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tips from past waiters

not sure what to expect or where to start? why not read some advice from our past young waiters….

Start by reading the application carefully and thinking about your answers. It’s important that the judges can easily see that your application is well-rounded and well-thought through. Ensuring that your service philosophy is a true representation of yourself will make you stand out more than writing something you think the young waiter judges want to hear.

1. Do a draft

Think about your answers before you submit your application. “The questions are there to get to know you better and to help you consider about things you may not have before.” Brooke Adey, Yellow

Not sure what your strengths are? Speak to those who know you best. “For me, talking with the owners of the restaurant I work at gave me more confidence and clarity in my answers,” says Alexander Tuckett, Pilu at Freshwater

3. Be honest
By all means big yourself up, but remember you’ll need to be able to back it up when sitting in front of the panel. “Be yourself, honestly!” says Louise Naimo, Estelle Bistro

4. Use spell check
Spelling errors and bad grammar look sloppy, so make sure you check your application form thoroughly. Get someone else to read it, too. Chances are, if they don’t know what you’re talking about, neither will our judges.

5. Give yourself time
The application form is your chance to make an impression on some of the industry’s most influential people, so don’t leave it to the last minute. “Preparation is key! Have a read through the application and continually go back to it. Don’t leave the application to the last minute, chances are you will build on your answers over time!” says Lauren Spyrou, Bistro Guillaume

6. Do your homework
If you’re lucky enough to be selected as a national finalist, you’ll take part in knowledge assessments and blind food and wine tasting… “View this as a chance to gain more knowledge,” recommends James Audas, Silvereye

7. Trust your instincts
Participating in blind food and wine tasting at the national finals can be daunting, so be confident in your skills and knowledge. “Go with your gut,” says Danielle Doffay, The Botanical. “Your first answer was probably the right one.”

8. Know your industry
All national finalists have an informal interview with the judging panel, so this is your chance to really impress. Be aware of the latest trends, techniques and challenges in the industry. “Remember the judges are all front of house professionals that love and care about our industry. Share with them your passion and be honest” Brooke Adey, Yellow

9. Be yourself
When it comes to the judges, most past finalists agree that the trick is to be natural, friendly and confident. “Be yourself, stay calm, it might seem daunting at the beginning but the judges are there to help you,” says Robert Luo, Oscillate Wildly

10. Don’t give up
A number of our finalists and winners were successful on their second, or even third, attempt. “Confidence in yourself and what you do and know during the judging process is important. The judges are not looking for the person with the most experience, rather the person who can grow and learn from experience” says Lauren Spyrou