TOP SECRET: Questions for Candidates

I’ll be the first to say that I’m a stubborn, judgmental, asshole. Yes, I judge you by your photo, your activities, past boats, and most importantly Facebook. If you’re a chief stewardess who says, “I never do that!” You’re a bold faced liar. It’s in our human nature. Survival of the fittest? Who knows. Maybe I’m the only one with the imaginary testes to admit it.

Okay, so the search has been on. “The Hunter” in me is after a new crew member. The ad is out and CV’s are slowly trickling in. I’m not a huge fan of spending the bosses money on a crew agent when there are plenty of other successful outlets I’ve used. I’m able to write my own description of the position without agents filling in unnecessary info or filtering through potential crew for me.

Like I had said last week, I’ll share with you my Questions for Candidates – the Abridged Version and why I find these questions absolutely necessary before continuing conversation. Without further adieu…


Are you willing to help with all aspects in the interior? Beds, heads, ironing, polishing, restocking refrigerators, cleaning of common areas. These can be monotonous tasks day in and day out to the point of mental madness. Especially when absolute attention to detail is a must. Chamoising after a guest showers every time? Please, stay stinky my friends.

How do you feel about working on deck if necessary – chamois, uncovering and recovering deck furniture, wash downs? This is helpful on smaller crewed boats. I know plenty of stews who refuse to do any work on the exterior. I’ve heard of girls picking up plates on the aft deck after lunch, but refusing to wipe the table. Apparently its the deckhands job since it’s outside. Get over yourself, Princess.

Comfortable moving lines and fenders while docking? I don’t care the size of the vessel, I believe a stewardess should have knowledge of docking procedures. What happens if there is a catastrophe underway involving deck crew? You will then need to rely on a bunch of skorts to get you tied up.

Are you comfortable standing watch? This goes back to some captains who believe stews are only there to clean and serve. A stew needs to know where she’s going, how fast, and why. For all she really knows, you could be human trafficking her to Japan.

Do you get seasick? This is obvious. Pukeface Polly needs another job if she answers, “yes”.

Special dietary needs? Willing to try new foods? Anything you refuse to eat? Call yourself a vegetarian or a vegan and conversation will end there. Lactose intolerant and can’t eat cheese? You’re S.O.L. I’d smother my hand in cheese if it didn’t burn. But no, we eat diverse healthy foods, with the occasional burger. We’re foodies at heart. I’m not going out of my way to please a Picky Pants.

Allergies? Pet allergies? Health concerns that should be known or addressed? I can understand a Penicillin allergy or if bee stings make your arm puff to elephant leg status. We carry Epi-Pens and I’ve always wanted to go Pulp Fiction with one. Mental illnesses? Join another industry, preferably one with finger paints.

Do you smoke? (this includes “only when I drink”) NONSMOKING: this means you do not put white death sticks up to your lips and inhale. Not sure how this can be a misconstrued question. It’s yes or no. If you answer yes, conversation over. This is not requested specifically by owners, this is the requested by myself and fellow crew members.

Stance on personal/crew drinking? If you state you do not drink, you’re waving a red flag to me. Either you can’t handle your booze and turn into a three headed SheMonster or you’re a religious wingnut. NEXT!

How are you with babies or children? I won’t change a diaper. Plain and simple, if it poops, pees, or pukes, it’s your job. Sorry.

Please describe your current relationship status? I ask this because we have been burned by girls who desperately miss their boyfriends and end up going batshit crazy. They’re heart will NOT go on. In this new day of texting, I can’t stand to see you, “I miss you honey bunny ‘nuffer lover angel!” every few minutes.

Do you scuba dive, free dive, or fish? Not necessary on all boats. Some girls never get to put their toes in the water unless its a day off, at the beach. We’d rather have someone who can enjoy said activities with us than mope on the boat. It’s a huge plus if she has her own gear – nothing fits better than your own gear!!

Other interests and hobbies? Don’t get me wrong, I love yoga, especially arial yoga. However… if you put yoga as your main hobby, I most likely roll my eyes and look over you. I’m not into those bark eating “spiritual” liberals. Please put active sports like scuba diving, fishing, photography, ect. Basically, list activities I like.

Describe your perfect day off after a long few weeks with the boss on board: Hopefully it involves water and a cocktail. Not a day of sleeping.

Salary requirement? Okay, please look at crew salary guidelines. If you’ve been in the industry for three months as a solo or junior stew, don’t come asking for $4500. You’re not getting it. No matter how smart and efficient you are, you need to work your way up the scrubbing, folding, and serving ranks.


Some of these questions can be a bit uncomfortable for potentials to answer. I can’t force someone to respond and there may be answers I’m not psyched over, but they’re are no “wrong” answers (air quotes – eye rolls). I’ve received a response or two and I’m really pleased by what I’m seeing so far. For once, I’ve seen more good than bad! Congrats leftovers! One of you is the winner in disguise. 

Now that I’ve shared my TOP SECRET questions – don’t go bastardizing them.

Jess sig


One thought on “TOP SECRET: Questions for Candidates

  1. Pingback: “So, You Wanna Be a Yachtie” Series Pt. II – Breaking In. | Aft Decks & Anchors

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