The Interview
Carry yourself with confidence. Be polite. When the interviewer
comes out to greet you, look at him or look at her in the eyes. Don’t
stare. But establish eye contact. Smile and say “good morning…or
hello, it’s a pleasure to meet you.” Shake hands firmly…but don’t
use excessive force. It isn’t a contest to show how strong you are. A
good firm handshake is as important as words when an employer
gauges a candidate.

Your clothes should be clean and conservative. They say something
about you. No one expects a person coming to an interview for a
tugboat engineer’s position to dress in a $700 suit as if they were
interviewing for a vice-president position in a major bank. But an
interviewer likes to see that the candidate cares about the way he or
she looks. They figure that how a person dresses reflects how they
feel about themselves and will reflect the way they carry out their
duties on the job.

If you’ve gotten this far, you should know something about the
company and something about this position. You don’t have to know
what the company’s last quarter dividends were if the tugboat
company is a publicly traded company. But it would be good to know
something about the age of their fleet, the number of vessels, types
of vessels, what types of jobs they handle, their geographic scope.
You can learn this information from the websites of many of the
towing and transportation companies.

Don’t expect it to be just a question and answer session, as in ,”
Where did you go to school?”, “What endorsements do you have on
your license?”. Be prepared to answer those. Be prepared for some
open ended questions as well… “Can you tell me a little bit about
yourself?”, “Can you name a person you look up to for inspiration
and role model in your life?”, “If I were to ask you for a list of your
faults, what you think the biggest one would be?”, “What was the
best thing about your last job?”, “What was the worst thing?”

When you answer questions, speak in a straightforward manner, be
to the point, be honest, and be confident. Don’t be evasive or shifty.
Sometimes the interviewer may already know the answer to the
question he or she is asking you. The interviewer may just want to
see how you answer it….something more of a test of character than
a search for information. Be positive. Don’t say things like, “the
person I had to work for in my previous job was a jerk”. Even if that
was the case, this is not the place to say it. Present yourself as a
package they would like to hire. Emphasize your abilities,
experience, availability, willingness to work hard, eagerness to
learn. Sometimes the energetic attitude of a less experienced
candidate can be more appealing to an employer than an
experienced mate who seems apathetic or disinterested.

At the end of the interview, stand up and shake hands. Thank the
interviewer for his or her time. Let him or her know that you’re
interested in the job. They already know that by your appearing
today…but let them know again.

Good luck!

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Interviewing - Mates - Chief Engineers - Designated Duty Engineers - Interviews - Deckhands Able
Bodied Seamen - Tankermen - Dispatchers - QMED - Interviewing

More Job Descriptions...

Tankerman The tankerman
carries out cargo loading and
discharging operations, spill
response, and duties
associated with tank entry.

QMED QMED, or qualified
member of the engine
department, carries out tasks
assigned by the chief or DDE
in the engine department.

Other requirements may
include STCW 95.

Cook, Chief Cook The cook
prepares food for the crew
and arranges for purchasing
of ship’s food stores

Steward, Chief Steward
Depending on the vessel, the
cook may be identified as

Trainee Entry level position
for working one’s way up
towards qualified deckhand