Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Preparing for the Next Chapter

By Tara Clampett

Wow…I cannot believe we are halfway through the season!

For many of us, this is a confusing time…time to decide whether to go up North for the summer season or to go back home. Many first time participants prefer to go home after their first season in the USA and this is exactly what I did back in 2016. I still remember a South African colleague telling me “Once you get home you’re going to wish that you were still in the USA”…And that is exactly what happened! I believe a lot of the time you return home only to realize how much you have grown over the past 6 months of living and working abroad. Additionally, travel opens up your eyes and you realize that there is so much more out there to see and experience.

This season I plan to go up North again for the summer. As much as I do miss my family and friends back home, I know that in twenty years’ time I will regret it if I don’t take the opportunity and try. The key word here being “try”. As many of you may know positions up North are limited and thus this can be a stressful time as we go through the interview process again. After being the Cape Town recruiter just a few months ago, I have recently been on the opposite side of the interview table again (being the interviewee) and boy, did I get nervous! However a few key points I have learnt through the recent interview process are:

Most important…be YOURSELF!

We all know that first impressions count so remember to smile and give a firm handshake. I am certain that every Country Club is looking for friendly, professional, polite and confident staff and these small gestures will show the interviewers that you possess these qualities.

Prepare beforehand. This means do your research on the Country Club as well as the position you’re applying for. As most summer Country Clubs hire servers, before my interviews I brushed up on my serving knowledge as you never know what questions may be thrown at you.

Have questions ready. Although all interviewers have different styles of interviewing this was the one common question asked in all of my interviews – “Do you have any questions?”. A friend of mine gave good advice and suggested that you think of a few standard questions that you can always ask such as: Are there opportunities for overtime? What are the daily duties of someone in the position you are applying for?

Lastly, try to relax and enjoy the interview. Although when I started my interviews, I was nervous, once I started to relax, I actually enjoyed the interviews (and I never thought I would ever say that). At the end of the day the interviewers are there to get to know you and there is no better feeling than leaving an interview that was more of a conversation and laughs than a series of questions and answers.

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