Preparing for a job interview of any kind involves research. A culinary job interview is no different. Research the restaurant – have they experienced recent growth, are they family-owned or a chain, how long have they been in business? If you have never eaten at the establishment, make a point of sampling the food before the interview. Also, a quick Internet search will yield helpful results such as reviews, press mentions and any possible information on the owners, managers or executive chefs.
At the conclusion of the interview, you may be asked, "Do you have any questions?" You should always have several questions prepared. This is your opportunity to express your interest in and knowledge of the company. While you should base your questions on both the research you performed before the interview and on actively listening to the interviewer, here are a few go-to questions you can use as a back-up.
- What challenges will I likely face in the first three months? (The first 90 days on the job is a critical time for any new hire. You need to know what will be expected of you as you start your learning curve, and it is still considered a probationary period.)
- There are a lot of companies laying off right now. How have you been able to not only maintain your workforce, but continue to hire new employees as well?
- How would you describe the culture or spirit of this company? (This is an important question for both of you as it is critical to you and the employer that the company will be a good fit.)
- I’d love to get some more details about how the job has been performed in the past and what improvements you'd like to see happen?
- I am very interested in pursuing this job further. What is the next step in the hiring process? (Not only will this question succinctly convey your interest, but it will also clue you in on how swiftly the employer is moving to fill the position. Do they still have two more weeks of interviews to complete, or are they looking to have someone start in the next few days?)