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Nerve wracking job Interview

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
:eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:
OK, is this just me? Or has anyone else experienced the "needs to be clairvoyant" for a job ap?

Went to a new job interview today. The local Hotel Casino was recently bought and is now being revamped after decades. The Soux Chef loved my resume and was very enthusiastic about my hire. <which is kind of neat because I really didn't embellish what I've done before...it's just kind of hard for me to accept my talents. I mean, I read my resume and it's like, wow, I really did that? LOL! :crazy: >

The Exec Chef is a very nice guy, very focused ('course I haven't worked for him yet) and used to run one of the best buffets in Vegas.

Anyway, we chatted for a bit about my experience and he said, well lets get her an apron and have her make something.

First he asks me to make a fruit plate or salad of some sort. So I pretty much did. (Got some comps from some of the kitchen crew...'It's so pretty!') Then EC cruises by and says, "OK, make me a salad, some sort of compound thing" and takes off again.

OK, fair enough...but 1. I don't know the kitchen. There are about a zillion nooks and crannies with stuff, (I have seen far better organized kitchens) 2. I wasn't certain where my boundaries were as far as what I could nick into. 3. I didn't want to open up an industrial can of something for 1 plate, 4. I didn't want to disrupt the normal flow of the kitchen...that kind of thing.

So, I ended up using basic romaine greens with fresh vegetables, cheeses and a cucumber with lemon/dill sour cream salad. (Had a little too much hot onion but was ok ... their red onions are a lot hotter than I'm used to)

After waiting for about an hour after I was done, he arrives (they were organizing a filming/function in the main hall) and critiques my plates: Wouldn't use banana or my pear/apple slices for the "line" (meaning I suppose the buffet...I'd never use a cut fruit that would oxidize on a fresh salad that was going to sit unless it was a medley of some sort), would have wanted more melon, no greens on the fruit or the cuke dish...would they be easy to prepare in bulk...:blush: . I mentioned that I wasn't certain what liberties I could take with the inventory and was told I could have used anything I wanted!

Well, I'm thinking, "Ya got ta be specific, Bob!" "Make me a plate" is a 'plate', not a "PLATTER"! I was thinking ala carte and he was thinking a global feed. I politely accepted his input and critiques and tomorrow is another day.

Heck, if Ida known that was the bottom line I would have done it totally different.

In any event, he wants me to come back tomorrow, so I'm assuming I didn't screw up too badly. It just felt like it from in here.

That's pretty much it. Just needed to vent a little so I can get some sleep!

April :D
post #2 of 6
Heh... cool. :) You know you can get a good insight on how people think about food, how they prioritize tasks, even their personality.
post #3 of 6
My very best wishes for you April!
post #4 of 6
What ever happened to the "Basket of Goodies"???? I miss that. Having the Chef and staff pre pic things really is the way to go. That is until that one interview you have a "mental block" That was not only nerve wracking but down right embarrassing. Good thing I knew some of the staff and they had been in restaurants I was the Chef at. Phewww!

Shame you weren't given more info. In my experiences the vague ones lost me since I decided that wasn't for me and the best folks I dealt with either provided a basket or ran you thru the ringer with questions and what if's. In fact the last interview process I was thru I asked the Sr Exec Chef if he wanted me to prepare anything for him. He promptly said "If I didn't think you could cook, you wouldn't be sitting here right now".:cool:

Well before I forget or get off on a tangent:D ... Good luck getting the right opportunity April. Sounds like you wouldn't have enjoyed working with the lack of "Structure, communication and organization";) :o
post #5 of 6
The place where i interviewed did the mystery basket thing with me lol. on a side note....Why is it that we forget everything we learn when we are asked about it or asked to do something with that knowledge??

Anyways my mystery basked had..

a cut of salmon
basmati rice
a mango

I was asked to pair it with an app. and a dessert.... and thats where i forgot everything lol

But the end result of my finished dish (with a nod or note from the other kitchen staff)

Sesame crusted salmon with Sauteed asparagus and grilled mango and Basmati rice cooked in a cinnamon water so it had the aroma of cinnamon as you ate it

They hired me :)
post #6 of 6
When I go to a job interview it's more to scope out my potential new employer than anything. I make sure to let them know that at well.

I'm also a huge fan of doing a short 1 day 'stage' - lets them check out your skills, lets you check out how they work and if you want to be a part of that team. Instead of cash payment for work I'll usually ask them to make me the dish they feel best represents their restaurant. Usually you can tell right away if that place is the right fit or not.

I can't stand mystery basket type things, I mean a huge part of being a good restaurant cook is finding the best ingredients, not to mention many techniques can take hours... As fun as it is to watch Iron Chef, most of the stuff prepared on that show wouldn't fly in a restaurant, the standards are much higher when people are paying 100+ dollars for a meal as opposed to getting it for free.
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