Summer Job Interviews - How To Impress

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Imagine how many people are interviewed to work a season for your chosen company. Plenty, so how are you going to stand out from the rest? Here are some top tips on what you should do to prepare for your interview. This guide was edited by the head of recruitment for a summer operator who take on over 500 summer seasonal staff each year, that's a lot of interviewing experience so we suggest you read this carefully.

Make sure you make a copy of the application form before you send it off and read through it before the interview. This is all that the interviewer knows about you and this is what the interview will be based on, so make sure you don't lie on the application form (especially when it comes to language skill, as they will normally test you).

Find out more about the job you are being interviewed for and the company you are hoping to get a job with. Go on the company's web-site or read their Season Workers profile, get and read through a brochure and study the job description. Use the Season Workers forum to find out more from people who may have worked for the company before. Make sure you read all the information you are sent before the interview, you don't want to ask a question that you should already know the answer to.

Most companies will ask why you want the job, so think of a good answer that fits in with the company ethos (i.e. hard sell, or caring and accommodating). Good answers are not because you want to lie on the beach all summer or get off with nicer looking people. Better answers might be that you want to learn from the experience, it will benefit your future career etc. Most jobs within the summer seasonal tourism industry are highly customer focused so inevitably at the interview you will have to give examples of good customer service you have given in the past. Make sure you have thought about this and have an example or three ready.

When you work with the public you also have to work with difficult customers so have examples of difficult situations you have dealt with and what part you played in solving a customer problem ready. If you don't give examples you may be put on the spot and asked to solve a theoretical problem.

The majority of summer seasonal jobs involve team work, so this will probably come up at the interview stage. If it is a group interview be ready to work in a team and have examples of when you have done this in the past prepared - Duke of Edinburgh, member of a band, football team, university/college etc. It can be difficult to stand out in a group interview as everyone there will be in the same position, you may be asked to do group activities - they will be in search for the leaders, the thinkers, the problem solvers but also those who don’t stand out one way or the other – the team players.

On the dreaded day of the interview if you have done your preparation you will stand in better stead for any job. It is normal to be nervous before an interview but do try and remember that the interviewer is only human, and they are also looking to impress you as there is a lot of competition out there. Be on time, try to get to the venue early, find where the interview is being held and then go for a drink but don’t go for a beer (they will smell it). If you are genuinely running late, try and phone ahead as your interviewer will assume that you aren’t coming (so remember to take the company phone number with you).

The initial meeting is your chance to give a good first impression. Dress smartly (it doesn’t matter that it is a summer seasonal position, you should still dress smartly, it gives a good first impression). A good hand shake is always important. Remember to smile even if you are nervous. If you are successful you will more than likely be working with paying clients, so you will have to smile most of the time. Better to get used to it from the outset and smile during the interview. You may meet a receptionist or someone else from the company other than your interviewer. Ensure that you are pleasant as they will almost certainly pass on their thoughts about what you were like.

The interview is a two way process so you will be asked if you have any questions. If you can’t think of anything, ask about their training plan and future job opportunities - that always goes down well. It is also worth having a couple of questions written down in a note book, it shows that you are prepared and have made an effort.

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