Today’s post is a follow-up on the popular topic of Interviews. In part 1, three amazing Chief Stewardesses shared their top 3 tips for Stewardesses while doing an interview. Click HERE if you haven’t had a chance to read it yet!

To continue the conversation of putting your best foot forward for your next interview, I asked 4 Chief Stew’s to share what they feel are appropriate & inappropriate questions to ask the employer.

Personally, I ALWAYS ask about the longevity of the crew and what sort of actives the crew do together when not working. These two points are so important to me, I need to know that the boat treats the crew well enough that crew stay onboard longterm & that the crew does more that just drink on weekends.

The three brilliant minds behind part 1 of this series are back AND we added another BRILLIANT Chief Stewardess, Harriet!


Harriet ~ Chief Stewardess of 1 Year

My name is Harriet and I’m from the UK. Yachting started out as a gap year and now 7 years later I’m Chief Stewardess on a 70m charter yacht. I’ve been luckily enough to have some incredible yachting experiences and blessed with a crew that feels like my family. I stepped up into my first senior role at 21 and haven’t looked back since! 
What would you consider to be appropriate questions from the Stew?

1) Find out about crew dynamics and longevity

2) What does the role involve? Progression onboard?

3) What’s the interior structure & the structure of hierarchy onboard?

What would you consider to be inappropriate questions from the Stew?

One of the first or only questions being money related, then you know that they are only in it for the money.


Cantleigh ~ Chief Stewardess of 1 Year

What would you consider to be appropriate questions from the Stew?

1) How is the position become available? ie What is the crew turn over like? If you feel this is too direct One could ask, what is the longest/ average time of the crew.

2) What are the crew dynamics like? Is the crew active? Do you do crew activities off the boat? Is Crew morale encouraged in down time?

3) What is the package! For me many girls seem to only ask about salary and forget there is so much more to take into consideration. Is there flights, is the FULL medical aid on AND OFF the boat. Some boats do a rewards scheme such as 13th month bonus or courses paid for after a year onboard. Some boats may be 100 euro off another but invest in the longevity of their crew and for me this is worth so much more!

4) Can you share with me a bit about your career. This is a polite way to see the experience the chief will have and bring to your growth and development.

What would you consider to be inappropriate questions from the Stew?

All of which I have regretfully been asked

1) Is there a drug test, if so how often (RED FLAG)

2) Is this a dry boat? Is alcohol brought for the crew because I the boat my friend joined does.

3) Who are the owners, what do they do? this is privileged and private information for the crew. Rather ask what are the nationalities. Is it formal silver service etc to get a feel.

4) Do we get weekends off? This for me indicates someone not willing to give me all they got


Alex

What would you consider to be appropriate questions from the Stew?

1) Itinerary

2) Charter/Private, how busy they are,
3) Crew dynamics, cabin arrangements & general rules on board for the crew
4) What is expected from me & is there a space to grow,
5) Contract type, medical cover, salary and annual leave
What would you consider to be inappropriate questions from the Stew?

1) Asking too much about the guests, (me personally I would never do it)  

2) Also asking for time off, free weekends etc…(Its important to know, but for me it would be a sign you are looking for chill boat with little work.)


Meg ~ Chief Stewardess of 2 Years

First of all, I think it is SO important for a candidate to have some questions ready. I hate nothing more than when we get to the end of an interview and I ask if there is anything the candidate would like to go through or any questions they have, and they say nothing. For me, this could suggest a lack of interest or, if recruiting for a more senior role, a lack of experience.

When a boat is interviewing you, they are trying to get to know you. We use interviews not only to see your experience but also as a way of gauging crew fit, department fit, social skills and overall personality. However, as a candidate (junior or senior), during this interview, you are simultaneously interviewing the boat to see what vibe and professional feel you get for the chief stew, captain, management etc. 

What would you consider to be appropriate questions from the Stew?

1. Do you offer onboard training? Does the boat offer any sort of opportunity for shore side training? Is this paid for by the boat? Can I use this opportunity within the first 6 months/1 year of joining?

These sorts of questions scream commitment to the industry, as it immediately shows me that you are interested in learning, which is something I truly feel the candidates coming through the interior departments are lacking. 

2. Ask about crew turnover or longevity. Most importantly within the interior department. Why is the position available? It may be because the previous junior stew was bumped up a rank, which shows the boat is open to promoting from within, which is great. If it was because she had a falling out with the Captain, or she felt she was not learning anymore, this could also suggest a few things. 

3. Ask about your crew accommodation. Who will you be sharing with? Will you have to move cabins often to accommodate rotational positions? Will you be sharing with females only? I find one of my most important questions to ask a junior stew is about their previous living space. I prefer to stay clear of a candidate who has never lived away from home or who has never shared a dormitory etc. Crew cabins can be small spaces and you will almost always share a cabin.

What would you consider to be inappropriate questions from the Stew?

I know several people suggest any questions about salary or leave are inappropriate, but I would suggest that it is the way in which they are asked that can be inappropriate. It is important that you find out about the contractual offering (salary, leave allowance and what medical cover you are entitled to as a crew member), however if these questions are the first thing you ask about, it could suggest that you are more interested in the money side of the job rather than the opportunity to learn and enter into the industry. 

Personally, I do not like it when candidates try to ask several questions about itinerary. I always explain our basic movements for the upcoming year (med season locations, shipyard etc), but I find candidates often push for more info on this. I understand that exciting itineraries are sought after, but when you are looking of your first job, itinerary should not be as important as a solid captain and crew and a motivational environment to work in. 


 

I really hope this has been insightful & helpful to all you! Interviews are SO important and vital to a successful career!

I have a few more Interview Posts coming & this time it’s for Chief Stews & HOW to interview!

Big Hugs,

Gem xo

theyachtstew
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theyachtstew

Hello! My name is Gemma, the girl behind The Yacht Stew. After 7 years of working on yachts, I wanted to create a platform where I could share my stories, travels & passions. I have been asked a million and one times “What do you actually do working on a yacht?” – hopefully this blog will give you a good insight. I’m so excited to share my travels & stories with you.
theyachtstew
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