Tips for Your Cruise Ship Interview
So you’ve applied to work on a cruise ship and now you have an interview.
Well done! It’s now time to research tips for your cruise ship interview so you can be fully prepared.
The type of interview that you may have will depend on how you applied. You either applied directly to the Cruise Line or you decided to do the Recruitment Agency route.
There are many processes to the interview sequence. Some people find they have an initial brief phone call and then a more in-depth interview over Skype, while others find they have their interview straight over Skype or similar. Some people may even have an in person interview depending on their location.
For me I had 3 Skype interviews. The first one was with the recruitment agency and the last two interviews was with the Cruise Line itself. Each interview lasted around 30 minutes.
Below are my cruise ship interview tips for getting through the interview process as smoothly as possible. I am setting it out based on my experience of the process.
Interview With An Agency
The first interview I had was with the agency. This was just an overview of the job and of my capabilities to be able to work away from home. The likelihood is that you will have an interview with an agency first. When being interviewed by an agency you want to:
Ask as many questions as you want such as:
- What are the duties of the position
- Which job would suit your skills
- What type of training will be provided
- Any possibility for promotion
- What type of uniform
You could even ask if they know what the following interview/s will be about, because this first interview is more of a warm up for the following ones, you may only have one more, but you might also have another two if you’re like me.
Second and Last Interview
After my agency interview I went on to have 2 more interviews. For both I really needed to know my stuff so the information below will help you fully prepare for these 2 interviews.
Preparation Is Key
As with any interview you take in life you need to be prepared. Learn a little about the company, to find this information just take a browse on their website.
This should be an obvious one – make sure you know what is on your resume and can easily answer any questions about your previous jobs, work experience, skills and educational history.
You will need to know about the job you applied for. Your agency should of sent you all the information you need to know about the role, but it’s also a good idea to have a google search as well.
Take the time to learn about their work ethic and work code. There are different types of work code different Cruise Liners go by. Make sure you know the one your company goes by. Learn the demographics of the people who the Cruise Line caters for. You should know the passengers that you will be serving.
Learn anything else you can about the Cruise Line like new ships that are being built or when new ships will be scheduled to sale. Basically know your company inside out before you even speak to them! Read up on the latest cruise news as well.
Rules & Regulations
Make sure you understand some of the basic rules and regulations that will be expected of you.
You won’t be expected to know all the ins and outs but you should know the basic rules beforehand like the fact there are no full days off, you can’t socialize with passengers outside public areas and there is an alcohol limit too. The Cruise ship will have a zero dugs/violence policy and you will be immediately fired if you break the rules.
Ensuring you have a good grasp of the rules beforehand will set you up well. Knowledge is power and it will help you be confident in your answers to any questions thrown at you.
The cruise ship will have its own lingo so try to know some of these beforehand otherwise you make be asking the interviewer for an explanation when they are trying to explain things to you. This will not look good.
Some vocabulary to learn beforehand could be:
- Bow: Front of ship
- Stern: Back of ship
- Port Side: Left side of the ship
- Starboard Side: Right hand side of the ship
Hygiene is a HUGE deal. It plays such a huge part when it comes to working onboard. Try to familiarize yourself with their hygiene practices and what guidelines need to be followed.
Think About What You Want To Convey
It is a good idea to go over what you would like to say and convey to whoever is interviewing you.
You want to come across as hardworking, dedicated and resilient. You want to show that you are a team player and socialable. You want to show that you can cope in difficult situations and you are prepared.
Things You Will Likely Be Asked About
The preparation info above should set you up nicely to answer any questions they may have for you.
You can expect them to ask you about a lot of the things. Take some time to think about how you can spin it to make you look like the best candidate for the job.
- Past Work Experience – Try to use your past work to convey your ability to provide a friendly and efficient customer experience. It’s a good idea to go over what you have done in the past and how the skills you gained from each type of employment are useful for the cruise ship.
- Challenges & Difficult Situations – Customer service can be quite challenging. The likelihood is you will be asked questions about what challenges you have encountered in your job roles and how you have overcome them and resolved them. I am sure if you took the time, you could come up with several different scenarios of how you dealt with a customer professionally, empathically and resolved the situation to the customer’s satisfaction. You could probably come up with other relatable experiences in other professions that aren’t so customer service specific by looking at your relationships with other colleagues.
- Personal life – You will be asked about your personal life and any commitments you have. Some people sign a contract only to drop out earlier than expected due to commitments or frankly because they can’t hack cruise ship life. Make sure you come across as dedicated to the job and that your partner/family understand the situation and will not prevent you from completing a contract.
You must show you have the ability to be away from home for an extended period of time so if you have done some travelling alone already this experience would be hugely beneficial to put across.
- Being on a Ship – You will definitely be asked about your understanding and thoughtfulness around the unique challenges that a cruise ship job involves. This is when all that research you did can really come in handy, as you explain how you have spoken to others and listened to the unique situations they have encountered and how this has prepared you for what the job entails.
What Not To Say
Sometimes we can forget ourselves or get overly nervous and say the dumbest things. Here are a few things you want to avoid aluding to in yuour interview:
- Don’t say you only want to do one contract (even if it is true!)
- Don’t mention how you hate long hours, as that is what you will be doing
- Don’t say anything negative about any aspect of the work you will be doing.
- Don’t bad mouth past colleagues, this does not look good at all particularly as you will be joining a TEAM.
Wear a shirt, smile a lot, relax and be confident. You have got this. It isn’t that bad!
Make sure to check out my post on the pros & cons of working on a cruise ship! And if you have any questions let me know in the comments below or shoot me an email.