Fake it...until they figure it out?

Joined Apr 21, 2013
Hi Chefs,

I recently had an interview with a CCRC.  I was interviewing for a Dining Room Supervisor position, but the interviewer wants me to interview for her position (she's leaving for personal reasons, family obligations with a sick father), Culinary and Beverage Director.  I do not have a lot of experience at this level but she seemed assured I could do her job.  This is a high-profile continuing care retirement community.

I guess my question is, how much of attaining a higher position is "faking it 'til you make it"?  Is it all smoke and mirrors until we gain the experience in the job?

Thanks in advance for any perspective you can provide.
Joined Sep 9, 2012
You don't have to fake it, just absorb everything that you are taught and be a good manager/mediator between the kitchen staff and residents. Keep it professional, don't develop friendships that carry over outside of work, this complicates more than it is worth because issues are bound to arise and you need to keep control of the authority perception.
Joined Aug 15, 2003
You shouldn't fake anything. Be honest with your potential employer and don't mis-represent yourself or your abilities. If the woman thinks you can do her job, then you might be able to. Let her know you are up to the challenge but will need coaching and training to reach your potential. 

As long as you don't tell them you have competencies where you don't, you should be fine. They will probably be willing to invest in you as a manager and are willing to take you on to fill in the gaps in your experience. They shouldn't expect or want you to do things that you aren't equipped to do, they should give you the tools to do them so you become valuable to them. 
Joined Apr 21, 2013
Thank you for these excellent replies!  These are very helpful! 

"Faking it until you make it" was just the tag that came into mind.  I was very upfront with the woman about the shortcomings I feel I had.

I specifically do not have ANY experience with large, multi-venue budget and operation costs.  Should I expect that they would allow a learning curve in that area?  The culinary services department has a $1.5 million budget.  That is an intimidating budget to me.  Anyone have any experience in this area?

Thank you for any insight!!
Joined Jul 28, 2001

  The first thing is to familiarize yourself with their paperwork and reports. Most do it their way but when all said and done, it's all the same. Get them all explained to you while she trains you. You can BS a little by telling her you understand something even if you don't. Jot it down, then look it up when you go home. A daytimer or equivalent I feel is a necessity.

Don't let numbers scare you!!!  Numbers is what makes everyone happy!!  Don't be intimidated with that budget. Always find a way to break down the numbers so you can look at them in increments. 1.5 Mil. is Nothing.  Say you feed 125 people just one time a day Monday through Friday. Their billed check avg. is 45.00 ++ There your 1.5 Mil. right there!

125 pp X 264 days=33000 @ 45.00++ + $ 1,485,000.

As far as outlets go, there's your ticket to improve. Tweak each one a little. Hell, I've got a 1000 sq ft outlet that does those numbers.

Even CEO's have a group to explain their method and procedures when they come on board. Go for it.
Joined Aug 21, 2004

same thing...only different

Budget of 1.5 M, or 6 M, or $250,000...the basics are the same. Numbers are your friend when running a business. Get to know them intimately.

The woman has confidence in your abilities, so follow her lead and have confidence in your abilities.

Be teachable, even if left to your own devices and never forget what you don't know.

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