Interview questions 2

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by kuan, Jan 1, 2003.

  1. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    Same as Interview questions 1. These show the interviewer a little bit about your attitudes toward your job. They're looking for some key words. Many are looking for a will to suceed and be the best.

    Describe your management style.

    What are your best attributes?

    What are your worst attributes?

    Describe a situation at one of your previous jobs where you turned a negative into a positive.
     
  2. chef1x

    chef1x

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    Part 2


    Management style? Not to oversimplify but:
    "hands on and fair,
    I'm not afraid to get my hands dirty. I tend to micromanage but I generally seek to build a resposible 'team' and then delegate accordingly. I like to focus on quality from the ground up. From the dish washer to the sous chef.

    Or should it be something more like "compassionate conservatism":) ?

    Worst attributes: I get too involved;)

    Situation: When I first signed on to my last job, the kitchen staff and its facilities were in disrepair. I noticed that a very sizable grill was being used as a storage, mise en place area. I was told it was broken. I cleared everthing off, cleaned it up, fired it up, and discovered it was a very functioning grill. I asked again why it wasn't being used. "Too hot" was the reply. I laughed. I wanted to fire the bastard right away, but, I didn't, and it went this way until this person became a very fine and productive/proactive sous chef.


    Hit Me:)
     
  3. joshua tomczyk

    joshua tomczyk

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    Management Style?
    One word- Coach

    Best Attributes?
    I listen and I don't yell.

    Worst Attributes?
    Spelling, I really can't spell very well.
    That is why there are spell checks.

    As for turning a negative into a positive.
    Well I don't see anything as a negative only chances to improve. I deal with those everyday, that is my job.
     
  4. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    There's really no best answer for the management style question. The point of the question is to see if you fit into their culture. You might want to sum it up in four or five sentences. "Coach" may or may not be enough for your interiewer because then you may be asked if you're Bobby Knight or Phil Jackson.

    Your best attributes are, well, what you think are your best attributes.

    You have to turn your worst attributes into positive ones. Getting too involved may or may not be "bad" depending on the company you're working for. A good idea is to concentrate on a bad aspect of a trait, but make sure you emphasize the good part. For example, you could say something like

    "my coworkers always used to tell me that I was too involved, but I couldn't help it. I love every aspect of the kitchen, and sometimes this involvement helps me understand the workings of various departments. I would never have learned how to make a genoise cake if I didn't get involved in the pastry department."

    Or something like that. Don't lie. Everyone can answer this question properly if you think hard enough. Do your thinking at home.

    Josh, you should have a coupla stories where you turned a negative into a positive. Make it concise, don't make it an epic. For example, everyone has had the conversation with the boss about food cost. Sometimes we're asked to find a way to lower food cost. Did you succeed, and did you manage to find a way to better manage food cost?

    Kuan
     
  5. joshua tomczyk

    joshua tomczyk

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    As for the type of coach it would be a Little League Coach. I identify peoples strengths and put them in the places that they are needed to achieve a common goal. Then also knowing the weaknesses I work to improve them by teaching. I consider coaching achieving success through the activities of others.

    After more thought I reduced the cost of our stock and sauce production by a third by instead of buying only veal bones buying veal and beef. Making veal stock reducing that to glace then making a rem of the veal and putting it over the fresh beef bones. Then that gets reduced to glace and the rem of the beef gets put over the next fresh veal. Beef bones are half the cost of veal.
     
  6. chef1x

    chef1x

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    Thanks for the examples Kuan, very helpful as always. You've done this before?:chef:
     
  7. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, chefs change jobs a lot. Normal ones that is... not everyone is so lucky to stay with the same place for more than a 2-3 years.

    Kuan
     
  8. chef1x

    chef1x

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    I'm definately not normal:) Though sometimes I feel like I missed out on some things because I didn't change jobs enough....
     
  9. chefboy2160

    chefboy2160

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    Kuan great post , as for attributes and truth . Lead by example !
    Walk the talk . Knowing all the functions ( including dishwasher )
    can make you the real king of the hill . Being able to teach and absorb are other attributes that I feel come with seasoning . I feel that one of the most important things is being a great leader .
    A strong background in fixing problems and building a great team is essential , but you must be secure in your abilities to do this .
    I offer great food costs , great labor costs , and a good product .
    When asked at interviews about my job as chef I always reply that my job is like the coach of a sports team , we go to win every game and we give it our best . I do not like to lose and I have never dropped the ball so go figure ! Attitude and leadership will prevail , also good eats ......... Your friend in food and go Raiders , Douglas...................................
     
  10. chef1x

    chef1x

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    Aha, a Raiders fan....


    Very well put. "Lead by example" is one of my favorites. I think your sports analogy really works too.
    I was thinking more of it being like the conductor of a great symphony. The conducter must have knowlege not only of how to fix a broken reed or tune an instument, but must know how to play all of the instruments and how to direct several different instruments so that they produce one harmonious sound.
    Thank You.