3 Easy Tips for Getting a Job in the Restaurant and Retail Industry

These easy tips will make managers love you!

Get Prepared!

"Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe."
― Abraham Lincoln

Dress professionally

Dressing well for an interview shows your prospective employer a few things about you.

When you dress well, you show them that you’re the kind of person who cares. Hiring managers are looking for people that will take their job seriously. Dressing the part signals that you might be that kind of person.

Most restaurants have a dress code. Before you’re in-person or video interview, try to get an idea of the dress code and make sure to dress accordingly. You don't have to matching it perfectly, but being in the right range can make all the difference.

Prepare your personal story

A prospective employer should want to learn a bit about you personally to make sure you’re the right fit for the job.

Some employers will pose this question as "Tell me a little bit about yourself". Then may then probe into different areas of your story to learn more.

To prepare for this, think about what your past 2-5 years have looked like (e.g., school, jobs, extracurriculars, hobbies, etc.), and put together a 1-2 minute outline about yourself.

Things you could include are:

  • What you’ve been up to over the past few years
  • What you enjoy doing in your spare time
  • What you are looking for in a job

An example could look something like this:

My name is John, I was born and raised in Boston near Quincy, and am a student at BU studying Fine Arts. I’ve worked at 2 restaurants over the past 3 years part time as a waiter, and enjoy the fast pace and time I get to spend talking with customers. When I’m not busy with school or work, I like to play basketball and read. I’m looking for a part time position near school and am flexible with timing.

Also, be sure to mention your experiences in similar jobs, skills you’ve acquired, and have a few detailed examples of applying your skills ready.

Haven’t worked in a restaurant or retail job before? No problem, show employers that you have the skills from other areas of your life (e.g., other jobs, clubs, school, group, etc.)

Smile and be friendly

Many people show up to interviews nervous and slightly stressed.

The goal of the interview from the employer's perspective is not just to see if you have the skills, but more importantly, if you have the right personality and attitude (which most workplaces care more about).

Sometimes it’s hard to remember to smile during an interview, so before you meet for the interview, be sure to take a moment, think positively, and walk into the interview with a positive attitude.

Be persistent

Persistence is key! Many candidates never follow up after an interview. This is a big mistake. Following up shows the employer that you are serious and organized, and it helps you stand out and be remembers.

A quick follow up 1-2 days after the interview, with either a call, an email, or a message on the JobGet app will help you close the deal.