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Top 10 Interview Questions for Yacht Crew

When it comes to hiring superyacht crew, it's important to find candidates who will not only perform their job to a high standard, but who will also fit well with the rest of the crew, whilst living and working together in close quarters. 

There are several key elements to consider in the recruitment process, but one of the most important is the interview. Asking the right questions can help you asses their skills and experience as well as giving you a better understanding of their interpersonal skills and problem-solving abilities. It allows you to get a feel for whether or not a candidate is qualified, but also if they’re someone who will complement your exiting team and someone who other crew members would enjoy working with.

It’s not always an easy task but the team at wilsonhalligan crew recruitment have shared some examples of top interview questions that you could use to learn more about the applicant…

When interviewing try to follow the 80/20 rule where you, as the interviewer, do 80 per cent of the listening and 20 per cent of the talking. Start with some general questions to establish the candidate’s interest in the position and their previous experience. Ask them to tell you why they think they would be a good fit for the role and what they could contribute. Applicants should also be given time to ask you any questions that they may have. Remember that their questions can also help you assess their interest in the role and if they will be a good fit for your team

1. What do you know about the yacht and the position on offer?

A great opening question to determine whether a candidate is serious about the job on offer or has just applied to any vacant position. Of course it’s not always possible for a candidate to know much about a yacht due to confidentiality, but they should have taken time to learn as much as they can and be fully aware of the role they have applied for. This question also offers a good opportunity for you to then explain the position in a little more detail. 

2. Can you tell me about your responsibilities in your previous role? 

This question can help you evaluate the candidate’s communication skills and give you a more in-depth insight into their background, skills and experience. You can go on to ask them how they would handle certain situations or challenges relevant to the yacht or position you are recruiting for.

3. What skills and experience can you bring to this position?

Have they considered what you are looking for and how they can benefit the yacht and crew? If they are new to the yachting industry, have they considered how their previous skills and experiences could be transferred to yachts? Are they able to think critically about their abilities and experience within the role? 

4. Why are you looking for a new position?

Yachting contracts are often short or terminated due to a change in circumstances with the yacht or owner, however reasons such as lack of career development or problems with management or crew can mean they are unhappy in their current role. Does the job you have available offer an alternative to these issues? Will they be happier on your yacht? 

5. How would your fellow crew members describe you?

A key question in assessing how they might work with other members of the crew. Be on the lookout for candidates that will compliment your existing team both professionally and socially.

6. Can you tell me a time you had a disagreement on board and how you handled it?

You can tailor this question to be more specific to the position on offer and the answer will give you a sense of their ability to handle conflict and resolve issues. Did they handle the situation well? Did they remain professional? How do they speak about the other individuals involved?

7. Can you describe how you handle quick turnarounds?

A busy yachting season consists of long hours and little downtime. Are you looking for someone who can work quickly and under pressure? Are they able to overcome challenges calmly and rationally? Can they work independently and remain well organised? Think about tailoring this question to the specific role on offer.

8. What’s the most interesting or enjoyable job you have had?

Leaning what the candidate enjoyed most about a previous job can help you understand their interests and motivation, what they are hoping to gain from this new position and what will offer them job satisfaction.

9. Where do you see yourself in five years?

People join the yachting industry for many reasons, for some it is long term career whilst for others it is a short-term experience to travel and earn money. Establishing their future goals can help you asses whether they are suited to the role. For example a candidate who is interested in career development is more likely to offer longevity if there is opportunity for further training and a chance to step up to a more senior role in time.

10. What’s one fact we should know about you that is not on your CV?

A great open-ended question which can lead to conversations about a candidate’s background, their hobbies or interests, and can give you a sense of who they are as a person and how they might fit in with the rest of the crew.

The team at wilsonhalligan Recruitment are always on had to help with your recruitment needs. If you would like any advice or guidance on sourcing suitable candidates, the interview process or reference checking please do not hesitate to get in touch.

For more examples of Interview Questions read: Top 10 Interview Questions for Yacht Crew & How to Answer Them


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  • Comment by: Mellisa Altenburger - 12 Jan 2022, 18:35 (3 years ago)

    Very helpful article, thank you!

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