Interview advice

The Staff Canteen

Tips and tricks to help get you started in the food and hospitality industry, including interview advice for those looking to begin their culinary career.

Chef Skills

It's completely normal to feel nervous when you have an interview however with preparation and practice you can get the better of your nerves and give yourself the best chance of getting the job. Read our guide to see how you can improve your performance and help secure your first Chef job.

Interview Advice

A 5* hotel in London advised that a candidate needs to be passionate and should want to provide fantastic customer service. They look for someone who will go the extra mile regardless of what sector they are in. The hotel also stated that they will consider CV's  with little experience but they need to have some relevant experience ideally within the same sector they are applying for.

Their top five tips:

  •  Be prepared
  •  Do your homework
  • Clear idea of where you want to go
  • Be ready to give examples of dealing with customers or providing a service; even if it's organising a party for family, it's about making people happy.
  • If you want to develop and progress then make it known that you want to do that. Take ownership as if you have a position in mind that you want then push for it.

Don't forget that in the first few minutes only 7% of the interviewer's opinion of you is formed by what you say - the rest is judged on how you look, act and sound. Here are some Do's and Don'ts that might help you prepare:


  • Take references
  • Do some background research on the company and show a basic understanding of what the job will entail
  • Be able to demonstrate an interest in the company – again do your homework. Print off their internet pages, phone for brochure/menus etc.
  • Be polite
  • Be focused – show you are genuinely interested
  • Show a positive attitude towards work
  • Be enthusiastic
  • Prepare some questions to ask the interviewer, and don't be afraid to have them written down (this demonstrates prior thought and preparation)
  • Try and stay calm during the interview (think of it as an informal chat) you will come across more confident and relaxed
  • Make eye contact during the interview though do not continually stare
  • Thank the interviewer for his time

Serious don'ts:

  • Be derogatory about previous employment or colleagues
  • Slouch in the chair
  • Swear
  • Arrive late
  • Look uninterested
  • Be too cocky, be confident but don't over do it
  • Lie: the interviewer may see through you. Even if you get the job, your employer can dismiss you if they find out that you have not been honest.

Just remember that preparation is the key to performing well in interviews. Research the role and organisation and prepare evidence and examples of your skills and competencies.

Typical Interview question you may be asked:

  •  Tell us about your current role?
  •  What do you know about this hotel/group?
  •  What qualities will you bring to this operation?
  •  How do cope with criticism?
  •  How do you cope with people with whom you might not get on?

Good luck!

Find a Chef Job

Whether you're an aspiring Chef soon to be leaving education, or you are an established Chef looking for a new culinary challenge, we have a variety of Chef roles to suit you;
- Head Chef Jobs
- Executive Chef Jobs
- Sous Chef Jobs
- Commis Chef Jobs
- Chef de Parties Jobs
- Pastry Chef Jobs

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 25th May 2017

Interview advice