The procedure

How many times have you used phrases like “That new member of staff is useless”, or “I’m sure my new waiter has never opened a bottle of wine before”, or “My lasted chef is impossible to work with”? There is only one person to blame if your new staff members do not live up to expectations – yourself!

It is essential that you always use good recruitment, interviewing, and selection techniques when appointing staff to ensure that your team is made up of the right people in the first place. Make sure you know when do you need to recruit staff.

  • To replace staff who have left
  • To replace staff who have been promoted
  • To meet an increase in trade that you are expecting/experiencing
  • To meet seasonal peaks

Recruit a new member of staff only when there is no other alternative to fill the vacant position. Consider a transfer or promotion of an existing person first. For peak times, think about a short-term increase of working hours.

If you have to recruit, organise yourself, what is require?

  • Full time
  • Part time
  • Seasonal
  • Short/long term
  • What is my wage budget?
  • Do I really need an additional member of staff?

Always take the appointment of staff as an opportunity to review your rota, and your staff’s duties. You might be able to alter or to improve the team and its workload.

You have decided you need to recruit staff, what next?

  • Contact other restaurant of the company
  • Ask existing staff if they know any suitable candidates
  • Contact head office to ask if they have any applicants held on file
  • Contact head office to ask if it’s possible to place an advertisement
  • Use of agencies

It is important to be aware that the company’s image will be effected by the way it is represent in any recruitment advertising, and by the way potential candidates are treated at all stages of the process of recruitment.

Do not waste your or the company’s time and resources by interviewing unsuitable candidates. You need to screen the received applications by reading them carefully
and compare it with the profile of the vacant position. What information you will have to gather in order to decide whether or not to interview the candidate?

  • Age
  • Home address
  • Travel arrangements
  • Permission to work in the relevant country
  • Health/medical record
  • Previous work experience
  • Willingness and availability to work required hours/shifts
  • Fluency in the company’s first language
  • Literate

Maintain the law throughout the process of recruitment; there might be some legal obligations you have to think of.

Sex, discrimination

It is illegal to discriminate against applicants on the grounds of their sex, marital status or pregnancy

Race discrimination

It is illegal to discriminate against applicants on the grounds of their race, colour, nationality, creed or ethnic origin.

Work permit

Every future employee has to have valid work permission for the relevant country.

Spent convictions

Certain convictions, depending on the sentence passed, do not have to be declared if they are counted as spent under the rehabilitation of offenders act 1974. (UK)


  • Sentence – Rehabilitation period
  • Absolute discharge – 6 month
  • Conditional discharge – 1 year
  • Fine – 5 years
  • Prison up to 6 month – 7 years
  • Prison – 6 month – 2 1/2 years – 10 years
  • Prison – over 2 1/2 years – Never spent

In terms of a positive result of your process of recruitment set up a profile for the position and prepare questions including experience, skills, knowledge,
and requirements. Allocate the right environment and enough time to carry out a comprehensive interview. Avoid interruptions and inform the candidate all about the job, including any inconvenient circumstances. Answer any questions they may have.

Do not jump into conclusions and offer a job straight away. It is unprofessional and will give the impression of desperation. Someone else with better experience may come along at the next interview and the candidate may not have told the truth about himself or herself, so you need to check references first. There will never be any guarantees that you have recruited the perfect person to join your team. However, by using good selection techniques you can minimise the risk of making mistakes.

Recruitment is only the first step of building an effective team.

Interview Sheet – suggested prompt questions

  • Opening questions (if applicable)
  • Did you enjoy looking around the department?
  • What are you first impressions of the department?
  • Experience/Qualifications
  • Tell me about your present/previous job
  • Tell me about any extra responsibilities that you have/had in your present/last job
  • How many people do/did you work with in your present/last job?
  • Why would you like to work for this department?
  • What type of systems (PC packages, tills etc) are you familiar with?
  • What do you enjoy about this kind of work?
  • What do you feel are your main achievements in your present/last job?
  • Personal Qualities/Skills
  • What do you enjoy about teamwork?
  • Tell me about a time when you worked on a successful team project?
  • What does the term “customer service” mean to you?
  • How do you organise your workload?
  • How would you go about building up your knowledge in this department?
  • What would you say are the benefits of good communication?
  • What would you do to keep yourself busy during quiet periods?
  • What particular skills do you feel are necessary to do this job successfully?
  • Reason for leaving present job
  • Why have you/did you decide(d) to leave your present job?
  • Have you encountered any problems at work that you found it difficult to deal with?
  • Flexibility
  • How would you feel if we had to ask you to change your day off or work late at short notice?
  • Are you taking any courses after work, which could affect you working late on particular evenings?
  • Can you describe a situation when you have had to work under pressure? How did you cope?
  • Commitment/Career plans
  • How would you like to see your career developing at (company name)?
  • What are your long-term career aims?
  • Do you intend to stay in the London area?
  • Do you have any plans to travel in the near future?
  • What other types of jobs have you applied for?
  • Closing Questions
  • Do you have any questions?
  • Is there anything you would like me to tell you more about?

The most common mistakes during the interview

  • Talking too much and not listening enough
  • Taking too long to give out information
  • Failing to ask questions that require more detailed responses
  • Failing to wait when the candidate hesitate or pauses
  • Failing to be tactful and courteous towards the candidate – this could reflect badly on the company’s reputation
  • Jump to conclusions at the start of an interview; to continue to ask questions without listening to the replies. (A study has shown that 11 minutes out of 15 of an interview is lost because the decision has already been made after the first 4 minutes)
  • To ask all candidates the same questions without adapting them to the answers that have been received
  • To accept everything that is said without trying to determine it’s significance or validity
  • To neglect areas of the candidates background and education
  • To allow the candidate to take over the interview
  • To ask biased questions thereby only getting a hint of the reply required
  • Not to dare ask questions regarding personal problems and their influence on the candidate’s ability to work
  • To rely on one’s memory in order to remember the important points raised rather than taking notes (or even making too many notes)
  • Feeling sorry for the candidate by quickly asking them a different question when they hesitate (or acting as though you were their counsellor)
  • Failing to ask questions which would lead to important replies, or badly wording questions
  • Adopting a cold or critical attitude thereby intimidating the candidate instead of putting them at their ease
  • Expecting the candidates to sell themselves so that the company appears to need them more than they need the job
  • Failing to observe the body language of the candidate, such as nervous gestures, changes in the tone of their voice, marked hesitations and failing to make a link between this behaviour and the subject matter of the conversation
  • To relate their life story and personal problems to the candidate

Job Reference Over The Telephone

  • Name of candidate:
  • Name of superior:
  • Position:
  • Name of company:
  • Telephone:
  • Hello Mr/Mrs/Miss, (name), I am (your name), (your position), from Blue Pudding (location).
  • (Name of candidate) had applied for a job here and I would like to check some information he/she has given us.
  • When did (name of candidate) work for you?
  • From:
  • To:
  • What was his/her position when he/she started working for you:
  • When did he/she leave?
  • What is your opinion about the quality of his/her work, his/her abilities, relationship with his/her colleagues, etc….?
  • Why did he/she leave?
  • What was his/her attitude towards management?
  • Would you employ him/her again? Yes or No
  • Comments:
  • Date checked:
  • By: