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A Guide to interviewing candidates in 2024

Updated: Feb 7

Chef recruitment Agencies

As we head into 2024, hospitality businesses are becoming increasingly cautious about when and, importantly, whom they hire to support their business. Especially with some uncertain trading periods, it’s absolutely crucial that your interview process is well-structured, diverse, leading to a successful interview, and hopefully, a new hire for your team.

To ensure a smooth hiring process, we have produced a handy guide that you can easily use and modify for your own needs.

Here are the four steps to prepare for an interview:

Choose the Correct Interview Format:

Decide on an interview format, whether it be a casual chat, a working trial, or a combination of both. Also, consider whether this is going to be a one-to-one interview, in-person over teams, or a phone interview. Importantly, communicate this format to the recruiter before booking the interview with the candidate.

Review the Job Description:

Review your job description that will be communicated to the candidate. Be clear and identify any critical skills, ensuring those skills are relevant to the role. It’s also a great idea to have desirable skills that you can be flexible on too!

Prepare Your Questions:

It can be easy, especially in an informal chat, to be very casual about the interview process, but let’s not forget; we are trying to make an informed decision during this process. Produce a set of questions that you really want critical answers for. It’s a great idea to link these questions with your essential skills required. That way, any responses can be scored against if the requirement has been met (in theory).

Establish a Scoring System:

It’s a great idea to establish a scoring system. This may sound a little OTT, but when hiring a chef, especially via a chef recruitment agency, you want to be as diligent as possible. By creating a scoring system, this allows you to easily view the data collected during the interview process and evaluate each candidate in a fair and even manner.

It would also be a great idea to consider a telephone interview before a candidate even gets to your site. The reason being this allows you to easily understand the personality of a candidate and just to have an informal chat. This is a great way to understand a candidate's communication skills, clarify any initial details on their CV, and ask other questions like travel, qualifications, food style, and thoughts, etc. Include some of the below questions:

  • Tell me about yourself!

  • Why are you looking for a new position?

  • What attracts you to this particular role?

  • What are your salary expectations?

Types of Interview Questions to Consider:

Close-ended questions:

  • Have you obtained certain qualifications?

  • How many years of experience do you have?

  • Are you proficient in butchery or pastry?

  • Have you led a team before?

  • Are you comfortable working in a fast-paced environment?

Remember, close-ended questions are useful for gathering specific information quickly. However, it's essential to balance them with open-ended questions to allow candidates to provide more detailed insights into their experiences and abilities.

Open-ended questions:

  • Can you discuss your career journey so far?

  • How do you keep up to date with upcoming industry trends?

  • Share a challenge that you have faced professionally and how you overcame that challenge.

  • What motivates you as a chef?

  • Can you discuss how you maintain a high level of work?

Remember to tailor these questions to the specific job you are advertising for to ensure that you gather relevant information about the candidate's experiences and capabilities.

If you would like to talk to one of our consultants about how we can help your chef recruitment process, please contact us on 01422 893 009 or email

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