How to Prepare for Your J-1 Host Employer Interview in 8 Simple Steps


You have the opportunity of a lifetime coming up. You only have a few more steps to complete before booking your flight and packing your bags. You’ve already been accepted to our J-1 program — which isn’t easy. Now, it’s time to secure a PAID placement with a host employer.

We’ll do the hard work and match you with hotels and resorts that are looking for interns and trainees with your unique talents. Our team will schedule the interviews, but one of the biggest obstacles still standing in your way is your ability to ace the interview.

With the right interview skills, you increase your chances of finding a placement quickly with fewer interviews. We’ve watched hundreds of resume and introduction videos. We have learned what works and what doesn’t. To help you prepare, we’ve compiled some of our top tips into one article.

J-1 Host Employer Interview: 8 Tips to Help You Prepare

Don’t skip through or skim this article. These tips can help you secure your placement and get you started on the journey of your lifetime.

1. Do Your Research Before the Interview

Before your interview, you need to take the time to research your host.

  • If you are interviewing with the Food & Beverage Director, they will want to hear about how much you would love to work in Food & Beverage in their restaurant.
  • If you are interviewing with the Human Resource Director or General Manager, they will want to hear how positive you are and how much you care about guest service.

You need to be able to communicate that you will be a flexible, positive, and a great asset to their team. Having knowledge of the hotel, restaurant, or resort shows that you are committed to this placement.

2. Keep Your Answers Brief and Smile

When you’re answering questions, it’s important to keep your answers short and to-the-point while still making sure that you answer the question asked.

One-word answers will not give the interviewers a chance to get to know you. You need to provide the details that they’re asking for — and remember to smile. The purpose of the interview is to give them an opportunity to determine what kind of person you are.

3. Ask Questions If You Have Them

In almost every interview, the interviewer will ask you if you have any questions. This may make you feel like you have to ask something — but that’s not true.

If you do not have any questions it is perfectly okay for you to say that you don’t. Simply explain that you have reviewed their website and that you were provided details about the position before the interview. Additionally, let them know that the conversation you have had so far helped to clear up any other questions that you may have had.

If you have questions, don’t be afraid to ask.

4. Dress Appropriately

Even though you’re interviewing remotely via video, you need to remember that you are interviewing with high-level managers. You need to dress professionally just as if this were an in-person interview. If you are interviewing for a culinary position. You should be sure to wear your chef uniform.

5. Avoid Any Technical Issues

Technical issues can make the interview awkward and cause you to not come across as skilled as you are.

Take time before the interview to test your equipment and learn how to use Skype. Make a test call to a friend or family member ahead of time to make sure that your audio and camera are working properly. Ask them how you sound, if they can see you clearly, and if the lighting looks okay.

6. Make Eye Contact

Making eye contact is going to feel a little bit awkward during a video call, but it’s important. Make sure that you are looking at your Webcam and not at the screen. This will make you seem more present, attentive, and personable.

This will also help ensure that your eyes don’t drift to the video of yourself in the bottom corner. You can also place your laptop on a stack of books to help get the camera at eye level. This is a more flattering angle and will help you build trust with your interviewer.

7. Consider Your Location

You also need to consider your environment. You should avoid sitting in front of the window or in a dark place. Instead try to have a clean, neutral background with good lighting.

If you do not have Internet at home and you are in a public place, take time to let your interviewer know at the beginning of the call and confirm that they are able to hear you properly.

8. Try to Eliminate Nervousness

If you are overly nervous on your call, you can make simple mistakes that damage your credibility. To help you conquer your nerves before the interview, get a friend or family member to record you while you practice. This will give you the chance to see what the interviewer will see.

You can review the recording and make improvements in any areas that you feel are needed. Let your personality shine. Do not be afraid to show the host how positive you are about coming to the USA for your cultural exchange program.

Treat your Skype Webcam interview just like you would an in-person interview. Do not be shy or nervous. Give cues that show that you are actively listening. Take the time to ask well-thought-out questions.

Download This List of Questions

Another step that you need to make sure to take is to prepare for the questions that the interviewer is likely to ask.

You can’t know absolutely everything that may come up, but there are questions that appear frequently in almost every interview that we’ve seen. We have organized those questions along with the cheat sheet of these tips into a handy download.

Grab your copy today and prepare your answers to these frequently asked interview questions.

New call-to-action

>