House Managers are invaluable to owners of multiple homes. These highly sought-after positions take a special kind of professional to fill the needs of a sometimes-demanding clientele. Financial Times covers the House Manager role in another part of their The New Downstairs series.
Whether you are a person seeking the services of a private chef, or you’re a chef yourself who’s in need of the assistance of your fellow culinary expert, it’s important that you hire the right person for the job. This way, you can have peace of mind knowing that everything will be smooth sailing. To determine if you’re hiring the right person, you should conduct a working interview. By doing this, you’ll know more about him or her, including their qualifications, skills, and if you like their meals!
Here are some interview tips to help you get started.
- Start with the basics. The first thing you need to do is determine if they have sufficient cooking skills. Ask where they learned to cook. Review their work history to ensure that they are truly qualified for the position they want to fill. Ask if they have any original recipes since this may show their creative side. Great chefs are not afraid to experiment and create new dishes. Discuss their cooking philosophies and thought process in creating dishes so you’ll understand how they operate as a chef.
- See if they have excellent management and organizational skills. No matter how big or small your kitchen is, you definitely want to make sure that it is being handled and managed properly. As such, when hiring a chef, discuss their experience with managing a kitchen such as creating menus, managing the budget and food costs, purchasing ingredients, and other related tasks. Also, ask how they will ensure that your kitchen will operate smoothly and problem-free.
- Ask them for suggestions. If you’re an employer looking to hire a private chef, give them an idea of what your family’s dietary requirements are. Or if you’re a chef who’s seeking to hire another chef, ask them what they think of your menu. Either way, take them on a tour of your kitchen and ask them for suggestions on how they would improve or change things. This will give you an idea of if they are a go-getter and have initiative.
- Learn more about them. Once you are familiar with their skills and capabilities, you may determine what makes them tick as a person. Discuss personal issues. Find out why they are leaving their current job (in case they are currently employed) to work for you. Ask them about their dreams and aspirations as a chef, as well as the challenges they have faced in the past. This will help you identify patterns that might suggest their unwillingness to do mundane tasks, or other red flags that might indicate that they are not suited for the job.
- Ask for a cooking demo. Anyone can say that they can cook, but only a few people really know how. As such, end the interview by asking them to prepare a dish or two that would complement your tastes or meet your dietary requirements.
A working interview is always a good idea when hiring a Private Chef. You can see how they interact with you, your family and how they handle grocery shopping, kitchen organization, cooking and clean-up. Keep in mind a chef may be nervous on their first “cooking interview” so we suggest trying 2 or 3 days before making your final decision.
Our parents or teachers told our younger selves to never judge a book by its cover. As we grow older, however, we realize that “judging a book by its cover” is second-nature for many of us. We often draw several conclusions about other people within seconds of first meeting them. This is why it’s essential that we always look our best, so we can always make a good first impression on the people we meet.
Studies have shown that there are professional and personal benefits to always looking our best. Let’s take a look at some of them.
- It helps increases your salary by 5% to 10%. A paper written by Daniel Hamermesh and Jeff Biddle and published by the National Bureau of Economic Research revealed that people who dress well at work and look professional have bigger salaries than their less put together co-workers.
- It improves your ability to communicate others. Having a sound argument presented in an organized and logical fashion can indeed help you communicate with others more efficiently. However, it seems that appearance can also help help you to make your point. Well-groomed people are likely to be more respected and understood.
- It boosts your self-confidence. Knowing that you look your best makes you feel good about yourself. This, in turn, boosts your self-confidence. And when you’re confident, more people are drawn to you. In addition, it also makes you feel more motivated and confident about your ability to accomplish a lot of things.
- It helps you expand your network. Always looking your best helps can help you expand your network professionally and personally. People are more drawn to those who exude strength, confidence, poise, and character according to a study by Karen Dion. It is easier for people with these qualities to find opportunities to meet people who can help with their career or personal life.
Taking the time to look after yourself and ensuring that you always look presentable will help you feel good and inspire others around you.
“If they want truffles, you go and buy them. If they want you to feed their dog, you feed the dog. You know, one minute you’re cooking Kobe beef, the next you’re grinding chicken and rice for Lulu’s dinner,” says Chef James Hunt.
When working for a private family you do whatever it takes to make them happy. Take a look inside the life of a Private Chef catering to exclusive families in their homes and holiday villas.
Being a nanny for a baby can be the dream job. Babies are sweet, adorable and curious! But more than anything they are little sponges, soaking in everything every moment of the day. Remember through all the cuteness you are their teacher and they look to your guidance in learning. When a baby is between the ages of six months and one year, there are lot of activities that you can do with them that will be good for their growth and development. Whether you are nanny or a parent here are a couple ideas that help babies stay cognitively active.
- Read to them. Start reading to babies early on and introduce books with beloved characters as well as interactive books that are appealing to the touch and eye. Reading a bedtime story will soothe babies and offer time for you both to have a special connection.
- Help them deal with separation anxiety. Most babies have a person they prefer to be with by the time they become one year old. If that person happens to be you, take the opportunity to teach him or her how to better deal with separation anxiety. Don’t make a fuss when you’re leaving, and definitely don’t just sneak out, because it will do more harm than good. Instead, just tell them goodbye and that you will be back. Keep in mind there may be tears but they will soon go away.
- Teach them how to feed themselves. This will take time and dedication. Start with foods they love, and encourage them to feed themselves (no matter how messy it gets) offer big smiles and cheer when they start attempting to eat by themselves. Slowly integrate a spoon and teach them to eat soft foods from a bowl or plate. Make meal time fun and playful. Giggles should always be welcome at the dinner table.
Babies are born ready to learn, and their brains develop through use. A child needs a stimulating environment with lots of different activities that give him/her plenty of ways to play and learn, and lots of chances to practice what he/she is learning.
The main responsibility of an executive assistant is to help lighten the load of their employers. If you’re currently working as an executive assistant or are interested in this type of work, there are important things to consider that will help you navigate through this type of work, as it can be the most challenging but also the most rewarding of careers.
- There’s always a chain of command. In any business or organization, there’s always a succession of power and authority. This is also true if you’re working for a private individual. As an executive assistant, you will be required to make important decisions. It’s always important that you understand what’s in the best interest of your employer, their priorities, and values, for better decision making.
- You may not be given an explanation. When your employer is stressed and need of assistance and they give you a task list, they do not want to answer questions on every item. Always use your best judgement to handle things in the best way you can efficiently and in a timely manner. They hired you they trust that you can handle the tasks, even if it may not be in your field of expertise. Trust yourself that you have the skills to accomplish any task with little direction and this will help immensely.
- Raise important issues to your employer. If you feel there is something that should be acknowledged in the household such as an area where household expenses could be reduced or if you notice another employee is showing up late or not doing what they are suppose to be doing. It is always important to bring these issues up to your employer. Remember you are an asset to their household and looking out for their best interest at all times is your duty.