Chief Stews share what they look for when hiring their crew

If you are a Stew looking for a job onboard a yacht, you already know that preparation is key, so knowing what to expect and how to best prepare can be extremely helpful.

It’s good to remember that your potential Chief Stew wants you to succeed. They want you to be the candidate they are looking for. It’s part of their job to make sure you will take your role seriously and that you will fit well within the existing crew.

So look at your interview as an opportunity to be the solution they are looking for.

To provide a bit of context behind that and give you a better picture of what is it that most Chief Stews are looking for, we have asked several of them what are the top 3 things they look for when hiring their Stews and here are their answers:

 

Chief Stew Meeli Lepik

The top 3 things I’m looking at when hiring are:

The values: Does the person shares and understand the same principles of the particular program/owner/crew.

The attitude: Is the person thinking of what he/she can give to the operations instead of what they can get. These are two, fundamentally, so different reasons to do anything, really. If your motivation is inner burning and curiosity, success and job satisfaction will follow naturally. If you are after the package only, soon, no salary or rotation is good enough.

Integrity: It’s a combination of honesty, respect, and social intelligence. It shines through communication via telephone and email etiquette. No ghosting and disappearing, giving false promises or declining the job in a very late stage, leaving the boat in trouble or planning not to commit in the first place.

As you see, I’m not looking at the actual experience or skillset because I find it very rare that people actually exaggerate or lie about their knowledge. For me, the most important thing is to try to find out who is the person behind the (sometimes super polished) CV.

If I feel after the interview that I’d like to know more about that person and looking forward meeting him/her, I know I’m on the right track.

 

Chief Stew Jess Harbison

Chief Stew Jess Harbison

As a Chief Stew my top three things I look for include:

Eagerness to learn: because this shows they are passionate about the role and determined to do a great job.

Ability to have a conversation: As well as if they have the ability to have a conversation and tell me about themselves and their work/life experiences as you can get an understanding of how they speak and how they hold a conversation with a glimpse of their personality. As it’s not just the skills they have it’s also about if they will fit with the team onboard, working in with crew dynamics.

Experience to match the role: Lastly, if their experience matches the role we need to fill, we don’t want someone overqualified, if it suits I try and hire green yacht stews for junior roles so we can train them how to do things correctly and suited to the boat preferences.

 

Chief Stew Lesley Deinum

All in all I find it super important how the conversation is flowing. If a candidate has an upbeat personality, responds well to my questions but also asks the right questions, she/he is a good one! I strongly dislike firing question after question to the candidate (and I’m pretty sure they hate this too), so I usually have a casual chat with a funny icebreaker to see how they respond and let it flow from there. I do have a sheet handy with points I have to mention and ask, but try to casually weave them into the conversation.

My top 3 things I look for/at on their CV:

Experience & longevity on their lasts boats: If I am looking to recruit for a permanent role, I’d rather hire Stews with good longevity. When looking to fill a seasonal position, I’d be looking for Stews who have done multiple seasonal charter gigs etc.

Their profile picture and CV layout: It sounds superficial, but I feel like if a CV is all over the place, or the profile picture is an unprofessional bar selfie, the Stew applying for the role is a bit careless or ignorant. I find a profile picture important as it is one of the first things you see before looking at their experience and required certs. If Stews can’t take care of their CV, how can I expect them to take good care of a delicate Interior on a yacht?

References: Yachting is such a small world and you always ‘know someone who knows someone’. I always do a quick reference check, even if a crew agent has already done so. I find that peer-to-peer references are usually far more honest as you can relate to the person and they to you.

 

Chief Stew Madison Jay

Chief Stew Madison Brauer

Things that I look for from the crew I am recruiting are:

Personality: I want to feel their personality ooze out across their CV and their social media profiles. I’m a big social media stalker when I see a CV I like, I want to know if they are going to hold themselves appropriately infront of guests, and blend well with the crew. You can usually get a good feel for someone over the phone too.

Point of difference: Where has this candidate tried to better themselves, what are their passions, what are they bringing to the team (whether that’s being a tarot card reader or an excel obsessed ex-office girl).

Care: If someone doesn’t put effort into their application, my expectation for them stepping on board wouldn’t be high. If a CV/email reads well, it’s well thought out and there aren’t spelling or grammar issues – I see potential for someone who is going to give me that same level of detail at work.

 

Chief Stew Rebecca Elsie Cape

Initially the presentation of the CV is the most important as this is the first impression and can instantly show how much effort has been made. Secondly, the basic information clearly shown at the top of the CV, such as current location, availability, date of birth, passport, visa etc. Lastly, correct details for references are also important, with an email and phone number.

When searching for a job, first impressions go a long way. For example, answering the phone professionally – instead of just saying “Hi”, I much prefer “Good morning/afternoon Rebecca speaking”. Since Covid, the interviewing process is very much more online, therefore flexible with video calls, being in a quiet environment, dressed smartly and willing to prepare introduction videos and answering questionnaires promptly. Also, having all relevant certifications saved in PDF format with a consistent label is also great to see to assist with the admin process. For example, Name_Certificate_Exp date dd-mm-yy to be more specific.

 

 

Are you ready to find your new dream job onboard a yacht?

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Each of our recruiters is specialised in crew placement for a particular department and they will do their best to get you an interview onboard a yacht. They will also advise crew on how to best present their experience and skills and prepare for a yacht job interview.

 

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