Register

Register
forgot password?
remember me



Chefs Interview Tips

 
Introduction

Pre Application Process (Self assesment)

Preparation

Research
General Research Check List
Job description
Competencies
Your CV
Plan your journey
Dress code
The Interview

The first 90 seconds
Body language
Breaking the Ice
Discussing previous Employers
Preparing Questions
Common questions asked by interviewer's
Other questions asked by the interviewer
Company Questions you should consider asking
Interview dos
Interview don'ts
Telephone Interviews

Panel Interviews

After the Interview

Follow-up
If you don't get the job
If you don't want the job

Introduction
There really is no definitive process or way to secure the job you want. However there are certain protocols, processes and preparation work that is considered to be the norm in trying to secure a job. Here at Hospitality Online we want to provide you with the best possible chances. In order to contribute we have provided you with advice, suggestions, preparation processes, and goal setting in order to help you try and achieve your objectives. We feel if you approach and prepare these tasks in the right frame of mind you will enjoy the whole experience.

"The will to prepare to win is not nearly as important as the will to prepare to win" Bobby Knight

The interview is one of the main ways an employer will decide who is the right candidate for the position and for their company. Bear in mind that you could be perfect candidate for the job but your personality may not fit - never take this personally. The interview is also an opportunity for you to establish if the position and company are right for you. It is generally considered that this is a joint process.

Your CV has introduced you on as a potential candidate - the interview process gives you the opportunity to discuss your skills and experience in more detail, and match those to the job your are applying for.

Remember that an interview can be an enjoyable, stimulating and informative experience for both parties.





Pre-Application Process
If you are unemployed and applying for jobs, or looking to change then be realistic and apply for jobs where your talents, skills and personality will enable a good chance of being successful. Applying for jobs that your skills, talents and experience is not quite ready for generally results in rejection and this in turn can lead to a low morale. It is therefore advisable to go through a self-assessment process before applying for any jobs. Generally the best way to do this is to compile a list of positives and negatives � and bear in mind that what you may see as a negative � employers may see as a positive, it is therefore also advisable to have a friend, mentor, or someone who's opinion you respect. Sometimes applicants consider this exercise to be hard � some consider it pointless. Either way � try it and persevere � it will be worth it.

Here are just a small selection of questions you can ask yourself and compile your answers to - it will also help you build your CV. Remember there are no right or wrong answers � it all just helps you find the right job for you and hopefully one which you will be happy in. It is also an enlightening process in finding out about yourself if you answer the questions honestly.

Tip - after each question ask yourself � what does that tell me about myself

What were my schooling and educational successes (remember you may have gone through school without being educationally successful � i.e. you may have been a very good organiser � or a leader, a good listener etc etc) these are all excellent skills which can be developed?


Which elements of school / college / university did I like?
Was I involved in any other activities?
What are my interests outside of work?
Am I a team player or do I prefer to work on my own?
Why do I want to change my job?
What type of job am I normally attracted to and why?
Would I be prepared to take a less money but for a job I would much prefer?
Do family commitments restrict my choices?
Would I take a job that requires a lot of time away from my home/family?
Would I take a job that requires lengthy travel time to and from work?
Would I take a job that requires re-location?
Do I live to work or work to live?
Do I pro-actively seek further skills training � or just wait for it to happen?
How successful have I been in each job I have had?
Did I benefit in any way from that job?
Did the company benefit from my employment with them?
Which elements of each job did I enjoy?
Which elements of each job did I dislike?
Have I ever been praised at work or for a job well done?
How did I react and did I build on it?
How did I react and did I build on it?
How did I react and did I try to rectify it?
Do I like change and am I stimulated by it?
Do I feel secure in my job and is job security important to me?
What do I think of my other colleagues?
What do they think of me?
Is other people opinion important to me?
What is my age? and is my age seen as a problem?
If my age is considered to be a disadvantage how can I turn this into an advantage? (remember, experience counts for a lot in the job world these days)
Do I consider myself to be a happy and well rounded person?
If you have asked and answered all these questions honestly you are now ready to move onto the next stage


Preparation
Many people let themselves down in an interview by not taking enough care in preparing for their interview. Thorough preparation is the key to a good and rewarding interview.

Research
If the position you are applying for requires quite a bit of research (i.e. junior, middle and senior management positions) being knowledgeable about a company shows that you are proactive and committed about working for them. Possessing this type of knowledge prior to interview will also make you feel more confident.


Visit the company website
Keep a copy of the job advert - it tells you a lot - and enables you to build your questions on the position itself
Request a copy of the company brochure/annual report and any other relevant information pertaining to the job and company (i.e. promotional material)
Check on any past news articles (found in libraries or on the internet)
Keep an eye on the current news for any relevant articles


General Research Check List
What does this company do
What services do they offer / What do they sell
When was it started and by whom
Experience of Hierarchy
Location (s)
Turnover and trading history
Staff size
Who are their customers
Structured Career Programme
How secure are the employees
Working Environment
If these answers are not readily available/assessable via the usual routes then telephone the HR office - or the person listed if there is no HR office. Explain why you are telephoning and the information you require. If you prepare for this telephone call and conduct it in a professional and confident manner it will reap rewards for you

Job Description
The job description is the best tool you have to predict what type of person the company is looking for, and therefore the kind of questions they will ask, (and as previous) it helps you build your questions about the position.


Consider all the key skills and experience necessary for the role; think of work-related examples that highlight your strengths in each area and make a list for possible discussion. Be prepared for the interview in this way as these strengths and weaknesses may well be discussed during the interview.


Competencies
Consider all the key skills and experience necessary for the role; think of work-related examples that highlight your strengths in each area and make a list for possible discussion. Be prepared for the interview in this way as these strengths and weaknesses may well be discussed during the interview.

Decision making
Problem solving
Resilience and tenacity
Confidence
Planning and organisation
Teamwork
Commercial awareness
Social awareness
Common Sense
Loyalty
Specialists skills (if appointment requires)
Willingness to learn
Before the interview try to think of a few examples that illustrate each of these competencies in your previous employment.

The interviewer will want you to demonstrate these traits both through practical examples and in the manner you conduct yourself in the interview itself. Be sure that you appear calm and confident, assertive without being aggressive and that your answers are well thought out. There is no such thing as the perfect candidate for the perfect job. Interviewers know this. What they hope for is that a candidate will have at least 50-70% of the skills and experience required - most companies are generally prepared to train and develop the other skills required, and develop their employees. They look for a willingness from any candidate to take this on board

Your CV
At Hospitality Online we have given you two options of submitting your CV to us. We have made the process extremely easy for you and have pre-selected design format. You simply work through the CV online process answering each section and each question - at the end of the process your CV is presented to you in a professional easy to read format. The other option we have given you is to upload your CV in your own word design format. There are some disadvantages doing it that way on our site. Namely - the way we have designed the online CV enables employers to search using primary keywords and primary sections. Sending your CV in your own design format may disadvantage you in that search and you could be overlooked for a position that you are very suitable for and perhaps would want. We therefore advise that you complete Hospitality Online's CV. If you choose to up load your in CV in your own format we have provided advise on CV design.

You have been called to interview based on the information provided in your CV. Be prepared to talk in more detail about your experience. Remember to take copies of your CV to the interview and use it along with your other preparation work as part of your presentation.

Plan your Journey
There is nothing worse than arriving late for an interview, or turning up stressed because you had a nightmare finding the offices.


Obtain clear directions and plan your route in advance (incorporate potential delays in planning your journey).
Aim to arrive at the interview ten minutes early, this will prove your punctuality and time keeping skills, as well as showing your enthusiasm and commitment to the company.
If you are delayed for any reason contact the company immediately to inform them.
If you find you are going to arrive very late - re-confirm with your interviewer that you still want to come - and is the time delay acceptable to them. If not offer immediately to re-arrange for another date as soon as possible.


Dress Code
Always dress smartly and professionally (avoid extreme dressing). Many companies now adopt dress down policies, but don't be tempted to do this in an interview, you will make a much better impression if you are professionally dressed.


The Interview
The interview is considered by most the most nerve racking part of the interview - which is why we have prepared a lengthy section for our jobseekers to help you prepare properly for the interview.

The will to prepare yourself to win - is perhaps greater than the will to win - Bobby Knight

The first 90 seconds
We have all heard it said - "an interviewer makes up their mind in the first 90 seconds". This can the case - but it is our opinion what they are actually evaluating in the first 90 seconds is your dress, your body language, and your looks. If they are professional and responsible interviewers and you have been invited on the strength of your CV they will not make the error of judging someone for a job in the first 90 seconds. That is why it is critical that your dress and body language speak the right language, it is also important that other details such as hair, shoes, nails etc are all clean. Show respect for the interview and the interviewer and they in turn will respect you.

I remember some years ago my boss interviewing a salesman who looked as if he had literally just got out of bed. My boss offered him the job. I asked him about his decision - and he replied that on this occasion he needed to look beyond the suit (based on his CV) and interview him ignoring his appearance for the time being. This salesman turned out to be amongst the top performing sales people the company had ever employed. However - we strongly recommend that you do not go to an interview in a crumpled suit.


Body Language
It is very important to give out the right signals during the interview - therefore we suggest:

Smile on entrance and make eye contact with all present in the room - and maintain lots of eye contact throughout the interview
Give a firm handshake, this shows you are confident
Wait to be offered a seat - do not sit down without being offered to and then wait for your interviewer(s) to sit first
If you are offered a drink and you want one - it is advisable to accept water - it helps if you dry up and is less messy than tea or coffee (accidents can happen in nervous situations)
Look and sound enthusiastic
Look attentive and alert - don't slouch or fidget
Maintain an open upright stance, lean forward slightly and try not to look too defensive as this will betray your nerves
Speak clearly and loudly enough so that all in the room will hear
Take your time in answering questions and think before answering questions
Listen, try not to get distracted or talk too much
Do not get to close to the interviewer(s) or invade their personal space
Do not scratch you ears or cover your mouth with your hands or fingers - or cross your arms in front of you
And always remember to be yourself right from the start.

Breaking the Ice
It is common practise for an informal chat to take place before the formal interview starts. Do not make the classic error of assuming this is not part of the interview - it is. It is part of a professional interviewer's assessment. However it is also an opportunity for both parties to overcome any initial awkwardness. Some very informal questions are likely to be asked - i.e. how was your journey? Did you find us OK? etc etc. Do not become over familiar or over friendly and do not go into a long story about how terrible the traffic was. Answer with short friendly reply's - i.e. "the traffic was quite bad but I allowed for that in preparing my journey". Always initially address your interviewer using their salutation i.e. Mr/Mrs/Ms. They may well address you by your first name - do not take this as an insult it is general practise. If the position you are applying for is of a senior nature then it is not unreasonable to address the interviewer by their first name also if they address you in this manner. It can be a good idea during some interviews to ask the question "how would you like me to address you during the interview" if you are unsure how to address your interviewer.


Discussing previous Employer's
It is very likely that you will be asked why you want to leave your current job. Be careful not to be negative. Focus on reasons such as wanting a new challenge, you are ambitious and want more responsibility, or you want to expand your career experience of working with other companies. Even if you dislike your current job always put a positive spin on your experiences there. Never ever denigrate your current employer, current boss and current colleagues.

Preparing Questions
One of main ways an interviewer will conduct the interview is to ask a serious of questions about you, your education, your employment history, and your skills and experience. It is a very good idea to prepare a some answers to these questions in advance. Therefore:

Think about all the above elements and how your education, skills, training, and experience is relevant to the company and what you will actually bring to the role. An interviewer will also look for someone who can add value to the position and their company.
Make sure that you can give positive explanations for any gaps in employment or where you have only stayed in a job for a short time
Don't be limited by the information you provided in your CV. There may be things that you didn't include but could be relevant to the role.
It is impossible to predict exactly what questions you will be asked, but there are a few common ones that come up and it is wise to put some thought into your responses before the interview. It is unlikely you will be asked any trick questions - most professional interviewers do not need to adopt this technique. It is important to remember if you are asked a question you do not understand then tell them you do not understand the question - most interviewers understand this and will either re-phrase the question or move onto another - this is normal in interviews. If you are asked a question you do not know the answer to and do not have experience in that area. Be honest and state that you do not know that answer to the question and if necessary explain "its not an area you have experience in" or that "you do do not currently have enough work experience to justify your question but you are hoping to build you skills in that area". Honesty handled in this way is always respected.

If you are asked for your opinion on any issue - think about your answer. Most companies ask opinion questions because they want to get to know the person a little bit more. For example the company may have a particular policy about GM foods, or purchasing Free trade goods etc this is where your self-assessment, company research and interview preparation bears fruit.

Common Question asked by Interviewer's
When preparing and answering remember:

Try to think of examples that illustrate where your abilities and skills match their requirements
Keep your answers as relevant as possible to questions and relevant to the position you are applying for
If you have come to the end of your answer after a particular question but you feel the interviewer is still not satisfied with the answer ask them "do you want me to expand on this - and if so which area in particular"
Always be honest!
"Tell me about yourself"
Give a short summary of your qualifications, career history and skills.
"What do you enjoy about your current job?"
Focus on things that are relevant to the job that you are applying for. Pick out things that demonstrate a diverse range of skills and interests.
"Explain your current role and duties"
Explain how you fit into your department and what your reporting lines are. Talk about how you interact with others in the department and your key responsibilities.
"What has been your main achievement in your current role?"
Think about projects you have been involved in, the results and the impact they had on the company. Bring proof of any of your achievements to the interview. Do not show any of your current employers confidential company information.
"What are your strengths?"
Think about three or four of your main strengths, try to focus on skills that are relevant to the new company. Good examples are communication, social, sales, IT (if required), flexibility, positive attitude and interpersonal skills.
"What are your weaknesses?"
This can be a difficult question to answer. We all have weaknesses (and remember it is a strength to admit your weakness). Try to think of a positive way to present a weakness, eg. explain how you have overcome it and think of an example to back this up.
"Have you ever come across a difficult situation at work and how did you handle it?"
"Have you ever come across a difficult situation at work and how did you handle it?"
"Why do you want this job?"
Pick out the positive aspects of the job you are applying for. Try to avoid mentioning things like more money or shorter hours. Do not mention negative aspects of your current post but you can include factors such as wanting a new challenge or more responsibility. You can perhaps emphasis their image and their growth strategy - and explain that you want to be part of that.
"What interests you about this company?"
Your research into the company will be paramount to answering this question. Mentioning facts such as their products/services, sales figures, news, customers etc. will prove that you have carefully though about your application to this particular company.
"What can you bring to the role?"
Consider the job description and competencies when answering this question. Try to think of practical examples from your current role and previous employment to illustrate your strengths and skills.
"Why do you think you are suitable for this role? - or sometimes phrased "Why should we offer you this job?"
This is an ideal opportunity to give a general re-cap of what has been discussed during the interview re your skills and experience and emphasise how these skills and achievements in previous positions are transferable and relevant to this position. It is important at this stage to also emphasise your personality if you feel the role requires a specific type of personality.


Other questions which maybe asked by the Interviewer
Why did you study XX at school / college / university?
Where do you see yourself in five years?
How do you respond to working under pressure?
Do you like to work in a team or by yourself?
What are you looking for in a company?
How would you cope if you were asked to work late at short notice?
What do you do in your spare time?
Why do you want to leave your current position
How did you get on with your other colleagues
What appeals to you about this job
What do you think you will do if you do not get this job
What other jobs are you applying for and why those jobs
What makes you tick
What motivates you
Remember that an interview isn't all about giving the right answers, in many cases there isn't a "right" answer. It's about presenting yourself in the most genuine and best way possible and showing that you can and know how to communicate and interact with people.

If at any time after the questions the interviewer has not asked you something that you feel is a specific strength and you feel is relevant to the position - as a suggestion you could say "perhaps to get to know me a little bit better I could expand on - or explain about......." or "I feel I have specific experience in..............would it be helpful if I expended on that for you........." But don't overdo this and limit it to areas that are important.

Company questions you should consider asking
This is your opportunity to find out whether this really is the right job and the right company for you so don't be afraid to ask questions. Bear in mind that asking a few insightful questions will indicate to the interviewer that you are taking the interview seriously and may well raise you in the estimation of the interviewer.

It is a good idea to have a few questions prepared, no matter what the role. If the interviewer has provided a lot of information evan more reasons to have questions prepared, asking questions shows that you are interested and taking the interview seriously.

How does the department fit into the company as a whole?
How long was the last post-holder in the position?
Can you tell me about the company culture?
What sort of training is on offer?
When will I become eligible for further training
What opportunities are there for promotion?
How long has the interviewer been with the company?
Why do they think that it is a good company to work for?
Avoid asking about the salary, particularly at the first interview, however some interviewers do bring it up towards the end of the interview. Our advise is always be prepared to discuss salary/benefits/holidays etc - but only if your interviewer initiates the discussion on this area. However one all important question to ask is at this stage is:

What is the next stage of the interview?
Before you leave make sure you ask when they will be making their decision and the process of letting applicants know the outcome.

Interview Do's

Dress professionally. An interviewer will respond more positively to you and an employer is more likely to recruit someone who will best represent their company
Ensure you have clean shoes / hair / nails etc
Turn off your mobile
Be prepared. Research the company and prepare some questions
Give clear and concise answers
Think about the question before answering
Be confident. Remember to sell yourself (without appearing arrogant or aggressive!)
Allow the interviewer to wrap up the interview
Thank the interviewer(s) and reassert your interest in the company and the role.


Interview Dont's

Be late
Lead the interview - that's the interviewer job
Show a lack of knowledge about the company and the role
Panic if there are periods of silence (do not talk for the sake of talking)
Exaggerate your experience and qualifications
Be evasive in any of your answers
Spend too long answering each question - if you feel the interviewer is not totally satisfied with your answer - qualify this by asking "would you like me to expand further on this"
Tell untruths
Discuss the salary at your first interview unless it is specifically discussed with you
Criticise previous employers or jobs
Argue with the interviewer
Answer questions that are not asked
Volunteer any uneccesary information
Become distracted
Leave your mobile phone switched on



Telephone Interviews
Telephone interviews are becoming a more and more common way to eliminate people in the early stages of recruitment

Someone from the company will contact you and organise a time.
Find a quiet place to have the interview where you won't be interrupted or distracted
Use a landline where possible, the last thing you need is for your mobile phone to run out of battery power, or lose service!
Prepare for the interview as you would for a face-to-face interview
Limit yourself to a few written notes.
Don't be tempted to lay-out all the company information and prepared questions in front of you. You wouldn't be able to do this in a face-to-face interview so don't do it over the phone. You could end up searching for information so much that you don't answer a question or your answers could sound like you are reading them, which won't impress an interviewer.


Panel Interviews
To many people the idea of a panel interview can be extremely daunting. But again there are a few simple rules to remember in order to do well.


Identify the important figures on the panel and which role each is fulfilling
Identify the person to whom you will be working for directly
Remember that you are not just talking to the panel member who asked the question. Try to address everyone when answering questions
Each panel member may be looking for something different but remember to stay calm, always answer honestly and sell yourself.



After the Interview
Whether you feel if it has been successful or unsuccessful - it is very important that you follow it up. Even if you decide you do not want the job - it is important to relay this to the employer in a professional manner.

Follow-Up
One follow-up phone call to the company is acceptable, after that it might seem like pestering.

Send a follow-up letter, if you feel it is required, no matter how badly you think the interview went. Invariably most people come up with a clever answer after the interview has ended, include two or three of these in a letter but remember to always refer to something specific from the interview, eg.


I've given a lot of thought to our interview and�
I have been thinking about what you said about�.


If you dont get the job



Look carefully at your interview performance. Try to identify any factors that may have contributed to the outcome, such as lack of preparation or nerves.
Get as much feedback as possible from the interviewer. Phone up and ask where you fell down and where you might have improved your performance.
Once you have this feedback and considered the interview for yourself you can modify your interview technique and apply this to your interviews in the future.
If you feel you would still like to work for the company this is the time to send a letter saying that - ie whilst you have not been successful on this occasion you would very much appreciate it if you are considered for future roles in...........
Above all don't be disheartened and don't take it personally
If you don't want the job
If you decide during the interview that you do not want the job - explain this in a polite and professional manner as soon as possible. Wasting time can sometimes annoy the interviewer - and it will waste your time
If you descide after leaving the interview that you do not want the job - either telephone / write or email the employer immediately explaining this in a polite and professional manner immediately
If after receieving a written confirmation offering the job - contact the employer immediately via telephone / email or write explaing this in a polite and professional manner
It is vitally important that should you decide at any time during the process that you do not want the job to inform the employer urgently - they can then concentrate on other applicants

ChefsWorld a World created by Chefs for Chefs.
We Provide the facility for Chef Employers and Chef Recruitment Agencies to advertise their jobs online to recruit a Chef or find a Chef online.
http://www.chefsworld.net/about_us.asp#employers
The Chef Jobs site has : Executive chef jobs, Head chef jobs, Sous Chef jobs, Chef de Partie Jobs, Commis Chef Jobs, Pastry Chef Jobs, Development Chef Jobs, Consultant Chef Jobs, Specialist Chef Jobs - all levels of chef and Catering Jobs.
http://www.chefsworld.net/search_job_adverts2.asp
The Chef Section has : Chef Forums, Chef Network, Chef Recipes, Rate Employers, Suppliers Offers and Chef Links.
http://www.chefsworld.net/chefs_forum1.asp
http://www.chefsworld.net


+ChefsWorld Tim Capper  
Tags: Chef Cv , Chef Resume , Chefs Cv , Chefs Resume
 


Follow us on Twitter  Follow us on Twitter Find Us on Facebook
© ChefsWorld.net ChefsWorld   |  Terms of Use |  Site map  |  Web Design by OS3