Pro baseball athletes spend a ton of time in the batting cages honing their swing. The reason is simple:
Practice makes perfect!
The same holds true for job interviews: When you practice the answers to common questions, you put yourself in the best position to:
- showcase your knowledge of the employer and available role;
- provide relevant examples that position you as the ideal candidate;
- appear confident and poised;
- make a great first impression on a recruiter or hiring manager.
So, why isn’t every candidate prepared for typical food & beverage interview questions?
Honestly, we couldn’t say! Failing to prepare creates doubts in an interviewer’s mind about your potential work habits, as well as your real interest in working for their company. But you’d be amazed at how many job seekers never step into the metaphorical batting cage and rehearse their answers.
The good news? Reviewing your talking points for interview questions in advance will give you a decided advantage over the competition. And today, we’re making the preparation process a little easier for you. Below, we share a few typical questions our executive and professional food & beverage candidates frequently encounter. If you’re serious about acing your next interview for food and beverage industry jobs, make sure you’re prepared to knock these common questions out of the park:
- Tell me a little bit about yourself. You know this one is coming. If you deliver a strong answer, you: significantly improve your initial verbal impression; get your interview off to a confident and focused beginning; and increase the chances you’ll be called back for second interviews, or better yet, for offers of employment. Kinsa’s recruiting team recommends a three-step approach to answering this question:
- Summarize what your experience is as candidate.
- Share a two-sentence summary of a relevant career accomplishment of which you are proud.
- Briefly review what the ideal next career step is for you (i.e., one that matches what the employer is looking to hire).
- What are your biggest strengths? Everyone has strengths in their career. If you don’t plan your answer, you may wind up sounding like every other candidate being interviewed. Practice conveying your strengths that are directly related to the position for which you are interviewing. If possible, include recent reviews you’ve had and cite specific, concrete attributes and measurable accomplishments.
- What are your biggest weaknesses? Aside from identifying major red flags, interviewers use this question to gauge your self-awareness and honesty. Prepare an answer that identifies a weakness as it relates to the stated requirements for the position (e.g., a skill, industry contact, or degree that you lack), or a difficulty the employer may expect in your ability to get up-to-speed on the available position. You may want to follow this with how you would address the issue, so that it will not impact your performance or the organization’s goals.
- Why did you leave your last job? If you’ve been let go from a job, a poor response to this question could instantly knock you out of contention. Here’s what to do before – and during – the interview to handle this sensitive subject professionally:
- Talk to your references ahead of time, so you know what they’re going to say about the situation.
- Script your response. This is not a question you want to “wing” the answer to.
- Keep the conversation positive and honest. Acknowledge your role in being let go, and explain what you learned from the experience.
- Steer the conversation back toward the available position and why you’re the best candidate for the job.
Want more great advice on food & beverage interview preparation?
In future posts, we’ll share more questions you should be prepared to answer in your next interview. In the meantime, contact a Kinsa Group recruiter. Experts in executive and c-level food & beverage recruitment, our insights can bring you one step closer to the ideal food and beverage industry jobs.