Assigning an interview as an out-of-class activity will help your students practice networking, making connections with industry professionals and interacting in a professional manner.
By Dr. Fred Mayo, CHE, CHT
My past two “Mayo’s Clinics” have focused on out-of-classroom activities because they are an important part of a student’s education and one that we often do not have a chance to discuss or think about. In this column, we will discuss the challenges and values of using interviews as an out-of-class learning activity.
Reasons for Using Interviews
There are a number of benefits that derive from using interviews. If you give your students an assignment to interview a specific person or persons in certain positions—chef de cuisine, pastry chef, maître d’hôtel or restaurant manager—they will have to do some research on the person and prepare a list of questions to use in the interview.
If you do not make the arrangements ahead of time with persons who are willing to be interviewed or provide students with access to specific individuals, the assignment gives them experience in reaching out and contacting industry professionals, requesting an appointment and making all the appropriate arrangements for an interview. Learning this range of skills contributes dramatically to students’ professional development at an early point in their careers. Hopefully, it also helps them build some confidence in their networking skills.