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Visiting a Property/Interview

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Right now im on externship, and im going to move closer to home when im done, I have a day off coming up and plan on visiting the property/Go for an interview. I was just wondering what do most people wear? They told us in school to wear nice black pants and a nice chef coat but i dont want to come off as cocky since most chefs wear black pants and cooks checks. Just wondering what you wear when you go for an interview.
post #2 of 10
I don't wear a chefs coat to interviews unless it's soley a skills practical. I'd feel a little dorky. I'm of the school of thought that you don't wear your whites on the street. I wear a nice shirt over a white cotten undershirt(sometimes a tie, one of my mentors always arrived at work in a nice shirt and tie). I wear decent pants that can do duty in the kitchen.

I always have a clean (practically new) jacket and apron handy when I go to interviews along with my knife roll, just in case.

Hats...If you are a tall guy like me get yourself a nice black skullcap type hat. It looks professional and never out of place. I don't go for the do-rags or puffy hats. Not all chefs like the baseball cap. The tall paper hats SUCK since they fall apart unless you staple them, they always get knocked off by the air curtains and the vent hood.

For everyday kitchen use, I wear black drawstring pants I got from KingMenu, and online uni/restaurant supply company. Very good rates and long lasting pants. I tried the checks from Chefwear, but they were way too pricey and I wore holes in them after 6 months. I prefer black to checks since I can wear them on days off with out looking funny, and they hide stains way better then checks. I only got static about not wearing checks from an instructer at my culinary, never from a boss, but YMMV.


Shine your shoes too.
post #3 of 10
I agree with the Tin Cook. Don't wear whites to an interview. As an employer I let it go if the person is 17 or 18 and just out of school and desperate to impress. However, I am also looking for professionalism and someone who is aware of the industry beyond the kitchen.

As a chef I always dressed up for my interview. Not corporate but definitly dressy casual. But I always wore my clogs, because chances are I would be walking through the kitchen on a tour and heels just don't belong there.

I also used to take along a clean and pressed chefs jacket, apron, and knife roll. That I would keep in the car, just in case. In other words I could jump on the line at anytime yet I still looked nice enough to sit in the dining room.

I am repeating what Tin Cook says again because I think repetition will give it weight. I think wearing whites outside of the kitchen, is not only unsanitary but lacks a respect for the uniform.
"Just can't wait to get on the road again."
Willie Nelson
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"Just can't wait to get on the road again."
Willie Nelson
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post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
thanks for the replies and advice
post #5 of 10
Many years ago when I started in this business, I was told by a Corp Ex. Chef to interview ALWAYS in business attire (suit, dress shirt, tie and shoes POLISHED). I don't care what position your are interview for..dishwasher up to Exc. Chef.
You have only a few moments to make that first impression...
Today, I see people coming in for interview wearing jeans, T-shirts, shorts, sandals. I thank them for coming in and send them on their way.
I go to work every day in a suit and change into my work clothes at work. My employees come to work in collard shirts and dress slacks. No T-shirts or jeans are allowed at the Country Club.
If you don't care how you look or present yourself, it will show up in your job performance. This is a fact.
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Another question, i have a portfolio of things i did at school and pictures i did from school. Should i take that to the interview or not?
post #7 of 10
I agree with prochefjim wear a shirt and tie at the minimum. I have only gone to one interview in whites and that was when I knew I would be cooking straight away. A chef any more is a business person first and cook second so not only do we need to act the part we need to dress the part. I would pony up $200-$300 dollars and go to Men's Warehouse and buy a good conservative suit that will never go out of style.

p.s. buy good dress shoes also, I always look at the persons shoes.
post #8 of 10
Interesting opinions, and all valid.
But here's my take.
I usually go to interviews straight from work, and so I arrive in my chef attire.
I've had chefs tell me that they look at a cooks shoes.
If they are dirty they assume the cook actually cooks.
This is for cook mind you, not a chef or sous chef position.

I think ultimately you should look clean, neat and professional.
Whether that entails a shirt, tie, coat or your chef attire is up to you.
I've seen people in coat and tie that look slovenly, and people in a clean, white chef coat that look as professional as any white collar worker.
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 #9 of 10
From the perspective of someone who hires new people frequently, business casual at the very least. Khakis and a nice button down shirt. Have a uni ready to go in case you have to do a tasting. Whoever mentioned the portfolio thing was right on the money. Most of the quality people in my organization had some proof to back up their claims when they came in for their interview. It shows that you care enough and are serious enough to move ahead in this career field.
It's Good To Be The King!
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It's Good To Be The King!
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post #10 of 10
I Love to see portfolios. For a coupls of reasons. First I get to see not only what they can put together, their presentation skill, the past dishes. Second. I get to see what their standards are. I mean, if they took a picture they must think that it is a good quality. Third. The fact that they take pictures, keep them, organize them, and bring them shows me that they are not only proud of their work, but also that they are planning to move ahead, and want to catalog their process, it also means their in to what they do and want to continue having fun with it.
"Just can't wait to get on the road again."
Willie Nelson
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"Just can't wait to get on the road again."
Willie Nelson
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