How To Make An Impression At An Interview

How To Make An Impression At An Interview

You’ve left college, or are about to graduate, and you have got your first interview for a permanent kitchen role. What are the do’s and don’ts when it comes to making an impression? We’ve asked a few of the Academy’s contributors for their thoughts. 

Paul Ainsworth, Chef Patron, Paul Ainsworth At No 6 says that anybody going for an interview should remember that the process starts from the moment they enter the kitchen, and long before any practical test. ‘Be presentable, well-mannered, and arrive early for the interview. First impressions are so important.’ 

‘When it comes to the practical part of your interview, listen to what is being asked of you and carry out any instructions without issue, but always ask if you are not sure about something,’ says Stephen Terry, Chef Patron at The Hardwick. ‘Also, be yourself. We are all individuals and certain brigades of chefs suit certain people. Sometimes people just don’t fit in, or the job just isn’t for them.’ 

When you go for an interview, you are going to be asked quite a few questions so be prepared to answer them. For example, you might be asked why you wanted to become a chef in the first place. There may be any number of reasons why, but whatever these might be, make sure that your passion for food comes across. Having genuine enthusiasm for your career will give any potential employer confidence in your desire to do well – which is a must for any chef. And don’t forget, whilst you are going to be asked plenty of questions this is also the time to ask questions of your own, so try to think of a few ahead of the interview in case nothing else springs to mind during the interview. Regardless of what it is that inspires you, having well considered answers will further demonstrate your passion for food and the industry you have chosen to work in.  

The hospitality industry moves very fast and so staying on top of current and emerging trends is really important, not just for your development as a chef but also because it will demonstrate your passion for the industry to the interviewer. There are many different ways of keeping up-to-date such as visiting up and coming new restaurants, following inspiring chefs on social media, or just reading some good old fashioned books!