Application FAQs

Application FAQs

General questions 

I will finish my degree course soon. What opportunities are there to start my career at a&o?

You can start out at A&O in the following ways:

  • Direct entry in any area of the hotel business, even head office (especially accounts, revenue management, marketing and communication, sales, quality management, IT & development, customer service, bookings, HR)
  • Trainee programmes in the areas of hotel management, front office, food & beverage (click here for complete information about the a&o Academy)

I don't know yet which department I would like to apply to. Can you give me a brief outline of the a&o departments?

Sure! In a nutshell: there are two ways to work for a&o:

a) With direct guest contact in the hotel (from the check-in to the check-out) or

b) at head office with indirect contact (so all processes before or after a guest's stay, from providing information, handling bookings and managing after-care)

Regarding a): There are various areas in the a&o hotel locations where an amiable, positive manner can make a big difference: Reception (front office management), food & beverage (all aspects relating to catering), hotel management (hotel manager or assistant hotel manager), caretakerr

Regarding b): The colleagues in the background look after initial contact by telephone, email or online, handling bookings and providing competent service (bookings/online marketing + sales), clarifying questions or confusion (customer service), ensuring uniform standards (supervisors and quality management) and preparing attractive artwork and texts (graphic design, content marketing) to boost the image of a&o in the media and among tour operators even more (PR, sales), optimising prices continuously (revenue management) and improving the user journey on our website (IT development, online marketing).

In addition, the secretariat deals with all staff matters from contracts and pension funds to absence due to sickness, payroll and legal issues. The HR department is there to help apprentices and working students, to organise onboarding, to hold 'get-togethers', to announce vacant positions, to conduct staff appraisals and interviews and to receive staff feedback from the hotels and hostels. 

The accounting department acts as the central clearing point and therefore the interface between the hotels and head office to make sure that income and expenditure remain finely balanced.

Are there particular degree courses or universities that a&o prefers?

No. We tend to prefer certain personalities to standard CVs! The hotel business takes real passion, a feel for the guests and also a certain je ne sais quoi!

We have already experienced people who have stormed the career ladder. In one case it was a carpenter who started out as an architect before working as a receptionist. Later on he became a hotel manager and regional manager, before ending up as a supervisor and right-hand man for management. 

Lateral entrants and people who enjoy variety are very welcome here. Many of our colleagues started out in the catering business, while others come directly from the tourism industry. 
The CVs we receive at head office are as colourful as they are diverse. 

Simply attending a prestigious university is not all that important. What counts is that we have good chemistry, and you offer the right skills!

Is there any way to complete a qualification in tourism at a&o?

Of course, gladly! There are the following opportunities in Germany and Austria:

a) An apprenticeship: Click here for a simple explanation of all professions and the person you need to contact directly (in German).

b) Working students: Click here for everything you need to know about completing a Bachelor of Arts in the degree course in Tourism – specialised in hotel management (in German).

We are working to introduce a similar apprenticeship and degree course programme in the near future in our locations in Denmark, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic. 

Can I also write my bachelor thesis or diploma thesis at a&o?

We have our own degree course organised with IUBH Germany. This means that we only accept external bachelor students, master students and other persons completing a diploma thesis in very rare cases. 

I have already completed a degree course/apprenticeship in another area unrelated to the hotel business and am now looking for a way of starting a career with a hotel chain. For which positions at a&owould I be qualified?

Pretty much any position that you feel qualified for after reading the job description, even those in which you only acquired experience in your free time! The first question gives you more detailed information on how you can get started. 

What is the minimum period/maximum period for (school) internships or a position as a working student?

In this case we distinguish based on the area of interest: Do you want to start out in the hotel, or would you prefer to go straight behind the scenes in head office?

We recommend first taking a job for students in the hotels, as they are longer term and tend to last your whole degree course. After all, the induction period you will need may vary sharply, depending on the specific area. There are plenty of opportunities: Reception, bar, kitchen, breakfast or dinner.

It is also possible to complete a short internship. School internships of at least one week are possible; of course we prefer them to last a little longer to give the students more detailed insight into each department.

School internships of at least two weeks are possible in head office, and working students can be employed there for the duration of their enrolment. Marketing/sales, accounts/revenue management and the secretariat are all popular departments.

How can I find an internship abroad, i.e. how can I apply for one?

We have locations in Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Denmark and Italy. If you fancy breathing some hotel air, simply send your application to [email protected] You can either state which specific hotel you would like to work in, or we will pick a suitable one for you.

 

Questions on the content of applications 

How do I apply to a&o? 

t's really very simple to apply: Put together an interesting letter with eye-catching details about you and all the information we need, also a CV, references and salary expectations. Save it all as a PDF file and then send it by email to the contact address specified for the vacant position. Voilà! 

You will find an explanation of what happens then under the item 'The application process'.

What do I do if I am interested in several job offers?

Feel free to word your application for the specific position advertised if you have a clear preference. You can mention the other areas that would appeal to you and enquire when emailing your application whether your CV could also be taken into consideration for another position

a&o has a lot of experience with lateral entrants, so we are quick to notice whether the applicant may have potential for a different position as well. We then ensure that the information is communicated between the departments. In this case you would be initially invited to interview for the position advertised. But once we have got to know each other, you could also attend an interview for the other job/s.

This procedure is even simpler in hotel operations: Here, the hotel manager conducts the interview in person and can immediately ask about interdisciplinary qualifications. 

We believe that varied interests are good and not a sign of indecisiveness. Long-term job loyalty is something we cultivate, and we want you to accept the position that you enjoy most and feel best qualified for.

How can I withdraw my application if I decide to accept a position elsewhere? 

You can withdraw your application at any time if you like. Simply send a short email to the contact person listed for the vacant position

Are there interdepartmental contact persons to whom I can send my application? Which recipient address can I write on my letter?

Kindly send your application to the contact person listed for the vacant position. Contact Jeannine Wilde from the human resources team if you are sending an unsolicited application and do not know the name of the hotel manager or head of department. She will be glad to help. .

Address your letter to a&o Hotels and Hostels (for hotel applications) or to A&O HOTELS and HOSTELS Holding GmbH, Adalbertstr. 50, 10179 Berlin, Germany (for head office applications).  

a&o uses the formal German 'Sie' form on aohostels.com and the more informal 'Du' form in this career section, which are roughly equivalent to addressing someone by their first or last names. So how should I word my salutation in the letter?

We address our guests using their surname ('Sie' form) online and in the hotels. We take a less formal approach in the team and also address the boss by his first name ('Du' form). Only the general manager is addressed by his surname

Simply check the style of the job advertisement to see which level of formality you should pick for your letter. That is the best indicator. 

Using a formal style of address is always the more diplomatic choice if you feel that the informality is too quick or you would simply like to maintain standards. We can still agree to be on first-name terms when we meet for the interview.