Searching and applying for post-grad jobs is stressful, to say the least. The stakes are high — you’re graduating school, entering the “real world” and you want to be hired, after all. If only there was some cheat code to unlock exactly how to get hired after college.
While we might be a tad bit biased, the Marriott Voyage Program is a fantastic opportunity — a full-time, salaried opportunity — for recent grads looking to kickstart their careers. The award-winning program (humblebrag) is offered in more than 50 countries around the world. It typically lasts 12 months in the U.S. (though it can run longer) and Canada and can be up to 18 months internationally. Upon being offered and accepting the position, Voyagers are placed in hotels around the world to receive a combination of practical hands-on experience and leadership training.
So, while we don’t have a cheat code or secret weapon to finding that perfect job after college, we do have expert advice and tried-and-true tips for applying and interviewing for our U.S. and Canada Voyage Program:
- Sarah D’Angelo, Director, Talent Acquisition + University Recruitment
- Michael Wiszowaty, Senior Manager, University Relations + Recruiting
Here, get their advice for how to put your best foot forward in applying for Voyage, examples of Voyager interview questions, and more.
What are some ways Voyage candidates can make their applications stand out?
Sarah: Remember that Voyage is a leadership development program, so we are looking for candidates who are ready to be managers of others. It’s very helpful to have prior industry experience as well, which doesn’t have to be in hotels or lodging. Think being a restaurant server, or working for an event planning company, if that’s your thing. We’re also looking for those who want to go above and beyond, so club involvement, being a student athlete, or getting involved in other experiential learning or volunteer opportunities outside of the classroom are all a plus! At Marriott, we also believe you’re a lifelong learner, and that your grades in college are a snapshot in time. So, rest assured, we don’t have a minimum GPA requirement.
How can a candidate demonstrate their enthusiasm for the Voyage Program?
Michael: Within the US + Canada each region is split and has a specific Recruiting Manager that oversees that region’s universities. To show that you are interested in the Voyage Program, connect with your specific Recruiting Manager. This will allow you to ask any questions that you have regarding Voyage and the process. I would advise that you first do your own research on the Voyage Program and have a basic understanding of what the program entails. This will help you ask more thoughtful questions and to see how you will be a good fit for Voyage and in what discipline.
How should a Voyage candidate prepare for the interview(s)?
Michael: Marriott follows the STAR Interview Process. In a nutshell that means that we are asking a question and would like for you to frame your answer in three parts:
- Situation/Task: Set the scene.
- Action: What specifically did you do? This is your chance to brag!
- Results: What results transpired due to your specific actions?
Try to have 3-5 different STARS ready to go for your interview based on previous work or school experience and please be SPECIFIC! It is recommended to research the STAR interview process so that you are prepared to ace your interview. Additionally, be prepared to know about Marriott in your interview, including the history, culture, and different brands. Lastly, try to do some research on who is conducting your interview (if possible). Knowing who is conducting your interview can allow you to better prepare yourself with follow-up questions that can make you stand out in an interview.
What are some common interview mistakes you see candidates make?
Michael: There are a few common interview mistakes that you can make that can really hurt your chances of acing your interview.
- Not being on time (please test out any tech before your interview and do not wait until it is time for your interview to discover any tech issues for virtual interviews).
- Not dressing professionally.
- Distracting background (for virtual interviews).
- Using your cellphone.
- Not preparing for the interview.
- Not having any background on the company and/or position.
- No questions for the interviewer.
- Not looking at the interviewer, or a lack of eye contact throughout the interview (not looking at the camera for virtual interviews).
What kinds of questions should candidates ask during their Voyage interview process?
Sarah: I’ll start with what you shouldn’t ask (and is a big pet peeve during interviews for me): « How did you get started with Marriott? » You can research that, and if you’re asking, it shows me you didn’t prepare well for your interview. (Bonus points to those who connected with me on LinkedIn prior.) What you really want to know about me, as a person who didn’t have a hospitality-leaning resume as a college student, is: « Why are you still with Marriott after all these years? » If you ask that, I’ll give you invaluable insight into our company culture and why many of our associates have had long careers here.
Michael: I always enjoy receiving questions that highlight why I like to work for Marriott because it allows me to share my experiences with the company that cannot be discovered online. Additionally, questions that deal with the day-to-day are great as they allow the Voyage candidate to understand the role better. Lastly, you should never try to « stump » your interviewer with any questions. Take this time to better understand the company and role and how you would fit into it!