Chefs Job Trials or Working Interview : Pros and Cons

A Chefs Job Interview trend that has become popular when hiring chefs is the working interview or chef job trial. This compels the prospective chefs to actually perform on the job to prove themselves. Whereas in the past it was typical for chefs to interview for jobs in a more conventional manner, the working interview is increasingly something requested or even demanded by employers.



Let’s look at some of the reasons for this and what it means for both chefs and employers.

Advantages of Chef Job Trials

There are some undeniable advantages, for both chefs and employers, of working interviews. The job of chef is extremely active and demanding. It depends on a lot more than theoretical knowledge, requiring a great deal of spontaneity, communication skills and the ability to perform well under pressure.

These qualities are difficult to ascertain from a resume. Of course, the prospective employer can conclude certain things from the chef’s previous experience. If the chef has successfully worked in similar establishments, for example, it might seem redundant to ask him or her to undergo a working interview.

However, each working situation is a little different. For one thing, personalities come into play, and a working interview can demonstrate how well the chef works with the other members of the kitchen staff. The employer can also see how the chef works with the particular ingredients and in the specific atmosphere of the kitchen. These are all things that a chef job trial can demonstrate more clearly than a resume or a verbal interview.

From the employer’s perspective, we can see that a job trial can provide valuable feedback regarding the chef’s abilities. However, there are advantages for chefs as well. They can get a feel for the kitchen and staff and decide if it seems like a situation where they would enjoy working.

In a conventional interview, the chef will most likely be talking to someone who will not even be present in the kitchen for the most part. It’s arguably better for chefs to get their feet wet and get a sampling of the actual working environment before accepting the job.

Drawbacks of Chef Job Trials

Despite the benefits of chef job trials, there can also be some disadvantages for both chefs and employers. From the employer’s point of view, while the working interview does provide some helpful feedback, it’s still quite limited. Chefs are likely to be on their best behaviour during a job trial. They may be able to successfully hide any weaknesses or shortcomings for the duration of the working interview. The fact that someone can perform well for a few hours does not necessarily indicate that he or she can do so consistently, night after night. Being a chef, after all, requires the ability to be flexible and to respond well to a variety of circumstances.

From the chef’s point of view, there are similar objections. The working interview may not give the chef a true sense of what the working environment is like. Furthermore, he or she may feel undue pressure at this interview. It takes time for a chef to feel acclimated to a new environment, so a single day does not necessarily give chefs enough time to demonstrate their true abilities.

Conclusion: Are Chef Job Trials Worth It?

As we have seen, there are both pros and cons to the practice of working interviews for chefs. Are these job trials a good way to predict job performance? There’s no simple answer to this, but we can say that these can certainly provide both chefs and employers with some solid information and feedback.

For employers, the working interview provides a limited but still potentially helpful way to see how a chef performs on the job. Similarly, it allows chefs to demonstrate their abilities to a prospective employer. It must be said that there is no technique that can predict job success with certainty.

This is the case with any job, especially one as demanding as that of a chef. For these reasons, it would be a little too simplistic to believe that a chef job trial is the perfect way to determine if a particular chef is right for a job. However, it can definitely be a valuable part of the interview process.