about your last position?
  • What was your biggest achievement and why?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 to 10 years?
  • You should take along some well-prepared questions to ask the interviewer. This shows that you are methodical, organised, have given thought and reason to why you are going to that company – it does impress a client to go in with questions prepared.

 

Ask Intelligent questions:

  • What are the company's short, medium and long-term goals?
  • What is the company culture?
  • Who do you see as the main competitors? What makes you different?
  • What is the usual structure of the day/week?
  • What are the expected productivity levels/targets?
  • How will I be measured? What Key Performance Indicators do you use?
  • What are the opportunities for progression?

 

Trade Tests:

A large proportion of companies in the hospitality industry will conduct a trade test as part of the interview process, especially when recruiting chefs and junior management staff. This is completely understandable given the specialist and practical nature of these professions. This is your opportunity to show off your practical skills and preparation should be taken with the greatest care. Make sure you read up on your techniques and if possible, practice the night before so that you are confident and prepared. Make sure you go well presented with full kit.

 

Know the answers to these questions:

What will the trade test consist of? Cooking, supporting service or managing an event?

How long will the trade test take? Will there be a follow up meeting?

Find out what you need to take with you. Will they provide product and equipment? Chefs – please take all relevant equipment with you including your knives.

Who will be conducting the trade test?

 

After the interview: 

This is also a very important part of the process.

  • It is important to summarise your skills and relevance to the role you are interviewing for.
  • This is the last opportunity for you to address any gaps that you feel have affected the interview.
  • Be confident but not overconfident.
  • Ask the interviewer about what the next steps would be and try and get a timeline for this to happen.
  • Thank them for their time and let them know you enjoyed the interview.
  • End with a firm handshake and show yourself out.

 

14 Sep 2020

Online presence

Leading executive job search and recruiting network, ExecuNet, conducted a survey in 2007 and found that 77% of potential employers use various search engines to learn more about prospective candidates for jobs.

Of those that referred to Google and Yahoo! to look into the backgrounds of jobseekers, 35% resulted in eliminating a candidate based upon the information discovered online.

Another survey, again conducted by ExecuNet, showed that while 82% of possible job candidates expect companies and recruiters to do a web search of their names, a staggering 33% of job seekers have not carried out a search of their name via a search engine to determine what information, if any, of their professional and personal information exists online.

This is the follow up search that businesses are taking and is fast becoming a trend for employers to look further and check social networking sites prior to hiring any employee. This is beneficial for an employer due to the reasons of being able to scan for any illegal activity that a potential employee will have committed, inappropriate images, poor communication skills, or if any confidential information has been shared from a past employer.

Our advice to job seekers is as follows:

Search for yourself: Use a search engine and search for your name frequently to remain informed of what personal /professional information exists online
Screen names: Choose an appropriate screen name or online ID on any of your social networking sites
Review content: Always bear in mind that the inappropriate, funny posts and pictures that have been shared online could possibly fall onto the screen of any potential employer and may be the difference between being hired or not
Be honest: When creating any resume, ensure you are honest and don't lie about any academic achievements, company information and job titles, as these can be researched and compared
Keep past employer information confidential: Respect the confidentiality of your past employer and do not leak or reveal anything that shouldn't be released online
Proceed with caution: Be sure to review a social networking sites privacy policy before clicking that ‘I agree' button. Often people skip this and may be consenting to the site collecting any information from yourself
Friend requests: Don't accept just anybody who requests to be a friend on social networking sites as if that person is less desirable, a potential employer could overlook you and choose another candidate
While it is easy to delete the embarrassing photos online, it can be difficult to rid the internet of the traces of them. There are a variety of websites and search engines that store a cache of websites and their pages which can be archived through many years, thus leading to be impossible to delete your entire virtual footprint from the World Wide Web.

Social networking sites that are affecting the candidate screening process is essentially just the beginning of the practice being explored, and is set to expand in the future. It's imperative to be wise online as a future career could be on the line.

Boost in the UK hospitality sector shows promise for hospitality recruitment It’s undeniable that the hospitality and travel sectors were some of the most badly hit professions during the Coronavirus pandemic, with many people’s livelihoods up in the air. However, since the ease of lockdown restrictions and with the re-opening of restaurants and pubs at the beginning of July, the hospitality and travel sectors have been given a new lease of life and hope.

This fresh start is widely supported by new research commissioned by the building society, The Cumberland, which has revealed positive insights for those working in hospitality or interested in a career in the hospitality sector in the UK. As the travel industry was under-fire this summer due to quarantine rules, as well as the fear of travelling via airports abroad, Brits instead opted for a staycation holiday in the UK.

Cumberland’s research revealed that 83% of British holidaymakers preferred a holiday within the UK, with research further suggesting that seaside towns such as Cornwall were a fan favourite with Brits, with 16% of participants choosing this destination. Meanwhile, others decided to embrace the great outdoors with 16% visiting Scotland and 15% visiting the Lake District.

Most encouragingly of all, out of the survey of 1,015 UK adults, 71% said they plan to make the UK their destination of choice for holidays in 2021 – suggesting that the British staycation could be here for many years to come. As more countries continue to join the UK quarantine list daily, research like this is invaluable to those wishing to continue working in hospitality, acting as reassurance that they will continue to be supported.

Cumberland’s research further suggested that Brits are now more focused on having an easy and relaxing holiday experience, with 59% claiming that the ‘ease’ of UK travel was a major benefit of staycationing, as well as 49% mentioning that it was ‘safer’. Continuing with the theme of relaxation and safety, 39% of British holidaymakers would prefer to stay in a hotel.

Now more than ever before, hotels, restaurants and bars are fully equipped to offer a safe and stress-free hospitality experience, operating with the finest attention to detail.

Regardless of what’s to come next, it’s certain that hospitality in the UK isn’t going anywhere. If you would like to work within hospitality or progress your hospitality career, contact expert recruiters JWR today.

Managing a hotel has never been more challenging. The uncertainty caused by the unwelcome arrival of the coronavirus has struck a sense of fear into millions of people across the UK.

With so many people being forced to cancel holidays abroad, the collective focus has turned towards ‘staycations’. People need a break like never before. This has placed the spotlight on the UK hospitality industry and, in particular, hotels.

Those who choose to take a break away for a few days are still doing so at their own risk. As soon as they leave their home environment and descend upon a hotel which is populated by hundreds of relative strangers, the risk factor intensifies.

A key role to play

This is where hotels have a significant role to play. In the current climate, the most effective way of helping guests to enjoy their stay is by putting their minds at ease. This is achieved by being seen to carry out all the correct protocols.

The responsibility falls on the hotel, and chiefly the hotel manager, to ensure they are taking every possible precaution to safeguard the wellbeing of guests. Everything from social-distancing protocols to wall-mounted hand sanitizers to partitioned zones in bars and restaurants is crucial.

Hotel managers will, of course, delegate these tasks but the responsibility falls on the manager to ensure they are carried out.

Temperature checks on arrival

It is important that each guest is temperature-checked on arrival and, if the hotel is still using a reception check-in system, plexiglass should be used to separate guests from employees. Furthermore, signage should inform guests about the importance of wearing face masks when walking through the hotel or using lifts.

As well as making guests feel safe and relaxed, managers must provide a safe working environment for staff. Cleaning staff should be brought up to speed on new hotel cleaning regulations. Additionally, where room service is offered, employees should leave food and drinks outside the guest’s door, covered over by foil or clingfilm.

The best chance any business in the hospitality industry has of succeeding is by recruiting talented and hard-working staff who care about what they do. This includes all roles, from cleaners (who have never been more important) to management.

JWR are industry leaders in hospitality recruitment. Our services should be enlisted by any business looking to inject their employee pool with people of the highest calibre.

A £14m hotel recovery programme has been announced by the Scottish government in a bid to help support the tourism industry until next summer.

The package has been designed to secure up to 3,000 jobs in large hotels throughout the winter season, with eligible businesses being able to apply for individual grants of up to £250,000.

VisitScotland has also announced it will provide £1m in grants to self-catering businesses which are unable to receive any other government support. Companies which meet the criteria will be eligible for a one-off grant of £10,000.

Finance Secretary Kate Forbes said of the hotel recovery programme: “Its core purpose will be to protect larger hotels, which have been badly affected by the events of the recent months.

“This is also about looking forward and successful applicants will be offered wraparound support to help strengthen their companies for the future.”

Concerns for the hotel industry remain

While news of the programme was warmly received, experts have warned that it won’t be enough in the long term. There are still fears that without other forms of longer-term support in the future, many hotels in Scotland will remain at risk of being forced to shut their doors permanently, resulting in thousands of people losing their jobs.

Current industry figures suggest the hotel sector supports around 46,000 jobs in Scotland.

Willie Macleod, UKHospitality’s executive director for Scotland, said: “The reality is that any programme of recovery intended to keep hotels in Scotland open and staff in jobs, will need to be much bigger and much more wide-ranging.

“It must be hoped that this is an initial step in supporting these businesses and that further resources will be made available in the likely event that the programme is over-subscribed.”

Only 5% of hotels will be supported

UKHospitality estimates that approximately 950 large hotels in Scotland did not qualify for grants which were made available to smaller businesses during the COVID-19 lockdown. As such, they had to meet their average monthly expenses themselves – which in some cases totals £60,000 – despite being shut for the majority of the spring season.

The group has also warned that a budget of £14m will only cover 50 businesses, just 5% of the large hotels in Scotland. Macleod added: “This is not enough to avert the crisis facing the sector.”

For regular industry updates and advice on hospitality recruitment, contact us at JW Recruitment today.

The recent coronavirus pandemic has meant that some hotels have been seriously struggling. With all hotels closed for months, many have lost significant profits. However, now that hotels are fully reopened, some establishments are seeing a great influx of guests. To learn more about how these hotels are thriving despite the pandemic, continue reading.

Rise of staycations

Restricted travel to foreign countries has meant that many Brits are looking for a ‘staycation.’ This essentially involves enjoying a holiday in your own country. While this isn’t great news for airlines, it is fantastic for British hotels looking to bring back customers. Hotels who have done particularly well have emphasised how fun and enjoyable a staycation can be, while enticing customers to stay with them. Hotels with great locations, such as by the sea, in the countryside or in city centres have highlighted the benefits of their local area, showing guests that they can still feel like they’re on holiday in this country.

Great marketing

Hotels who are now thriving once more have put a lot of effort into their marketing campaigns to tempt customers to book with them. Many have uploaded videos on to social media showing the changes that they have made to their establishments, or highlighting the one-way system they have in place. Furthermore, some hotels have created competitions on social media sites to allow guests to win a free stay. Not only does this offer one lucky guest a fantastic experience, but it also generates a buzz around the hotel, encouraging other social media users to view the page.

Increased safety precautions

Those hotels which have shown a serious attitude to safety precautions have also seen a rise in guests. Many hotels have announced more stringent cleaning measures, with hand sanitising stations dotted around the premises. Hotels with eating facilities have also changed to table service only, removing the risk of infection that buffets can pose. Some hotels have taken safety measures to the next level by installing thermal cameras in the building. These can spot if someone has a high temperature and therefore could be possibly ill. This gives great peace of mind to both customers and staff, meaning that hotels can attract more customers to stay. Unfortunately, the hotel industry has been affected by the pandemic, but it is possible for hotels to bounce back and be profitable once again.

For regular industry updates and advice on hospitality recruitment, contact us at JW Recruitment today.

After being forced to follow strict lockdown guidelines due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the future of the hospitality industry looked uncertain. Even as lockdown measures began to ease around the UK and restaurants, hotels, cafes and bars were encouraged to re-open, the British public at first seemed hesitant to begin dining and drinking in public once again. Luckily, the Eat Out to Help Out scheme which began on the 3rd of August has proven to be a huge success and has breathed new energy into the UK hospitality industry.

It is estimated that in the first two weeks of the scheme alone, 35 million discount meals were served. In fact, restaurant bookings for Monday – Wednesday in August were significantly higher than restaurants bookings for weekends in July,

The scheme, which runs throughout August, was introduced to encourage consumers to dine out once again after months of being told to stay home. The scheme is open to chain and independent restaurants alike and gives food outlets the opportunity to offer 50% off food and soft drinks from Monday – Wednesday, to a maximum limit of £10 per person. The government has pledged to subsidise the 50% discount and has so far received over 48,000 claims from businesses.

Over 85,000 restaurants are taking part in the scheme, which was introduced in addition to the government’s plan to cut value-added tax for the hospitality industry from 20% to 5% until mid-January. The Eat Out to Help Out scheme is estimated to cost taxpayers around £500 million, though it was arguably needed to save the hospitality industry after months of lockdown.

Rishi Sunak has been delighted with the success of the scheme so far and released the following statement: “Today’s figures show that Britain is eating out to help out — with at least 35m meals served up in the first two weeks alone, that is equivalent to over half of the UK taking part and supporting local jobs in the hospitality sector.”

Businesses which were hesitant to take part in the scheme raised concerns about operating with low cash flow due to the wait time to receive reimbursement. Sunak has eased any such concerns, however, by promising food outlets they will be reimbursed for the discount within 5 days of claiming.

As the Eat Out to Help Out scheme has proven, there is still a lot of life in the UK’s hospitality industry and there are plenty of opportunities available. If you would like to work within hospitality or progress your hospitality career, contact expert recruiters JWR today.

JWR has always delivered a very good service; they are accurate, articulate and pragmatic in their approach. I would have absolutely no hesitation in using them in the future.

I have worked with JWR for over a year where they have successfully placed numerous candidates within our business. I have found that they are professional, courteous, personable and knowledgeable; which enables them to ensure they place candidates that fit within our business and service offer. I would have no hesitation in recommending JWR.

I have utilized the professional resource of 'James Webber Recruitment' for over 10 years, always with success in finding and retaining the right candidate for the position. I find James's personal involvement to sourcing the right candidate to reach my requirements a huge time saver and a professional approach. I would not have any concerns with recommending James Webber recruitment to perspective employers or indeed to a candidate wishing to find the right role for their experiences, qualifications and ambitions. It is difficult to find a recruitment company that consistently delivers in a timely fashion with the right number of candidates for me to see for the role which I need.

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