The cook interview questions and answers you will contend with can vary somewhat based upon the exact sort of position for which you are applying. However, there are some things that are similar throughout the entire profession, and these are the things upon which you should focus your attention.
Can You Handle Being Short-Staffed During a Rush?
If you work as a line cook for any restaurant, you will inevitably be forced to deal with a rush of customers all at once. This typically occurs during common mealtimes—breakfast, lunch and supper. As if the rush itself was not crazy enough, you may be required to handle it while you are short-staffed. Your potential employer will want to know how you will perform during a stressful situation. “I will do my best to follow the guidelines and prepare each order to perfection. I am working to hone my multitasking skills so that I can handle the needs of the restaurant during a rush, even if I have little to no help.” This answer shows your employer that you will not crumble under stress.
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.
Can You Handle Working with a Coworker You Are Not Fond Of?
Regardless of where or in which setting you work, there will sometimes be an individual with whom you clash. Perhaps you do not see eye to eye or you use different techniques to accomplish the same tasks. In any case, you will need to show your employer that you can handle working with that individual in a professional setting. “My personal feelings about a coworker will not affect my ability to produce high quality food for customers. There is always some sort of resolution that can be reached, and I would work toward that.” This shows your interviewer that you are willing to go to great lengths to ensure that the quality of the restaurant will not be affected by your dislike for another employee.
How Do You Maintain Safety in the Kitchen?
When you prepare food for the general public, it is important that you keep things safe for not only your customers, but also for yourself and your coworkers. If you have a food safety certificate, this is a great time to present it. At the same time, you can mention some of the safety tips that mean the most to you. Even if you do not have a certificate, you should be sure to list some of the things you would do. “I would ensure that all of the ingredients I use are fresh, I would wear gloves and wash my hands often, and I would always let other employees know if I am walking behind them with a hot dish or pan.”
All of these questions will help your interviewer determine your capabilities and your readiness for the position you want. As long as you can be courteous and show your flexibility, your cooking skills will shine through.