Tips on Acing Maritime Job Interviews
A seafarer’s training in the Philippines usually involves application of technical concepts learned in various courses towards different duties on board. Whether it’s regularly checking tank soundings or maintaining a ship’s safety standards, a seafarer’s job involves a lot of heavy lifting and nitty-gritty tasks to ensure a well-oiled machine in both the crew and the ship. While these are very important jobs to learn, it is also essential that an aspiring seafarer knows how to secure a maritime job in the first place, and this involves the task of acing job interviews related to maritime duties.
A maritime-related job interview may seem daunting due to various technical knowledge one needs to have prior, but below is a list of tips on how you can pass these interviews with flying colors.
Determine your expertise
Your maritime training in the Philippines may have involved taking numerous courses on various fields so you can have a basic understanding of each duty. Over the course of your training, you may have determined in yourself what niche suits your expertise and preference the most. It is important to identify what maritime-related field you would prefer to focus on so you can review on that specific field and also secure your desired job more easily. Knowing what you are passionate about can also help you enjoy your job despite the stress rather than constantly switch fields due to lack of passion and interest.
Do adequate research
Once you’ve determined what field you want to get into in the maritime industry, your next step is to research about the said field. Look for tips on what to expect during the onboarding process onto your new duty. From this, make a list of possible questions related to the field that your interviewer might ask you. Take time to learn the jargon as well so you are prepared when your interviewer tests you on your technical knowledge. It is also important to look back on the maritime training you’ve received for relevant information and concepts you can use to your advantage both in the interview and on the actual job.
Write a simple but detailed resume
Almost every job would require you to submit a resume detailing your personal information, your educational background, and your experiences and skills. Contrary to what you may expect, having a fully loaded resume is useless if it is filled with details irrelevant to the position at hand. Keep your resume simple by only adding basic background information and relevant information and skills. Your interviewer will only look for information that is related to the job you are applying for, so only include experiences and skills that you feel will help you secure the job and perform well on board the ship. You may also highlight the training you’ve received to increase your credibility and relevant skill set.
Dress to impress
Most of your time on the ship would probably involve you wearing uniforms so you need not worry about your attire on board. However, dressing up during the interview does not hurt and may increase your chances in securing the job as it shows that you are ready to dress up and look formal should the occasion arise. A simple long-sleeved shirt, slacks, and leather shoes for men or a business blazer, blouse, skirt, and an elegant pair of shoes for women can make you look professional and earn you points from your interviewer.
Know what to answer and answer well
Stemming back to the second step, the interview is the avenue for you to show how well you’ve researched. The interviewer will most likely ask technical questions such as basic safety guidelines to test what you’ve learned and see if you are prepared to face a job where safety is at the forefront. Remember and recall the knowledge you’ve acquired from your research and your training in the Philippines. Do not go too overboard by elaborating too much on the concepts. Unless specifically asked, provide a concise answer to the more technical questions. And of course, always wear confidence and smile when greeting your interviewer before, during, and after the interview to make your positive impression more impactful.
Have patience and ample persistence
Now comes the agonizing part of the process, which is to wait. More often than not, you are not the only one being interviewed, so give the company time to evaluate your performance and the others’. You may ask on when feedback will be given, but only follow-up when the date given for the update has passed. Should you not get the job, don’t be discouraged. Be persistent and apply for other companies until you get accepted.
For seafaring and many other professions, the job interview is the gateway to establishing and/or growing one’s career. It is definitely a nerve-wracking process and applicants often feel pressured to do well. But with the right amount of research, training, patience, and faith in oneself, you can get that job in no time and begin the path to a new chapter of your career. As always, remembering your maritime training in the Philippines will definitely work to your advantage when getting the job. But also remember that the learnings you’ve acquired during the training period should carry over during the actual job so you can do your part in ensuring quality and safety while on board the ship.