What to Expect in Your Culinary Interview

Whether you are just starting out or you are interviewing for an executive chef position, your interviewer will want to gauge your knowledge and experience of food. General knowledge is a must. In addition, you will be expected to know the specialization and type of food establishment you are interviewing for and to demonstrate that your skills make you a good fit.

Culinary positions can be obtained in a variety of settings, from high-end catering to institutional settings to restaurants specializing in niche cuisine. Expect your interviewer to question you closely about the areas most relevant to the position. In addition to technical food preparation skills, you may need to know how to compose a menu, calculate portion sizes and adjust recipes to contain lower fat or carbs without sacrificing flavor.

Tips to Remember

A thorough knowledge of food techniques is a requirement for any culinary position. Be prepared to give a step-by-step explanation of any type of food preparation and to demonstrate your understanding of how and why it works. Interviewers also want to see a proper understanding of ingredients: how to balance them, where to source them and how their quality may be affected by location and season. As you get ready for your interview, keep in mind the following:

· Research the place you are applying to and be prepared to show how your skills make you a good candidate for this specific position.

· If the position includes supervisory duties, emphasize your leadership qualities.

· Be enthusiastic! Interviewers want candidates to show real passion for food.

At your interview, be sure to highlight your technical knowledge, both general and specific to the position. Make sure your enthusiasm and drive shine through to create a good impression.

General Skills to Highlight

When applying for a culinary position, your interview will include questions about skills that are sought for any workplace. The ability to get along well with others and function in a fast-paced environment is key. A kitchen can be a stressful place with conflicting personalities, picky customers, malfunctioning appliances and late deliveries. Showcasing the following skills will let your interviewer know that you are prepared to cope with them all:

  • Leadership – Show your ability to motivate your team and resolve conflicts effectively.
  • Resourcefulness – In the kitchen, emergencies can arise any time. You must be able to think on your feet.
  • Willingness to Learn – A chef should be always perfecting old techniques and developing new ones, as well as keeping up to date on culinary trends.

Your culinary interview is your chance to demonstrate your knowledge and personal qualities that make you a great candidate for the position. Do the preparation and research that will help you stand out.

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