Real-life advice from a real-life recruiter

Archive for July, 2012

Cody – It was only a summer job…

Cody was just killing time before joining the service to learn how to fly helicopters when he got a summer job at Eat’n Park. Going into this job he only expected to wash dishes. He didn’t expect to meet so many great people and a wonderful girlfriend. Cody also didn’t expect to be a key player on a fun, but competitive, soft ball team. Given that he had just moved to the area when he started working at Eat’n Park he really didn’t know anyone. But that didn’t matter. He made all the new friends he could handle while working at Eat’n Park.

The General Manager soon noticed what a fabulous team member they had in Cody. He was soon cooking and soon after that he was being groomed as a Shift Manager. As soon as he turned 18 he was running shifts.

To gain experience Cody transferred to another Eat’n Park restaurant. Soon after being transferred, he entered the Management Training Program. Since then Cody has managed Clarion, Butler and his current restaurant – the Eat’n Park in Hermitage.

Cody loves the people and the softball at Eat’n Park. All of his District Managers and General Managers, and fellow management have been great coaches. The team is more like a family than bosses and co-workers. He said, “It’s been fun. I never thought I would get so far. Some one can give you an opportunity. What you do with that opportunity is totally up to you. Work hard, stay focused and USE YOUR PLANNER!”

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My Name is Troy…

Troy brought a whole lot of experience with him when he joined Eat’n Park in 2005. He had been recently laid off from a management position and was working at Shadyside Hospital as cook. He thought that taking some time off from the ups and downs of being in management was a good idea. He was even contemplating a career change.  What Troy found out was that he didn’t like not being a manager. He liked being able to make things happen, getting involved and improving things. He found that he couldn’t do that in the role of a cook. He just had to be a manager.  He applied to Eat’n Park Restaurants Manager job posting.  He got the job and the rest is history.

Troy said it was a great journey learning how to manage a full service restaurant. He had a lot of quick service restaurant experience, but had not managed a full service restaurant. He reminisced about his the first restaurant he was assigned to when he was promoted out of the Management Training Program.  He said it was a train coming full speed ahead and coming right at you. The first Saturday shift he worked by himself, well, was very challenging. And to top it off – his boss’s boss, the District Manager came in to see Troy that very same day. Troy thought to himself “Oh boy, I’m going to get reamed out good.” But, to his surprise, he didn’t. The District Manager, Domenic, coached him on how he could have ran a better, more effective shift, and helped him put the restaurant back in order. This was a turning point for Troy. He knew he made a great decision when he applied to Eat’n Park. Eat’n Park was really going to help him learn and grow and this is what Troy has been doing in every restaurant that he has been assigned to since.

Troy said that you are not just a number at Eat’n Park. “My name is Troy and they know who I am. You will see Jeff, the CEO, in the restaurants. You will see your District Manager and Vice President and they will know who you are.” In addition Troy loves all of the developmental opportunities that he can offer to his team members. He loves the opportunity to give back from the wealth of his 27 years of restaurant experience.

Troy said to “Always pay attention to what is going on. People are going to tell you what to think and what to do. But, you need to have your own opinion, your own thoughts and your own decisions.

Troy’s parting words: “Stay positive. If something is going wrong take ownership for it, fix it and move on.

Abbey Says…

Today’s Team Member Spotlight focuses on Abbey, Manager at the Waterfront Eat’n Park.  Abbey initially got her feet wet in the hospitality industry during her time at Kennywood Park. She worked at the amusement park through her high school and college years. Abbey worked at the Pizza Warehouse that is located within the park. She started as a team member, but soon the ultra talented Abbey was managing the establishment.

Abbey started her college career at Penn State as a Political Science major, but soon found that that discipline just wasn’t for her. Given that she wanted to make lots of money in her day, she switched her major to Business. But, after taking an accounting class she decided that not only did she want to make money, but she also wanted to have fun too!  Abbey then switched her major to Penn State’s Hotel Restaurant and Institutional Management degree program. And I know that I am so glad she decided to do that!

Upon graduation Abbey had lots of interviews with various organizations. However, she decided to take a job with Eat’n Park because the Recruiter told her that Eat’n Park has a passion for people. She told me the recruiter was indeed correct.

Her favorite thing about Eat’n Park is the people you work with. She has a good time managing her shifts and gets the job done. That is a great combination. In addition, she likes the fact that she knows who she is working for and they know her. The CEO, President, and Senior Vice President and her District Manager all know her name.

Abbey has now worked for Eat’n Park for 5 ½ years. She commented that the best thing that has happened to her is that she has been given the chance to grow and learn. Abbey’s career advice is simple:  “Don’t sweat your mistakes. Learn for your mistakes and move on.”

Thank you, Abbey!

Got an Interview? Be Prepared!

You worked really hard and finally got that face to face interview. Now, don’t blow it! You worked hard to get the interview, so work hard now to be prepared. Here my top ten list of interviewing faux pas. So Boost Your Interviewing skills.

  1. Being Late – Be on time. The end.
  2. Appearance –You never get a second chance to  make a first impression.
  3. No Questions – Research the company you are  interviewing with. You don’t want to ask a ridiculous question like “What do you produce?” Big mistake      there. But, you want to show that you are engaged and want to work there so have at least two questions.
  4. No Examples – You know some of the questions  the interviewer is going to ask you. Have some well worded answers prepared.  You don’t need to have      them written down, but spend some time rehearsing prior to your interview.  Check out How to Answer 23 of the Most Common Interview Questions.
  5. Bad Mouthing Former  Boss – Even if your last boss was a crazy, maniac, bully don’t bad mouth them in an interview. Don’t make yourself a victim.
  6. No Eye Contact – Look at the interviewer when  answering their questions. Do not stare at them like a crazed goat or talk to their wall or plant.
  7. Being the Walking Dead – If you want the job show that      you do. Be engaged in the interview. Acting and looking like a zombie  won’t get you the job.
  8. Chewing Gum – No drinking, smoking or gum  chewing period. Why even talk about it.
  9. Not Being Realisti  – What job are you applying for? Is the going market salary really a million dollars a year?  Get real. Don’t ask for something everyone knows is impossible.
  10. Not Asking For the Job   – Ask the interviewer how you did. Let them know your really want this job. If you  don’t ask you’ll never receive.

Just don’t take my word for it. Check out these 10 Unusual Interview Mistakes and 6 that are ALL too Common.