No matter how well you’ve fared in your exams, preparing for your first job in the culinary world can seem daunting. It can be tough to get a good break as competition for spots in reputed companies is stiff. If you are signing up with a recruitment company, remember to choose one that has good standing and comes well referred. And always turn up for your interview well prepared. Here are a few tips:
KNOW YOUR RESUME
Whether you have done internships or had jobs in a completely different field, you will probably be asked about it. There might be questions about a non-academic course you have done, volunteer experience, your hobbies, a language you know or even gaps in your resume. You don’t want to seem uncertain about experiences you have had in the past.
BRUSH UP ON CULINARY KNOWLEDGE
The company will want to know if you are competent with your skills, particularly if it’s your first job in the culinary sector. They might ask you questions about technique, recipes for basic preparations, or knife skills. It’s ok to be nervous, but try not to let it overwhelm you. Take a deep breath, collect your thoughts and answer confidently.
LIST EXAMPLES OF STRENGTHS
One of the questions companies often ask is ‘Why should we hire you’. This is an opportunity to emphasise your strengths and weave them into what the company is looking for. You will get an idea of their needs from the job description. It helps to provide examples of how you handled a specific problem – either in class, at an internship or even at a previous job.
THINK ABOUT COMPANY NEEDS
All recruiters want to know if you are a good fit. Do some research on the company you are interviewing with beforehand to get an idea of the company culture and its services. In particular, with cruise ship jobs, it can help to point out your flexibility with cuisines, ability to work well with a team under pressure or your attention to detail.
Finding out more about the company you hope to join serves two purposes. It shows the interviewer that you are interested in its culture and the job expected of you, and also provides you information to determine whether the position will be a good fit for your career. You can ask for more information about the responsibilities of the position, the opportunities for growth if you do a good job, if they have training programmes, and when you can expect to hear back from them.
Remember to wear clean clothes and groom yourself as best you can. Keep it simple and try to avoid too much strong-smelling perfume. Arrive early and carry a pen and paper for any notes you would like to take. Be courteous and make eye contact with all in the interview room. Never complain about a previous boss, company, mentor or teacher.
The pandemic has made it tougher on the employment front, but the situation will certainly improve in the future. It can help to improve your culinary skills with short-term or full-fledged courses while you wait for the economy to resurge.