Interviewing Tips for an Executive Chef Job
Executive chef positions are highly competitive. With the right interviewing tips and techniques, however, an executive chef can stand apart from the pack and land the job. Preparation is the key. Preparation leads to confidence, which is conveyed to the employer during the interview. Armed with the key responses, references and in-depth knowledge of the establishment, a chef will stand out among the competition.
Chefs should spend time getting to know the restaurant, the corporate or private owners, the reputation of the establishment and the kinds of food it specializes in. A well-prepared candidate will be able to show the interviewer the depth of research that has been done as well as comment on recent reviews or awards the eatery has received. While much of the needed information is available through the company website and marketing materials, it also helps to look for mentions of the restaurant in industry publications and community websites.
An interviewer has a resume and is aware of the experience the job candidate brings to the table, so the interview should be used to highlight the soft skills and achievements that may not have had a place on the resume or application. A seasoned chef should talk about the importance of teamwork and how he brought together the last team he supervised, the value of quality food and how to save money while maintaining that quality, as well as the creativity the chef brings. The chef must be prepared with examples to highlight these skills. The interviewee should take the time to talk briefly about areas in which he has excelled and take every opportunity to drop names when appropriate.
An executive chef should dress well in outfits that are classic yet modern to project the idea that she is aware of trends, yet not a slave to fashion. Executive chefs must be meticulously clean and neat at an interview and walk with an air of complete confidence. Body language and appearance can say more in the first 90 seconds of meeting a prospective employer than the next 90 minutes of talk. While an interviewee should be honest and forthcoming, nervousness, desperation or self-doubt should not be detectable to the interviewer. Upright yet comfortable posture, appropriate smiling and head nodding and a minimum of hand gesturing are important characteristics to maintain during a job interview.
A job candidate should consider all the possible questions he might get and frame an appropriate answer. Responses always should be positive. Talking negatively about a previous employer plants seeds of doubt in the interviewer. Referring to your research and looking forward to the positive aspects of the new job can help turn around any question to show enthusiasm for the new job and the strong motivation of the applicant to work there. Interviewees also should have at least two or three intelligent questions prepared to ask about the restaurant, the management style and future projections and expectations.