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Interview Questions For Cook Position

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Job Outlook For Cooks

CHEF Interview Questions & Answers! (How to PASS a CHEF Job Interview!)

Despite the hardships brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the restaurant industry continues to prosper. Unfortunately, the pandemic caused many restaurants to close their doors or lessen their staff, seeing a decline from 13.49 million employees in 2019 to 11.26 million in 2020.

Visits to full-service restaurants declined by nearly 50% amid the quarantine and social distancing. Quick-service, or fast food, restaurants were not as severely affected thanks to their drive-thru options.

Takeout is taking over. Now that the world is beginning to right itself, we may see a significant shift back towards dine-in services. Either way, cooks are a necessity.

Waiters and waitresses make up most food service employees, with 1.9 million of the 11.26 million employed. Restaurant cooks are a close second with 1.1 million employed. About 550 thousand fast-food cooks, 387 thousand cafeteria cooks, 123 thousand short-order cooks, and 19 thousand cooks fall into the miscellaneous category employed in 2020.

Overall, there are about 2.2 million cooks employed in the food services industry as of 2020. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects those numbers to increase over the next decade.

What Do You Believe Are Strong Characteristics A Chef Should Hold

This question helps employers gain an idea of what qualities you believe a chef should have and how you plan to uphold those qualities and characteristics. To answer this question, list the important characteristics needed to provide a positive experience to employees and customers.

Example:”A chef should have a strong passion and motivation for the work they do and the meals they make. They should also have communication and teamwork skills since they regularly interact with employees and sometimes customers. They should be able to address any problems employees or customers have while finding ways to solve them.”

Assistant Cook Interview Questions And Answers

Why have you chosen a career in culinary arts, particularly as an assistant cook?

This question serves two purposes. First, it puts the candidate at ease so they can easily open up. Second, it serves to determine whether the candidate just sees the role as another job or is interested in working in that position. What to look for in an answer:


“I have always loved cooking, even when I was a child. I love to make delicious meals whenever I have the chance.”

As an assistant cook, are you familiar with the health codes in our specific territory or province?

Health inspection is a common reality in the food industry. You want to ensure that your candidate knows that there are health regulations imposed by the provinceor territory. While the candidate is not expected to recite the health code, the goal is to understand their knowledge of cleanliness and safety, and theirwillingness to adhere to health codes. What to look for in an answer:

  • Ability to conform to regulations
  • A sense of cleanliness and safety
  • Being truthful with their knowledge


“Yes,I’m quite familiar with the health codes in this province. I’m also aware that safety affects everyone involved in the industry. Given that standards change over time, I’mwilling to learn new concepts that I’munaware of.”

If you ran out of daily specials and still had four more orders, how would you handle the situation?

  • Desire to please clients
  • Drive to maintaining the business integrity


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How Would You Improve Our Restaurant The Menu

Talk about the tables turning, yeah? Researching the restaurant beforehand is very important when answering this question. Another thing to keep in mind? Balance. The employer is asking this question for an honest response. They want to know that you know about their restaurant and that youll come in with your ideas. However, what they dont want you to tell them is that their restaurant is the worst establishment on this side of the Mississippi, and by hiring you, theyll be hiring their savior. 10/10 do not recommend.

What Are The Roles Of A Cook

A List of Interview Questions for Chefs

The interviewer wants to know whether you are aware of the duties and responsibilities that you are supposed to perform as a cook. Talk about the critical roles of a cook.

Sample Answer

As a cook, I am expected to perform several duties which among them are

a) Ensure ingredients and final products are fresh.

b) Follow recipes, including measuring, weighing, and mixing ingredients.

c) Bake, grill, steam, and boil meats, vegetables, fish, poultry, and other foods.

d) Present, garnish, and arrange final dishes.

e) Occasionally serve food.

f) Handle and store ingredients and food

g) Maintain food safety and sanitation standards.

h) Maintain a clean and safe work area, including handling utensils, equipment, and dishes.

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What Major Challenges Did You Face During Your Last Role How Did You Manage

Your interviewer wants to know what challenges you came across and how you solved them. Talk about events you had difficulties with while solving them.

Sample Answer

One of the biggest challenges that I have faced in this role is stiff competition. As we know, cooks determine a lot whether the customers are going to continue being your customer or not. The way we prepare food determines it all. There are a lot of cooks who trans night trying to get the latest styles and techniques on how to prepare certain foods. So, a cook will have to always stay updated on what the competitors are doing. This is to make sure that you are always ahead of them. Sometimes, the pressure is too much but you have to cope with it by doing your new styles and trying new recipes to give customers the best.

If You Have Different Orders And You Are On The Line Alone How Will You Manage That

    How to Answer

    This is your opportunity to share with the interviewer any specific examples where you had to manage a heavy workload with a shortage in staff. Reiterate your ability to perform under pressure and share how you overcame the challenge.

    Written by Christine Pasqueretta on April 19th, 2021

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How Would You Respond To Criticism About Your Dish

Sometimes, a customer may not like the dish a cook prepares. The goal of this question is to understand how a candidate receives negative feedback. A good applicant would be polite to the customer. What to look for in an answer:

  • Interpersonal and effective communication skills
  • Ability to receive feedback
  • Desire to meet a customer’s expectation


“I’d first listen actively to the customer’s complaint and apologize for not meeting their expectations. Then, I’d ask them what I can do to correct the situation. I’d inform my supervisor of their response and think of a strategy to prevent such negative feedback from recurring. I see constructive criticism as a way to improve my skills as a cook.”

Why Did You Leave Your Last Job

Mock Job Interview (Prep Cook) – Genesis Center

Try to avoid negative remarks about your former colleagues and employers. Of course, if something serious happened, for example if they did not pay you for your labor, you should claim this as a reason for leaving your former employer.

But you can also say that you werent happy in the place anymore, that you needed a change, or basically that you look to try working for another type of dining facility .

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How Would You Handle Complaints About Your Food

No matter how skilled you are, there will always come a time when a customer will be dissatisfied with something you have prepared. Whether or not you feel that you made an error, the customer is always right. You should answer with I would listen very carefully to the complaint and resolve the issue by anticipating the needs of the customer. I may ask questions to discover the nature of the complaint and take the proper steps to ensure that the error does not occur a second time. No matter how serious or slight the issue, there is always something to be learned. Your interviewer will want to make sure that you will not take small complaints too seriously or more complex complaints too lightly.

Reach Out To Contacts

If you know someone who is currently working at the restaurant, or worked there previously, tap them for potential insider information to help you make the best impression during your interview.

The more you know about how the business is run, the better you can tailor your answers to show how you will improve their menu and profitability.

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Can You Name The Five Mother Sauces

An interviewer may ask you this question to prove your culinary training. This is the type of question that can also show your desire to move up to a chef’s position in the future.

Example:”In culinary school, I learned to make each of the five sauces. First, there’s bechamel, a creamy white sauce. Next is the veloute. This sauce is similar to bechamel, but it uses stock instead of milk. There’s also espagnole, which is a rich, brown sauce. Hollandaise is the next mother sauce. It’s also white and creamy but uses raw eggs in the mixture. Tomato is the final sauce. It’s best made with fresh, ripe tomatoes.”

What Is The Biggest Challenge In Your Prep Cook Job

Sample Interview Questions For Kitchen Staff

This question is designed to assess how you handle stress and problems on the job. Interviewers ask this question to see if you can identify specific challenges and how you resolve them. Emphasize a positive outcome of a problem in your answer.

Example answer: “The biggest challenge I have with my prep cook job is keeping up when the demands of the job increased. However, I found that increasing prep time helped me keep pace. When I prepped more of my ingredients in advance, I was better prepared when the rush came.”

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Prep Cook Interview Questions

A prep cook is an entry-level member of the kitchen. Theyre the ones who set up workstations, chop, peel, cut and prepare ingredients so the chefs can cook and finish dishes.

This position doesnt usually require any education. Some experience in cooking and customer service is desirable although you can easily train the most promising candidates. A food handlers permit is typically required so make sure to bring it up during the interview.

Related: How to attract and hire entry-level employees

Every kitchen or restaurant is different so ask questions depending on your specific requirements. A great general practice is to ask them to demonstrate their skill and manual dexterity by preparing some ingredients.

Any questions you want to ask should be geared towards their reliability, teamwork and ability to follow instructions. You should also be looking for motivation and enthusiasm for the specific position. Asking about their knowledge of safety and sanitation is a great way to choose the best among candidates.

How Are Your Communication Skills

    How to Answer

    Ideally, the interviewer is looking for an all-rounder with all the required skills and have wonderful communication skills. As there will always be stiff competition and other candidates nipping at your heals you have to come over with your answers in the best way possible so prepare beforehand.

    Written by Christine Pasqueretta on April 19th, 2021

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Kitchen Supervisor & Manager Interview Questions

As a more senior chef, you will likely face questions designed to discover more about you as a manager of a team, and of a business. Consider the following as sous chef interview questions and beyond, gearing towards kitchen supervisor and head chef interview questions.

Question: Can you provide an example of a time when you successfully organised a diverse group of people to accomplish a task?

Answer: Often a busy kitchen will have chefs working in it from all over the world, meaning there may be language barriers and different schools of thought. As a senior member of the kitchen team, it will fall to you to get your staff working cohesively. Use this question to demonstrate your ability to lead and get the best out of a team. Your prospective employer will be looking to see you build teams based on trust, mutual respect and co-operation. Also, consider the front of house team. A kitchen manager may need to help cover problems faced by front of house, requiring adaptability and a unified outlook. These are excellent traits to demonstrate in your interview.

Question: How are your computer skills, do you have experience of stock checking software?

Answer: The higher up the chef hierarchy you go, the more paperwork you can get! Being asked about your computing skills is as important as being asked about your cooking skills. Make sure you have some experience, or at least show a desirability to learn new computing skills.

Question: Can you read a P& L report?

Interviews At Royal Caribbean Group

Chef interview questions and answers

I applied through a recruiter. I interviewed at Royal Caribbean Group


it was a physical interview it took about 5 minutes i was asked the questions below and i waited for the acceptance letter for a week im still waiting for it

Interview Questions

  • Vegetable cuts how to make beef broth How to make hollandaise sauce How to make mushroom sauce how to make pasta sauce

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How Did You Fill Downtime At Your Last Job

    How to Answer

    The interviewer will be interested in learning how you spend your downtime and you will want to share ways you go outside of the scope of your role to help the team or learn how to do your job better. Here is your opportunity to highlight all of the extra work you have done in the past and tie it into your overall work ethic.

    Written by Christine Pasqueretta on April 19th, 2021

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What Do You Like Best About Being A Line Cook

    How to Answer

    The interviewer would like to know what the favorite aspects of this job are for you. Here is your opportunity to share what elements of the role of a line cook interest you most.

    Written by Christine Pasqueretta on April 19th, 2021

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How Do You Deal With Heavy Loads Of Stress

    How to Answer

    The interviewer needs to hear that you can handle a little stress in your work. Simply tell the interviewer that you are accustomed to meeting deadlines, having a busy workload, and working under stress. Be sure to mention that you never let stress get the best of you, and you know how to delegate work to the right people to help you manage your workload.

    Written by Christine Pasqueretta on April 19th, 2021

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Describe Your Experience With Prep

15 Common Restaurant Job Interview Questions

    How to Answer

    The interviewer wants to find out how much you know about your work and what experience you have had previously. This is a great opportunity to highlight past experiences and information about tasks you have accomplished in the line cook environment.

    Written by Christine Pasqueretta on April 19th, 2021

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Describe Your Daily Routine As A Cook

The interviewer wants to know what your daily schedule would be like. Give them a very organized routine starting from the first activity to the last activity of the day.

Sample Answer

As a cook, once I arrive at my workplace I would change my clothing and get down to work. After dressing I have to check that all my equipment are in good condition and make sure that the kitchen is well cleaned. I would then start preparing the ingredients and storing what needs to be stored in fridges. After that, I would start preparing food for the day. That would be a repeated routine on a daily and hourly basis. After all day of the repeated routine, I would clean my equipment for the next day.

When Can You Start Working

When a restaurant looks for a cook, typically they want to hire them immediately. These places are not good in planning manpower, and they typically start looking for a new cook when they already urgently need one.

Bearing this is mind, you should show some flexibility. If possible, tell them that you can come the very next morning to start your training, or even to perform the job.

Special Tip: Download a full list of questions in .PDF format, and practice with it later, before the start of your interview:

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## How Do You Maintain Control Over The Quality Of Food That Goes Out To Guests

Very important question. In other words, whats your process like in the kitchen. How do you keep your team working together, how are dishes made throughout the day and evening, and how do you maintain quality control? Aim for an answer thats equal parts responsible and practical. I make each dish myself is completely unrealistic. However, many cooks always have their eyes on dishes before they go out the door. If this is you, make sure to bring this up!

What Are Some Of The Duties Of A Prep Cook

Top 10 Job Interview Questions in English

Prep cooks are responsible for setting up essentially all the food for a shift. This includes washing, peeling, cutting and prepping fresh ingredients. It is also their duty to maintain sanitation and organization of the kitchen area.

Example answer: “The duties of a prep cook revolve around food preparation. Typically, prep cooks are responsible for cutting, slicing, dicing, washing and cooking all ingredients and food served on the menu. Prep cooks need to be familiar with proper sanitation procedures and how to maintain a clean kitchen. I just love the variety of tasks. I wake up each day and it’s like a new challenge.”

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