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  • Mise en Place

    Specialist recruiter to the Catering and Hospitality Industry. Our values: Professionalism, Integrity, Flexibility, Partnership

  • Mise en Place

    Specialist recruiter to the Catering and Hospitality Industry. Our values: Professionalism, Integrity, Flexibility, Partnership

    lady chef
  • Mise en Place

    Specialist recruiter to the Catering and Hospitality Industry. Our values: Professionalism, Integrity, Flexibility, Partnership

    chef, waiter
  • Mise en Place

    Specialist recruiter to the Catering and Hospitality Industry. Our values: Professionalism, Integrity, Flexibility, Partnership

    bar man

Archive for the ‘Recruitment’ Category

International Recruitment

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

Dreaming of relocating to somewhere warm and travelling the world? Well, a job overseas might just be what you’re after. A new perspective can be a great move for your career, not to mention the new cultures and sights you’ll see.

If you’re feeling a bit reluctant or nervous then remember, moving to another country can give you lots of opportunities including building new skills, developing your international business links and can also give you that much needed career and confidence boost.

Here at Mise En Place we pride ourselves at recruiting talent from all across the world. We have some fantastic international job opportunities available at the moment including a number of amazing roles in Portugal, Dubai and Ibiza. Fancy a change? What’s stopping you!

To apply and for more information email Jacqui - jsterry@miseenplace.co.uk


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Need a Grant? Hospitality Action Could Help

Friday, December 27th, 2013

For 5 years each May, Hospitality Action (HA) has run their fundraising week with participating restaurants and employees across the country. Hospitality Action is the trade charity offering a crucial lifeline to people of all ages, working and retired, from the hospitality industry. Whether they are approached by a chef, chambermaid, school cook or bar staff, Hospitality Action will endeavour to support, whatever the difficulty. The charity receives no government funding and so is dependent on individuals and corporate bodies from within the industry.

HA Week, took place on the 13th -19th May this year and involved a whole host of fundraising activities across the entire hospitality industry. These funds go towards providing vital assistance to all who work, or have worked within hospitality in the UK and who find themselves in crisis.

To learn more about Hospitality Action visit their website www.hospitalityaction.org.uk or follow them via twitter: @HospAction

One way Hospitality Action assists is by providing grants to industry members. The three types of grants the charity offers are: 

  1. Essential Needs Grants

These are awarded for assistance towards the cost of an item or need considered essential for the wellbeing or improving the quality of life of the applicant. For example cookers, medical equipment, fuel bills.

  1. Crisis Grants

Crisis grants are awarded to applicants of working age who have suffered a sudden loss of income due to bereavement, illness or injury. Awards are usually for a maximum of one year. This grant aims to help the applicant to adjust to their new circumstances before returning to work.

  1. Top-Up Grants

These grants are awarded to people who have spent most of their life within the hospitality industry and are now on a very limited income.

More information about these grants can be found at: www.hospitalityaction.org.uk/what-we-do/grants/

Penny Moore CEO, Hospitality Action said: “Sometimes all it takes is a very small change in circumstances to tip the balance and turn a manageable situation into an unmanageable one. An extended illness such as cancer can lead to a drop in pay. Other circumstances such as a relationship breakdown, bereavement or redundancy can also put a strain on the household budget. Whatever the crisis we will endeavour to be there for industry members in need.”

For further information about how you can apply you can download their application: www.hospitalityaction.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Application_FinancialAssisNew.pdf or please call 020 3004 5500 or email info@hospitalityaction.org.uk


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Eat my Words – Sean Bone

Sunday, December 15th, 2013

This week we talk with Chef Sean Bone. Sean is a Private Chef in Vancouver, Canada and has worked on large Estates and Private Yachts for wealthy clients and also works as a ‘TV station Chef”.  He talks with us about his current work and what it takes to be a Private Chef.

Sean you are a Certified Private Chef working for a large family in Vancouver on their motor vessel. Is this a full time job for you or do you have other clients you attend to also? 

I am a Red Seal Certified Chef who has worked in the private industry since 2009.  I have worked both on an estate and on yachts.  I recently retired my position working for a large Canadian family and am now focusing my efforts on building my personal business – which exclusively aims to provide private chef services.   At present I have numerous clients and have recently been picked up by a local television station as “station chef”.

What is one thing that you need to be aware of or prepare for when working in a non-standard environment like a boat?

Excellent organization, time management and pre-planning are vital to your personal success.  It is also always important to expect the unexpected.  Last minute changes are commonplace in this industry.  

You started cooking from an early age with a heavy influence from your Mother and Grandmother both of Italian descent. What is one thing they taught you that you still do to this very day?  

I still use a number of skills that my mother and grandmother taught me.  One that I hold dear to my heart is incorporating courgette flowers into summer cuisine.

Who in the industry is your favourite Chef or is there anyone in the industry you would like to cook with? 

I have a number of Chefs that are my favourite, but if I had to choose one – I would have to choose David Everitt-Matthias.  He has had a humble, yet rewarding career.  He works with his wife and he is an advocate of foraging. 

What’s one piece of advice you valued receiving in your career from your mentors? 

The best piece of advice I ever received from one of my mentors (Chef Michel Jacob) was to always work as though you had a video camera on you.  This helped me to always be aware of my demeanor, cleanliness and overall organization.

What tip/s would you give to those who are looking to be a Private or Personal Chef? 

The list of advice that I would give is very large.  However, the top three tips would be: 1). You must love your food first before anyone else can love it, but you shouldn’t be arrogant about your food, you also should learn to accept that you cannot please everyone, 2). Your job is to please your client and guests first and foremost; therefore it is extremely important to create thoughtful and nutritious food, 3).  Always be organized by knowing your menus in advance.

What is the strangest request you’ve had from one of your Private clients?   

I suppose it’s not really THAT strange, but in my entire career as a Private Chef, the one thing that stands out is that I was asked to prepare potatoes as a side dish for every single dinner for 3 full years.  Let’s just say that I have a “large” repertoire of potato recipes under my belt.

What are 3 favourite places/dishes you love to prepare? 

I love to prepare braised meats (traditional and sous vide methods), stuffed pastas and breads made from natural starters.

If you could prepare a full course menu for anyone in the world, who would it be? 

I would love to prepare a full course meal for someone who is underprivileged.

Do you have a simple recipe that you would be happy to share with our readers? 

You can find a few of my simple (homestyle) recipes online at www.chefseanbone.com/blog

Anything else you’d like to say or share? 

Being a Private Chef seems glamorous but it is equally as challenging as being a restaurant chef.  Be prepared to be the first one awake and the last one to leave your post.  However, receiving compliments from your guests can make any long day worth every minute.  

Many thanks to Sean for taking time out of his very busy schedule to take part in our interview. Sean’s website can be found at www.chefseanbone.com and you can follow him on Twitter @ChefSeanBone as well as Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/SeanBonePrivateChefServices



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Eat My Words – Stacie Pierce

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

Today we talk with Stace Pierce a Private Chef who serves the very wealthy in Manhattan and the Hamptons in New York, an exclusive holiday destination for the elite.

Stacie was in great demand when we spoke to her therefore due to time constraints,  she sent a short bio of her career so far, which will give you great insight and inspiration…

I knew I wanted to be a chef since I was 14 years old, I am now 46.

I worked in a French restaurant and pleaded to get a job at 15 years old.  They finally gave me a shot  as a dishwasher and I had to work for free for two months to show that I really wanted it.

After two months I was given a prep job… no more dishes for me!  I loved the feeling of family within the kitchen and it feels very much like a team of any type such as sports, acting etc… 

I began to change my classes around in High School  to allow me to get to the restaurant by 1:00.

 By 17, I was accepted into the prestigious Culinary school “The Culinary Institute of America“.  I was one of the youngest at the time to be accepted! 

After CIA I went straight to New York and pounded the pavement and showed up over and over to the restaurants I wanted to work in. My first was “The Four Seasons”.

From there I had a 15 yr career in New York City as a Pastry chef to Union Square Cafe , Monkey Bar, Gotham Bar and Grill, to name a few.

I’ve been in many magazines and on T.V.  I’ve been lucky to have been given many opportunities to cook for movies and photo shoots.

I ended up (unfortunately)  going through a divorce. My husband and I had a home in Park Slope, Brooklyn as well as Sag Harbor, New York. I stayed in Sag Harbor and literally fell into becoming a private chef.

I’ve been doing this for years now and work with clients who ask me to help them celebrate their most special moments.

When I cook I allow the food to be the focal point . I live in an area that is filled with farm stands and artisanal shops.

The clients I have eat at the Best Restaurants in the world. They own planes, trains and lots of automobiles, not to mention the Yachts!  They do nothing small and entertain big. They have butlers, chauffeurs and lots of “people” (which is also a big part of the job). 

A couple of years ago I bought a large catering company 185 employees. We did Big clam bakes on the beach , huge soirees, benefits etc.  Although it was fun, I missed the personal relationship between myself and the client. I sold the company to work on two other projects I am now pursuing presently.

Stacie’s projects are specifically working on a small restaurant where it will be more like a home environment it is very unique and she has wanted to cook in this type of setting forever. Stacie is also working with a woman who wants her to help roll out a dessert line,  mostly frozen cakes.

The above along with beginning to book up for the holiday season is a challenging yet exciting time for her now. For more info about Stacie visit her site: www.beautifulfoodbystacie.com

Thanks Stacie and all the best wishes for your business!


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Hire A Private Chef – London – U.K – International

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

Are you looking for a Private or Personal Chef?

Mise en Place has secured a reputation as one of the leading recruitment agencies placing Private Chefs within households and family organisation environments within London, the U.K and internationally.

We offer a fully customised service for our clients and believe that our initial consultations are most important in establishing a close working  relationship with you. We can ascertain exactly what you require from a Private or Personal chef and match the perfect Private Chef candidate to your needs.

Mise En Place has an extensive database of Private and Personal Chefs registered. At Mise en Place we personally interview and screen only the most suitable candidates who we believe have the necessary skill set to make a successful transition into private service. We are not only looking for a particularly high level of chef skills but also place particular emphasis on personality and character type in order to guarantee a suitable match for both client and candidates alike.

This ensures that our chefs are of a an extremely high calibre, many having held senior positions within award winning restaurants and hotels as well as experienced Private Chef’s who are looking to move into new and exciting roles.

Our Private Chef’s have a wide range of experience across many cuisines and disciplines. We can cater for speciality diets and food preparations which include: Macrobiotic, Low Sodium, Pritikin Diet, Low protein, Low Carb, Modern European, Asian, French, Diabetic and Wheat free, Kosher and Halal food preparation.

Perhaps you are looking for a Private Chef to cater a private event in your home, we can provide Personal Chefs for dinners, functions, charity events or a full time position within your family home or organisation.

Seeking a Private Chef through word of mouth or employment ads is dangerous at best. Mise en Place offers pre-screening for both employers and applicants, ensuring an appropriate match between chef and employer.

If you are in London, the UK or even international and are interested in hiring a Private or Personal Chef get in touch with us today and we will find you the perfect chef for your needs!


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Preparing for an Interview Part 5 of 5 – Notes, Achievements & Follow Up

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

This is the last post of our 5-part series, ‘Preparing for an Interview’. As we mentioned in Parts 1-4, we’re covering all the aspects of applying for and attending a job interview in the hospitality industry. This post will cover some more tips to give you the edge when going for the job of your dreams.

The suggested stages of preparation are:

  1. Pre-Application – part 1
  2. Curriculum Vitae – part 2
  3. Research – part 3
  4. Presentation – part 3
  5. Interview – part 4
  6. Notes/Achievements – part 5
  7. Follow up – part 5

Feel free to review the Pre-Application, CV, Research & Presentation & Interview  posts before reading on.

This post covers 3 tips that applicants should be diligent with and to ensure that the cycle of the interview process is not only complete but that all parties involved are left with a positive impression.

  1. Notes

Many people make the assumption that when you go to an interview, it is like a real exam and that you can’t take notes with you. This is incorrect! You don’t have to remember everything. If you have worked with a few different employers where you have gained valuable experiences, ensure that you write down the particular achievements, learnings and situations that are worth sharing with your interviewers. The main ones would definitely be those that you may have referred to in your job application letter/selection criteria. In saying that, it will always present better if you can recall your major events & achievements or example situations quickly however have your notes handy if you need to refer to more detail about those situations.

Your notes should not only list your achievements but also the challenging situations where you can demonstrate the actions you took to ensure the desired outcome. Although many may be hesitant to list failures, it is good to refer to if you can show that you learnt from that experience and/or show that you achieved a positive result the 2nd time around. This highlights your maturity, professionalism and adaptability in challenging circumstances.

By all means, practise answering questions about particular situations or achievements beforehand but to help ease your mind leading up to the interview, write/type them down and bring them with you, which will help as a handy reference in case you need a moment to compose your answer. Have your notes open in front of you so that you present as an interested and engaged interviewee. It is important however to use them in moderation; don’t rely on them for every question but use only as a reference a couple of times throughout the interview.
As part of your notes, think about the relevance of achievement for you but also the result and/or impact on the business/organisation. There must be a balance there as the interviewers will look for your understanding and consideration of business needs in conjunction with your skills and ability to cope confidently. You should also be able to talk about your team and how you brought the team together, considered quality and costs as well as producing a creative outcome. Bring any proof that you can without divulging confidential information of your current or past employers.

2. Achievements

Many people find it hard to promote themselves as they may think they are showing off or bragging about themselves too much. In the case of an interview this is the time and place where you can share your achievements with pride.

A good tip is to not just say for example that you ‘achieved a dinner of 100 each night’ but take the interviewers through the logical steps you took in order to achieve that result. In this way you are showcasing not only that you can achieve the desired result for the customers but you also considered the business needs (and whether you kept it within budget) and, that you managed it accordingly. Also remember to share any challenges you faced within that example and what you did to rectify it.

3. Follow Up

Once the Interview is over it is a relief however there is another step in the process that must be managed professionally.

If you feel that after the interview you did not want to pursue the job further, we recommend you call us immediately to discuss (or the potential employer if you went direct) to let them know as soon as possible. Explain your reasons in a polite and respectful way and thank them for the opportunity to apply.

If it is a job you wish to pursue, ask them before you leave the interview when you should expect to hear if you’re successful. They will usually give you an indication of timeframe. We will always keep you updated once we hear back if we are acting on your behalf. If you are going direct with an employer, if you don’t hear back from them within the time-frame they have stated, it is ok for you to call them, but only call once.

If you don’t get the job it is a hard piece of news for many, however how you handle this is also important. Know that although you may feel that you should have got the job, the employer felt someone else may have been a better fit for whatever reason.  Understand what it may have been that may have contributed towards their decision such as how you presented, if you were nervous or whether your experience was sufficient.

We will always give you feedback so that you can use it to improve for your next interview. It is disappointing to receive this news but remember, we all have received this type of news and try not to take it too personally.

Most of all we’re here to help you through the process so feel free to meet with us for an appointment. You can contact us via email at info@miseenplace.co.uk or phone: in UK 020 7430 9811 or outside UK 0044 20 7430 9811.

Good luck in the search for your dream job!


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21 Tips for Private or Personal Chefs

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

For those who are considering being a Personal or Private Chef, there are many considerations to take into account. Below are a few tips to help you on your way.

  1. Know your client, build relationships and trust.
  2. Learn your client’s needs for privacy and the balance between being there for them but not being in the way.
  3. Research, research, research your intended client/s and food options in that area. They may have specific food needs, so its important to ensure you are completely aware of what you can and can’t make for them.
  4. 20% of being a Personal Chef will be about food and the other 80% is about running a successful business.
  5. Invest in yourself, as much as possible, keep learning new techniques, trends and go to short courses when you can.
  6. Be the ‘real’ you in person & across any public forum or platform such as your website, Facebook, Twitter and Social Media overall.
  7. Reliably deliver what matters: an experience that serves your client’s needs.
  8. Blow them away with your food. Be creative and think outside the box. Be the expert.
  9. Love people and this is often hard work, so you have to love what you do.
  10. Stretch your body regularly, wear good shoes, get roller bins for your pots and pans, eat a good breakfast.
  11. Wear your chef’s coat when you go grocery shopping; even if you are shopping for yourself. People get curious and it will make for good conversation!
  12. Work on yourself every day even if it is just something small. Always give a little bit more than expected.
  13. Enjoy what you do and protect your passion.
  14. Believe in yourself and your ability to constantly deliver top quality. This will show through to your clients and they will believe in you.
  15. How you present yourself and your business is very important, first impressions do mean a lot. Respect your clients and their homes and most important pass on your passion for food.
  16. Make sure you join at least one Professional Association so that you are in touch with the latest trends as well as network with other professionals who do similar work as you.
  17. Know that as a Private or Personal Chef you are working in the client’s personal home, this means respect of privacy and the highest integrity.
  18. You may be asked to do tasks beyond the call of duty, think about how you would handle this and discuss this with your client.
  19. Always keep cleanliness and sanitisation at the top of your priority.
  20. Consider and respect your own personal time, ensure you discuss this with your client so that you also have a work/life balance.
  21. Never, never give up!

For Personal or Private Chef services or if you are looking for work in this area please contact our office (in UK) 020 7430 9811 or (outside UK) 0044 20 7430 9811. Or email us at: info@miseenplace.co.uk



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Preparing for an Interview (Part 4 of 5): Interview

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

Preparing for an Interview Part 4 of 5- Interview

As mentioned in Parts 1-3, we’re covering all the aspects of applying for and attending a job interview in the hospitality industry. This post will cover interview questions.

In case you missed it, the stages of preparation an applicant should go through are:

  1. Pre-Application – part 1
  2. Curriculum Vitae – part 2
  3. Research – part 3
  4. Presentation – part 3
  5. Interview – part 4
  6. Notes/Achievements – part 5
  7. Follow up – part 5

Feel free to review the Pre-Application, CV, Research & Presentation posts before reading on.

The Interview

Usually the interviewer will ask questions based on what the company/organisation is looking for. Some of the categories of these questions include:

  • Quality:  in work and customer service
  • Teamwork: how you influence others and develop relationships
  • Leadership: how you inspire others to achieve
  • Communication: with internal and external stakeholders at all levels
  • Development: of yourself and others
  • Problem Solving : understanding the issues, gathering facts & presenting solutions
  • Achievements: what successes have you had
  • Value Creation: process management and service provision
  • Negative issues: how you hande complaints, rejection or pressure.
  • Other Questions: What do you do in your current employment? Why are you applying for this position? What can you bring to this organisation?

One of the traits that many interviewers look for above all else is passion. Read an interview with former White House Chef, Walter Scheib and what he looks for when hiring Chefs:  http://reluctantgourmet.com/tips-guides/chef-interviews/item/310-chef-walter-scheib

When it comes to Interview time, there can be many types of questions thrown at you. Some of the straight forward questions may be:

  1. How many employees report to you?
  2. What is your favourite cuisine to cook?
  3. Why did you choose to become a Chef?
  4. What do you do to educate yourself about new trends?
  5. What is your management style?
  6. What do you consider your strengths?
  7. How involved are you with the development and design of menus?
  8. How involved do you get with Purchasing and Receiving?
  9. How involved are you in risk management of the Business?
  10. How involved are you in managing the financials suchs as budgets and forecasting of a business?
  11. What is your experience with regards to managing labor and associated costs?

There are however other types of questions to prepare for which are called ‘situational’ style questions. These revolve around real situations that you may have encountered and helps interviewers assess how you have or would handle them.

Some example questions are:

  1. Tell us about a time when you helped to resolve a dispute between others.
  2. How have you handled it when the boss is wrong?
  3. Whoever else learned out of your mistakes, what did you do to share your learnings?
  4. What negative factor would your last boss say in regards to you?
  5. What  good assignment which was given to you was too hard for you personally? How did you resolve the problem?
  6. Let us know about a situation when you faced a significant obstacle?
  7. Describe a hard decision you needed to make with or without the help of your superiors?
  8. You are working with a co-worker who is consistently making mistakes that affect customers and that impact your ability to do your own work. You have tried talking with this colleague, but you have seen no improvement in the quality of their work. What would you do next?
  9. You notice a co-worker stealing from the company. What would you do?
  10. Give us an example of a time when you were able to communicate successfully with another person, even when that individual may not have personally liked you?

The main thing we recommend is to be prepared for all of these and write down your answers to all or as many as you can that are relevant to you and the position you are applying for. It is always better to be prepared than to operate in a reactive way.

Of course at Mise En Place we will help you to get prepared for the interview with your potential new employer so that you have the best chance possible for success!

The next part of our series, we will talk about taking notes, your achievements and follow up after the interview.

If you have any further questions please don’ t hesitate to reply below or contact us via: info@miseenplace.co.uk or phone: in UK 020 7430 9811 or outside UK 0044 20 7430 9811.


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Preparing for an Interview (Part 2 of 5): Curriculum Vitae

Thursday, July 4th, 2013

As mentioned in Part 1 of this 5 part series, we’re covering all the aspects of applying for and attending a job interview in the hospitality industry.

To re-cap, the stages of preparation an applicant should go through are:

  1. Pre-Application – part 1
  2. Curriculum Vitae – part 2
  3. Research – part 3
  4. Presentation – part 3
  5. Interview – part 4
  6. Notes/Achievements – part 5
  7. Follow up – part 5

In part 1 we covered the pre-application process and gave practical steps for you to complete it. With this post, we will be covering  step 2, creating your Curriculum Vitae.

In the age of the internet we have now access to so many resources and information that it would be almost considered a crime if we did not have a well written CV!

The main things to consider is to keep your CV to the point, cleanly laid out, categorised and no more than 2 pages (if possible). Remember to lay out the information in a clean and succinct manner. This is where it is very helpful to look at examples relevant to the Hospitality industry.

For your reference below are CVs examples for different job roles:

This site has many examples, this page in particular covers CVs for Chef (example 1), Chef (example 2), Chef (example 3) Sous Chef (example 1), Sous Chef (example 2) and Head/Executive Chef (example 1), Head Chef (example 2).

You could also consider using a resume builder service such as http://www.myperfectresume.com/ a great way to write and create your CV to perfection!

Other tips to note when writing up your CV:

  • The CV is all about your skills, your successful achievements and your experiences. Ensure you put time aside to make sure this document highlights everything about you in a clear and easy to read manner
  • Use consistent fonts – suggest one type of font for the headings and another for the content
  • Don’t add photos
  • Be honest with your experience
  • Refer to the longer dates you’ve worked in places such as from 2009-2012
  • If you had a break and it may look strange that you had no work experience for that time, be honest and say for example it was a break away to assess your career direction or to make sure you were making the right step in your career.
  •  Think of the competencies that an employer would want to see and ensure you use active words in your CV to highlight your wins and back up your achievements eg Successfully managed a team of 5 and delivered daily 3 course meals on time, quality and on budget for a high end restaurant. Saved 10% on operation costs by assessing and changing food preparation processes.
  • Stick to the facts, don’t embellish your experience with your desires such as saying you are passionate about your work. This can be discussed in your interview.
  • List all your industry certifications, but also list other certifications or relevant experience if it is industry related
  • List any computer, finance, management or other experience as these are also valuable skills to have
  • When you list a job you’ve worked at, list the role and time you worked there but also add the tasks you performed there, keep it succinct. Eg Managed team of 5, Managed ordering of food inventory and budgets.
  • Make sure your email address is professional. If you’re personal email is too ‘cute’ don’t use it, create a new email account with just your name or similar.
  • Remember to spell-check your work!

Hope these tips and examples give you enough to work with. If you do have any other suggestions or need more info, feel free to comment on this post and let us know, we’re happy to help!

In the next post of this series, we will cover Research and Presentation, see you again soon!


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Preparing for an Interview (Part 1 of 5): Pre-Application

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

In the next few posts we will cover a 5-part series on preparing for and attending job interviews.

Job interviews are known as one of the most challenging and stressful situations however with a little planning and preparation, (just like in creating that perfect meal or dining event) you can come out with flying colours and with the job you dreamed of!

Whether you are entering the hospitality industry as a new or inexperienced employee or applying for a position as a seasoned Executive Chef, it needn’t be a traumatic experience and it is all about being prepared, which in turn will help you to present confidently to the interviewers.

We will highlight the main topics below which will be covered in more detail over the next few posts:

  1. Pre-Application – part 1
  2. Curriculum Vitae – part 2
  3. Research – part 3
  4. Presentation – part 3
  5. Interview – part 4
  6. Notes/Achievements – part 5
  7. Follow up – part 5

In this post we will cover Pre-Application.


Pre-application is all about you and assessing yourself for your career path. This step is especially useful for those thinking about or have just started in the hospitality industry. This can be difficult for many as we all mark ourselves harder than those who mark us and some of us can also be too flippant about our talents and abilities whereby they are seen as great assets for a future employer.

This step is about being totally honest with yourself but also to set down in clear terms what you are really looking for and what work environment would suit your personality and career needs.

Some jobs you apply for, you will be fully skilled for that position yet, you may not get it  – why? Because your personality may not fit in with the existing team, or that they may not be able to offer you the particular training or promotional opportunities that you are looking for. Be mindful, DO NOT TAKE THIS PERSONALLY! This is actually a really good thing as you can use that interview as great practise and know that you are closer to the job you really want and will have a match with!

The first step is to go through the following questions and answer them truthfully and honestly. It may be hard to start with, but you will learn a lot about your personality and career needs in the process! Once you have completed these, run these questions and your answers by a person or mentor whom you look up to and trust as a guide to make sure you have been fair to yourself. This will also help you with Step 2 in creating your Curriculum Vitae.


Refer to these when answering the questions below:

Soft Skills – These are the skills needed to work with others such as listening, collaboration, leading, communicating, teamwork etc.

Hard Skills – These are the technical skills to perform your job to an acceptable standard and speed.

Remember there are no right or wrong answers as this is just a pure assessment of you and your personality and skills.

  • What were my highlights at school/University?
  • Eg. Was I good at playing sport or performing in a team environment?
  • What was I recognised for during my  time at school – think of recurring recognition or themes such as being a good communicator, listener, team player etc.
  • If I was a high performer at school what where the subjects I most liked? Why?
  • If I wasn’t a high performer at school, what activities do I enjoy the most? Why?
  • If I am moving into the Hospitality Industry, why do I want to do this? Is the reason purely for my personal desire to excel and to bring your passion to the industry? (If not, and you are doing this to prove a point or to please another person, please think again, this is not a good reason for longevity in this type of industry.)
  • Do I like working in a team, or working on my own?
  • Why do I want to change jobs?
  • Would I be prepared to take less money if it means I am doing the job I love or prefer?
  • What are my family commitments and how will they be affected by the type of job/location and time/s I work? Will my family support this?
  • Do I want to travel far to my workplace?
  • Would I be happy to re-locate for a job?
  • Am I proactively seeking to develop myself and my skills?
  • What do I consider my strengths? Soft and hard skills
  • What do I consider my weaknesses? Soft and hard skills
  • How successful have I been in each job I have had?
  • How did I benefit from each job I’ve had, what did I learn?
  • Did the business benefit from my employment with them?
  • Which elements of each job did I enjoy?
  • Which elements of each job did I dislike?
  • Do I enjoy a more laid back or prefer a strict and tightly run environment?
  • Do I mind if I am paid in cash or would I prefer a salary job? (be mindful as gaining a record of paid employment via salary can be helpful when applying for loans and starting up that dream restaurant in the future!)
  • Have I ever been praised at work or for a job well done?
  • How did I react and did I build on it?
  • How did I react when criticised for an unsatisfactory task? How did I handle the feedback? Did I try to rectify it?
  • Do I like change and am I stimulated by it?
  • Is job security important to me?
  • Would I prefer to work in short term jobs to build on my skills first?
  • Are other people’s opinions important to me?
  • What is my age? Is my age seen as a problem?
  • If my age is considered to be a disadvantage how can I turn this into an advantage? (Many employers value experience!)
  • Do I consider myself to be a happy and well rounded person?

Once you have completed the above questions, review them, ask yourself what you have discovered about your skills and personality. Present them to your mentor and have a good discussion to make sure you have been fair to yourself, have included all aspects and that you are clear on what type of work environment would suit you and your career needs.

You will then be ready to start on step 2, preparing your resume!



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