Maritime Interviewing Tips

Some workboat jobs don’t require you to submit a resume; you simply fill out an application and go in for an interview.

This is common with entry-level or temporary positions. In these cases, your interview is crucial – that’s the deal-breaker when a potential employer decides if you’re going to get the job or not. Here are some interview tips you can use if you’re interested in working on a workboat:

Dress the part. If you’re applying for a job on a boat, you probably won’t be wearing a suit and tie. Dressing in your work duds is fine! However, a uniform or suit may be appropriate if you’re applying for an officer position. Don’t over dress, but don’t under dress either.

Speak clearly. On a ship, communication is key for safety, and if you mumble, how will you be able to shout commands over the crash of waves? Use a loud, clear voice when answering questions. This is more important that the answers themselves in some cases. Speaking clearly also shows that you have the confidence it takes to do well in the job.

Talk about your skills and experience. Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn, so to speak! When you have a job interview, the potential employer will have a list of questions to ask you, but prepare by making your own list of points you have to cover. For example, if you were applying to work in the kitchen, things you would include on your list might be previous experience on a ship, your culinary training, and past responsibilities you’ve had with maintaining an inventory.

Bring something to the company. One of the biggest mistakes people make in any job interview, on a workboat or otherwise, is talking about how the job can help them. Employers don’t care if you need the money or are pursuing your dream career. They don’t care what you want in a job. They care about what you can do for them.

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