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Interview tips:

  • Showing up in your whites is not recommended. If you insist because you think you look cool in them, or actuality have little time in between jobs, at least make sure they are clean and pressed. Extra points are deducted for showing up in very dirty whites, the excuse being you just coasted from work doesn’t cut it, at least keep a clean coat available and take 3 seconds and change beforehand.

  • Dirty nails or painted nails. I discourage people from wearing nail polish, but chefs with nail polish are a big no no. While you may not wear the polish in the kitchen, if you have nails long enough to wear polish it means your under nails are going to be a breeding ground for bacteria. (this may be a personal pet hate of mine as 2 years being off the line I still can’t stop clipping my nails short, but think about it, YUCK!)

  • Wearing a hat during the interview, bandannas included, is not kosher. Bring a brush if your hair is a mess under your hat or baseball cap. Neatness counts.

  • Don’t wear your sunglasses during the interview. Exceptions being if it’s held outdoors (although I would recommend squinting) or having light sensitivity (which you should mention or we just think your being rude.)

  • Don’t drink alcohol before coming to the interview, we can smell it and usually tell.

  • Excessive touching of your hair or face. While this may be a nervous habit, work on getting rid of it. No hair flipping (men and women) No running fingers through hair or nervously chewing on fingernails. Get help people.

  • Showing up in tattered shorts and a ripped t-shirt. If you don’t have dress clothes and can’t afford to buy new, borrow some or visit the nearest secondhand shop they generally have a good selection of gently used business clothes for very small money. It’s a job interview, look professional. There is NO excuse 

  • Excessive amounts of makeup and jewellery, men and women. Bling has no part in a real kitchen. While tasteful jewellery is fine, keep it to the minimum.

  • Long, unwashed, unbound or unrestrained hair. (This was/still seems to be actually a lot more common on men then women strangely enough.)

  • Tone down or recommend doing away with perfume and body spray/cologne. Not only is it potentially irritating to the person interviewing you, to me as the interviewer it tells me your taste palate is either nonexistent or shot, especially if it’s overpowering.

  • Don’t brag. While it might be of interest that you can put out 200 covers by yourself with only a dishwasher, tone it down a bit. Also bragging about working with a famous celebrity or 3 star chef belongs on your resume. The fact that you played gopher for a celeb and brag about it is definitely a sign to us that  A. you have a big ego and  B. thinking that this will impress us is sadly mistaken. Don’t bring it up unless you are asked.

  • If you smoke, make sure your clothes don’t smell and ask someone for the sniff test. Some chefs smoke themselves and have no problem hiring smokers. Others refuse, I am and would always be one of them that prefers not to hire smokers. Smokers lose palate and smell sense and from past experience have a tendency to over season.

  • Chefs and cooks by nature can be a bit arrogant and of course the media isn’t helping with rock star chefs running around in non-appropriate uniform and excessive hair and throwing temper tantrums. coat check your ego.

  • Don’t chew gum, suck on lollipops or chew on your nails during the interview (this last one should be totally self explanatory as to why.) I mention this twice for a reason, I’ve seen it a lot.

  • When asked if you would like something to drink, don’t ask, “What’s on Tap” even if your joking, it’s not amusing (or even if your serious). We mean coffee, tea, soda or water. Exceptions being a VERY casual interview with someone you know pretty well, and that is only if the interviewer is having a drink. Recommend keeping it at one.

  • If asked as part of the interview to cook don’t panic we understand your nervous when you do it and adjust accordingly. Things we look for besides actual cooking skills and final finished product looks and taste are organisation, timing and cleanliness. The most beautiful and palate pleasing finished product, gets points deducted, if you’ve used half the kitchen equipment and left it dirty and the place is ready to be declared a state of national disaster area.

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