There is no one-size-fits-all approach to knowing what captains or owners of luxury yachts are looking for in yacht staff, as each yacht is different. There are a few key things, however, to keep in mind and help you prepare for an interview. It is quite important for captains or owners of yachts to be very selective with who they choose to hire; a crew with good interpersonal skills can make all the difference for a successful charter.
What they are looking for in yacht crew depends on a number of things, including, but not limited to:
- How long the voyage is
- Who is onboard
- Where they are sailing
- The type of vessel
- And of course, the particular position you’re applying for
Skillset, the required yacht crew certificates, and training are vital, but it’s the combination of personality plus skill that makes for the perfect candidate. During the interview the interviewer will set out to distinguish a candidate’s strengths, motivation, and cultural fit on-board. Questions (and therefore answers) should be indirectly formulated to prove the following points:
- Can the candidate do the job?
- Will they enjoy doing the job?
- Will they be easy to work and live with?
Here are a few extras to keep in mind before going for your interview:
What to wear
Yacht crew are usually given a standard uniform to wear during the charter. First impressions are extremely important, so pay extra attention to your attire, and smile.
- Wear a clean, crisp white polo shirt or t-shirt with beige or navy trousers or skirt.
- Wear your hair up, neat, and tidy.
- Look natural. Avoid heavy makeup and men should be clean-shaven with a trimmed haircut. Remove any facial piercings.
- Have clean, shaped nails and be well groomed.
- Body language is also very important – smile, sit up straight, and keep your head held high.
Common questions to prepare for
- “Tell me about yourself.” – A very common question even outside of yacht job interviews. Not only an ice-breaker, but your time to shine. If answered well, it will unquestionably increase your chances of obtaining a job offer. You will need to provide a coherent answer that has been prepared well in advance of the interview. Keep it to-the-point – two to three minutes is a good amount of time. Focus on past accomplishments and provide facts where you are able. If you have never worked as a yacht crew member before, don’t stress, you were chosen to be interviewed for a reason, so speak about any other skills you picked up along the way that may be relevant.
- “Why do you want to work on a yacht?” – This is a tricky one and the answer should never focus on you, but rather what you can bring to the table. Highlight your past experiences and skills that could assist the captain. Do no reference Below Deck as your motivation, this will not go down well.
- “Why should we hire you?” – This is again the chance to shine and deliver your final convincing argument. Keep it succinct and try to cover three things: convey that you are a solution to a recruitment problem, that your skills set sets you apart from the crowd, and that you meet the employer’s needs for this position.
- “Do you have any questions?” – These should be appropriate to the job you are applying for, and ideally not about the salary. Ask about the yacht, the crew, your duties, and the itinerary to show that you have a genuine interest in the role and its specifics.
Additional tips to help you shine
- Be confident and approachable in your demeanour.
- Convey resilience, commitment, and team spirit.
- Turn your mobile phone off before the interview.
- Show that you are eager to learn.
- If you are keen to take the job, say so and communicate that you will represent the yacht well – just don’t come across as desperate.
- Remember to thank the captain/interviewer for their time.
- Be ready to move quickly, yacht jobs are usually short-notice or sometimes same-day recruitment requests!
During the interview, you are also deciding whether this yacht will be the right fit for you. The key is to come across as competent, confident, and friendly, even if it is immediately apparent to you that you might not be interested in the position in question. In future the captain or crew agent who interviewed you may have a different position for which you could be the perfect candidate, so always impress!
If you would like more one-on-one guidance to prepare for your interview, get in touch with us to set up a consultation. We would love to help you ace your yacht job interview!