Here are five questions that will help frame you in the right light and position you as a keen, informed and professional candidate.
1. What is the approximate program of this yacht?
If you haven’t already been told, this is the time to find out whether the yacht is used a lot by the guests or whether you spend most of your time tied to the dock cleaning things that are already clean. You can also enquire as to the usual itinerary of the yacht – where does it go and with whom – is it private only or actively chartered – and what kind of guests do they usually receive onboard, party animals or family and friends?
2. What do you appreciate most about your best crew members?
This will tell you what kinds of behaviour are appreciated and recognised by your interviewer, which will also tell you a lot about their own personal and professional values so you can see whether these are a match for your own values.
3. How does your team celebrate successes?
This will give you a clue as to whether the team like to celebrate together, socialise together or just go their separate ways. Some people want to work in a team that also play together but others have commitments ashore and prefer to leave the yacht whenever they can. Asking this question can ensure your preference matches the team you are potentially joining.
4. How would you know I was the best person for the job?
This is a great question for giving you the opportunity to assess how well you have done in the interview – if you have met all of this criteria you are already doing well, and if there is anything you are lacking now is your chance to make up for it by letting them know how you would fill those gaps.
5. What are the most important results you will expect from me in my new role?
This shows the interviewer you are really thinking from their perspective and are keen to make a good impression by focusing on the key performance criteria as soon as you start. It will also give you a good heads up as to what is important on this yacht and you can assess whether this meets your own opinion of how you measure your performance as well.
Regardless of the answers you receive to these questions – i.e. even if they make you feel you are not sure you really want to take the job, keep those thoughts to yourself and make sure you maintain a positive stance right through to the end of the interview.
Making negative comments at this stage could come across as judgments that could be taken personally, and you run the risk of offending your interviewer, which is not great for your industry reputation building. You might not be offered the position anyway and it is much better to wait to be offered a position before you turn it down, as nobody likes to be rejected before they've even made their advances.
Asking these intelligent questions shows your interviewer you are keen to make a contribution to your new team and that you are carefully considering your suitability for the role and vice versa.