What questions do chefs ask new hires during an interview?

Discussion in 'After Culinary School' started by kslim, Aug 5, 2014.

  1. kslim


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    Line Cook
    just generally curious about what some chefs or people who go on interviews get asked culinary knowledge wise. if your directly interviewing for a position do you even bother to ask some of the standard "give me a time when..." or do you just cut right to the chase and ask about some basic culinary knowledge, or something more advanced. regardless of what industry, hotel, restuarant, catering, etc. 

    and im talking more along the lines of an entry level or prep cook position. 
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2014
  2. thumper1279


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    Culinary Student
    some of the basic questions that i seem to be asked when i say basic i mean more common basic to be asked in all interviews to my experience.

    1. what are your weaknesses.
    2. what are your strengths.   
    Don't ever say you don't have any weaknesses and don't brag the hell out of your strengths at-least this is my opinion these. 
    What i do is i take a weakness and i turn it into a positive. such as  My biggest weakness is i like to help everyone when they ask to explain.
    I will say i have trouble saying no i am such a team player that i like to help everyone and sometimes i have to sit back and say no i can't help until what i am doing is done i get caught up helping other people and forget about what i need to do for my own production.

    See i took a negative weakness and i turned it into a Positive and let them know how much of a team player i am at the same time.

    another question that comes up is 

    Explain a time where you had to deal with a problem at work.
    How did you handle it was it resolved what was the outcome.

    another one that is good for you to ask if it's the chef interviewing you and not someone form HR 

    always ask 
    Chef what got you interested in the industry how did you find yourself here when did you know that this was what you wanted to do.

    also ask about how often the chance comes for you to move up but make sure they understand you are not just looking for the higher paying position you are looking for the chance to learn every aspect of the kitchen and move up positions to grow within the company.

    you can ask how many times a positions has been filled or turned over 

    ask if it was because of hiring from within or people moving up the line or if it was because they let them go or the person you where replacing decided to leave 

    show interest in knowing all you can about the positions you are going in for.
    chefboyog likes this.
  3. andrew curley

    andrew curley

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    Line Cook
    I had no experience in a professional kitchen.  I got asked what I was cooking during my SVQ level 2 in professional cookery.  I told him.  I was also humble in my approach and told the exec I am not the best cook on the planet, but I certainly go above and beyond what is expected working weekend and 68 hours at my bakery job.  And then I got asked why I want to become a chef and I said I want to make people happy.  I told him I worked for nothing for a week to get my foot in the door at another restaurant.  I told him I'd be happy peeling onions all day or being a kitchen porter, I didn't even apply to be a cook at the place I'm working it was FoH.  Got asked what I would specialize in and I said patisserie because of the dexterity involved.   

    lol, so cheesy but I was honest and nervous.  Worked because I got the job the next day.  If you relax and answer honestly you will be ok.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2014
  4. madewithnotepad


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    Professional Chef
    I get a lot of managers that are skeptical when they interview me, most likely because I'm young, white and female. If the job interview offered a possibility of a stage, I've never been turned down. So, usually I'd try to work in a, "let me work for free for you for a day, and then you let me know what you think." 

    It's become a lot more difficult now that I interview for chef/kitchen manager positions. Turning a weakness (that I have!) into a strength, such as, "sometimes I like to help everyone else out so much that I take on everyone else's responsibilities," isn't a strength at all. Being a manager involves being able to delegate, and that's a skill that I definitely need to work on.

    So, being able to showcase your willingness to work has always helped me. Or find a restaurant that's desperate enough. At my last job, we had insane turnover and no applicants, so anybody that walked through the door automatically got the job. Obviously I quit because of the abysmal conditions, but it just goes to show that a lot of the places that desperately need help aren't advertising at all.