Category: Interviews

Top 10 Interview Questions For Yacht Crew & How To Answer Them

Whether it’s your first interview or fiftieth, it’s always a good idea to turn up well rested and prepared. To help our crew candidates nail their next interview, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 most popular interview questions for working on yachts and superyachts with helpful tips on how to answer them.

What about your current position do you dislike?

With this question, it’s very important to remain professional but be honest. For example, a good answer would be “I enjoy the yacht and crew however; the role does not challenge me and I am frustrated not stepping up to a bigger role.”

What are the elements that your perfect job would be made up of?

The top four things we would suggest would be; Great Owner, Crew, Terms and Travel.

What gives you the highest level of job satisfaction?

Rather than focusing solely on the personal aspects that you could answer with think about, think about the customer such as “Happy guests after a trip and getting to be on a beach with friends when time allows”.

Tell me about your last three jobs.

Rather than going through the ins and outs of each job, choose factors such as how you were managed and personal relationships with people, your career path and personal development within those jobs.

Why did you take each position? Why did you leave each?

Be honest with this question as reference checking will unearth any skeletons. If you needed seatime or wanted to explore the Pacific, tell your interviewer.

If I offered you your ideal job today, what factors would delay you taking that job immediately?

This questions always puts you on the spot and under pressure. Answering can I have 24 hours to think it over, will show methodical thinking. This is not an opportunity to inform the yacht you are waiting on another offer and you will take the higher. Do however tell the interviewer you are speaking with another yacht.

What is the most significant impact you’ve had on your current workplace in the last year?

There are potentially two avenues you can take with this, you can show personality or show a professional contribution. Personality – “I brought together the departments and boosted morale by ….. organising dinner, hikes, sailing”. Or a professional answer highlight such as “I amended safety procedures onboard, aligned budgets and developed a new work rota”.

How have you improved yourself in the last year?

Take this as an opportunity to sell yourself; outline what courses you have taken and why. Explain how you have reflected on your workmanship since leaving your last yacht, e.g. you will be more detailed / assertive / relaxed / mature / disciplined.

What would your previous employers say about you?

As it’s often difficult to review how others perceive you, repeat was has been mentioned during your appraisals and reviews. I hope they would say I am reliable, someone they would rehire, however avoid the clichéd answers.

Tell me a little about your personality.

This is another opportunity to sell yourself. Try and navigate away from clichés and think what really makes you as a person stand out. Remember your answer may come back to haunt you.

If there is anything else you would like to discuss regarding your upcoming interview, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us or chat with us on #webchatwednesdays where we’re available all day via the live chat on our website.

Does your CV need a refresh or are you not sure what you need to include? Download our FREE CV template below.
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How Can I Get My CV Seen For Yacht Recruitment?

As a recruitment agency, it can surprise us how little time some people take on their CV, which essentially is a first impression of who you are.  Your CV doesn’t just list your career history and hobbies, it also indicates how much pride you take in yourself and your work, your attention to detail and understanding of the industry you are in, the list goes on…

So, why are many crew getting it wrong? The world is a highly competitive place with more people than jobs, so if you seriously want that new job, take yourself, and your CV seriously and read on for some essential Super-CV tips….

1. Size matters.

No employer or agency wants to wade through reams of paper detailing every single job you’ve done since you were 16. You need to edit, and don’t be scared to omit jobs that only lasted for a very short period or have absolutely no relevance to what you are wanting to do now. A good CV should be 3 pages long, as an absolute maximum, but 2 is ideal.

2. Mind your language.

Before you begin, read through your current CV and ensure that everything makes sense for where you are NOW. Referring to a job you had 3 years ago as “I am currently working on….” is just going to look ridiculous. Make sure that all the text on the CV is relevant, current and in the right tense. The other  important thing is consistency with words. Ensure words are spelt the same way throughout the whole document. For example, “Superyacht, Super Yacht and super-yacht” all on the same document is just going to show that you don’t really have any attention to detail.

3. Be succinct.

Each job you list (in historical order starting with latest job first) should have a title (in this case the boat name), dates, and a sub-title of what position you held. To elaborate on the position you held, you can include a paragraph or so outlining your role and the tasks you carried out.  Anything more is going to send people to sleep.

4. Show off what you can do.

Either at the beginning or the end, it’s good to include a list of Professional Qualifications (bullet points work well here).  List all your professional and relevant leisure qualifications, your strongest skills, any awards, your best personality traits (loyal, hard-working etc.). Sell yourself but try not to be trite or cheesy. Don’t list anything out-of-date.

5. Contact.

At the top of the CV, ensure your contact details are clearly listed, including email and local mobile numbers. You’d think this is a no-brainer, but these details often go without being updated each time the CV is dug out. Also, please have a sensible email address – is really not the most professional look….

6. Targeting the job.

This is particularly relevant if you’re not going through an agency. A badly written generic covering ‘letter’ (usually an email these days) never looks good. Do your research, learn about the boat you are applying to and you will not only learn something, you will look intelligent and genuine, particularly if you get to interview stage. An email with your CV attached is perfectly acceptable, as is a letter attached as a PDF to the same email. Be polite, use professional language, and show you want THIS job, not just ANY job.

7. Spellcheck, Spellcheck, Spellcheck.

Then repeat x 1000.  This is SO important, and so easy that it is utterly inexcusable not to do it. Enough said.

8. References.

There are two minds about references, we feel that either option is acceptable. You can either provide the details of two good referees at the end of the CV (include boat name, position, phone number and email address), or you can write “references upon request”. If an employer is interested in you enough to get you in for an interview, that information can be shared at the point they feel they might hire you.

*With the amendments to GDPR in May 2018, we are currently unsure if the laws regarding adding reference contact details may change. Keep an eye out for our upcoming GDPR blog for more information!’.

9. Attach a Photo.

As far as this is concerned, just ensure it looks professional – a photo of you in a bar is not going to send the right message. Wear a clean, smart t-shirt/polo, smile and only include head and shoulders (minus the sunglasses on the head!)

10. Keeping up appearances.

Finally, presentation. Pick a good, modern font and ensure your layout is simple and easy to read. Don’t decorate your pages with little borders of sailing boats, or over-complicate anything.  Remember, less can be more. Simple, elegant and professional is always a good look.


So, there you are.  This list is by no means exhaustive, but we feel it highlights the most important ‘do’s and don’ts’ of CV’s. If you want your application to shine take your time and take care. Do remember, wilsonhalligan are always on-hand to help and offer advice with your CV, and do not charge for this service.

Get your CV to the top of the pile with Your Free CV Template

    Why Are Good References Important?

    Candidates often wonder if references are really that important and if recruitment companies ever really bother to check them.  We often see the line “references available on request” added to the bottom of CV’s with not much thought given to who those referees would be or what they might say about you.

    Here at wilsonhalligan Yacht Recruitment reference checking is an essential part of our screening process and is often the deciding factor in candidates being offered a position by our clients.  Not only do they validate what you have put on your CV and what has been discussed in telephone interviews, but it is also a great insight into what you are like as a crew member, which is so important when you are living and working together in such a close environment.

    When applying for a position think carefully about who your references might be and make sure they are contactable.  There is nothing more frustrating than having a great phone or face to face interview and then not having reliable and trustworthy references to back you up.  References can easily make or break that dream job offer.

    Written references are great to have and can be submitted along with your CV but it is also important to list the names and numbers of referees that can be contacted for a verbal reference check.  Contact your referee and make sure they are willing to give you a reference.  It is then polite to let them know to expect a reference check phone call or email when you have applied for a new position.  This can speed up the application process, enabling us to get all relevant information over to the client as soon as possible.

    Captains and Heads of Departments are busy and their circumstances can often change, so make sure their contact details are up to date each time you begin the hunt for your next job and confirm that they are still happy to be contacted.

    Make sure your references will be relevant to the job role you are applying for.  If you are new to the industry you can use references from relatable shore-based positions or those that may have transferable skills and you can also use appropriate character references.

    If for some reason you are unable to get a reference from a particular yacht, just let us know.  We understand that some yachts in the industry are unable to give references due to company policy or that occasionally you may have had to leave on bad terms.  If you explain the situation to us, we are then able to pass that information on to the client.

    By following these simple steps you will give yourself the best possible chance of finding your next dream job!  Good luck!

    Video Interview Tips For Candidates In Lockdown

    With many working from home, clients and candidates must embrace new interview tips and techniques to ensure minimal disruption.

    Businesses are assessing how best to tackle the impact that COVID-19 is having in the UK and across the globe. We’ve been speaking to our clients, and the good news is that they are doing everything they can to operate ‘normally’.

    They don’t want to put a halt to everything. Although crewing activity isn’t what it was a couple of weeks ago, many are being creative about limiting the impact of the virus on crew members and their recruitment strategy.

    If you’re going through the recruitment process, or are keen to push ahead with a job search, here are a few video interview tips for candidates in lockdown to help you maximise impact when given the opportunity.

    Video is King

    During this time, it’s important to expect video calling and interviewing to become more of an option for potential hirers. It may sound obvious, but it’s amazing how differently people can treat a video call interview as opposed to a face-to-face interview. Follow these interview tips for the best practices and make the most of your chance when engaging with your potential new team.

    Look Presentable

    Ditch the comfy home clothes and make sure that you dress in same way you would for a face-to-face interview. First impressions last, and they’re just as important over video call as they are if you were meeting in person. It’s also proven to get you in the right mental state to perform at your best.

    Don’t Set up in Your Laundry Room (or Anywhere Messy)

    Okay, I know you probably won’t set yourself up in the laundry room, but this is important. Make sure your surrounding area is tidy and kept free from any unnecessary props or distractions. We would suggest finding a nice blank wall or bookcase to position yourself in front of.

    Cafes Are Great for Working in… but Not Great for Interviews

    Avoid anywhere that has noise if possible. Think about the environment you’ll be video interviewing in. Choosing an inappropriate environment says a lot about how serious you are about making the right first impression.

    “I Can Hear You, Can You Hear Me?”

    I’ve started a video call saying (and seeing someone say) those words on more than one occasion. It’s a frustrating way to start a call and kicks everything off on the wrong foot. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not the end of the world and the call can definitely be brought back from that awkward start. But why take the risk?

    Check your audio settings. Make sure your ‘Output’ settings are mid-to-high and that your ‘Input’ settings are low-to-mid (to limit outside sound). Also, whether you are using the speakers and mic on your computer or headset, make sure they are connected properly. Check it once, test it with a friend, and you’ll be off to a smooth start.

    “Hello? You’ve Frozen Again…”

    That leads me nicely onto my next big frustration – internet connection. If you know that your internet at home is a little dodgy then go somewhere where it’s not. It only takes two or three interrupted connections before both sides start feeling exasperated.

    Where Are You Looking?

    When you’re sitting in front of a person on a screen, it’s sometimes easy to forget the face-to-face etiquette. It’s easy to start looking to the side when you’re thinking, or distracting yourself when they’re talking, particularly when they aren’t focusing on the screen either! But don’t fall into that trap. Look at the screen, as if you’re keeping eye contact, or look into the camera. Just make sure your gaze is focused.

    Don’t Forget the Phone

    The phone is still an important bit of kit and you’ll find that first stage interviews, or even final confirmations, may be done over the phone. A lot of the rules above also apply to the phone as well: get dressed up, stay away from noisy places, and go somewhere you know that has a good signal.

    Communicate Your Enthusiasm Clearly

    A video call can bridge the gap between that and a face-to-face interview, as you can still show your enthusiasm with on-screen demeanour, but that’s a little harder to get across on the phone. Some people can be genuinely excited and interested in an opportunity, but without seeing them you’d never know. It’s easy for your voice to get a little flat and monotone, especially if you’ve been talking a lot when answering questions. Be mindful of this. Try a little harder to get across your enthusiasm and positive energy at the exciting opportunity you have in front of you.

    Hopefully, these video interview tips will help during lockdown. If you have any questions please get in touch by calling us or emailing us. Our team of friendly yacht recruiters have experience in all yacht based job roles and will help you grow your confidence with any upcoming interviews.

    How to nail your application for Superyacht Jobs and Recruitment

    Searching for work on yachts and superyachts can be competitive, however there are a range of things you can do to maximise your chances of securing your desired role. Below are 4 tips to help aid your application and impress your potential employer.

    Get your CV right. 

    We receive hundreds of CV’s and see the same common mistakes being made.

    Just like any other CV, your spelling and grammar needs to be correct throughout. Your CV is your potential employers introduction to your ability and not only does correct spelling and grammar show your communication and writing capability, it also displays your attention to detail; something that is valued in any role. Make sure you double check your spelling and grammar before sending your CV to prospective employers or Crew Agents, and if available, you may choose to ask someone close to you check over it for any errors that you may have missed.

    It is common for yacht crew applications to require an image of yourself attached to the CV, you need to make this stand out. Try to incorporate some of your personality into the image but at the same time keep it professional. Stay away from selfies and photos from a night out, and choose one that encompasses the image you want to portray.

    Why not download our CV template to help you to construct the perfect CV?

    First impressions are key.

    Whether your initial interview is in person or over the phone, you need to leave a positive impression with the interviewer. Remember to speak clearly and to not interrupt, regardless of how enthusiastic you wish to come across.

    Due to the client facing nature of most yacht crew roles your appearance is key. The yacht owner/ employer will want to see that you can conduct yourself and your appearance in a respectable and approachable way. It goes without saying that you want to produce the best version of yourself for the interview intellectually, socially and visibly.

    Know your stuff. 

    We feel most comfortable talking about something that we know about. Prior research into the yacht and/or the ins and outs of the role can be invaluable in an interview and really set you apart from candidates. This knowledge will also make it easier to talk more naturally and confidently with the employer, rather than potentially being put on the spot and going into a state of panic.

    Ask sensible questions. 

    Asking the right questions can show an interviewer how informed and enthusiastic you are about the role. It can really take your interview from coming across as someone just wanting a job, into someone fully invested and willing to learn more about the industry. Do not make your first questions about salary, or even mention it at all during the first interview, unless you feel it is appropriate.

    Hopefully these tips will help you to secure your desired role and impress your potential employer. For more yacht crew careers information, be sure to visit our Yacht Careers Advice page offering advice and FAQ’s from other yacht crew candidates. At wilsonhalligan, we actively encourage new crew into the yachting industry, for their own benefit and for the continued progression of the yacht world in general. Good luck!

    JustETOs: Why Employers Need To Invest More In Crew AV/IT Training

    As the dedicated AVIT and ETO recruiter here at wilsonhalligan for just over a year, I have a passion and excitement for the AVIT world and especially in the yachting sector. Having the ability to talk to some of the best AVIT Officers and ETOs in the industry is a definite perk to the job but with more and larger yachts being built is there enough trained crew to meet these demands? We know that technology is developing at a soaring rate but what about the skills needed to maintain and utilise these systems?

    Step in Scott Molloy and Just ETOs;

    Towards the end of 2018, I was lucky enough to be invited by Scott Molloy to attend an AV Level 1 course at the Just ETOs training centre in Liverpool. The course is focused on the most common systems found onboard yachts such as Crestron and Kaleidescape, giving crew with little or no experience in the AV world a solid start to understand these systems. I have already spoken very highly of Just ETOs and of Scott and his team on the level of training and equipment they use in a LinkedIn post.

    With yacht AV systems developing faster than ever Scott is now focused on addressing the AV skills shortage in the industry, hence the welcome introduction of Just ETOs.

    “I came into the superyacht industry in 2005 due to an IT skills shortage.  And I have only seen the problem get worse since.  But WHY?

    One reason is the boom in the largest superyacht builds over the past decade.  The trend for larger AV/IT systems means more demand for specialist skills and crew.

    There is certainly a shortage of specialists with yachting experience.  However, the larger yachts that normally have these are not the whole story.

    In the last 10 years, demand for consumer technologies has also surged.  Yachts of every size now see a myriad of fixed and mobile tech onboard.  Yet superyachts towards the smaller end of the scale are much more numerous.  These rarely have cabin space for an electrician, let alone an experienced AV/IT specialist.

    So surely the industry problem is more of a general shortage of systems skills amongst the crew?  The smaller the yacht, the more likely ANY crewmember could be deemed most suitable to support the systems.

    So, how can we address this ongoing challenge?

    I believe employers need to be more willing to give candidates without the required experience a chance.  Yes, we need more experienced people.  So, we simply must give people the opportunity to GAIN this experience!

    This could be a technical candidate from outside of yachting, or perhaps a promising crewmember onboard that doesn’t have the experience – yet.

    Would such a candidate then be more likely to return the faith shown in them through loyalty and better longevity?

    However, when I was recruiting myself, I often saw a reluctance to give such opportunities.  I assumed this was the employer’s nerves, over just how crucial the systems are.  This concern can be alleviated with the addition of good shoreside support and training. 

    Alternatively, if we continue to headhunt the same experienced crew from other yachts, this solves nothing. This is largely what we’ve done to date.

    Employers also need to invest more in crew AV/IT training.  A testament to this is the surprise that over 80% of our students pay for their training themselves.

    There are also benefits to vessels when dealing with a specialist technical recruiter, who truly understands the unique skills you are looking for.

    We will be discussing these and similar issues in more depth in a forthcoming blog on

    Thank you”

    Scott Molloy



    Course dates and extra information can be found online on Just ETOs website and regular updates can be found on LinkedIn. Having attended a course myself I can personally vouch for its credibility, experienced trainers and welcoming atmosphere and would recommend it to anyone.

    As a recruiter focused on a network of experienced and qualified ETOs and AVIT Officers if you are looking for a crewmember to join your yacht, new build or project please get in touch at

    I also welcome a chat with any crew who are looking to progress in their career or find their next opportunity.