What should i bring to interview?

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by celbrise, Sep 24, 2018.

  1. celbrise

    celbrise

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    I have an interview, knife test, as well as a working interview all in a single day at this well known fine dining restaurant in my state. the chef is famous here i believe he has a few other restaurants around the US/and maybe some in various countries idk.

    i REALLY want this job it will greatly improve my skill set but i am confused on what to bring.

    1. I have a basic interview as you would with any other job but i am wondering if i should dress in a more formal way or just wear my regular cook clothes? i was planning to bring 2 different sets of clothes but idk how pressed for time i will be. do you think this is a good idea? i don't want to look unprofessional but at the same time i didn't expect to be doing a working interview on the same day as my regular interview.

    2. what should i bring to my knife test? i've never done one before outside of culinary school which was a long time ago. im guessing it's just going to be basic cuts like dicing, mincing maybe, nothing too insane. the HR told me it's just a test to see where my knife skills are. hopefully it has no major impact if i get the job or not.

    3. in your opinion do you think i will get the job if im mediocre? this isn't like a michelin star restaurant. it's more or less just a fine dining restaurant set up by someone people know in the state kind of like working for bobby flay or something. my skills are NOT the best despite i have experience and im extremely nervous about the knife test as thats always been a struggle for me. most restaurants i've worked at just have prep cooks that do all the cutting
     
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  2. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    Bring your coat and apron and be able to take off your interview jacket and put on your chef coat. That's what I would do. Sharpen your knives. :) Take it slow at first because the counters will be different height and you need to get used to the area so you don't cut yourself. Show that you can work clean.
     
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  3. celbrise

    celbrise

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    thanks for the advice. they will be providing the coat. as for the interview do you recommend a totally different set of clothes or just basically wear what i would wear to work excluding the shirt? i might just try that as i don't want to lug around all these clothes/shoes plus in the kitchen usually their is no space to keep a backpack in general
     
  4. bier chef

    bier chef

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    Here is some advice for what I would like to see someone bring to a working interview. Dress for the kitchen, not for an office job interview. Black or Check pants, clean white shirt, clean chef coat, clean NON SLIP shoes, pocket sized note book, and a sharpie. Bring you manners, eye contact, and a good vocabulary. Avoid Ummms and Uhhhs. As for knives... Make sure they are SHARP! I suggest a chef knife, a serrated knife, and a vegetable peeler, there isn't much I can't accomplish without those three. During the working interview, look over all of the benches and coolers, ask for a tour the walk-in and over all hawk eye the kitchen looking for where they store things. Stay humble, don't brag. Let your skill set the bar for your projected position.
    Good luck- Bier Chef.
     
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  5. chefwriter

    chefwriter

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    I'll repeat the above. Dress for the kitchen but not sloppy. You will be given a chef coat. So a haircut, clean and trimmed fingernails, shaved, nice slacks or clean, new plain black chef pants, a plain t-shirt under a collared shirt, non slip shoes. You can change out of the collared shirt for the chef coat when the time comes.
    I'd bring my knives but they will also have them and may expect you to be able to adjust so bring them but don't be surprised if they don't expect you to use them.
    Wash your hands First, thoroughly.
    Know the proper way to dice an onion. This is the most common way chefs see your knife skills.
    As bier chef said, look the kitchen over quickly and quietly to understand the layout. You might be given a recipe and told to produce it, like a dressing or something similarly easy. The recipe might call for shallots or herbs which you would need to chop. Grab a cutting board. Walk into the walk in to get them without having to ask where they are. (They aren't in the oven) Grab a large bowl. Look around, grab a whisk. Oil is generally under a common work station or in the storage area. If you can't see it quickly in the obvious spots, then ask.
    In short, act like you know all kitchens are similar.
    Most important, show humility for yourself and Respect to Everyone else. Say please and Thank You and Excuse me whenever you get the opportunity. If there is a vegetable or meat or anything else you have never seen before, be honest and say so. Show your willingness to be open to new information and knowledge.
    Don't forget to say THank You to the chef and anyone else before you leave with a firm handshake, looking straight at them.
     
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  6. bier chef

    bier chef

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    It's funny that you mention dicing an onion! It's wonderful that such a daily chore of dicing onions can separate you from the herd. I had a chef long ago that blew my fragile culinary school mind by dicing an onion completely different than the classic French technique of leaving the root end on that I had been engrained to execute. I also had an employer that was such a dumbass that he once diced a #25 bag of red onions with the peels still on LMAO!
     
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  7. celbrise

    celbrise

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    thanks for all the help. i will definitely be practicing dicing especially on an onion. thats probably where my basic knife skills lack.

    they are not perfect dices nor do i dice them very fast as once i start cutting them side ways it gets hard for me to keep the pieces together without pushing too much ontop so it basically just wedges the knife making it harder for me to cut it. any tips on that? i will be buying a bunch of onions tomorrow and practicing. i've sharpened my knife as well but will be resharpening it after i practice to make sure it is sharp.
     
  8. capricciosa

    capricciosa

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    I've always cut off both ends, cut in half (end-to-end, not side-to-side), placed each half flatside down, sliced each half into thin strips, rotated 90 degrees and cut the strips into cubes. It's safer and faster since you're never cutting towards your hand, wastes less onion and gives a much finer, even dice without having to re-chop.

    I'm not sure where I picked up the technique, but it's how I've always done it. The only two big name chefs I've seen cut it this are Guy Fieri and Emeril Lagasse.
     
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  9. celbrise

    celbrise

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    thanks for sharing i am going to try it this way because the usual way is very difficult for me. my knife always gets wedged between the layers and im not extremely great with getting perfect cuts so they are off especially when i have to cut sideways and can't really tell. i've cutting tomatoes the same way sideways when it gets towards the end and almost always it starts off good then when i slice it off the back side is thicker.
     
  10. capricciosa

    capricciosa

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    You're welcome. Same here, I've never been able to get a good dice with the French technique without going so slow that it makes it impractical in a restaurant setting. I use the same basic technique for tomatoes too, slicing down rather than side to side, to get thinner, even slices.

    Also, as far as the original post, I'd say avoid cloth shoes or shoes with laces. Leather/rubber shoes are easier to clean and will make for a more tidy appearance since you're having to balance work clothes and dress clothes at the same time. It also cuts down on having your shoe come untied when you're cooking. You end up either tying it and having to leave your station to wash your hands or tying it and continuing to cook which is a cross-contamination issue. Either way, you could end up having to choose between looking haphazard or looking unclean - neither of which are desirable for an interview.
     
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  11. celbrise

    celbrise

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    i've watched a few video's on your method looks easier i will try it tomorrow when i practice. i got about 1 day only to practice