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Westgate Resorts Interview

30 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns
Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Job Interviews     Companies     Leisure     Resorts    

Question 1 of 30

Working in hospitality can be a thankless job. How can we continue to motivate you to work hard for Westgate Resorts even on the more challenging days?

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Working in hospitality can be a thankless job. How can we continue to motivate you to work hard for Westgate Resorts even on the more challenging days?

The interviewer would like to know how Westgate Resorts, Ltd. can continue to motivate you, even on those days where you may feel like quitting. Retention is vital to Westgate Resorts, Ltd.. Help them learn how they can best retain you. What are your motivators?

Rachelle's Answer #1

"Words of encouragement motivate me. If you see me doing something right - even if it is small - tell me that you noticed. I don't need every day to run 100% smoothly, but I sure like to feel appreciated by my employer."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I don't mind a good challenge as long as I feel that my performance is making a difference. Because I have a bit of a competitive streak, you can keep my motivated by including me in the conversation regarding the difference I am making through my work and tenacity."


How do you feel about performance incentives?

The interviewer would like to know if you are the type of employee to be motivated by financial incentives or rewards in the workplace. Resorts will often run internal contests for upselling guest amenities and services. If you are not incentive-driven, you can clarify for the interviewer the other ideas in which you are best motivated. Discuss any performance incentives you may have earned in the past.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I think performance incentives are important for driving staff to get results. For me, as a hospitality manager, I feel incentives give me some skin in the game and get my team engaged in making an impact on the resorts' desired results."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I cannot say that I have been offered performance incentives in the past, but that sure sounds like a nice idea. I am a high-achiever, regardless of an incentive being present but it is nice to feel appreciated."


Would you ever break the rules at Westgate Resorts to make a guest happy?

Breaking the rules, and bending them, CAN be different from each other. Often, hotels and resorts are okay with you bending the rules to keep a customer happy. You need to know your audience, though! If Westgate Resorts, Ltd. is very stringent when it comes to their policies and procedures, then approach this question with caution. If they are well known for being flexible, then you can indeed be more free with your answer.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"My current company is pretty strict with their policies, so I do not bend to make a customer happy, but I will escalate the issue to someone who has the seniority to decide that. I have read through your online policies and agree with Westgate Resorts, Ltd. that it's important to offer some flex on policy, within reason of course."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"Policy and rules are not always strictly enforced in my current company. It isn't for lack of caring but the opposite. Our CEO knows that if we needed to bend a rule, it was for a good reason. With that said, I am comfortable following your policies because they are more than reasonable."


What does hospitality mean to you?

The term hospitality refers to welcoming people to your place of business and making them feel at home by receiving them warmly and entertaining. The interviewer would like to see that you understand what it means to be hospitable and that you will greet their guests warmly, making them feel welcome during their stay. Discuss what hospitality means to you, and give an example of a time when you were hospitable.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"To me, hospitality means making every person feel welcome, and like there is nowhere else they should be. I make my guests and customers feel welcome by asking them what they would like to experience while on the resort, remembering their names, and getting to know their personal preferences."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I have always believed that to be hospitable means to welcome people into your home, taking great care of them. While on vacation, Westgate Resorts, Ltd. is the guests' home. So, the best way to be hospitable is to have food and drinks available, be ready to assist at any time, and get to know them."


How does your post-secondary education relate to a career in the hospitality industry?

Westgate Resorts, Ltd. may or may not specify a preferred degree in their job posting. Either way, the interviewer would like to see how your post-secondary education may relate to, or compliment, the position for which you are interested. Discuss the degree or diploma you may have. If you recall some of the related coursework, you can mention those classes as well.

If you do not have any post-secondary education, think back to any online classes you have taken, or on-the-job-training that could be transferable.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I have a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration with a focus on the hospitality industry. My coursework included Human Resource Management within the hospitality industry as well as strategic management and operations management classes. I did exceptionally well in the operations management portion. Because of this focus, I feel very prepared for this role with Westgate Resorts, Ltd.."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"Although I do not possess formal post-secondary education, I have received customer service training and attended a couple of Dale Carnegie sales courses. This education prepared me in a variety of topics such as building rapport, asking for the sale, and recognizing upselling opportunities."


How would you react if a customer demanded early check-in service?

Early check-in is a common request in the resort industry. Sometimes a resort can accommodate this request and based on volume; sometimes it is not do-able for housekeeping to keep up. You can ask if Westgate Resorts, Ltd. has a policy when it comes to early check-ins and late checkouts. Remember - the higher the occupancy, the more difficult it is for a resort to offer this service. Some resorts may monetize the option, charging an additional fee which may weed out the guests that genuinely need the service, versus those who do not.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I read that Westgate Resorts, Ltd. can offer early check-in service as long as the request occurs at the time of reservation. If a customer arrived early and demanded early check-in, I would, of course, see if we could accommodate. If we could not, I would give a viable timeline, offer to store their luggage, and direct them to the club lounge for a complimentary beverage."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"If a customer demanded early check-in, I would refer to the policies put in place by Westgate Resorts, Ltd.. My initial instinct would be to allow this if it did not put a strain on housekeeping or other departments. Do you charge a fee for this type of service, upon booking?"


How would you react if a celebrity checked into our resort?

The interviewer would like to know that you would not turn into a total fan geek should a celebrity come for a stay at Westgate Resorts, Ltd.. Stars are people too, and they need to know that they can have a relaxing stay, where their privacy is respected. Show the interviewer that you have the emotional maturity to respond professionally in this type of situation.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I have lived in LA the past, and celebrity sightings are quite common. I know that everyone, no matter their status, deserves a great get-away where they feel they can relax. I would not bat an eye if a celeb checked into the resort. I would treat the person the same as any other guest."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I read online that your resort has seen celebrities such as Selena Gomez, John Hamm, and even former president Obama. I would love to have the experience of checking a celebrity into the resort but, of course, would keep my composure on the outside! I know that everyone should feel safe and relaxed when they are away."


Are you aware that there are sales goals and other important targets in this role with Westgate Resorts?

Resorts and hotels may not seem like a 'salesy'environment; however, they are a business, and they will have important goals to reach. The interviewer would like to see that you are comfortable selling, upselling, and taking action to ensure that Westgate Resorts, Ltd. hits and exceeds their important targets on a weekly or monthly basis.

Some of the most common KPI's include:

- Occupancy rates
- Average income per room rental
- Revenue per available room
- Revenue per occupied room
- Average spend per guest on food & beverage
- Average spend per guest on gift shop items

There are many more KPI's tracked in the industry, which you will thoroughly be trained on when you start with Westgate Resorts, Ltd.. Show the interviewer that you are able and willing to act as a salesperson and ambassador for Westgate Resorts, Ltd..

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I am more than happy to help Westgate Resorts, Ltd. achieve their sales goals and targets by utilizing my knowledge to upsell each guest with something they could use. I know, I love to upsell the guest in my current position by way of additional spa services. Who doesn't like to be pampered when they are on holidays? I see it as a win/win."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I am newer to the resort industry so, I am not 100% aware of what those KPI's might be, but it certainly makes sense to treat each role within your organization as a sales role. I do have basic sales training and look forward to learning more from Westgate Resorts, Ltd.."


How do you react to an increase in your workload?

Often, resorts are very seasonal, and the work will peak, then slow down, as the travel seasons change. The interviewer would like to know how you adapt when the work starts to pile up. Show that you are willing to work faster, put in overtime, or take work home when needed. You will also want to discuss your time-management abilities.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"In my current hotel customer service position, my workload changes depending on the team's availability, and the travel season. I can adapt to those needs quickly and effectively. Just last week I had two team members who were sick, and my workload increased significantly. I worked overtime and met my deadlines."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"My work is very seasonal, and when workloads increase, I perform at lightning-speed. When workloads decrease, I find new projects to take on. I love having a lot to do as it makes the days go faster and I feel more energized."


Tell me about a time when you had to work with a difficult person. How did you handle it?

From your work history, picture a co-worker who didn't carry their weight or had a difficult personality. Maybe they were unmotivated or preoccupied with their personal life. Think about what bothered you about this person and how you were affected by their behavior. Most importantly, the interviewer wants to know how you let this person's behavior affect you and your work performance.

Avoid taking this as an opportunity to complain about someone; instead, view it as an opportunity to showcase your ability to deal with difficult people while maintaining your productivity.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"In my first position out of college, I worked with a person who enjoyed gossip in the workplace. I found that I could redirect her to work by giving a quick reply and then asking her a pointed work question, which would get her back on task. There were a few key takeaways from this experience. I learned how to concentrate on chatter or disruption better than before, and I perfected my skills at refocusing someone else to the task at hand."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"In my previous position, I did have a coworker who didn't pull their weight. Our team started to complete most of the tasks when it came to group projects. It didn't take much time before our manager noticed this particular individual was slacking. I feel like, in most instances, the underachievers will weed themselves out over time, and it's rarely worth making a fuss over."


Have you ever received a negative review from a customer?

Reviews are everything in the resort and hotel industry so; it is the aim of Westgate Resorts, Ltd. to gather as many positive, 5-star reviews as possible. Everyone has received negative feedback from someone at one point in their career. What the interviewer would like to see is that you can bounce back professionally from a negative customer review. If the review was warranted, discuss what you were able to learn from the experience or the feedback that you received.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I have received negative feedback from customers in the past, and always when the customer has not been delighted with the outcome of their dispute. The resort that I have worked for, for the past ten years, has a very stringent cancellation policy. Unfortunately, this means that I do disappoint more people than I would like. I am looking to join an organization that will allow for more flexible offerings when it comes to client dispute resolution."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"The hotel where I work allows customers to leave anonymous feedback at the front desk. I have received one negative review, commenting that I could 'smile more.' Apparently, when I concentrate, I can appear unhappy! I am glad that this trait was brought to my attention so that I could work on correcting it."


In which resort or hotel related software and programs do you have experience?

The interviewer would like to have an idea of the types of programs you have used in the past, and where you will need additional training. Many hotels and resorts will share similar programs, or at least the basics. If you are unsure which programs of software used by Westgate Resorts, Ltd. you can ask for specifics.

Some of the more common programs used in the resort industry include:

- RMS Hotel
- Preno
- Hotelogix
- SmartHotel
- roomMaster

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I have used a couple of hotel and resort management programs in the past. Primarily, I have worked with Hotelogix. I like that it is cloud-based and can be integrated with online booking systems as well as travel agencies. I am tech savvy and confident in my ability to pick up any new programs quickly. Could you share with me which programs you use at Westgate Resorts, Ltd.? I would be happy to get a head start by taking some online tutorials."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I am new to the hotel and resort industry but have worked in retail before, where a customer management system was in place, as well as a robust point of sale system. I am confident that I can study your system and learn it quickly."


Name me three of our best services or amenities.

Robust online research is the best way to get you through this question with flying colors! Go to the Westgate Resorts, Ltd. website and take a look at all of the amenities that they offer. If you have stayed at the resort, you can give a first-hand response based on your experience.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I have stayed with Westgate Resorts, Ltd. as a guest in the past. Hands down, the best services that I experienced was your award-winning steakhouse, the club lounge, and the eco-friendly spa. I was very impressed with the quality of the staff and customer service as well."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"After reading many reviews online from previous guests of Westgate Resorts, Ltd., I see that the most popular amenities are the kids club (hurray for parents getting a break!), the multiple swim-up bars, and the fact that you have so many on-site restaurants from which to choose. Would you agree that these are the most raved about amenities here?"


At Westgate Resorts we have a multitude of vendors. Tell me about your experience working directly with suppliers.

A resort will have multiple vendors from spa supplies, food service, alcohol, cleaning supplies, and more. The interviewer would like to know that you understand the importance of healthy supplier and vendor relationships. These relationships take time to create. Also, with vendors, it's critical that you remain organized as to what is coming in and out of the facility. Invoices need thorough review and orders need to be placed promptly. If you do not have experience working with suppliers, that is okay. Be sure to show that you can comply with the processes in place while maintaining great vendor relationships.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"In my current role, I am responsible for receiving all supplies that come for the housekeeping department. I work closely with the vendors to ensure accuracy in our orders, preventing backorders, or late arrival shipments. I also have experience negotiating things like price breaks for bulk ordering and flat rate shipping. I am confident I could work very well with the vendors and supplier relationships critical to Westgate Resorts, Ltd."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"Although I have not had direct responsibility with vendors or suppliers, I have made calls on behalf of my employer for late shipments or missing items. I have seen the importance of great vendor relationships and will work hard to maintain what Westgate Resorts, Ltd. already has in place."


How do you communicate with an angry customer?

When you work in the customer service and hospitality industry, you quickly learn that you cannot make everyone happy. And, that is okay! The interviewer would like to understand your approach when it comes to communicating with someone who appears to be upset with you. Do you become defensive, or do you shut down entirely? Are you nervous and unable to respond clearly? Assure the interviewer that you have handled situations like this before with professionalism.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"When a customer is angry, I take a few steps to ensure that the situation is handled properly. Calmly, I will respond to their grievance, ensuring that I fully understand their need. I make sure not to take it personally! Then, using my great listening skills, I empathize with their situation the best I can, give an apology, and then ask them what solution they would like to see. Once the situation is resolved, I will take a couple of minutes to myself, to restart my day in a positive mindset."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"Communicating with an angry customer is never fun, but I get through it by reminding myself not to take the situation personally. I actively listen to their problem, repeat it back to them to ensure full understanding, and then offer an apology. From there, I ask how we can solve their concern and then take corrective action."

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