Kinsa Group Blog

The Best Interview Advice You Ever Received: 4 Must-Read Ideas

July 28th, 2014

job interview smileConduct a quick Google search for “interview advice” and you’ll get hundreds of millions of hits (we know – we’ve done it!).

What food & beverage executive has time for that?!?

Don’t worry; you won’t need to clear your schedule to find the sound advice you need. We’ve done the leg work for you.

Today, Kinsa presents our best interview tips, specifically tailored to your executive food & beverage job search:

1. Prepare for an Online Interview

More and more, food & beverage organizations are using real-time technology to screen candidates and conduct initial interviews virtually. Use these tips to correctly set-up for and shine in your online interview:

  • Preparation is essential. Make sure you: download required software; test your webcam, microphone and lighting; choose an appropriate setting; and plan your wardrobe.
  • Change your computer settings. Adjust your screensaver and automatic hibernation settings. Close open programs, browser windows, instant messaging and scheduled scans so that your computer doesn’t lag.
  • Practice using the webcam. Unless you’re a broadcast journalist, you’re probably not used to looking directly into a camera. Eye contact is important, so practice via Skype with a friend to get used to looking into the lens and accommodating audio delays.

2. Conquer the Dreaded Panel Interview

Fielding questions from not one, but an entire team of interviewers is enough to put even the most stalwart candidate’s stomach in knots. Instead of letting anxiety consume you, develop a sound strategy for acing a food & beverage panel interview:

  • Do your homework. Make sure you understand the employer’s entire organization – not just your chosen specialty. If you know who will be interviewing you ahead of time, research those individuals so you understand their areas of expertise.
  • Accept questions one at a time. If an interviewer asks a follow-up question while you’re still answering the previous one, realize that this may be a stress test. Maintain your composure and incorporate the response to the follow-up question into your original answer. Once you’ve finished, ask both parties if you have addressed their concerns.
  • Expect at least one zinger. In a group setting, interviewers typically feel emboldened and may push the envelope more with their questions.  Develop an arsenal of three or four success stories you can rely on to answer a range of behavior-based questions.

3. Handle Difficult Phone Interview Questions with Ease

During a phone interview, you have just a few minutes to convince an interviewer that you’re worthy of a face-to-face meeting. Make sure you do everything possible to create a great first impression:

  • Keep your answers concise (less than two minutes). If a recruiter wants more information, he can ask for clarification.
  • Speak clearly and slowly. When you are nervous, you are more likely to speed up your rate of speech. Before you answer each question, take a moment to gather your thoughts. Slow your pace just a bit so you don’t trip over your words.
  • Convey your enthusiasm for the job. During the phone screening, state directly that you are looking forward to the opportunity to come in for an in-person interview.

 4. Adopt a “Less is More” Philosophy

In an interview situation, active listening is much more than just waiting for your turn to talk. It involves not only hearing the words that are said, but also fully comprehending what the interviewer is asking you to do. Use these tips to enhance your listening skills and perform better in your next interview:

  • Listen with your ears, eyes and brain. Communication experts say that only a fraction of the meaning of any conversation is in the actual words that are being said. To understand the interviewer’s true meaning, you must glean other nonverbal cues from his tone of voice, posture and facial expressions.
  • Confirm understanding. If the interviewer asks a complex or multi-part question, paraphrase what he’s asked to confirm your understanding before beginning your response. This will help ensure your response is both complete and accurate.
  • Answer the question that you’re asked. Pay attention to the nuances of the entire question, so that you accurately answer what’s asked. Avoid rambling answers that stray too far from the question posed. If the interviewer wants to know more about something, he will ask you to elaborate.

Ready to take the next step in your food & beverage career? Contact Kinsa’s experienced, specialized recruiters.

Kinsa Group – Top Talent – Vice President of Sales – Snack Foods – NY

July 24th, 2014

Top Talent is Kinsa Group’s listing of currently available food and beverage industry professionals that you as an employer may interview and hire at a reduced fee.  The following food and beverage industry professionals are experienced, motivated and ready to perform for your organization.

Vice President of Sales – Snack Foods – NY

Featuring a Retail Sales Director/Vice President:

- BA graduate with over 15 managing retail, club, c-store, and military accounts for Fortune 500 and smaller start-up food manufacturers.

- In less than a five-year period, developed Canadian territory from a base of just over $2 million to over $11 million in business. Penetrated accounts nationally as well as globally.

- Able to pioneer new sales while maintaining and growing existing business for a dynamic food manufacturer. Based in New York metro area and open to travel!
Contact me to schedule an interview with this candidate or learn about other talent that may match your current needs.

For more information on this top talent please contact Russ Lilly at

Kinsa Group – Hot Jobs – Artisan Meat Quality Director – Utah

July 22nd, 2014

HOT JOBS are the open food and beverage jobs that Kinsa Group’s recruiters are actively seeking qualified candidates to interview right now!  You may be the ideal candidate, so apply TODAY!

Artisan Meat Quality Director – Salt Lake City, Utah

Our client is a rapidly-growing protein processor specializing in super-premium deli meats. Already a recognized brand at smaller specialty boutiques, they are growing at double digits year-over-year. Expected to double in size within three to five years!  


Benefits and Features:

  • Competitive base salary, bonus incentive plan, plus excellent benefits and relocation assistance.


Your Role with the Company:

  • Develop, implement, and document adherence to quality assurance procedures and processes in compliance with internal, customer, and governmental regulations.

  • Direct and manage quality assurance staff to ensure consistent product quality and 100% food safety.

  • Implement certification processes to achieve Level 2 SQF certification, as well as organic, non-GMO, and other certifications.

  • Report to the Vice President of Operations.


Community Information:

  • Salt Lake City is the largest city in the state of Utah, with a population of over one million throughout the metro area. The area offers numerous museums, theaters, and outdoor recreation areas, and has eight ski resorts within 50 miles of the city. Salt Lake City also hosts the Utah Jazz NBA professional team.  

  • Cost of living is slightly higher than national average, 15% above.


Background Profile:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Food Science, Nutrition, Chemistry, or a related field preferred.

  • Five or more years of quality assurance management for meat processors, including supervisory experience.

  • Experience working with SQF or BRC quality programs.

  • Experience with nutritional label development, submission, and approval.


For more information on this hot job, please contact Russ Lilly at

Kinsa Group – Top Talent – Packaging Development Engineer – Beverage

July 17th, 2014

Top Talent is Kinsa Group’s listing of currently available food and beverage industry professionals that you as an employer may interview and hire at a reduced fee.  The following food and beverage industry professionals are experienced, motivated and ready to perform for your organization.

Packaging Development Engineer – Beverage.

An accomplished packaging professional with meaningful experience in packaging innovation and packaging development.

- She was the technical lead on several key marketing initiatives and is serving as the lead on the key initiative for 2014.

- The thermochromic metal deco ink project was extremely successful and increased 24oz can sales by 13%.  This ink is now part of the sustaining art on cans (all sizes). This candidate is highly creative, comfortable with ambiguity, is curious, and is a quick learner.  Moreover, she has the proven ability to manage, prioritize, and deliver on strategic initiatives.

- Her work style is collaborative and she enjoys working with all functions (purchasing, marketing, operations, etc.) and personality types.  She is technically strong and very enthusiastic.

- -Her skills, personality, and work style will allow delivery of significant results for your company.


For more information on this top talent please contact Emily Mullen at

Kinsa Group – Hot Jobs – Engineering Project Manager – Dairy

July 15th, 2014

HOT JOBS are the open food and beverage jobs that Kinsa Group’s recruiters are actively seeking qualified candidates to interview right now!  You may be the ideal candidate, so apply TODAY!

Engineering Project Manager – Dairy – Wisconsin

Rapidly growing, family oriented food & beverage manufacturer located on the north side of Milwaukee’s looking to add an Engineering Project Manager to their team!


Your Role and Responsibilities:

·        Lead the Engineering team through project implementation process

·        Ensure continuous improvements, equipment upgrades and new projects are completed within timelines and budgets

·        Identify and complete corrective actions


Background Qualities/Experience

·        Bachelor’s degree – Engineering field

·        5+ years of Food, Beverage, Semiconductor or Pharmaceutical experience

·        5+ years in a leadership role

·        PMP (Project Management Professional) or PgMP Certification (Program  Management Professional)

·        Six Sigma Green or Black Belt training

             HACCP & Aseptic experience preferred

For more information on this hot job please contact Mary Chambers at

Revealing Tips from a Recruiter: Ask Your Candidates “Has Anything Changed?”

July 14th, 2014

ask the right questionsGreat questions are powerful tools in gauging a candidate’s potential fit within your organization – and preventing unpleasant surprises.

Are you asking the right ones, throughout the recruiting process?

Several months ago, we shared a list of questions for food & beverage hiring managers that engage job seekers and prompt discussion to help. Today, we’d like to add one more to the list:

“Has anything changed?”

On the surface, this question sounds simple – almost an afterthought. But, as they say, “life happens” during your recruiting process:

  • Job seekers gain new skills and experience.
  • Interviewees forget important information you discuss during the initial interview.
  • Candidates reassess their employment situation – and are presented with new opportunities.

In other words, circumstances can change in an instant – and have a big impact on your recruiting efforts.

So when you reconnect with candidates, never make assumptions. Use these tips to prevent surprises – and increase your chances of hiring your first choice:

From VP Laurie Hyllberg:

  • After you receive a candidate’s resume, follow-up to see if he has any additional questions about the position you discussed. Ask if anything changed when he went home to think about the opportunity and talk to his family.
  • When scheduling the phone interview, be sure to ask if there is anything coming up on the candidate’s calendar which may require accommodation.
  • While preparing a candidate for an interview, or debriefing him afterward, ask:
    • What did you think about the company, the hiring manager and the job?
    • What is your interest level in the role?
    • Has anything changed in your situation at work or at home that I need to be aware of?

From Recruiter Russell Lilly:

  • After the interview, ask your candidate if there were any questions he had that the interviewer was unable to answer.
  • Specifically ask about other opportunities that the candidate may be pursuing. This can be helpful in identifying his timeline and any potential competing offers down the road.
  • If your candidate is considering more than one position, ask him to compare one opportunity to another. This may help you identify his areas of strength or weakness, or better understand his motivations (i.e., why he is seeking a new opportunity).

Knowledge is power.

Use variations of “has anything changed” (like the ones listed above) to find ways to solidify your opportunity in the candidate’s mind, or chip away at another. At the end of the day, a candidate needs to take the position that he feels is the best fit for his goals. Knowing what those are and how your opportunity can address those goals can greatly increase the likelihood of offer acceptance.

Kinsa Group – A Better Way to Hire Food & Beverage Professionals

As a national food & beverage recruiter, The Kinsa Group has the resources and interviewing expertise to deliver executive and c-level food & beverage professionals with the skills, experience and personality to thrive in your organization.  We use professionally trained interviewers, a wide array of assessments, thorough background checks and satisfaction guarantees to ensure the long-term success of your next hire.

Kinsa Group – Top Talent – Production Supervisor – Shelf-Stable Foods

July 10th, 2014

Top Talent is Kinsa Group’s listing of currently available food and beverage industry professionals that you as an employer may interview and hire at a reduced fee.  The following food and beverage industry professionals are experienced, motivated and ready to perform for your organization.

Production Supervisor – Shelf-Stable Foods – Midwest  

Featuring a Technical Service and Quality Assurance Manager with outstanding company tenure and education.

Master’s in Food Science
Bachelor’s in Chemistry and Biology

With 16 years of Supervisor and Management experience with a large food processing company. This candidate has excellent experience with both laboratory and plant operations experience.

He’s diverse with vegetable oil and meat processing experience. He’s conducted mock recall exercises for 15 years to test systems and employees on efficiencies to gather required information. He’s apart of numerous facility food safety teams to assess food defense and food safety.

This candidate is currently in the mid-west but open to all areas of the US.


For more information on this top talent please contact Russ Lilly at

Kinsa Group – Hot Jobs – Corporate Quality Process Engineer – Food Manufacturing Plants

July 8th, 2014

HOT JOBS are the open food and beverage jobs that Kinsa Group’s recruiters are actively seeking qualified candidates to interview right now!  You may be the ideal candidate, so apply TODAY!

Corporate Quality Process Engineer – Food Manufacturing Plants

About the Company
• Well-established and respected global food company
• Multiple food manufacturing facilities
• Premier food product supplier to leading restaurant chains

About the Role
• Lead the development, implementation and administration of quality programs in multiple food processing plants.
• Develop and implement programs to monitor and improve process control, specifically related to meeting customer product specifications and microbiological quality/processing requirements.
• Collect, analyze and interpret data to evaluate the effectiveness of existing quality activities and identify opportunities for improvement.
• Implement the use of quality tools such as Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA), but not limited to, to identify potential risks and develop a system to monitor or eliminate them.
• Develop and implement statistically valid sampling processes to evaluate finished goods for quality disposition.
• Develop and implement a process to conduct validation of manufacturing lines regularly on capability of meeting specifications and food safety.
• Work collaboratively with appropriate plant and corporate staff to ensure successful execution of process related quality programs.
• Develop process quality training (like SPC) for use by plant production and quality control employees. Provide training and informal mentoring to professional and managerial plant quality control staff.

Background Profile
• EXPERIENCE in a food manufacturing environment for at least 5 years implementing and administering quality tools.
• Strong KNOWLEDGE of process improvement and using statistical analysis to identify manufacturing process issues.
• EDUCATION of a bachelor’s degree level in microbiology, food science, animal science, mathematics or related field.
• Six Sigma CERTIFICATION minimum as a Green Belt.
• SKILLED in project management.

Benefits & Features
• Medical, dental, life, short and long term disability
• Health care reimbursement account
• 401k and profit sharing
• 10 paid holidays in addition to vacation schedule
• Scholarship program and tuition assistance
• Discounted product purchases
• Eligible for 10% bonus

About the Community
• Suburbs of Chicago, IL with a relatively lower cost of living than the city and higher priced suburbs.
• Easy access to airports for the 50% travel required (domestic and some international) for the position.


For more information on this hot job please contact Nancy Furgason at


Kinsa Group Quickly Located A Position That Fit My Needs

July 3rd, 2014

testimonials (4)


Kinsa Group regularly receives testimonials and letters of thanks from the candidates that we work with. Following is a testimonial letter from Tanner Hubert, Warehouse Manager at Dole Packaged Foods. 

I really appreciate your help and how quickly you were able to locate a position that fit my needs.  It was a true pleasure working with you and your team!

The position I was hired for was accurately represented by my Kinsa recruiter. My new employer has shown they have a vested interest in my success and have demonstrated the characteristics explained during the placement process.

I appreciated the assistance from the Kinsa team to prepare me for the interview process. My recruiter was able to assist in matching my resume with my skill-set and refining it to truly showcase my talent at a high level.

My communication with my Kinsa recruiter was amazing!  He demonstrated a truly professional but welcoming personality and was always up front when discussing the details of my new employment structure.

My first few weeks have been wonderful.  I feel challenged every day and this position allows for me to broaden my distribution knowledge and get involved in the manufacturing dynamic as well.   This position will be a great addition to my skill-set and abilities.

I plan to develop my knowledge base of Dole’s supply chain and believe that the senior leadership staff with this organization have future plans for me beyond my current role.  They also are affording me the opportunity to complete my education which will be extremely valuable given my work history and experience.


Tanner Hubert

I Highly Recommend Kinsa Group Food And Beverage Recruiters

July 3rd, 2014

career path


Kinsa Group regularly receives testimonials and letters of thanks from the candidates that we work with. Following is a testimonial letter from Brian Morrison, recently placed as a Senior Chemist at Silliker Labs.

I would like to provide the following feedback for Kinsa Group regarding their placement of me in a new position.  My recruiter was quickly responsive to any information I requested from him and he quickly provided me with any information he had to share, even on weekends.  I greatly appreciated his attention to keeping action items moving forward, especially with the employer.  He ensured that my interview, offer acceptance, and transition were seamless.   I would highly recommend Kinsa for job placement.

The position my Kinsa recruiter recommended for me was a very good fit and was exactly as he had described it over the phone.  The company was exactly Kinsa described it to me and I liked that my recruiter had a contact within the employer that he had a great relationship with and worked with to place many people.

I felt very prepared for my interview with the employer as my Kinsa recruiter had ensured that I had all of the relevant information I needed. My recruiter did a commendable job of communicating with me throughout the process and provided me with great feedback after my interview and throughout the job offering process.

In my first few weeks of my new position, it has been a positive experience and I greatly appreciated that my recruiter even reached out to me to see if everything was going well thus far.  The position is challenging, but I was hoping for a role that challenged me.  The position is currently meeting my expectations.


Brian Morrison, Senior Chemist, Silliker Laboratories

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