So as my foray into the world of politics draws to a close (…and there was much rejoicing) I find myself even more in need of a job that, ya know, pays me.
Problem is, of course, that nothing I’d be interested in for career purposes is hiring paid workers – only unpaid interns. So now that I’ve got the unpaid internship in something I love (I work for a literary agency now!) I needs me something to pay the bills. Thus, I decided it was time to explore the prospect of waitressing.
But let’s be clear, here – I have NO experience as a waitress. I mean, I worked at The Pita Pit, but I was hired there as soon as they heard I had a high school diploma. So I don’t count that. So while I’ve had a million interviews – at PR companies, sales companies, political companies, travel companies – I was terrified to interview at a restaurant. Because I know, for the most part, how to interview in a corporate setting. We’ve all been taught what they want to hear. But at a restaurant…? What do I even wear? Do I need a different resume than the one I have?? Should my hair be up or down??? Skdfvksduhnj!!!*?%??#$%
So, instead of asking any number of people I know with experience in this industry, I turned, of course, to my good friend Google. My exact searches: “What do I wear for a waitress interview?” “Waitress resume example” and “What restaurants look for in a waitress.” Yes, I know. I’m an enormous dork. It’s okay. I own it.
After finding advice ranging from “Look hot, wear lots of makeup – restaurants like to be known for their sexy waitresses” to “You should wear a suit to any interview,” I decided to err on the side of “professional lady” rather than “hussy.” Also, apparently, there’s actually a specific format for a waitress resume. Who knew? So I split the difference between that format and my current one, and added a list of “Qualifications” – basically a “Why I’m awesome” section. Oh, and I threw Pita Pit back on there – that had NOT been on the resume I handed out at corporate interviews.
So on Wednesday, I ventured out to my first waitressing interview ever. Quaking in my heels.
In the end – and I’m sure anyone I asked would have told me this – it was pretty much like every other interview I’ve ever had… just shorter and more relaxed. And yes, I felt appropriately silly for my unwarranted freakout. But for the fact that, when asked why I should be hired, I could include “I’m passionate about customer service, Tex-Mex cuisine, and margaritas,” my answers were pretty much the “About Me” shpiel I’ve already come to know so well. Everything from “great attention to detail” to “works well with other people” was just as relevant here as at any other company.
For those who are curious, it seemed to go well. I just had my second interview with that particular restaurant, and should be hearing from them soon. At any rate, it broke the ice, and I think I can now go into restaurant interviews without feeling like I’m about to hurl. Success!