Beyond resumes, getting a glimpse of what today's industry leaders seek when interviewing and considering applicants can provide helpful perspectives and perhaps even a new way to approach your next interview, whether you are the job seeker or hiring manager.


"I always look for compatibility when hiring aspiring professionals. You may be objectively a very highly-qualified candidate, but it goes beyond skill set. The plus alpha is where you find the partnership - and that's how I view employment."

- Simon Kim, Founder & President of Gracious Hospitality Management and Proprietor of Cote Korean Steakhouse

"Having begun my career at age 14, and been given the opportunity to attend a vocational high school for culinary arts, I have a passion for hiring those who are new to the industry or considering beginning their career in the hospitality industry. Being able to recall the excitement and curiosity of all of the things that I could learn through this industry and seeing that same excitement in hiring new staff brings me so much inspiration. Sharing books, documentaries, history, and experiences with others is such a beautiful way to share human connection."

- Christine Langelier, General Manager at ōkta and Tributary Hotel 

"The number one thing I look for when hiring someone is evidence of a positively programmed mindset. It’s an absolute must in dealing with the challenging landscape of this work. A mind programmed to negativity, fear, doubt and skepticism will only create more of that, and is a recipe for disaster and burnout."

- Sava Farah, CEO of The Pulpo Group 

"When hiring for upscale and fine dining restaurants, I look for poise, elegance, fluidity of movement, grammar and manners."

- Carla Changwailing, Director of Operations at 101 Hospitality

"When hiring, I look for genuine and kind individuals who share our vision, core values, and passion for what we do. We can teach anyone what they need to succeed in their job, but you cannot teach people how to act and care."

- Kimberly Galban, COO of Hogsalt 

"When hiring, I'm looking for someone who has a team-oriented mindset. I'm always interested in learning what people did during the pandemic - did they take up a new hobby? Spend more time with their family? Learn something new? I think seeing that side of a candidate can tell you a lot about what they might bring to the team."

- Hillary Sterling, Executive Chef at Ci Siamo

"When hiring, I look for passion. I want to work with people that push our team and bring energy."

- Kevin Fink, Chef & Owner of Emmer & Rye Hospitality Group