If you are looking to hire a cook in Mumbai, here is an expert guide on how to interview home
cooks: 1. Salary expectation: Salary of cooks for home varies from one locality to another within
Mumbai, as it’s a function of demand and supply. After explaining the work, you should ask
them their expectation of salary. You can also enquire about their previous salary. If there is
a large difference between the expected salary and your offer, it may mean that they may
not join at all or may quit in a short time. 2. Prior experience: You should ask the prospective cook about their previous experience- both
quantitative and qualitative. For how many years they have been cooking, types of
cuisines/dishes they can prepare, types of families they have worked for (taste differs based
on the ethnicity of the employer family) etc. 3. Other commitments of Cook: Do they have other commitments such as household chores in
her own house, home cooking jobs for other families, school of her children? If yes, it is
important to figure out if your work timing conflicts with her schedule. 4. Vegetarian/ Non Vegetarian: If you are non-vegetarian, it is very important to clarify this and
not simply assume that the cook will be comfortable cooking non-veg food. 5. Quantum of food to be cooked: This can become a huge point of friction. We have seen
many cooks leave the job within 1-2 days of joining because they thought there was too
much of work. This happens because of mismatch in the expectation of both the sides.
Therefore, spell out clearly number of rotis to be made, number of sabjis to be made every
day. In some families, members have different preferences and a separate dish is prepared
for each one. Make it clear in the interview. You can also specify the approximate amount of
time it will take to finish the work every day. 6. Exceptions when guests come: The cook may be required to work a little extra when you
have guests coming in for dinner or to stay with you for a few days. While this is reasonable
expectation, it is better to clarify the frequency of such occasions. Also, in such cases, you
should compensate her by giving something apart from her salary. 7. Can she prepare desserts?: Do you have a sweet tooth? For example, it’s common in
Marwari families to prepare a sweet dish once in a week. Check with her what kind of
desserts she can prepare. 8. Can the cook prepare cuisines other than Indian?: Do you like home-made Pizza? Indian
Chinese? Although she is a cook for home, but let’s check with her if she has the experience
of preparing any of these cuisines. If not, check if she can learn. Is she confident of preparing
it if you train her.
9. Can the cook shop for vegetables?: Occasionally, you may want her to fetch vegetables from
the local market. Is she ready for that? 10. Special diet: If you have a special diet requirement like no-sugar or low-oil food, you may
have to provide the maid for cooking some additional training for this. Check her
receptiveness. 11. Menu: The cook should be able to suggest the menu for the meal given the vegetables and
ingredients that are available. 12. Practical Trial: This is the ultimate test. You can ask the home cook to prepare one quick dish
to see how confident she is with cooking. You will also get to know the taste. Alternatively,
you can ask her to prepare one full meal. Make sure that you pay her a proportionate
compensation, even if you don’t hire her.
These tips are relevant whether you are looking to hire through an agency for cooks or through an
online portal like JobNukkad.
At JobNukkad, we are connecting the unconnected. We have displayed Resumes of more than 30,000 Maids on our Portal. We are creating a digital identity for Domestic Helpers so that they get more job options.
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