10 Must-Dos During the Food and Beverage Interview Process – For Employers

November 13, 2023 in HR Best Practices



Interviewing candidates is a crucial step in the food and beverage interview process. It allows you to assess their skills, personality, fit and potential for the role. However, interviewing is not just about asking questions and listening to answers. It also involves preparing, conducting and following up in a professional and effective manner. Here are 10 things an interviewer must do during the food and beverage interview process to ensure a successful outcome.

1. Define the job requirements and expectations clearly.

Before you start interviewing candidates, you need to have a clear idea of what the role entails, what skills and qualifications are required, what goals and challenges are involved, how many working hours a week are needed to be successful and the location of those work hours, and what kind of person would be a good fit for the team and the company culture. This will help you craft relevant and specific questions, as well as evaluate the candidates objectively and consistently. [What Food Industry Job Candidates Want to See in Your Job Postings.]

2. Review the candidates’ resumes and portfolios carefully.

Before you meet with the candidates, you should review their resume thoroughly. This will help you get a sense of their background, experience, achievements and strengths. You can also prepare some questions based on their resume, such as asking them to elaborate on a project they worked on, or how they solved a problem they faced.

3. Prepare a list of open-ended and behavioral questions.

Open-ended questions are those that require more than a yes or no answer, such as “What are your career goals in the food industry?” or “How do you handle stress during an audit?”. Behavioral questions are those that ask the candidates to describe how they acted or reacted in a specific situation, such as “Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a product recall.” or “How did you mitigate a conflict between two of your employees?”. These types of questions allow you to assess the candidates’ skills, abilities, attitudes, and values more effectively than closed-ended questions.

4. Set up a comfortable and professional environment.

The interview environment can have a significant impact on the candidates’ performance and impression of your company. You should ensure that the interview room is clean, quiet, well-lit, and equipped with the necessary tools and materials. You should also greet the candidates warmly, introduce yourself and your role, and explain the interview process and agenda. Greet them in a timely manner after their arrival, offering them water or coffee, making them feel welcome and as relaxed as possible.

5. Ask questions and listen actively.

During the interview, you should ask the questions you prepared, as well as follow-up questions based on the candidates’ responses. You should listen actively to their answers, paying attention to their tone, body language, expressions, and emotions. Take notes of their key points, strengths, weaknesses, and concerns. Avoid interrupting, judging, or criticizing them, and instead encourage them to share more details and examples from their previous food industry employment.

6. Observe the candidates’ behavior and attitude.

Besides listening to their answers, you should also observe how the candidates behave and interact during the job interview. Look for signs of their confidence, enthusiasm, professionalism, communication skills, teamwork skills, problem-solving skills, and work ethic. Notice how they handle pressure, feedback, criticism, and challenges.

7. Give feedback and ask for feedback.

At the end of the interview, you should give the candidates some constructive feedback on their performance, highlighting their strengths and areas for improvement. You should also ask them for feedback on the interview process, such as how they felt about the questions, the environment, the duration and the difficulty level. This will help you improve your interviewing skills and techniques, as well as show your respect and appreciation for the candidates.

8. Thank them and inform them of the next steps.

Before you conclude the interview, you should thank the candidates for their time and interest in working for your company. You should also inform them of the next steps in the hiring process, such as when they can expect to hear from you again, whether they need to complete any tests or assignments, or whether they need to provide any references or additional documents. You should also give them your contact information in case they have any follow-up questions or concerns.

9. Evaluate the candidates objectively and fairly.

After each interview, you should review your notes and evaluate each candidate based on their performance, skills, fit, and potential for the role. Use a consistent rating system or criteria to compare the candidates objectively and fairly so that you may avoid any biases or stereotypes that would influence your judgment negatively or positively.

10. Follow up with the candidates promptly and courteously.

Once you have made your hiring decision or shortlisted your candidates for further consideration, you should follow up with them promptly and courteously. Inform them of your decision or update them on their status as soon as possible. Here are 5 time wasters in your hiring process that could cause you to lose a good candidate. Consider providing them with constructive feedback if they are rejected or offer them an opportunity to negotiate win-win terms of employment if they are selected for hire.

Food and Beverage Industry Executive Recruiters

Kinsa Group can provide you with excellent food industry experienced candidates and expert recruitment advice in today’s market, but you still have to move candidates through your hiring process. Make sure your process ensures that the best food industry talent wants to work for you! Contact us today to find out more about how we can help you hire top talent!

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