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Whites vs. Tie to an interview...

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
If you are interviewing a person for a job in a fine dining restaurant, would you prefer to see the applicant in cooking whites with checked pants? Or would you prefer a white shirt with a tie and jacket and dress slacks?

Our instructors showed us a video once where the "applicant" went to interviews in whites. But wouldn't a shirt and tie be more appreciated? Your thoughts?:confused:
post #2 of 25
While I think that I have been to every first and formal interview wearing a suit I have worn Chefs attire to very few of the subsequent ones. Mostly because I may have been asked to come in after a shift some where else. If they are to require you to do a basket then it's usually my experience that you can borrow a Chefs coat and apron.

While it's paramount to always look your very best you're also not applying for a Middle or upper managment position. If you are being considered for a higher level chefs position then only a suit and tie would be appropraite

I think it's more important to have a clean look. Someone who takes pride in hygene and personal appearance enough to be clean shaven, hair combed or taken care of, pleasant smelling but not over done, clothes washed, pressed if needed and neatly worn. Wearing your pants that hang halfway down your arse or a shirt/sweatshirt that proclaims something of the new order is not appropriate even for normal wear but that as well as all of this is a personal and professional opinion.

Just look your best and dress for the job being interviewed for. It's a corney saying but "ya gotta look sharp to be sharp".
post #3 of 25
I know me personaly, I wear a dress shirt with dress pants and shoes to an interview but always bring my whites and kitchen shoes in my truck just incase.

Always ready to rock out..............:smoking:
"Some of us Cook. Some of us Grow. All of us Eat."
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"Some of us Cook. Some of us Grow. All of us Eat."
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post #4 of 25
Try and wear a suit. Don't wear a shirt with tie and chefcoat over unless you have some serious medals.
post #5 of 25
my last interview i did was in a chef jacket, because i showed up ready to work he put me on a trial shift for that night and then hired me after that. my chef was impressed that i showed up ready to work. the people i have talked to have alway wanted there cooks to come in to a interview in whites because they might be puting them right in the kitchen.
post #6 of 25
If you came in to interview in a chef coat I'd probably snicker at you. The guys I've seen come in like that usually weren't very good. I'd wear black pants and shoes and a decent shirt. Come ready to work but not ready to model.
post #7 of 25
Depends on the job... Exec. position supervising over 40 staff and a hoity-toity meeting with the GM and F&B, yeah sure suite and tie.

Line cook? What I want to see is:
1) Personal grooming. Clean shaven. Beard/moustache? Neat and trimmed. Fresh--not perfumed--body odour, clean hands and nails, clean clothes. Don'treally care about the clothes as long as they're clean and neat--no "party till ya puke" t-shirts, and no 8" underwear label peeking over the belt line...
...."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 #8 of 25
I still say come in a suit if you can. If there are a hundred applicants, each with relatively the same resume, the suit will set you apart slightly. That's what I like to see.
post #9 of 25
I always wear my whites, the nicest set I have.
I don't see the point of wearing a suit unless I would wear one on the job.
I tell them I just left work for the interview, and have to go back to work on a banquet.
I'm a busy man.
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 25
Back in the day, always best whites, always..I always wore them because I had more confidents in myself, more so than suit and tie.
Suit and tie would make me try to hard to be someone who I'm not..

I'm sure a good therapist could explain that one, lol :bounce:
When I stop loving what I do, I will do something else: Clint Eastwood http://NewDreamCatering.comCharleston, SC
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When I stop loving what I do, I will do something else: Clint Eastwood http://NewDreamCatering.comCharleston, SC
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post #11 of 25
I'd go for the suit, with whites and non-slips packed and ready to go. While I can see the idea of showing up ready to work, the other side is that it means that you've been wearing your whites on the street. That, to me, is a hygiene red flag. Same for shoes.

--Al
post #12 of 25
Hygiene red flag, same for shoes :eek:

I would love to hear the explanation for this one, please give!

No realy please explain your thoughts and opinions on how wearing your whites could danger someone..
Have you ever had to leave your kitchen to go buy product?
I'm not giving you a hard time, I am realy curious why you think it is a hygiene red flag. Maybe you know something I don't.
I've said in many post, remain teachable.

A suit is a sure win, i just am more comfortable in whites, mentaly:smiles:
When I stop loving what I do, I will do something else: Clint Eastwood http://NewDreamCatering.comCharleston, SC
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When I stop loving what I do, I will do something else: Clint Eastwood http://NewDreamCatering.comCharleston, SC
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post #13 of 25
I just don't like seeing guys walking around outside the kitchen in their whites. You're done cooking go put a shirt on. That's just me. I grew up cooking in Vegas where you dressed at work. There was a mindset of work clothes and street clothes. You didn't take your uniform home. I don't mind seeing someone in their checks and a T-shirt. But chef coats in public crack me up. I've seen guys at bars, sitting there in their dirty coats.
post #14 of 25
My feeling is that whites aren't street clothes. They should be changed into on site. Somebody who comes in the door uniformed up could have been out playing with the dog, rubbing up against various contaminated surfaces (sweat smeared bus seats, freshly painted park benches, bird droppings). Same for shoes. If you have treads of any quality you can track any number of foreign substances into the kitchen.

Paranoid? Maybe, but as I see it any action that can reduce even the smallest chance of contamination is worth taking. By the way, I'm not even talking about serious harm here. You pop into a store and stray hair lands on your jacket. That hair makes its way into the pilaf. There's a comp'd plate for you.

--Al
post #15 of 25
Have to agree with the last poster, sounds like they--as well as myself--have found out "the hard way" about kitchen clothes vs street clothes.
...."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 #16 of 25
I guess I'll just have to agree to disagree on this subject.

For me its more of a selfish reason why I wear my whites out. I have gotten several clients great advertisement a nice pair of whites with company name embroided on it and not to mention lady friends from wearing my whites :smiles:. Plus now that I'm single I hate all the extra laundry I have to send out. A uniform a day plus a pair of street clothes a day $$$$$$$$$.

Well I guess if we always agreed on cheftalk it would be quit boring.
When I stop loving what I do, I will do something else: Clint Eastwood http://NewDreamCatering.comCharleston, SC
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When I stop loving what I do, I will do something else: Clint Eastwood http://NewDreamCatering.comCharleston, SC
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post #17 of 25
Thread Starter 
So I had an experience tonight that I thought would be relevant to this thread...

My wife and I went to eat at a nice restaurant--good food, nice atmosphere. As we were leaving, we both decided to use the bathroom.

And guess who I saw in there...the chef! Normally, this would be no big deal but from some of the discussions we had in classes, and from some of the recent posts on this thread, I can now definitely see the reasoning behind taking your coat off before using the restroom---especially if you consider any possible urinal blowback, leaning over/on a wet or dirty sink to wash hands, elbows or shoulders or sleeves rubbing against stall doors or separators or dispensers, etc...not to mention awkward moments like I just had with him where I know he is heading straight back into the kitchen to continue working with customers' food.

Sure...I saw him drying his hands when I walked in. And I am sure that he is not being unsanitary or anything like that. And yet, I was somewhat taken aback by seeing him in there in his coat.

I am not trying to say what is right or wrong in whites etiquette. But I can definitely say that I now see the concerns raised by where and when you where your whites. :chef:
post #18 of 25
Couldnt agree more with you more about wearing coat to bathroom. I just had that disscusion with a buddy of mine.
Its funny, I get freaked out when I'm out to eat and I see the staff in the bathroom. It makes me wasnt to leave. All kitchens should have staff bathroom in my opinion.

I watched a guy go in the bathroom wearing gloves, but he came out wearing the gloves, GROSS..Not sure if he was cook, chef, or utility?
When I stop loving what I do, I will do something else: Clint Eastwood http://NewDreamCatering.comCharleston, SC
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When I stop loving what I do, I will do something else: Clint Eastwood http://NewDreamCatering.comCharleston, SC
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post #19 of 25
Yeah, I like to pretend the people preparing my food never go to the bathroom.
post #20 of 25
I worked in an old restaurant in Las Vegas in the late 80's. It was in a converted house. It was upscale and there was no employee bathroom. The owner did not want his kitchen staff walking through his dining room and using the guestroom. So the cooks peed in the backyard of the house. It's still open today.
post #21 of 25
I take it it was an all-male staff........
...."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 #22 of 25
Not to get off clothes subject, but I am. Because a lot of people don't know what to do in a interview. Here is a few basics.
Bring 2 copies of resume, shave or trim facial hair, iron clothes or have pressed, don't smell like smoke of any kind, bring your own pen, be prepared to have refference phone numbers on hand, shut cell phone off, don't chew gum or candy, use mouth wash right before interview, clip and clean your finger nails. If your wearing black belt, wear black shoes and vice versa for brown belts, take out your peicings of any kind, hide your tatoos.
The three most important things are: Just an opinion.
1)Don't be late.
2) When you shake hands look the person straight in the eyes and shake firmly, you wont brake them.
3) Do not get caught in a lie. I'm not telling you not to lie, just don't get caught.
When I stop loving what I do, I will do something else: Clint Eastwood http://NewDreamCatering.comCharleston, SC
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When I stop loving what I do, I will do something else: Clint Eastwood http://NewDreamCatering.comCharleston, SC
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post #23 of 25
Read about the aerosol effect of flushing a toilet or urinal and you'll bloody well wish the chef had not worn his coat in the men's room.
post #24 of 25
Yorvo what if you had to go #2, just grab some leaves or kitchen rag? :lol: that's so crazy on so many levels, LOL..Good story.:lol:
When I stop loving what I do, I will do something else: Clint Eastwood http://NewDreamCatering.comCharleston, SC
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When I stop loving what I do, I will do something else: Clint Eastwood http://NewDreamCatering.comCharleston, SC
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post #25 of 25

Interview "Style"

Speaking as an HR professional as well, the real answer is "it depends." Consider the following thoughts:

1) High end establishments are very "look conscious" A suit and tie and coming prepared with: "oh, please give me a few moments to change as I have my whites in my car" is a very positive 'best of both worlds' assuming that they asked you to prepare something.

2) Do you think when a doctor goes on an interview he / she shows up in scrubs?

3) Auditions work well, when actors show up fo the part -- but I yeild again to: it depends.

4) It's always ok to proactively ask the person setting up the interview to guide you -- we are stressed enough with the prospect of a new job, why add to it by worrying about attire? Just ask them? Sometime you'll get: "hey, it's up to you" that's when I'd show up in a suit (or shirt /tie depending on the job) and if they ask you to cook, again, be prepared to change. (It's my opinion, that you are 'dressing for the role' of interviewer, then possibly a chef...)

5) One more thing... Suit: CLEAN, PRESSED, POLISH. YOU: CLEAN, PRESSED, POLISH. Whites: SAME.

Again, image -- be prepared. :chef:

Hope this perspective helps.

Jonathan
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