Landing a Job as a Hotel Front Desk Agent?

I’m sitting in my car before the second interview…

… and I’m pretty nervous. The nerves were getting to me regardless of how confident I was I could do it.

I’ve been on the job hunt for the past month and decided to start applying to front desk positions. I’m very interested in the hospitality industry and want to learn more about how it functions. Similarly, I’m passionate about customer service and problem solving, so naturally, a front desk position is perfect for me.

Another reason a hotel job was compelling is because they don’t require a High School diploma (which I don’t possess). I respect that they didn’t have that requirement because it means that they’re able to acknowledge that candidates don’t necessarily require a credential to be a valuable asset.

The First Interview

After about 20 days, I received an invitation to interview on Indeed. According to an Indeed email that was sent to me, I was up against 75 applicants!

The HR manager wanted to set up an interview with me the following Monday. She asked me if I was available to meet on that day. As soon as I saw message, I replied this:

Hello [Manager’s Name],

You see, I’m proud of this little trick I did in writing this reply. Rather then leaving the time ambiguous and saying something like “I can meet at pretty much whatever time.” I took the initiative to propose a potential time. That way, the manager would not be burdened to have to guess what might work best for me. I also kept it non-obligatory and left open the possibility for a different time, just in case my proposal didn’t work.

The manager replied that this time was good and we moved on to the interview. This is when I learned something important, always confirm the interview location. I assumed it would be at the hotel that I was working at. Instead, it was at an office at a different, nearby hotel! I got lucky when a manager at the hotel let me know that I had to go somewhere else to interview.

When I arrived to the correct interview location (10 minutes late), I apologized to my interviewer immediately and thanked her for taking the time to meet with me. She also expressed to me that she felt bad that it was not communicated so I felt relieved by the mutual feeling at the very least.

Interview outfit. sorry I forgot to smile.

Once I was interviewing, I found creative ways to work my past experience and skill-sets into answering the questions she had for me. I tried to give the best impression I could while staying true to myself and my personal capabilities.

The interview felt like a success. She handed me a paper application and requested that I fill it out. I had come prepared with a pen… but not a list of references, luckily I actually had some references and I was resourceful enough to find a WiFi connection to get the info I needed.

My interviewer asked me to drop the application off at the front desk, and added in something else:

“The last applicant must not have heard that I’d asked him to drop the application off. He had finished it and was just sitting, waiting for me, or somebody to retrieve it.”

That reminded me of something. It’s like in school, when you’re told that it’s time to turn in your paper. It’s like when the teacher has you turn it in or collects your paper for you. When you have to get permission to do something. I assume, whoever was sitting there waiting, was in a similar mindset to the one they had in school. It was almost like they were subconsciously waiting for the teacher to collect their paper.

The Second Interview

I turned in my application and waited. My references gave their testimonials and then I was invited for my second interview. This time, I was interviewing with who would be my direct manager. Next thing I knew, there I was, sitting in the parking lot before my second interview.

However once I entered the hotel and eventually began the interview, I felt suddenly at ease. It became a simple conversation thanks to the friendly manager who was interviewing me.

Here’s some of the fun questions that I answered:

What are two things you love doing?
For this question, I first mentioned my passion for creating things and my second answer was that: “I find it incredibly gratifying to find solutions to problems. I used to play a lot of puzzle games and I love helping people find solutions their challenges. My previous position as a Library Aide was filled with moments where I found answers for students in need, even when I didn’t know how.”

What are two things you loathe doing?
“I dislike useless busywork. Back when I was in school, they always assigned me work that was meaningless. I wasn’t learning anything and it was meant to just keep us busy. I remember in 5th grade they had us coloring in pictures for mandatory homework.”

“Now this is not to say that I don’t like doing work! I love doing meaningful work that has some kind of purpose even if it’s challenging.”

How do have people described you?
“I’ve been described by friends as inspirational and by co-workers as a critical thinker.”

If you had a superpower what would it be?
“Hmm let me think about that… I’d want to be able to create any resource on command. Like water and stone or any kind of building material. That way I could use my infinite resources to create something.”

Why are you interested in working at this position?
“Because I want to learn as much as possible about the hospitality industry and because I love interacting with people and helping them solve their problems.”

After the questions were finished she told me that she wanted to hire me.

After a 3 month training period, assuming everything goes to plan, I’ll be a capable front desk agent. I’m excited to be the best version of myself that I can be, but I’m equally anxious.

The skills I gain will be highly applicable to a variety of future opportunities and I’m looking forward to finally making some money, and learning as much as I can.

Wish me luck!

– Crew