Resource Center

Mar 25, 2017, 18:39
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Interview Tips for Entry-level Line Positions such as Cook

The interviews for your first jobs are critically important because these jobs will help set the course for your career.  Treat these meetings with the reverence and respect they deserve and you will project the professionalism and confidence that will put you head and shoulders above the other applicants.

It is widely accepted that we all get nervous before an interview, but that does not have to be.  Nervousness is a result of fear.  The biggest causes of fear prior to an interview are lack of preparation and lack of focus.  In our competitive industry, that fear will most often lead to failure.

The reality is that you do not need to be nervous at all about interviews.  You cannot possibly know what questions will be asked, so commit to knowing yourself and knowing the company and you’ll do fine.  Even if you are naturally shy, if you follow a few simple guidelines below and invest the necessary time, you will succeed!

  1. DRESS TO IMPRESS
    Depending on your budget, you may choose between Standard and Suit & Tie, but ALWAYS follow all the Preparation/Grooming guidelines.  Hiring authorities are always impressed when an entry-level applicant wears a suit.
    Standard
    • Slacks or Business Skirt
      • Wool or blend – NEVER jeans or 100% cotton khaki
      • If a skirt, wear hose and closed-toe shoes
    • Conservative long-sleeved button-down shirt or blouse
      • Professionally cleaned and pressed, tucked in
      • Solid color or conservative pattern
    • Leather Semi-formal shoes
      • Well polished
      • Shoe color should match belt color
      • Black, cordovan or brown only
    • Low heels…consider that you may get a tour in a slippery area

Suit & Tie

    • Business Suit
      • Always wear a solid color, conservative suit
      • Conservative, long-sleeved shirt/blouse, preferably white
      • Conservative neck tie
      • Hosiery at or near skin color
      • Polished, dark, conservative, low-heel shoes
      • Empty pockets – no bulges or jingling coins

Preparation / Grooming

    • Carry a leather folder or small portfolio with resume, references (separate sheet), picture portfolio, paper and pen
    • Ladies: carry a small matching purse
    • Do not carry a brief case or large purse
    • Clean, trimmed fingernails
    • Clear or conservative nail polish, if any
    • Minimal cosmetics
    • No more than one ring on each hand and only one set of non-dangling earrings
    • Well-groomed hair style, hair pulled back if longer than shoulder-length
    • Clean-shaven face and neck
    • No gum, candy or cigarettes
    • No cologne or perfume
    • If you must have a beard or moustache, then be sure it is neat and trimmed
  1. RESEARCH THE COMPANY
    Know the company’s operations (number of units, regions, menu, beverages, history, etc.) and the general responsibilities of the job for which you are interviewing.


  2. RESEARCH THE JOB SPECIFICS
    Know the job description and requirements and make a list of all the reasons, with examples, of why you would succeed at this job.  Then study/memorize this list for the interview.


  3. PREPARE GOOD QUESTIONS
    Prepare questions to ask related to the position, responsibilities, and the future of the company.  This should serve two purposes:

    • It shows the hiring authority you are using critical thinking skills to understand company culture and what is required for you to be successful in the position.

    • It helps you discern whether the fit is right for you.

  1. ARRIVE EARLY
    Arrive about 10 minutes early.  There are very few excuses that erase the memory of a candidate’s arriving late or having to cancel an interview.


  2. BE CONFIDENT & SMILE
    Project a positive “can do/will do” attitude.  When appropriate, smile!  You’re in the hospitality profession.  A big part of your career is to create that hospitality using your contagious smile!


  3. KNOW YOUR CAREER PATH
    Be ready to clearly state your 2-year, 5-year, and long-term career goals, and why they are your goals.  Know why this position is a solid step toward accomplishing those goals.


  4. KNOW YOURSELF
    Be prepared to clearly; honestly and confidently discuss your professional strengths and opportunities (weaknesses).  At this stage of interviewing, you are expected to have a need to learn.


  5. FOCUS
    During the interview, stay focused by answering the questions that you are asked.  Answer them fully, but do not to veer off into unrelated subjects, personal information or long explanations.  Most often your job is to follow their lead, conclude your response and wait for the next question. 


  6. CLAIM IT
    “Look them square in the eye” and express interest in the job at the end of the interview.  (“Mr. Jones, I really enjoyed this meeting and I am very interested in going to the next level with XYZ Corporation.”)


  7. BE POLITE
    After the interview, send a BRIEF thank you note to show your appreciation.  The note should be no more than a few sentences of appreciation and interest.


  8. FOLLOW UP
    Follow up with the hiring manager exactly as agreed at the conclusion of the interview.

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.