Tips for before the interview:
- Visit the company website and social media pages to get a good understanding of the business and think of some questions.
- Plan your route to the interview so you don’t get lost and turn up late!
- Prepare your clothes the night before- chefs should look neat.
- Look at the existing menus and have dishes in mind that you would add to it.
- Have a number saved in your phone that you can ring should you get lost.
- Aim to be there 10 minutes early.
During the interview:
- When the interviewer enters the room stand up and shake their hand.
- Have your mobile off and put away.
- Listen to everything the interviewer says and never interrupt them.
- Always say thank you and please if you are offered something like a class of water.
- If you are given a tour of the kitchen, walk alongside them, not on front and not behind.
- Keep slang and abbreviations for more casual conversation- you’re not a CDP you’re a chef de partie, unless they use the former.
Some chef interviews require the potential candidate to showcase some of their skills in a “working interview”. They are usually in one of the following formats.
Ready Steady Cook: Some interviewers will give you some product on a tray and ask you to cook a dish within a certain amount of time. This is to test your creative side and to see how well you work under time pressure.
Trial: Sometimes you will be asked to work a full or half shift in the hotel, bar or restaurant. Make sure that you ask if you are unsure how to cook something and make it apparent that you are part of the team. Look interested and ask for jobs if you run out of things to do.
Menu: Some businesses will ask you to prepare a menu prior to the interview and cook it there. Ensure that the dishes on your menu fit into the theme of the restaurant- don’t cook enchiladas if you are interviewing for an Indian place!
Trade test: This one is favoured by a lot of places. You might get asked to cook a classic or basic dish with your own twist. The purpose of this is test out your knowledge of how different foods work together and how they can be amended for modern tastes.
You don’t get away with not having to answer questions about your career in a chef interview so we suggest you think about the following questions and how you would answer them for the formal part of the interview.
- Why do you want the job?
- What has been your biggest achievement in cheffing?
- What are your weaknesses?
- How do you manage time during busy periods?
- What do you think you could add to our kitchen?
After the interview:
When you leave make sure you thank the people who have interviewed for their time and for asking to meet with you.
If we have set the interview up there is no need to go back to the company to ask for feedback, we’ll get it for you. Call us when you are finished your interview and let us know how you think it went; we’ll then get in touch and get some feedback on the other side.