If you are looking towards hiring a catering assistant and a catering manager, aside from the qualifications and how rich their CVs are, one major factor that will help you hire right is to ask them the right questions during the interview session.

In this article, we will give you insights on some of the key questions you should ask during interview sessions when interviewing shortlisted candidates. Before we start reeling out the questions, it is important to have a perspective of the job responsibilities of both the catering assistant and catering manager.

What is the Job Description of a Catering Assistant?

Catering Assistants help in the kitchen as much as they can, with preparing food, cleaning, checking stock, accepting deliveries and serving food, washing dishes and kitchen appliances, unloading deliveries, basic food preparation such as peeling and chopping, plating up food, ensuring correct portion control, serving food, maintaining stock, preparing the dining area such as cleaning and setting tables and any other duties as assigned.

What is the Job Description of a Catering Manager?

Catering managers lead teams of chefs and catering assistants. They are responsible for running the day-to-day catering operations and services in restaurants, hotels and resorts. Catering managers are responsible for monitoring the quality of the food and service and for making sure that their outlets perform well. The most important part of the job is achieving good quality within a budget and maintaining high standards of hygiene and customer satisfaction.

They carry out duties such as; planning menus in consultation with chefs, ordering supplies, hiring, training, supervising and motivating permanent and temporary staff, organizing staff rosters, ensuring that health and safety regulations are strictly observed, recorded and archived, monitoring the quality of the product and service provided, keeping to budgets and maintaining financial and administrative records et al.

Having said that, here are top 20 questions you should ask a catering manager and a catering assistant during interview;

20 Interview Questions to Ask Catering Assistant and Catering Manager Before You Hire Them

1. Tell Us About Yourself and Your Qualification

The essence of this question is to help you have a view of the personality of the person you want to hire, to know what type of questions to ask then during the interview session and of course it serves as icebreaker.

2. For How long have you been a Catering Manager or Catering Assistant?

This question will give you and insight into the experience the new hire will be bringing to the table if hired. It will also give you an insight to know if they have the type of experience you are looking for and if the experience, they listed in their CV matches with what they say.

3. Share an example of when you went above and beyond the “call of duty” in your place of work and what was the reaction of your boss?

You are going to be asking this question with the intention to look for answers that show the candidate is dependable and to know if they will be willing to go the extra mile when the need arises or as demanded by the nature of the job.

4. Tell us about a time when you developed your own way of doing things or were self-motivated to finish an important task without the supervision or prompting from your supervisor or boss.

This question should be directed to a catering assistant and the essence of asking this question is to know whether the catering assistant can take initiative without been told or whether they are self – starter and can work with our supervision or with minimal supervision

5. Give us an example of when you thought outside of the box. How did it help your employer?

The answer gotten from this question will access the creativity of the catering manager and catering assistant – you will be able to know if they have what it takes to suggest unique and faster ways of doing things – away from the norms.

6. Share with us a time when you willingly took on additional responsibilities or challenges in your place of work. How did you successfully meet all of the demands of these responsibilities?

The essence of this question is to make sure the candidate is a self-starter and can demonstrate some initiative when they are hired.

  1. Please share with us a Catering Event that you Managed and that you are exceptionally proud of. What made it exceptional?

This question should be directed to the catering manager and the essence of this question is to know the capacity of the catering manager and also to look for preparation and planning skills

  1. What is your idea of team work? – Provide us with an experience in which conferring with other helped you to plan and execute an event that You Cater For.

This question should be directed to both the catering manager and the catering assistant. The essence of this question is to know the idea of team work and to know if it will fit into what you are looking for.

  1. Share with us an experience in which personal connections to coworkers or others helped you to be successful in your work.

This question should be directed to both the catering manager and the catering assistant. The essence of this question is to know whether they have what it takes to work with old staff members without any friction and to provide support or receive support as required. (Make sure candidate works well with others.)

  1. Share an experience when you applied new technology or information in your job as a Catering Manager and How did it help your company?

In this era of technological advancement, you would not want to hire any one especially a manager who doesn’t know how to use technology to advance their job responsibilities. So the essence of asking this question is to know if the person you are hiring to occupy the role of a catering manager know how to leverage on technology to execute their job.

  1. Tell us about an experience in which you analyzed a catering brief and evaluated results to choose the best solution to a reoccurring problem when it comes to managing and executing a catering contract.

The essence of this question is to know the problem – solving skills of the catering manager and also the catering assistant.

  1. Share an experience you had in dealing with a difficult subordinate and how you handled the situation.

As a catering manager, you would have some stubborn subordinates and you would have to work with them. The essence of this question is to know how your managerial skills and how to handle subordinates.

  1. What are the qualities of a successful Catering Manager / Catering Assistant and can you boast of having any of them?

This question will give you an insight on the qualities the catering manager and the catering assistant will be bringing to the table and to know if they are what you are looking for.

  1. Why Do They Want to Work in Your Organization?

Applicants usually apply to work for an organization if they feel the organization is secured and can afford to pay them as at when due without owing them. So, the essence of asking this question is to know the view of the interviewee of your organization.

  1. What is Your View of a Success Event As A Caterer

This question should be directed to both the catering manager and the catering assistant. The essence of this question is to know their views as it relates to what they term success when they execute a catering contract. If it is lower than what you expect, then you should reconsider your choice of hiring them.

  1. Walk Us Through The Start and Completion of a Successful Catering Event

This question should be directed to both the catering manager and the catering assistant. The essence of this question is to know if they have the experiences they listed in their CV and of course to know their competence level.

  1. Do You Have Role Models in this Industry and Who are They?

This question should be directed to both the catering manager and the catering assistant. The essence of this question is to know if they authority figures in the catering industry they are looking up to.

  1. Name Five Books You Have Read Recently and How Does it Impact Your Job

This question should be directed to both the catering manager and the catering assistant. The essence of this question is to know if they invest in continuous personal development and the quality they will be bringing to the table if hired.

  1. How Much Do You Want to Be Paid and Why Do You Think You Deserve Such Money

This question should be directed to both the catering manager and the catering assistant. The essence of this question is to know whether you can pay them and of course to know their confidence level and negotiation skills.

  1. If you are employed in this organization today, what are the new initiatives that you will be bringing to the table?

This question should be directed to both the catering manager and the catering assistant. The essence of this question is to know the additional value they will be bring to the organization and if they are exactly what you are looking for.

In Conclusion;

In order to get the best from an interview, these questions should not be asked as closed-end question. They should be asked in such a way that it will give you an idea on other questions to ask so as to be double sure of the answer you got from a question. With that, you will be able to make informed decision before making your choice on who to hire.

Ajaero Tony Martins