Chef Interview Questions

Chef Interview Questions - Chef Works

Author: Chef Perry Perkins  

Are you getting ready to interview for a Chef position? Be sure to take your "A" game!

Remember the cook's 5 Ps (or however many Ps were in the version you learned): "Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance."

Chef Interview Questions

Walking into that office as polished and prepared as possible, exuding confidence, is the best way to move your name up the list of applicants. Here are a few questions you might expect to be asked when applying for a restaurant Chef or Sous Chef position. While they might not come in this exact wording, most of these can be expected in one form or another:

Chef Interview Questions

  1. Why did you decide to become a restaurant Chef?
  2. What is it about being a restaurant Chef that excites you?
  3. What is your favourite meal to prepare and why?
  4. What does it take to make a great Chef?
  5. What was the proudest moment of your culinary career?
  6. What are your five-year goals regarding your culinary career?
  7. What types of cuisine do you consider your specialty and why?
  8. In a sentence, can you describe yourself and your work ethic?
  9. Describe your kitchen management style. Why do you think it works?
  10. Looking at our current menu, what would you change and why?
  11. How experienced are you in purchasing and maintaining a kitchen budget?
  12. How do you handle a difficult employee? (Give examples)
  13. What is your process for buying food and maintaining kitchen inventory?
  14. Describe and justify your kitchen management and leadership style when leading restaurant staff?
  15. Why are you interested in working for our restaurant?
Chef Interview Questions

Researching the Restaurant

Nobody expects you to be a mind reader or know precisely what questions will be asked in your Chef interview.

Still, you can get a foot in the door by knowing a few things about the people and place you hope to work with.

To get ready for a chef interview, you'll want to research the restaurant, either online (menus, reviews, etc.) or by actually eating there… Preferably both… So you can help tailor your answers to suit their specific needs and atmosphere.

Some specific areas to familiarize yourself with might include:

  • The theme and menu of the restaurant
  • Specialty menu items
  • The size of the kitchen staff
  • Number of tables/average turnover
  • Rankings and/ or awards
  • Hours of operation
  • Date established and restaurant history
  • Any significance of location (historical, etc.)
  • Online customer feedback (pros and cons)

Again, applying to be a Chef is not the same as applying to be a waitstaff. An advanced level of leadership, culinary skills, and expertise is expected and demanded in a restaurant's top-shelf spot. Only the best of the best are going to receive genuine consideration.

Chef Interview QuestionsChef Interview Questions

Just being the best applicant isn't enough; you have to be able to prove it, both in words and action.

Be prepared to answer common questions, and don't be afraid to practice or role-play an interview with friends or co-workers (another chef would be ideal).

Good luck!

Are you looking for some tips for new Chefs? Check our article here.

At Chef Works, we are driven by those who are inspired by all things culinary. Fueled by the belief that every culinary professional deserves the right apparel and tools to enhance the work they do. We understand that the recipe for excellence goes far beyond simple ingredients.

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