Holiday Inn takeover interviews: an inside perspective
Hospitality and Catering students set to take over the running of the Holiday Inn hotel in Eastleigh next month give us an insight into what the preparation involves, namely their recent interviews at the hotel to secure their positions!
For the past three years Level 1, 2 and 3 Catering students have taken over the Holiday Inn for a 26-hour period, stepping into the shoes of roles such as Receptionist, Housekeeping, Head Chef and General Manager. You can read about last year's event here.
In the weeks leading up to the event, students write their CVs and application forms to apply for the roles they'd like to undertake. Those applying for higher-level positions are invited to 'speed interviews', where they move around the interview room and are asked quick-fire questions by the interview panel. Three students gave us an insight into how the interviews work, and what roles they've applied for this year:
Kieren Sly, Level 3 Food and Beverage Service Supervision
What positions did you apply for? Duty Manager (first choice), Operations Manager, Front of House Manager
Recount a question asked in your interview: Demonstrate how you have gone above and beyond for a customer
How did you prepare for the interviews? I didn’t!
What did you learn from the experience? … To be prepared! If I had another chance I would have spent more time thinking about examples of my skills which I could use as evidence when answering the questions.
Did you take part last year? No, this is my first year at the College. I was studying Catering at Fareham College, but moved here to continue with the front-of-house course. I’m really enjoying it so far.
What are you most nervous about for the takeover? Nothing, I’m not a nervous person
What are you most excited about? Finding out my job role, hopefully I’ll get Duty Manager!
What do you hope to learn? In the future I’d like to manage my own restaurant, so I’m hoping to learn more managerial skills, especially people-management.
Jade Goff, Level 2 Professional Catering
What positions did you apply for? Sous Chef (first choice), Commis Chef and Chef de Partie
Recount a question asked in your interview: To explain how we show professionalism
How did you prepare for the interviews? We prepared by asking each other potential questions and discussing how we could answer, and also researched the company
Did you take part last year? Yes, last year I was the Commis Chef and also served on the breakfast shift. I managed the buffet and helped out with events such as the staff Christmas party. I really enjoyed these, especially the Commis Chef.
What are you most nervous about for the takeover? Messing up and getting things wrong!
What are you most excited about? Working alongside some of my friends, because we’re in different groups so don’t always get to work together.
What do you hope to learn? Hopefully to learn more about what it’s like to work in a hotel, and whether that’s something I’d want to go into.
Carmen Darmanin, Level 3 Food and Beverage Supervision
What positions did you apply for? General Manager (first choice), Duty Manager and Operations Manager
Recount a question asked in your interview: Explain a situation where you have had to overcome a problem, and expand on this
How did you prepare for the interviews? I didn’t! Other than looking through the job description and figuring out what skills they were looking for.
What would you do differently next time? I would make sure to research the brand more – because I’ve done takeovers before and work experience, I didn’t do as much extra research as I could have done.
Did you take part last year? Yes, I was Reception Manager. This was really good because you’re the face of the company – you’re the first and last person the customers see. For me personally I’m more interested in events, but this was really good customer service experience and something to put on my CV.
What are you most nervous about for the takeover? If I get General Manager and I don’t know what I’m doing!
What are you most excited about? Getting General Manager! You are head of the hotel for the weekend, which will be so cool at the end to say I’ve done it.
Good luck to all the students taking part next month!
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National recognition for careers and enterprise innovation
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