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I just had a job interview..... I think they forgot I was coming.

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Ok, so I am an American but I have been working in Kitchens in Europe for the past three years.  I have been thinking a lot lately about coming back to the states to be closer to my family and friends.  About 8 hours from where I grew up is a very, very nice resort.  I have always wanted to work there ever since I graduated Culinary School.  Every time their website said they had opening in their kitchen, I would always apply but they would never ask me for an interview.  So back in September, I noticed that their website was advertising a line cook position.  So of course I applied and again figured I wouldn’t hear back anything.  Well this time I did hear back, the contacted me and wanted to set up an interview.  I told them that I lived in Europe so I couldn’t just pop over one weekend, we would need to plan it.  It was there Idea to wait until December so I did.  I came over to the States early December just for this job interview.  I have a friend who lives about an hour away from this resort so I said with him.  They wanted me to come and work with them all day to get a feel for how I worked.  I told them that was fine that I would stay as long as they required but I didn’t have a car at present in the States as was being dropped off and collected by a friend of mine so I just needed to know what time to tell my friend to be there to get me.  They seemed to understand, told me to have my friend collect me at 6 pm. 

 

Two weeks before I went over for the interview, I noticed that the line cook position had been removed from their website.  I kind made a joke about how great they must think I am.  So I show at this resort in America early and I go to the main reception and asked to speak with the Executive Chef just as I was instructed to do.  They give me a funny look and tell me that he isn’t on the property that day…  So I told them the name of the woman in HR that I was dealing with….. she wasn’t there either.  They wanted me to come back the following week until I explained to them that I had come all the way from Europe and that I was back to Europe the next week until I heard back from them.  So finally after waiting there for about half an hour in reception, they send this guy (not sure what his job) to get me, Now this resort has two restaurants, one that does Breakfast and Lunch which I will call Restaurant A, and the just does Dinner which I will call B.  At first they took me to Restaurant A.  When I got there, there was only a Sous Chef there and he was right in the middle of service.  I waited in his office for ages before he came in and talked to me.  He told me that the Executive chef was off that day and that he had not been told I was coming.  So he called the Exec Chef who apologized to me, said he had an emergency and couldn’t be there.  So the Sous Chef had be do some skills tests, I had to make an Omlette, cook two eggs over medium, and make a custom dish out of whatever they had.  He said my Omlette and my two eggs were both cooked perfect and for my custom dish, I just did a simple Tiger Shrimp sautéed in garlic butter with a Pineapple Saucia.  The sous Chef said it beautiful, my shrimp were cooked perfect and the presentation was very colorful and clean. 

 

So after that, he took me on a golf cart to the other side of the property to Kitchen B.  Here I was a signed to work in the Garde Manger Section.  I worked with them from about 12:30 to about 7:00.  Now I was told I would be leaving a 6 but I kept waiting to be dismissed and they never would so after I had gone an hour over I finally had to explain to the Head Chef about the arrangement and told him I had to go.  He sounded very understanding and told me they would be in touch. 

 

Now I was on Cloud 9, I really felt like I nailed this interview.  They were happy with everything I did at least they said so and  tried to make sure I kept a clean and organized worked area which they also noticed and commented on. 

 

But on my flight back to Europe, I started thinking about it and some things didn’t add up.  One, The Sous Chef in Restaurant A told me they didn’t have an opening in that restaurant, that they were having a hard time giving guys hours so he figured I must be interviewing for a job in Restaurant B.  But in Restaurant B, it was kind of the same thing.  The Guy I was working with in Garde Manger had just graduated from CIA and that was his first ever upscale restaurant job but that night they were expecting about 75 covers and they had 9 chefs counting me.  And they guys in Restaurant B kept asking me were the position was I was applying for.  I kept saying here I think, and they would just say “I don’t see how”.  It turned out, the guy I working Garde Manger with hadn’t been there very long.

 

So now it is January and I haven’t heard back from at all either way.  They aren’t returning my calls or emails at this stage.  You would think that even if they didn’t like me, though send out an email and say sorry but thanks for applying or something, anything.  Here is what I think happened.  I THINK while they were waiting for me to come to America, this guy for the CIA applied and interviewed and they hired him and forgot all me coming in for my interview.  So basically, I flew all the way to the United States to apply for a job that wasn’t needed or wanted.  And I think they are a bit embarrassed by all of this.  They didn’t even want me to interview at first but when I told them I had come all the way from Europe they descided to go ahead.  I guess they figured this way, having me work for them thinking I was going to be offered a job then going back and never hearing from them again would be better than then telling me Oh sorry, we forgot and we have already filled the position. 

 

I want to be very upset but I don’t know for sure that is what is going on.  Even though I thought the interview went perfect, perhaps it didn’t go as well as I thought and they didn’t think I was a good fit.  That is fine, but they should tell me that.  I am just really frustrated that I spend all that money on a flight for nothing…   So for it being so long but I really needed to vent.

post #2 of 5

They shouldn't have forgotten that you were coming but I think it was ultimately a bad idea to set up an interview for a job that is not sous-chef or higher three months after the initial posting... you can pretty much guarantee that the position was filled in that time and by the time you get your interview the situation in the kitchen could've changed dramatically (it was probably busy season during September but by the time you arrived business started slowing down).

 

Also you didn't mention following up with them and assumed that the first confirmation would still be true three months later... I think you could've saved yourself a lot of time and money if you simply emailed them a couple of weeks before you flew back to confirm that they still wanted to interview you.

 

All I'm basically saying is that three months+ is a long time to wait for filling a cook's position (there was no telling how long it would be from the time  you had the interview to when you moved back... it could've been another month or two, that's four or five months total!).  Also I find that in these circumstances it doesn't hurt if the applicant takes the initiative an continues to keep in contact, you can't always rely on the other side to remember certain things as well as you do because they have a large pool of people to worry about and you only have one interview to remember.

 

My advice is to either move first and then find a job or secure a job before going (if it's going to require you to fly halfway across the world to get an interview then apply to be a stagiaire first and worry about paid employment later), that's what I did and I got a paid job at the chef's old place a week or two into my stage.

"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

I agree with you completely, when they first contacted me about coming to interview, I asked them to give me a couple of weeks and I would fly over then.  It was their idea for me to wait until December. They said their season was starting to wind down and in December the chef would have more time to spend with me.  I communicated with them in November.  It took them forever to get back to me about what time they wanted me there and where I supposed to go once I got there and stuff like that.  The last communication I had with them was in Mid November so only about 4 weeks before I went over.  That is still a long time though and I should have kept in contact with them but they were taking weeks to get back to me when I would call or email them anyway that I just didn’t bother because by the time they would have gotten back, I would have been in America.  When they hired this guy though, they should have just called me or emailed me and told me.  And now, I went for what I think was a very good and solid interview, and they won’t even return my calls or emails.   This resort is fairly well known which is why I am not mentioning their name and they have won numerious awards.  But I am starting to think that maybe they don’t run a very tight ship.

post #4 of 5

ahh... they suggested you come in December, I see.  It's unfortunate that they did this to you, especially since you had to fly so far.  An expensive lesson for sure.

"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
Reply
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
Reply
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

Not only that but it was like my dream job too.  As I said, I have wanted to work at this place since I first graduated Culinary School.  And now.... I am not sure  that I do anymore.

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