Chefs Tips – How to smash your trial shift

A trial shift is usually offered after a job interview and can be seen as a test run to distinguish whether the individual is the best fit for the job. Trial shifts play a crucial part in securing your employment, offering the opportunity to show off your skills and also get a better understanding as to whether the restaurant is your ideal next career step.

Whilst you may be the next Gordon Ramsay, failing to prepare for your trial shift, is inevitably preparing to fail. So we have gathered some top tips on how to ace your trial shift and get that job that you’re aiming for!

Equipment & Clothing

Granted that it’s best to ask in advance what the dress code and equipment requirements are, you should consider bringing the following (if required) to trial:

  • Spotless Chef Whites (Shoes/Trousers/Hats/Jackets and Aprons)
  • Clean/Sharpened Knives 
  • Pen and small notepad (to ask questions and take notes)

Friendly Interaction

While the trial is much about seeing how the role fits for you, it is also for head chefs to see how you fit within the restaurant and the team. The way that you interact with the team will show your communication skills and your potential to work alongside others successfully. Although be careful not to focus on talking too much and forget the job at hand!

Know the basics

You might be talented in your field but make sure you are up to scratch on the basics before you go into your trial.  The last thing you want the head chef to see that you forgot how to make a simple béchamel or cut a mirepoix.

Do your research

To give yourself the best head start possible, make sure you delve into some thorough background research on the restaurant beforehand. Understanding the type of cuisine, artistic direction and culture of the restaurant is key when answering any questions thrown your way. Study the menu, eat in the restaurant, read the reviews and gather an idea on what the head chef prefers in his kitchen.

Social media and website pages can help you further understand the business, so have a look around at all their pages and familiarise yourself with their work.

Pay attention and ask questions

Try and take in as much as possible with what is going on around you, taking note of how things are plated up and where things are stored can prevent you from asking the same question multiple times.

Use the team to ask questions and understand how they work their kitchen, but be careful not to constantly interrupt and don’t forget to stop chopping those carrots whilst you are discussing the answer!

Work fast & work clean

Once you are assigned to a station, prep your area and make sure that both you and the station are clean and presentable before, throughout and after your trial.

Whilst maintaining quality, it is important to work as fast as you can so as that you do not drag the team behind.

Show initiative

There might be times where things become so busy that no one is around to guide you. This is a good time to use your initiative and experience to find something to do that can lend a helping hand. Without trying to reinvent the wheel, or overstep the mark, you can make yourself busy and show your employer you’re hard-working and ready to get stuck in.

Other Points:

Be early/on time

Be willing to work long hours

Be clean and presentable

Ask the chef how you did once the trial is up

Show your interest

Enjoy yourself!

Once you’ve got all these tips in the bag, you’re ready to smash your trial run! We have a specialist chef team on hand who are always ready with exciting roles and insightful information that can help you each step of the way to getting your dream career. Get in touch today!