The Candidate Placement Process Explained

Cruise Industry Interview (Excerpt Only)

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Our editorial staff recently interviewed a representative for International Cruise Management Agency, which is an official partner for several major cruise lines.

Here's a snippet from the interview...

Please describe what your company does for cruise lines? What is your role in the staffing process?

ICMA provides full crew services, including sourcing, selection, employment, travel, payroll services, insurance, P&I claims management, pension benefits, union negotiations, and other support duties for our cruise clients.ship staffing photo

What types of jobs do you recruit for? Is there a particular department or role?

Deck, Engine, and Hotel.

Are some types of jobs more difficult to fill than others? If yes, then why?

Cooks - due to a global shortage.
Electricians - Expanded cruise fleets and shortage of competent electricians and electronics engineers.

What advice can you offer about resumes / CVs? What are the qualities of a great CV? And what are the most common mistakes you see in CVs?

Advice: Be professional and thorough. Include recent evaluations and recommendations. Include an up-to-date picture.

Qualities: Offer precise information about what position you are looking for, and why you are qualified. Give a clear and concise history of education and experience, including references.

Mistakes: False information, lack of information. Also, don't write a CV as if you are writing me a letter, give me a format that is crisp and clear. If I receive a letter format CV, I refuse to read it.

Interviewing Advice

What advice would you give people to help them prepare for interviews with your company and with cruise lines?

Be totally professional about your application. Be attentive when an ICMA representative holds an information meeting. Gum-chewers, yawners and sleepy people, and sloppily dressed people probably will not get far in the interview. We see many things about a candidate before we actually meet them.

  • Do you have good eye contact?
  • A good handshake?
  • Do you smile naturally?
  • How do you walk when entering the room?

We notice everything.

How long does it take from the time someone contacts your organization to getting a job?

Anywhere from immediately to around 6 months.

Can you describe the job placement process?

When they are needed and available, they will receive a contract and all joining papers.

What contact do you have with your candidates after they accept work with a cruise line?

The Personnel Consultant for the particular vessel the person shall join has a lot of telephone and email contact with them, ensuring that medicals, visas, travel arrangements and all other matters are taken care of.

Can you describe some fundamental differences between the cruise lines, in terms of what they're looking for, their recruitment policies, and so forth?

The differences vary greatly between the class of ship, nationality, itineraries, and crew nationalities.

What are some common misperceptions people have about working on cruise ships?

  • That it's an easy place to work.
  • That it's a romantic cruise-like experience.
  • That anyone can get a job on a cruise ship.
  • And probably a thousand other misperceptions...


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