How to nail a yachting job interview

How to nail a yachting job interview 

By Georgia Tindale 

When it comes to the job application process, there are few things that are liable to prompt more mixed emotions in candidates than an email informing them that they have successfully secured a job interview. On the one hand, they are one step closer to landing that dream job, but on the other, they will now have to convince that recruiter that they are the best thing since sliced bread – and the best possible candidate for that position.

But if this is you, never fear! The trusted team at Yotspot have your back. Here, we catch up with Paul Robson, Chief Operations Officer at the boutique head-hunting agency, The Crew Hunter, and discover the biggest pitfalls to avoid in a job interview, what recruiters are looking for in 2022, and what to do if you are struggling to secure a job in yachting. 


Tell us about your background and how you entered the yachting industry 

I come from a career in the UK MoD (Ministry of Defence), where I worked across roles in the intelligence space, with a key focus on human intelligence and suitability profiling. There, I lead teams which were responsible for identifying and recruiting high-calibre individuals and developed an understanding of human behaviours, motivations and vulnerabilities. I bring this experience to my role at The Crew Hunter, which I began four months ago and which has been absolutely fantastic so far. 

Despite the obvious attraction of a superyacht and the glamour it has to offer, it was the people within the industry and all of their complexities which was the main draw for me. The opportunity to bring a truly unique set of skills not seen anywhere else in yacht recruitment to The Crew Hunter most attracted me. I saw a chance for real change in how recruitment is done, using recruitment skillsets tested in the most unique and testing of conditions and applying them to yachting.

What are the biggest pitfalls to avoid during a crew interview? 

First and foremost, it’s important to be honest and professional about your background, qualifications and experience. Don’t focus too much on what you think the interviewer wants to hear – just be yourself and be clear about what you want. 

Can I tell a white lie on my CV to get through the door?

There really is no need to, and it could have safety implications down the line. You may want to consider the conditions in which you could ultimately end up working: small, close-knit teams away at sea for long periods in high-pressure environments. The safety and security of you and those around you may be at risk if you haven’t been absolutely transparent about your abilities and experience.

It is worth noting that a client’s job brief detailing their desired requirements for a role is not always set in stone. Be honest about yourself and your background – they may see something else you have to offer which may make up for a gap in your experience. Vocational skills can be trained. Integrity is key, and broken trust is difficult to recover from, so just be upfront and honest.

What should I do if I am struggling to secure a job in yachting? 

If you do decide to work with The Crew Hunter, you will be assigned a Recruitment Consultant who will have a background in the industry and provide tailored advice on what they think would be a good fit for you, advise you on areas to strengthen before reapplying, or redirect you to another role. A good recruiter won’t promise you the world, they will give you an honest appraisal of the market situation and what is available for you right now. 

What are some key qualities recruiters are looking for in 2022? 

Every individual is unique and we wouldn’t want them to be anything other than themselves. It is this individuality of character, experiences, background, and approach to work and life which we are looking for. 

In the majority of our HSP (Human Suitability Profiling), sessions with captains across the industry, a common theme which is apparent is their approach to allowing and promoting individuality. Progressive, open-minded senior leaders recognise the importance of characters within a team and understand that this recognition needs to happen at the outset of the recruitment process. 

Finally, you have developed HSP (Human Suitability Profiling) at The Crew Hunter. How does this help recruiters/candidates? 

HSP is a practice developed with our close partners which builds an in-depth picture of our clients using methods not employed anywhere else in the industry. Using our advanced techniques, we break down an environment and its people and look for the threads that run throughout the culture on board – only then can you truly understand who is going to be a long-lasting match for a particular environment. 

Longevity allows senior leaders to build high-performing teams and we aim to provide exactly that. We have invited our closest partners to undergo the HSP programme, and as a result, we are already seeing key industry leaders being placed into high-profile positions. Our approach at The Crew Hunter is an empathetic one and aims to always do what is right by both the client and candidate. After all, recruitment is a two-way street – the job has to be the right fit for you, as well as you being the right fit for the job. 

To find out more about the exciting range of roles offered within the yachting industry, visit our Yotspot jobs listings here.