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Job interview questions

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I have a couple of interviews lined up next week and feel I'm prepared to answer any questions they throw at me. I am going to ask if I can look around the kitchen and possible watch a shift at work during peak hours. I feel like I can tell a lot by doing that. I also plan to talk with food sales reps and others that have to deal with any employer that I interview with.

But I was wondering, if YOU were applying for a chefs position what would be the most important questions would you ask at the interview?

Thanks again.

Bill
post #2 of 14
We are all looking for something different in a kitchen. You have to figure out what you want in a kitchen and then word your questions around those. I would ask, if it's a chef position that they are looking for, how long has the crew been there? What sort of experience they have? What food cost is he/she looking for? Do I have a sous chef to work with? What do they see in the future of the restaurant? Do they have any plans? Basically, I want a team that is committed and a restaurant that is going to challenge me and inspire me.
Don't forget to ask how long the last chef was there for. Very important. The answer will tell you a lot and show any problems you might have.
post #3 of 14
If I was going for a chef's position I would ask the interviewer if he/she can give you a tour of the kitchen and dining room if possible. While you are taking the tour of the establishment, carry a notepad and take notes of things that you see are wrong but don't let the interviewer know what you are writing down. When you are done with the tour ask the interviewer if you can have a little bit of there time. Get the interviewer to sit down with you and explain to them the things that you thought were wrong with the establishment and explain to them that if you were hired, how you would asses the problems and how you will bring your leadership qualities to the job to ensure a smooth running establishment. Obviously if they are looking for a chef they want someone who will take charge and be able to identify and asses problems but at the same time keep a cool head and have good work ethic. when identifying things that you think are wrong, try to be as detail oriented as possible. Such as, little things like if walls are dirty, speed racks are dirty, you saw a right handed cook prepping mirepoix and you saw that the ratio of onions to carrot and celery were not correct. It should be 100/50/50. You saw how the cooks on the hot line were not warming there plates before plating. Cooks on the cold line were not chilling there plates. Tell them you thought the parking lot was dirty and you feel that the dining experience begins for the customer as soon as they enter the parking lot. Menu design is not eye appealing. I feel that minor problems like these indicate that the staff simply doesn't care about the establishment and do not take pride in the food they serve. Food should not be served just for the sake of service. We need to think about what we are doing while we're doing it. It's common sense to say that that if something doesn't look or taste good don't serve the sh**. Don't put foodin the window just to put it out. Make sure everything is beautiful.
post #4 of 14
Ahh, Chefintraining, just remember, once you point out a problem, it becomes YOUR responsibility to fix... Boardroom ettiquette lesson #3, applies in the kitchen too...

Questions to ask a prospective employer as a Chef (that is, the boss of the kitchen, right?)

-How does the ordering work? Some places the owner wants to call in the purchases, other places the Chef has free range. ** Most important for you, the Chef, is how the vendors are paid, but you'll never know this until after the first few weeks....

-Staffing. Again, some places the Owner has first and last say on hiring, firing and salary.

-Amount of hours to work. Some places you're given a fixed salary and it's your show, 80-100/week are not uncommon. Does the salary provide enough compensation for this? Is there a possibility to put a cap the working hours?

-Benifits and bonuses. What's included? Do Bonuses work on food and labour cost? Labour is the hardest to control, never get this worked into a bonus.

-Equipment fund. How is new equipment purchased? How are the usual items (ommelette pans, rubber spatulas, cleaning stuff) purchased? This might sound picky, but gawd knows how many places I've been in where the owner screams about this stuff, some pretty nasty words and tempers exchanged over a friggen $5 ommelette pan.
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #5 of 14

interview / ???

Good Morning
questioned depend on the position you are appling for, Find out what they are looking for in that position, Take notes in interview for future question. They will show you the property if they are interested in you.
There are many questions you will come up with as you move forward. Do not make a list of what is wrong as you may be speaking with the problem itself in the interview.
good luck
and be stronger about what may be wrong if asked in the future and stay positive. If it is the chef's position you are looking at you need to know why the other chef is leaving or what turnover is in the property. It may be ownership or upper management.
post #6 of 14
I think some situational interview questions may be useful for you and community

Source: humanresources.hrvinet.com/situational-interview-questions/
rgs
post #7 of 14
If I was an owner/general manager and a prospective employee came at me with everything that was wrong with the place, he/she'd be out on his ear and his application in the "round file." This approach is arrogant, to say the least, and an indication of major problems to come if I hired this guy. After all, YOU are asking THEM for a job, not the other way around.

If I was applying for a chef's job, I'd ask to look around and note to the interviewer what was appealing about the place and what appeared to be working well. Then ask about the overall marketing scheme of the establishment, who are their regular customer, what segment of the local market they represent, and what need the restaurant is attempting to address. I'd ask about long-term plans for expansion of the business and what qualities in a chef THEY are looking for.
post #8 of 14
[/QUOTE]

Wecome to my world, while screaming about $5.00 pan their out buying a $5000.00 copier that talks to you
post #9 of 14
I assume you will ask the all important question regarding your compensation.
This should include base salary as well as incentives, benefits, etc.

What sort of time commitment do they expect of you?
What is the staffing situation; positions, who hires and fires, pay scales?
What do they perceive to be things that need immediate attention?
What did they like most about the previous Chef?
The least?
How often do they change/update the menu?
How much control do you have over that; all, or just input?
Who does the ordering?
If it's you, do you have complete control over which vendors you use, or is there a preferred vendor?
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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post #10 of 14
Good one, asking the suppliers! They always have the skinny on who's great and who's a jerk, does the place know what it's doing or are they bumbling around, has business increased or decreased (accounting for the recession). I think that's your best resource for knowing if you even want to go there. Aside from the obvious questions, I would ask what they see as the future of their place. If the place has been there for some time under the same ownership, it's a pretty good bet they know what they are doing. If it's fairly new, it bears a closer look. Besides asking how long the former chef was there, I'd want to know why they left. That's something the suppliers probably know. I got a kick out of the equipment budget question. My boss has a fit over non-stick spray. He also wanted to get rid of the grill cleaner and go back to grill bricks. I flat out told him I wouldn't take the job if I had to use a grill brick. I bought a nice stock pot at a deep discount. He asked if that's what I wasted his money on and could he have it for home. I said no, it's mine. That fact your money paid for it is a technicality. Get your own. I did offer him the ladle that came with it. :lol:
post #11 of 14
First, I agree with accessing all aspects of the current operation such as, management vision, vendor supply, current staff, and internal and external property conditions. After all, along with the other management and/or owners, your name is planted on everything associated with the operation. However, I feel there is one very important question to ask of yourself before entering the interview.

What are you looking to accomplish at this operation?

For example, are you looking to launch a new operation? Maybe, you are looking to rebuild one instead? Or, are you looking to walk into a state of the art operation that needs little more than a few twists added to plant your own personality and style in the operation?

If you are wondering why I feel this personal question is so important, I will tell you it will save more headaches in the long run and will let other management know exactly what to expect from you right away. Trust me, I learned this lesson the hard way in my present Chef position, seeing now in hindsight that I should have had a clearer vision for what I really wanted to accomplish from a personal viewpoint instead of letting the excitement of a new challenge cloud my gut feelings. The road to putting my personal "touch" in my present kitchen has been twice as long as expected and much less satisfying at this point.

Best wishes for finding and fulfilling your vision.
post #12 of 14


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by duncan6 View Post

First, I agree with accessing all aspects of the current operation such as, management vision, vendor supply, current staff, and internal and external property conditions. After all, along with the other management and/or owners, your name is planted on everything associated with the operation. However, I feel there is one very important question to ask of yourself before entering the interview.

What are you looking to accomplish at this operation?

For example, are you looking to launch a new operation? Maybe, you are looking to rebuild one instead? Or, are you looking to walk into a state of the art operation that needs little more than a few twists added to plant your own personality and style in the operation?

If you are wondering why I feel this personal question is so important, I will tell you it will save more headaches in the long run and will let other management know exactly what to expect from you right away. Trust me, I learned this lesson the hard way in my present Chef position, seeing now in hindsight that I should have had a clearer vision for what I really wanted to accomplish from a personal viewpoint instead of letting the excitement of a new challenge cloud my gut feelings. The road to putting my personal "touch" in my present kitchen has been twice as long as expected and much less satisfying at this point.

Best wishes for finding and fulfilling your vision.

 

Hi,

 

Thanks very much for this comment. It help me to think about my ideals.

 

Tks again and pls keep posting.

post #13 of 14

I agree with you. Your points of view make me thinking about some thing for my project.

 

I also find more materials that may be useful for you: Restaurant general manager interview questions

 

Pls try to keep posting. Tks and best regards

post #14 of 14

One poster here, suggested that you take a tour of the kitchen and talk about all the things wrong with the place... serious numb-nut approach! Easily, the dumbest thing I've ever heard. Insault your boss before he's your boss.

 

The other posters (besides that one) gave good advice.

 

My philosophy is simple. Responsibility must equals authority. If you are going to be asked to do something than make sure you have the authority to follow it out. If your job is to hire than it must also be to fire. If they want you to cut food costs then you must write the menu. If you are being hired to for your cooking ability then you must make sure that you are not asked to count beans in the office. Very simple concept but so rarely articulated and followed.

 

So many hiring are done without a clear focus. They usually end up with a firing, harsh words and you know the rest. FIND OUT WHAT IS EXSPECTED OF YOU, PEROID. The rest will come in time.

 

Ari9

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