Trying to get your first job in the industry? How to maximise your chances of success in an interview.

Getting your first job in the industry as a green crew member can be one of the toughest challenges you will face in your career. So when you do get that longed-for interview, it is incredibly important that you get it right. I have spent years interviewing candidates and training, and placing individuals into the industry, and there is a lot that you can do to maximise your chances of success. Preparation is key, and you really cannot put too much time or effort into making sure you have thought of everything and have gone above and beyond.

Research and Industry Knowledge:

What do you know about the yacht you are being interviewed for? In fact, what do you know about the industry full stop? Knowledge is power, so become a geek and research, read, and observe. A simple example of this would be, if you walked down any street right now without too much trouble, you could tell me the make of most cars, if not the model, no one has taught you that, you have just assimilated that knowledge. Yachts are just the same. They are designed and built by different yards, different designers for different purposes, different tastes and types of owner experience, and vastly different price points. There is so much information out there, so look at crew news platforms, read articles, read all the information and advice on crew social media and get informed. Arriving for an interview with a solid understanding of the yacht and its capabilities and purpose will always be an advantage.

"You don't hire for skills; you hire for attitude. You can always teach skills"
- Simon Sinek

Be The Person They Are Looking For:

You are green, you are new to the industry, you cannot change that, but you can make sure that you make up for that by being enthusiastic and positive. Of course, the yacht would love you to have skills, the more, the merrier, but at the start of your career, it is actually more important that you have the right attitude to learn and have the ability to be versatile. The yacht is looking for a mature hard worker (by the way, maturity isn’t always age-related!) who works well in a team environment, can take instruction, and is energetic and committed. Someone who mucks in, whether it’s their job or not, seeks to find the positive in every situation and is aware of the bigger picture, i.e. the safe operation of the vessel and a fantastic owner and guest experience. If you focus your attitude and interview answers on this premise, you are well on the way to a successful outcome.

Go in With the Attitude What Can I Give? Rather Than, What Will I Get?

What do you get paid, how much holiday do you get, are all subjects to discuss, but what the boat wants to know is what you will contribute? Ask yourself some fundamental questions, what is your motivation for applying for the job, money? … travel? … serious career decisions? And then think about what the yacht wants your motivation to be?

"Hire people with transferable skills, team players who can pitch in and help others in all sorts of situations. It is important to never underestimate the power of versatility."
- Richard Branson

Don't Get Caught Out:

Be prepared for the curveball phone call, it’s perfectly possible that you may have been put forward for a job and you don’t know anything about it, the first you know is a call out of the blue from a Captain or Head of Department, it doesn’t matter what you are doing or where you are, get your act together quickly and focus and make sure you make the right impression regardless of whether you are still in bed or at the pub. Always make a point of answering the phone professionally no matter what and always look at the number of incoming calls. If it’s not one you recognise, or it’s obviously an international call, presume it’s an employer. Candidates have often lost the chance to interview by not answering the phone professionally or yawning, grunting and asking if they will call back later. Remember, you are entering a professional industry, so professionalism at all times should be your approach from this point in.

Beware of Partying Up a Storm the Night Before:

You may be in Antibes or Palma the night before your interview, safe in the knowledge that tomorrow’s job opportunity is moored miles down the coast, but do not ever think that having a big night out prior to an interview is a good idea. There are eyes everywhere, and all it takes is for a crew member to see you falling over drunk or being an idiot, which can very easily be relayed back to the yacht. Of course, the most obvious reason is that no one wants to interview someone who, despite a shower, stinks of alcohol and cigarettes, so just give yourself a break and have an early night, it’s worth it. 

Don't Hide Your Light:

 If you are young and don’t have a huge experience of employment, never think that you can’t use other examples to illustrate your work ethic and commitment, so many people think that their work and life experience before yachting if it isn’t maritime-related, is not relevant to either put on their CV or talk about in the interview. This is not the case. Evidence that you have spent your teenage years actively having a part-time job, volunteering, helping out, being a scout, or actively playing a sport, whatever it is, however, humble all help paint a picture to an employer.

Don't promise What You Can't Deliver:

It is very easy to get carried away in the heat of the moment and slightly over exaggerate your abilities, especially by telling people that you have experience at things that you don’t, for instance, taking “I have done a day of painting and varnishing training” and instead saying “I am very experienced at painting and varnishing”. It will cause you to rapidly lose face when it becomes apparent that you actually have not got those skills, and your head of department will start to wonder if there is anything else that is not quite as it seems on your CV! Being honest, enthusiastic and showing an openness to learn will save the boat a lot of time and serve you better in the long run.

Strengths and Weaknesses:

This is such a classic interview question and will often be phrased in terms of “tell me three of your strengths and three weaknesses.” Most people’s immediate instinct is to rattle out three fantastic strengths and then be terrified of talking about their weaknesses, but this is actually completely the wrong way to approach the question. What this question is really about is, are you self-aware? And how do you approach challenges? So the best thing you can do is start with your weaknesses and go straight in with “I will start with my weaknesses as actually, these are some of the things that I have worked the hardest at to overcome.” You have the interviewee’s attention straight away. By illustrating some of the hurdles you have encountered and how you addressed them, you can display your ability to be tenacious and resourceful. You can then go on to your strengths, which will be the icing on the cake.

Interview Technique Advice:

Do make the most of the information that is already out there, many of the crew agents have excellent crew advice sections on their websites and also have videos on YouTube, they know it is in their interests to make sure you properly prepare for you interview, and you have a successful outcome. CrewPass has fantastic partnerships with some of the best crew agents globally. Wilson Halligan has great blog posts and one in particular on the key questions you will be asked in the interview. YPI Crew has a valuable crew tips section with very insightful interview advice. 

General Checklist: This might be the obvious stuff, but it is so worth checking.

  • Social Media: Do not let yourself down, do a thorough check of your social media and have a serious look at what you have on there, checking your profile is one of the ways a yacht will use to see if you really are the dedicated, hard-working individual your CV says you are. Loads of pictures of you partying, falling out of bars or pouting and posing will not help you get that job. So either make your accounts private and keep your fun times for you and your friends’ eyes and create another more acceptable profile or just have a clear-out and be really mindful of what you post in the future.
  • Voicemail: Your voicemail message could be the first thing an employer has to judge you on. Do you not have one? Take some time to record a simple and professional message. 
  • Feet, Hands and Hair: If you have an interview onboard a yacht, remember that you will need to take your shoes off and have clean well-presented bare feet or socks when you get there. Not smelly, not sweaty, not dirty or unkempt, so take steps to make sure that this is the case! Think about the shoes you wear too, no flip flops or dirty trainers, clean deck shoes or similar is best. Your hair needs a bit of thought too long hair for girls needs to be tied back neatly, and short hair needs a good cut, avoid using too much gel or product, just go for a professional and conservative look. Finally, nails, make sure they are clean and neatly cut. Avoid long false nails if that is your normal thing, it only makes you look unprepared to do the very practical job that you are potentially being employed to do. 
  • Presentation: It does not matter whether you are on a zoom call or being interviewed in person, the way you present yourself is incredibly important. Always take the time to look the part and dress in the ways a crew member would to illustrate that you understand the standards involved. A polo shirt (clean and ironed) or a neat plain shirt, shorts, chinos or a skort are all excellent potential suggestions. 
  • Inform your References:  It is not just politeness, always check your references are happy to answer requests on your behalf, send them your CV and check their contact details are correct and keep them informed of the interviews you are attending and the skills and attributes that you will need to display. It does not matter if your referee is from employment that is non-maritime-related, it is all about their ability to say that you worked hard and were reliable. Remember they could get contacted multiple times, firstly by a crew agent and then by your potential employer, so keeping them informed and making sure you thank them for your time is a wise investment. 
  • Folder with Certification and References: Make it easy for your interviewer and show your organisation skills by properly and professionally presenting your documents in a folder with plastic sections, so everything is well presented and professional. 
  • Being Grateful: Always thank an interviewer for the chance to have the interview, you might not be suitable for their yacht, but if they like you, they will help you by passing your CV on to another yacht that you might be more suitable for. 

Taking Ownership:

If I could give you only one last piece of advice, it is this, we all go into interviews feeling pretty powerless, wondering what we will be asked and how we will perform. Will you get a chance to say what you want to say? It is a pretty nerve-wracking experience. But there is a different way to approach it that really helps the interviewee feel they have some control of the situation. It is pretty simple, make a list of three key facts about yourself that illustrate the following: – 

a) Commitment: How can I prove or explain how committed I am to do this job? 

b) Character: What experiences or examples can I use to show my character and work ethic? 

c) Motivation: What can I say to show them I want to learn and positively contribute to this vessel? 

Keep those three key points, write them down if you need to, and make a point that whatever you are asked, you make sure that you have woven all three of those statements into your answers during the interview. If you get to the end without finding a suitable moment, use that time to deliver those points. This is based on an interview with a candidate, where he had waited whilst two others had been interviewed before him. We took quite a while with the first two talking for around 45 mins for each of them, they were pretty nervous, and we wanted to give them a bit of time to show us what they had. 

However, when this particular individual came in, it was immediately apparent that he was the man for the job within five minutes. He was polite and smartly presented, he was nervous but well prepared and fizzing with enthusiasm and determination to succeed, after ten minutes, we drew the interview to an end, with no need to question him further. His face dropped, clearly thinking that we had stopped the interview early because we were rejecting him. He stood up and said I had prepared all these answers to questions you had not asked me. Could I have the chance to tell you how much I want this job and why I think I would work harder and be more committed than any other candidate … We let him go ahead, and he is a successful Captain now! 

Finally ... Do not lose heart.

This year of all years has been an extremely hard one for new crew trying to break into the industry due to a number of factors that are out of your control. It is incredibly important that you stay positive and resourceful. Resilience is a character trait that will serve you well in the long term, so do not become negative, be grateful and channel your worry and concern into positive action, your job and your future career are out there waiting for you.

Emma Baggett

Emma Baggett

Director of THE OM:
After 12 years working in the industry, Emma came ashore to develop and deliver ground-breaking training and degree level programmes for Deck, Interior, Chefs and Engineers. She believes in maintaining supportive relationships with superyacht crew, from guidance into and through the industry to providing career, business, and life after yachting, mentoring and advice. THE OM is a platform to utilise Innovation, Advocacy, Collaboration and Education to help crew find pathways and solutions to achieve success in their professional lives whilst driving the industry to develop new strategies to evolve towards an equitable and sustainable future.


Refer a friend scheme

Encourage your friends to subscribe to CrewPass and get rewarded with CrewPass’ referral program.

It is not uncommon for friends or couples to work together on the same yacht in yachting. If you didn’t come on board with a friend or partner, it is highly likely you will make loads of long-lasting friendships.

Maybe you know someone struggling to get into yachting and needs some help? Or becoming CrewPass Approved was so beneficial you highly recommend our services to other yachting professionals. If so, why don’t you get rewarded every time you refer someone?

At CrewPass, we offer an excellent referral incentive that allows you and your friend to profit from. If you are CrewPass Approved and successfully referred a friend, you will get your next month’s payment FREE, saving you £9.99! Plus, your friend will receive 25% off the first 6 months of their 2-year subscription.

Not only will your friend receive an international comprehensive criminal record check, ID verification, CoC verification (available upon request), verified status on our app, CrewPass Approved accreditation, unique ID CV badge and a digital copy of their certificate… But they will receive all this and our Superyacht Crew Management Software for just £7.49 a month (6 months)!!

Refer a friend today and reap the rewards!

How to refer a friend, you ask?

1) Send your friend this link:

2) Once your friend has signed up using the link make sure they contact us to let us know who referred them

3) We will wipe off one month’s payment

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Seven Seas Recruitment Collaboration

CrewPass is pleased to announce a new collaboration with Seven Seas Recruitment.

Seven Seas Recruitment is a new crew agency dedicated to the yacht industry. Offering desirable job opportunities for all positions in yachting, Seven Seas Recruitment is a great platform to search for your next job.

Get recognised by Seven Seas Recruitment by signing up with CrewPass and becoming CrewPass Approved. Let your future employer know that you are a safe placement option that has passed one of the most extensive background checks on the market for yacht crew.

It is a straightforward process; you fill in your information and wait 7–10 days for your background check results and accreditation.

Seven Seas Recruitment and Crewpass are fully integrated into the registration process, allowing members to connect and validate their CrewPass Approved status in their profile when they apply for a job at Seven Seas Recruitment.

Get ahead of the crowd and become a star candidate today!

Register with Seven Seas Recruitment and validate your CrewPass status today:

Not CrewPass Approved yet? Subscribe to CrewPass and show your future employer that you are a safe, suitable and reliable crew candidate for just £9.99 p/m:

Make sure you follow Seven Seas Recruitment’s social media pages to stay up to date with the most recent job posts:




How to verify your ID on the CrewPass app


There are two important steps before you become CrewPass Approved.

One is to fill out a background checking form which asks a range of questions which will kick off your criminal record check. These checks will take roughly 7-10 days (sometimes it takes even less time)! While waiting for your results to come back, the other step you can do is your ID verification. Once both the ID verification and your background checks are completed and hopefully passed, you will be awarded the CrewPass Approved accreditation, a unique ID badge and our digital certificate.

How to complete your ID verification:

1) Download the CrewPass app, log in and start the ID verification process
2) Choose a form of ID: Passport or National Identity Card
3) Take a clear photo of the front of your ID
4) Take a clear photo of the back of your ID
5) Make sure the whole ID is in the photo, and the information is readable
6) Take a self-portrait photo
7) Make sure your face is in the over and the image is clear
8) Wait for your results to come back
9) Your results should be completed in a few minutes

Can't find the ID verification process?

If you can’t find the process to complete your ID process, there is a simple solution!

Usually, this issue occurs if the user accidentally closes off the ID verification pop up when they first sign into our app.

All you have to do is sign out of the app and log back in to trigger this pop-up again, which should bring up the ID verification process.

If you are still having trouble or have some concerns or confusion, please get in touch with our customer support team:


How the sanctions on Russia shook up the Superyacht industry

Starting in late February 2022, stricter sanctions were imposed on Russia in response to Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and invasion of eastern Ukraine alongside various other serious allegations.

The Central Bank of Russia was blocked from accessing more than $400 billion in foreign exchange reserves held abroad. Plus, the EU inflicted sanctions on a range of Russian oligarchs and politicians.

Some of the world’s largest and most expensive superyachts are stuck at ports and shipyards due to the US, the UK and the EU imposing sanctions on Russia. These sanctions were put in place to pressure Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

In his previous State of the Union address, US President Joe Biden said, “We are joining with our European allies to find and seize your yachts, your luxury apartments, your private jets.”

This tremendous turn of events shook the yachting industry, which had been skyrocketing with demand over the last few years (even during the outbreak of Covid-19)! The once booming industry has now been left in rocky waters with uncertainty ahead.

The US justice department said the seizure of the Tango was triggered by the work of an inter-agency task force set up to implement sanctions on Russian individuals and businesses ©Francisco Ubilla/AP

“We’ve had a phenomenal couple of years in the industry,” international luxury business strategist Alice C. I’Anson Widdows (tells CNN Travel). “Demand has been outstripping supply. Then suddenly we’re being halted mid-production.”

Buyers abroad are hesitant, to say the least, and have been holding off making any purchases. This hesitation has a massive impact on sales, especially in the short term.

The yachting industry is famously known to be the most attractive to Russian consumers. Sales have been dropping, affecting even the most prestigious brokerages. Not only have the sales of yachts been declining, but the chaos has increased the number of checks onboard the yachts by local customs.

With unsanctioned ships being allowed to move freely and sanctioned ships not, this has caused turmoil for the yacht crew, who is also greatly affected by this current climate.

However, the growing industry is still prevailing; although there is scepticism, the demand for yachts is increasing! The American buyers appear to be less hesitant than the European buyers. Thus, “In 2020, US and Canadian buyers jointly made up 24% of all new-build sales of yachts over 40 meters to buyers whose nationality was known, according to data from intelligence platform SuperYacht Times iQ.” CNN Travel, 2022.

For more information about the Russian sanction and the effects this has on the yachting industry, please click here:

For more stories, tips and advice make sure you check out our other blog posts!