Kinsa Group Blog

Kinsa Group Hot Jobs – Operations Manager – Chicago, IL.

April 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!

Operations Manager – Meat/Proteins – Chicago, IL

 Operations Manager – Food Processing – Chicago, IL

Our client is a leader in providing outstanding service to their customers with custom solutions through attention to detail

Primary Responsibilities:

·            Initiate processes which minimize manufacturing costs

·            Ensure production runs in a timely manner and meets quality assurance specifications

·            Develop, implement, and assess Lean Manufacturing initiatives including system design, tools, and techniques

·            Participates in food safety programs that ensure the safety of ingredients and finished products

·            Interface with the USDA

·          Ensure food safety programs and policies are maintained


·         Bachelor’s Degree, Meat/Food Science, Business, or related field

·         5+ years of food manufacturing experience

·         5+ years of supervisory experience

·         Project management experience

·         Knowledge in SPC, HACCP and OSHA regulations

·         Bilingual preferred

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


Kinsa Group Hot Jobs – SQF Practitioner – Quality Assurance Supervisor- Rockford, Illinois

April 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!

SQF Practitioner – Quality Assurance Supervisor – Rockford, Illinois.



Innovative leading manufacturer in the natural food industry is looking for their Top Quality leader to provide leadership in their new state of the art manufacturing facility.

Company is in a hot niche and continues to grow aggressively!   Produces own high-demand gourmet retail products and co-manufactures for several top snack food companies and health food grocery chains. Culture is people friendly with a strong work ethic.

About the Role

· Responsible for providing leadership to quality and food safety team and production

· Maintain lab and equipment

· Reviews HACCP documents

· Provides SQF leadership/authority/experience

· Supervises and provides training to all QA technicians

· Ensure that the company is providing the highest level of quality & food safety for all products


Background Profile

· Bachelor’s Degree in Food Sciences, Biology or Chemistry, Master’s degree a great plus

· 2 – 5 years’ experience in the Food manufacturing industry to include Quality Assurance and supervisory experience

· Strong background and knowledge in Quality Assurance/Food Safety with SPC, pest control, allergen management, HACCP, FDA regulations, GLP’s, GMP’s and SOP’s.

· SQF Practitioner status required

Community Information

·         Located 60 miles NW of Chicago (major metro area with major attractions and activities)

·         Located on the Rock River – scenic

·         Offers an abundant of outdoor activities and good golf coursed (noted in Golf Magazine)

·         Lower cost of living – lower than the national average



Benefits & Features

·         Very Competitive salary with bonus potential and extensive benefits

·         Employee orientated environment

For more information on this hot job contact Nancy Furgason at

Kinsa Group Hot Job! R&D Manager – CO

March 18th, 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!

R&D Manager – CO

Our client is…

·         Innovative protein company offering good value and high quality premium proteins product for foodservice, retail and industrial channels.  Fresh, frozen and consumer ready private label, custom or branded protein

·         They have multiple locations and opening up a new one, continuing to experience growth and offer new products


About the Role

·         The R&D Manager will manage all product development activities and keep current on culinary and food service trends

·         Interact with customers, suppliers and manage staff

·         Manage projects from concept to completion, keeping to timelines, budgets and communicating to various departments (Sales, Purchasing, Executive team, etc…)

·         Offer technical support and routine communication to Operations, Sales & Customers

·         Hands on involvement with yields, cost, quality, regulatory/labeling and production/packaging

·         This is a great opportunity to assist a growing company with new product launches and current product improvements while managing all of R&D – ultimately impacting all areas within the company. 

Background Profile

·         Bachelors degree in Meat Science, Food Science or related field  

·         5 years of meat processing (knife –work preferred, meat cuts and yields knowledge), USDA experience with product development experience in value-added meat products

·         2-3+ years of management experience

·         Knowledgeable with ingredients/spices, marinated meat or poultry experience preferred  

·         Must be innovative, creative and understand the big picture as well as able to multi-task and prioritize work – high energy in a fast paced environment!



·         Base plus bonus salary

·         Typical benefits

·         Located north of Denver

·         Average COL

·         Offers many activities, good colleges, hospitals and historic downtown area


Will start interviewing immediately!

Contact Nancy Furgason:


Have You Ever Experienced the Dreaded Panel Interview from a Potential Food & Beverage Employer?

June 3rd, 2013

The good news?  You’ve been called in for an interview.

The bad news?  It’s 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.  After all, whether or not you land the position will depend largely upon how you carry yourself in that interview.

So instead of letting the anxiety consume you, develop a sound strategy for acing your next food & beverage panel interview.  These tips from Kinsa will help:

  • Do your homework.  In a panel setting, you’ll likely be interviewed by executives from a number of different divisions within the organization.  Make sure you understand the prospective employer’s entire organization – not just your chosen specialty.  If you know who will be interviewing you ahead of time, research those individuals online so you understand their areas of expertise.
  • Take your time.  Once you get into the interview, take a deep breath.  Greet and shake hands with each interviewer, taking a moment to mentally repeat each individual’s name (so you’ll be more likely to remember it).
  • Accept questions one at a time.  While answering each question, make equal eye contact with every panel member.  Doing so will help you project a confident image and build rapport with the entire panel.  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 train of thought) 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.
  • Be prepared to repeat yourself.  Each interviewer has his own interview style.  What is clear to one individual may require clarification for another.  So if you’re asked the same question multiple ways (or multiple times), patiently repeat your response.  Never say that you’ve already answered a question – even if that’s true – because you will come off as impatient or rude.
  • Win over the antagonist.  In most any panel interview, you will quickly be able to determine who’s in your corner and who is still on the fence about your candidacy.  Move beyond the tempting safety of engaging your obvious allies and address the one who seems unsure about you.  Doing so shows that you are a problem solver who can think on his feet and doesn’t shy away from challenges.
  • Expect at least one zinger question.  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.  If there’s an aspect of your skill set or work history (such as being discharged from a position) which you’re uncomfortable addressing, practice a variety of responses so that you’ll feel prepared – not awkward.
  • Close by thanking all participants.  Shake hands, gather business cards and exit the room confidently.  Follow-up by sending a unique thank-you note to each interviewer within 24 hours.

Seeking a Professional or Executive Position in the Food and Beverage Industry?

Kinsa Group has a wide range of professional and executive food & beverage jobs available, including:

• Executive Management

General Management

• Sales


Operations & Plant Production Management

Research & Development

• Food Science

Quality Assurance 

Food Safety

• Human Resources

• Engineering


Supply Chain and Purchasing

Warehouse Management

• Finance & Accounting

Register with Kinsa today.  Our team of food & beverage industry recruiting professionals will listen to your needs, match you with a perfect career opportunity, and then prepare you to ace the interview.

Looking to Leave Your Position as Food Plant Manager and Start Fresh in Supply Chain? Great Tips on How to Transition Between Careers Successfully

August 20th, 2012

It happens to the best of us.

At one point or another, most professionals seek greener pastures within the food & beverage industry.  Some change professions to broaden their experience base; some change careers so that their innate aptitudes more closely match their job; others make the switch because they wake up one morning and realize that they hate going to work.

Whatever your reason for contemplating a career change, know that – with careful planning, focus and commitment – it is possible.  Use these ideas from Kinsa to jump start your transition:

Conduct your research.  Start by researching your desired niches within the industry, using a combination of food & beverage job boards and search engines.  Identify the most in-demand positions that would be a potential fit for your experience, interests and new career aspirations.  If there is a significant skills gap between your existing position and your desired one, determine what you need to do to acquire those skills (job shadowing, volunteering for special project teams, obtaining a mentor and classroom/online instruction are all viable options for bridging a skills gap).  Kinsa Career Edge can provide additional assistance and recommendations as you redefine your career path.

Be flexible.  Breaking into a new segment of the food & beverage industry will be much easier if you keep your options open.  So remain as flexible as you can.  Being willing to relocate, to accept a job that is only a lateral move, or to consider a lower salary to transition into a new industry segment will greatly expand your opportunities.

Revamp your résumé.  Adjust your résumé to more closely match your desired position.  Using the research you’ve conducted, highlight the skills and experiences that will transfer well to the new food & beverage job.  Update your professional summary to reflect your passion and marketable skills for your new career.

Use your existing food & beverage experience to your advantage.  Everyone you compete against for your new job will be smart, experienced and hard-working.  Update your 30-second sales pitch to highlight the benefits your prior job brings to the new one.  Explain to the interviewer how your experience in a different segment of the industry will provide “big picture” understanding other candidates may lack.

Considering a food & beverage career change? 

Kinsa Group’s discipline-specific recruiting professionals can help you succeed.  We will review your career goals, innate aptitudes, work style, management philosophies and any personal circumstances that may affect your ability to make a career change.  To further ensure a successful transition, we also employ online psychological behavioral tests that will objectively assess your personality traits and habits related to your performance.

Best of all, our recruiters will confidentially search for positions on your behalf while you continue working.  Get started with Kinsa today or search food & beverage executive and professional jobs here.

How to Explain Résumé Gaps in a Job Interview

July 9th, 2012

You’re a perfect fit.

You have the right skills, the perfect amount of food & beverage experience and top notch references for this job.

Unfortunately, you also have a six-month employment gap on your résumé.

Whether it’s due to personal or professional reasons, a gap in your résumé is a potential red flag to a recruiter.  It can call into question your commitment and focus – and potentially knock you out of contention for the job.  You aren’t doomed, though.  You just need to have a sound plan for addressing it.  If you do have a gap on your résumé:

Be prepared to explain it.  A recruiter will undoubtedly want to know why you left and what you did during your time off.  Prepare a concise, direct explanation for the gap.  If you don’t give a clear reason, your interviewer may make incorrect assumptions about your honesty, job performance or work ethic.

Keep the tone positive.  Even if your last boss was a nightmare, never say anything negative about him during the interview.  Doing so will only reflect poorly on you.  If you make disparaging remarks about a former employer, your interviewer will logically wonder if you will bad-mouth his company the next time you’re hunting for a job.  Try to find a way to turn your negative experience into a plus for your prospective employer.

Make honesty your policy.  In and of itself, a gap on your résumé is not a reason to reject you.  Lying about why the gap exists, however, is.  In today’s economy, unemployment happens for a variety of reasons – not all of which are under your control.  So if you were laid off, be honest about why it happened.  Practice your response to make sure it’s clear and positive.  To get you started on the right track, consider these sample explanations for why you have a gap on your résumé:

  • I was laid off from my last position because my department was eliminated due to a merger.
  • I found myself bored due to the lack of challenge in my last job.  I knew my unhappiness was apparent, so I chose to leave rather than negatively impact my previous employer.
  • I relocated here for personal reasons and left my last position to make the move.
  • I decided to change the direction in which my career was headed.  Since my employer had no opportunities to fit my aspirations, I decided to leave so I could concentrate full-time on finding the right job.

While we’re on the topic of honesty, if you were fired from a position, be forthright about it.  Accept responsibility for what happened and highlight what you learned from the experience.  By doing so, you demonstrate your true character as well as a willingness to learn from mistakes.  Though you may be tempted to point fingers or gloss over parts of the experience, the truth may surface down the line and come back to haunt you.

If you’re in the food & beverage job market and want to avoid a gap on your résumé, register with Kinsa.  As a leading food & beverage recruiter, we’ve helped thousands of professionals and C-level executives find the opportunities they desire.  Whether you’re a food scientist, brand manager, engineer, COO or plant production manager, we can connect you with the ideal food & beverage position.  Contact Kinsa today.

Ring—Ring! How to Handle Difficult Phone Interview Questions from a Recruiter

June 25th, 2012

Are you in or are you out?

By the end of a brief phone interview, this is what your potential employer will have decided.

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 and keep yourself in the running:

  • 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 speech 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.
  • Practice, practice, practice.  The better prepared you are, the more comfortable and poised you will sound over the phone.

If you’re on the job hunt in the food & beverage industry, use this list of common phone interview questions (and suggested responses) to make a recruiter’s snap decisions work in your favor:

Tell me a little bit about yourself.  If you practice answering just one interview question, make it this one.  To impress an interviewer, you should be able to give a 90-second personal sales pitch convincing him that meeting you is absolutely essential.  Your answer should include a brief review of your education, work history, recent accomplishments and future goals.

Why are you interested in this job?  To answer this question well, describe how your skills and experience match the qualifications listed in the job posting.  This way, the employer will see that you understand the job for which you’re interviewing (not everybody takes the time to do this) and that you also have the qualifications needed to do the job well.

What are your weaknesses?  Most job seekers will be able to state their strengths; far fewer will answer this question well.  Resist the temptation to fall back on clichéd responses like “I’m too much of a perfectionist” or “I tend to work too hard.”  Instead, identify an area in your work where you could improve – and figure out how that could be an asset to the potential employer.  For example, if you didn’t have an opportunity to develop a skill in your last job, explain how eager you are to gain that skill in your next role.

What can you do for our company?  To nail this question, you need to do your homework.  Before the phone interview, research the employer online (check the company web site, LinkedIn, recent press releases and anything else you can find on Google).  Once you are familiar with the company and its mission, compare how your experience and professional goals might complement the company’s goals.  Your response to this question should include examples of why your education, skills, accomplishments and experience will make you an asset for the employer.

Seeking a Job in the Food and Beverage Industry?

Kinsa Group has a wide range of professional and executive food & beverage jobs available, including:

• Executive Management

General Management

• Sales


Operations & Plant Production Management

Research & Development

• Food Science

Quality Assurance 

Food Safety

• Human Resources

• Engineering


Supply Chain and Purchasing

Warehouse Management

• Finance & Accounting

Register with Kinsa today.  Our team of food & beverage industry recruiting professionals will listen to your needs, match you with a perfect career opportunity, and then prepare you to ace the interview.

New Interviewing Technology: How to Prepare for an Online Interview

August 1st, 2011

More and more, food & beverage organizations are using real-time technology such as Skype to screen candidates and conduct initial interviews.  Online interviews deliver several benefits, allowing interviewers to “meet” candidates without incurring substantial travel expenses.

For many food & beverage job seekers, an online interview is a convenient and less stressful way to interview – but preparation is essential.  Use this list of tips to correctly set-up for and ace your next online interview:

  1. Download required software. If you will be using Skype, go to and download it to the computer you will be using.  Use smartphones with caution – sound quality, picture quality and network speed may present potential issues.
  2. Make sure you have a webcam. If your computer doesn’t have a built-in webcam, you can purchase one inexpensively from an office supply or computer technology store.
  3. Set the stage. Carefully choose the location for your online interview.  A home office is best, but any room with relatively plain walls will suffice.  Make sure there is nothing in the background that the interviewer could see which might reflect negatively on you (e.g., garbage, dirty clothing or personal items in plain view).
  4. Plan your wardrobe. Dress as you would for any professional interview outside your home.  Although you may be tempted to stay in your slippers, don’t do it!  Should you need to stand up or go into another room during the interview, you want the interviewer to see you in a polished outfit from head to toe.
  5. Test all your equipment. Ask a friend to help you test everything.  Dress in the outfit you plan to wear and start by adjusting the webcam so that you are in the middle of the screen.  Zoom to an appropriate level so that the interviewer can see your head and upper torso, and make sure your outfit looks okay on camera (sometimes white and/or patterned clothes can be distracting on video).  Next, adjust the volume level for your speakers or headphones.  Finally, adjust the lighting.  If you’re in a room with open blinds and glare is an issue, try closing them and positioning an additional lamp behind the webcam.
  6. Change your computer settings. Make sure to adjust your screensaver and automatic hibernation settings.  Turn off scheduled scans (so your computer doesn’t lag) and close instant messaging, chat windows, etc. to head-off potential interruptions or technical problems.
  7. Practice using the webcam. Unless you’re a broadcast journalist, you’re probably not used to looking into a camera.  Eye contact is important, so practice answering a few interview questions while looking directly into the webcam, as opposed to the screen (where the interviewer’s image will be).  Remember, too, that you may experience audio delays, so be sure to wait an extra second before speaking – otherwise, you may wind up continually interrupting your interviewer.  Finally, although you don’t want to look like a statue, keep large, quick movements to a minimum, as video images can appear a bit jumpy.
  8. Eliminate distractions. Outside noises will distract both you and the interviewer, so do what you can to keep them to a minimum.  Keep your pets and family members outside the room.  Turn your cell phone, TV and radio off.  Close your windows, so street noise and barking dogs will not disturb you.
  9. Remember, it’s still an interview. While you’re likely to feel more relaxed since you’re at home, you still need to prepare as though you’re going into a formal interview.  Review your résumé and memorize important dates and figures listed, so that you’re not tempted to read your answers from a sheet of paper.

As you can see, a little preparation goes a long way.  Use the tips listed above in your next online interview and you’ll be one step closer to landing your dream job – without ever leaving the comfort of your own home.

Jump start your food & beverage job search by contacting Kinsa today.


Ask These Questions to Learn About an Employer’s Corporate Culture

July 4th, 2011

A job interview is a two-way street.  A hiring manager tries to find out everything he can about you, while you try to find out everything you can about the position and your potential employer.

To decide whether or not you can thrive in an organization long-term, you need to learn about more than the basics (e.g., salary, job responsibilities and organizational structure).  During the interview, you must also determine if the company is a “good fit” for you – if their values, beliefs, ethics and rules of behavior align with your own.

But how do you ascertain if an employer’s corporate culture is right for you?

Before the Interview

Learn as much as you can about an employer before the formal interview starts:

  • Research the company before the interview. Search online for clues about the employer’s culture.  Review their annual report, website and what others write or say about the organization.  Plenty of resources are available online to guide you in your research.
  • Arrive a few minutes early. Observe how current employees are dressed, how they interact with one another and how courteous and professional they seem – before they know who you are.  Pay attention to what’s on the walls, how clean the space is and how much room employees are given to work.  All these details will provide a clearer picture of the company’s personality.

During the Interview

Use this list of sample questions to dig deeper in your next interview and uncover important information about an employer’s culture:

  • What does it take to succeed here long-term? The traits an employer encourages and rewards speak to its corporate culture.  Ask this question early in the interview and incorporate those sought-after characteristics into your subsequent answers.
  • If you could describe your company’s culture in just three words, what would you say? This question accomplishes two things.  First, it helps you learn about the salient aspects of an organization’s culture.   Second, it positions you as a thinker, setting you apart from the crowd.
  • Does this company have a written corporate values statement? A progressive organization (i.e., one that has put the effort into developing a formal values statement) understands the importance of corporate culture and is just as concerned about making a values match as you are.  If the company has no written cultural values, their mission statement may provide insight for you.
  • What are the best and worst parts about your work environment, that I wouldn’t understand unless I’d been working here for several months? Some workplaces are quite different once the “honeymoon” phase has passed.  This question may help elicit some candor from your interviewer and get him to share the realities of the work environment – both good and bad.  Beware of the interviewer who has nothing negative to say.  The fact is, all cultures have their positive and negative aspects.
  • What are your favorite aspects of this company’s culture? This question tells you what brings the interviewer back to work each and every day.  Because it’s personal, ask this question at the end of the interview – after you’ve had a chance to establish rapport with the interviewer.  You can end the interview on a positive note and leave a great final impression.

As you ask all these questions, pay attention to the interviewer’s nonverbal cues.  Sometimes the words an interviewer says aren’t as important as how he says them.  Body language, eye contact, facial expressions and posture don’t lie.  Compare the interviewer’s actions with his words to decide if he is really telling the truth, or just trying to present the company in the best possible light.

Looking for your next food & beverage position?

Kinsa Group has the inside track with leading food & beverage employers and can help you make smarter employment decisions.  We provide you with invaluable details about corporate culture, interviewers’ personality styles and other intangibles to ensure you thrive in your next position.  Contact a Kinsa recruiter today or search available food & beverage professional and executive positions.

“Tell Me About Yourself”: Leverage the Power of this Critical Interview Question

December 20th, 2010

If you’ve ever been on an interview, you’ve probably heard this one:

“Tell me a little bit about yourself.”

Sounds innocuous enough, but in reality this is an extremely important question.  Interviewers ask it for a number of reasons:

  • to get a sense of what you feel is most important about yourself;
  • to see how well you’ve prepared for the interview;
  • to find out why you think you’re the best candidate for the job;
  • to see how you handle yourself in an unstructured situation;
  • to see how articulate you are;
  • to find out what type of first impression you make.

There is a lot riding on your response to this question, so make sure you knock it out of the park.  Here are a few quick tips for answering the “tell me about yourself” interview question the right way:

  • Be brief.  Keep the answer short – no more than two to three minutes.
  • Develop and include your USP.  Your Unique Selling Proposition, also known as a personal branding statement, is a one-sentence description of who you are, what you greatest strength is and the major benefit that a potential employer will derive from this strength.  Plenty of help for developing your USP is available online.
  • Practice, practice, practice.  Write your answer out, then rehearse it until it’s second nature.  The better you know your pitch, the more poised and confident you’ll sound.
  • Cite examples.  When you develop your answer, include one or two examples that best demonstrate why you’re well-qualified for the available postition, or highlight your most important accomplishments.  Quantify these results whenever possible (e.g., cost-savings, market share, measurable process improvements, increased revenue, etc.)
  • Stay focused.  Make sure your response clearly focuses on the experiences and accomplishments most relevant to the available position.

The “tell me about yourself” interview question offers a great opportunity to set yourself apart from your job competitors.  So don’t waste it.  Take advantage of your time in the driver’s seat by selling yourself, creating a great first impression and setting a positive tone for the rest of the interview.

The Kinsa Group is committed to the success of your career search in food & beverage.  With over 25 years of experience placing high-level executives and managers with top employers in the food and beverage industry, we have the resources and connections to match you with the ideal opportunity.  Contact us today or Search Jobs online.

Copyright © 2009 by Kinsa Group. All rights reserved.