A Simple Trick to Help you Ace your Yacht Interview, from Junior Crew to Captain!

Whether you are applying for an entry-level yacht position or the role of a Captain, the path to your dream yacht job will be sure to progress through the universally feared job interview. 

Here at YPI CREW, we have been conducting interviews and preparing crew for yacht job interviews for nearly 20 years and we want to use our knowledge to help you get that dream job aboard a yacht you have been looking for.

The general rule of thumb is that “preparation Is key” and you can never be over-prepared. Today we are sharing with you a simple interview trick most candidates ignore, yet can really help you get hired!

Of course, every interview will be slightly different depending on the role you are applying for, your seniority and the culture of that specific yacht but, what we are offering here, is some great across-the-board advice. It is not rocket science and after reading it you’ll probably say: “Why didn’t I think of that before?” Trust us, we’ve all been there…


Read through the advice carefully and bookmark it in your browser in case you need to come back to it whilst preparing before a yacht job interview.


The truth about yacht crew interviews

We have often been told to talk about ourselves at a job interview however, this is simply not an effective strategy!

The reality is, whoever is hiring you will probably interview several candidates; imagine how strenuous it is to listen to everybody’s life story! Inevitably, their mind will start to wander, especially if you ramble on. They’ll be thinking about the owners arriving in three days time and how they are still not fully prepared or about the guest cabins that need detailing, or whether the alternators have been serviced ready for the guests arrival. This does not make them a bad interviewer, it makes them human!

So, what can you do about it? Be clever; think about the other person’s mindset. Why are they interviewing in the first place, because they enjoy it? No. Because they have nothing else to do? No. Because they want to see what the market for crew looks like? No. They interview because they have pain, because they have a problem. If they would not have a problem, they would not be interviewing. We call it “pain interviewing”. This concept has been coined by Liz Ryan from the Human Workplace and she leads the Worldwide Human Workplace movement to reinvent work for people.


The trick to standing out in a yacht crew interview

So, here’s how to get hired; the best-kept secret of this strategy is to focus your attention on the person interviewing you. You need to find the real reason they need to hire someone, right now.

Captain:  Can you tell me about yourself?

You: Sure! My first/last yacht job was on MY TOP JOB as a junior deckhand/stewardess /second engineer/sous chef/junior captain but I don’t want to bore you to death with my story. Can I ask you a quick question about the job, just to ensure I understand what you’re looking for?

Captain: Sure.

(Here, we are taking the example of a head chef but this works for all the other positions onboard a yacht; you just need to tweak the angle)

You: You’re looking for a head chef and the yacht is private. I’m guessing you need someone to impress the owners; what is the key to make them happy? What food do they enjoy, what are their expectations?

Captain: Well, they are real foodies and also have some strict diets you will need to accommodate so, we need someone who is not a ‘Prima donna’ yet someone who can bring some flair to the job. The last chef was onboard the yacht for 3 years, she was great and they really appreciated her.

You: Great, what did they really like about her?

Captain: She was a master of sous-vide and that really suited them.

You: Perfect, I can see how important it is for you to get this right and hire someone as good as XXXX.  Well, about sous-vide, on my last yacht I did xxxxxxxxxx.

Do you see what has just happened? The interview script has been thrown out of the window and if you keep the Captain engaged on his or her point of pain, they will not go back to it and that’s what you want to achieve as you are positioning yourself as a problem solver, thus instantly becoming a candidate of great interest.

From there on it’s plain-sailing; you have already illustrated to the captain how you can do the job and, throughout the conversation, you will hopefully have portrayed yourself as someone who won’t be too annoying to have around the crew mess so, all that’s left to do is tell the Captain how great the job sounds and how you would really enjoy being part of the crew.

So, to summarise, there are two easy steps to ace an interview:

  1. Find the pain/problem
  2. Position yourself as a problem solver.

Happy interviewing! We’d love to hear how this technique has worked for you, please let us know and share your experience.


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

Become a member of YPI CREW through a free registration and let us connect you with the next step in your career.

Each of our recruiters is specialised in recruitment for a particular department and they will do their best to get you an interview onboard a yacht. They will also advise qualified crew how to best present their CV and prepare for the interview.


Are you looking for yacht crew for your yacht?

Get in touch with us so our recruiters can connect you with suitable, available and interested candidates, each of which will be checked, certified, pre-interviewed and ensured to be a perfect fit to your existing crew.

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