Ace That Interview: Tips to Prep for Your Culinary Services Interview


Congratulations you have decided to take the next step in your career!

We want to help succeed in your job interview, and in future interviews, so we have prepared this short guide to help you prep and be ready to ace your upcoming interview. Like dicing an onion, or loading dishes correctly into a dish machine, interviewing is a skill, and it is important to make a great first impression on whoever interviews you.

Keep in mind that if you were given an opportunity to interview the odds are that the interviewer thinks you are qualified for the position. Your job in the interview is to show that person that they are right!

Preparation for Your Interview

  1. Make sure you have an updated resume and use it to speak to your achievements and experience.
  2. Before listing your references, call the people and ask if that is okay with them. Tell them what job you will be applying for so they will not be surprised when they are contacted.
  3. Do some practice interviews with friends or family. You can even find practice interview courses and videos online.

Understanding the Job

  1. Read the job description that you are interviewing for.
  2. Make notes and highlight your strengths that best fit the job description.
  3. Formulate questions to ask your interviewer about the role or about the company.

During Your Interview

  1. You will almost assuredly be asked one or more of the following:
    • “Why do you want this position?”
    • What interests you about this role?”
    • “What experience do you have?”
    • “How do you solve problems that come up at work?”

      Make sure that you have answers in mind to these types of questions! Practice those answers looking in a mirror – practice does make perfect!
  2. Dress for success in order to make sure a good first impression.

    Do’s: Wear clean, non-wrinkled clothes. Wear a shirt, top, or dress with at least half sleeves. Look at yourself in the mirror before the interview for an appearance check. Note: if you are interviewing during working hours, right before work, or right after work, then a CLEAN uniform is appropriate. Wear nice clean shoes or clean kitchen shoes.

    Don’ts: Wear dirty clothes or clothes with holes in them. Logo tee shirts or tops with no sleeves aren’t a good idea for an interview. Wearing shorts, short skirts, or dresses is not recommended.

    When in doubt, dressing business casual is always a safe decision.
  3. Turn your phone OFF. Phones are the most major distraction in interviews. Even if your phone is on silent, the phone vibrating distracts you. Suppose you are being asked a question and your phone starts buzzing in your pocket. You will be distracted by the phone, instead of focusing on answering the question.
  4. In terms of how to act, it is a good idea to be more formal than you normally are. Remember that an interview is a formal event and not a visit with a friend. The interviewer will be watching how you sit and act. Be professional and appropriate in an interview. Be upbeat and positive.
  5. Don’t talk yourself down. For example, “I’ve been a dishwasher for a year, and I want to move upwards,” is far more appealing than “I’ve only been a dishwasher, and I was thinking it is time to do something else, but it’s okay if you don’t want to hire me.”
  6. Likewise, no one wants to hear you speak negatively about other people or other places where you have worked. For example, “I left my last company because the boss was a real jerk who yelled at me all the time.” This is not going to give a good impression of you. However, saying something like, “I came to Flagship because I wanted to get into the structure of corporate dining and move away from restaurants,” will impress the interviewer.
  7. End the interview with questions. It is a good idea to prepare ahead of time two or three questions to ask the interviewer. Some ideas:
    • “This is a new kitchen for me. How many people do you serve a day?”
    • “What do you think is the most important part of this job?”
    • “Will there be an opportunity to learn new skills?”
    • “What do you like best about this kitchen?”

Video Conference Interviewing

  1. The above rules also apply to virtual interviews.
  2. In addition, make sure you are able to log in early to troubleshoot technical difficulties
  3. Test out your camera positioning, lighting and make background adjustments as needed. Remember, cameras FREQUENTLY show more of your clothing, posture, and surroundings than you think. Find a background that isn’t distracting. Fake backgrounds are okay if they are professional.
  4. Find a quiet place with a good internet connection where you can communicate without distractions.

Good luck with the interview!