Chefs are critical contributors to the foodservice and hospitality industries. It goes without saying that hiring managers cautiously scrutinize them in a chef interview.
If you are hoping to obtain a chef job, then you be required to be exceptionally well prepared for the chef interview. The top 42 chef interview questions and answers that you may come across include the following:
Top 43 Chef Interview Questions and Answers
1. Tell me a little bit about yourself?
I have loved cooking all my life, and it was my dream to become a chef. So, I trained as one at one of the top culinary schools in the country, and have been working as a chef for more than 7 years now.
2. What specific duties have you performed in the role of a chef?
As a chef, I have overseen the work of kitchen staff members. Apart from providing them with leadership, I have performed many tasks, including developing menus, and recipes. To be specific, my work involved checking orders and preparing food items accordingly. Ensuring that all food items are cooked and presented properly was also part of my work. In addition, I was also involved in selecting choice ingredients and experimenting to come up with new specialties.
3. Tell me something about the skills that you possess as a chef.
I am a highly-skilled individual, with excellent knowledge of picking and using high-quality ingredients. Cooking orders according to preferences, and employing food hygiene and safety procedures is also a great skill. Moreover, I am well-versed in setting up kitchen areas and delegating work to kitchen staff members.
4. What is one of the best talents that you are proud of?
My ability to improvise recipes is something that I am extremely proud of. This skill makes it possible for me to create new menu items, which in turn, develops a more significant customer base.
5. What do you dislike about this work?
I do not dislike anything about this work. However, working in the foodservice industry is a bit overwhelming since one has to constantly look out for food hygiene and safety.
6. Describe a perfect day of work.
I believe that one can make any day perfect if one wants to. To me, a perfect day is one in which every individual works flawlessly, and creates an atmosphere of learning and growth.
7. Do you feel that working in a commercial kitchen requires teamwork?
Absolutely. Cooking is not just the chef’s work. Kitchen helpers, food preparers, and janitorial staff all help make cooking successful.
8. How do you handle conflict in the workplace?
Conflict is all in a day’s work when so many people are working in the same place, for so many hours. I try not to let conflict reduce my kitchen’s work efficiency. Whatever issues people have with each other, need to be resolved after working hours.
9. What is the most challenging work that you have done till now?
I have performed many challenging roles, but the one that I found most challenging was to cater to a birthday party of a movie celebrity. There was a lot of pressure on me because of the high-end guest list. However, everything went quite smoothly, and I was praised for my ability to impress the host and the guests with my superior cooking skills.
10. Do you like to work as a mentor and trainer?
Yes. I feel that I have a lot to teach to others, owing to my experience, and vast skills. And I like passing on my skills to others.
11. How do you ensure an appealing plate presentation?
I am skilled in creating aesthetically pleasing presentations. I can think creatively and can manage on the spot plate creations.
12. What would you do if a guest complained about your food?
If such an incident happened, I would apologize before I investigate what went wrong. If it were my fault, I would assure the guest that it would not happen again, and be ready to face consequences.
13. What administrative duties have you performed in the role of a chef?
I have been involved in monitoring food stock, and rotation tasks. Apart from this, my work includes ensuring that all resources and equipment are in good working order.
14. How do you ensure compliance with health and safety protocols?
I run a very tight ship. I ensure that all people working in the kitchen strictly follow health and safety protocols. And I keep reinforcing them so that people keep them as a priority.
15. Can you modify recipes easily?
Yes, I am quite efficient in modifying recipes to meet the dynamic needs of guests.
16. What is your greatest strength?
I believe that my greatest strength is my ability to learn new things quite easily.
17. What is your greatest weakness?
I sometimes feel that I try too hard to achieve customer service targets. This can make things quite frustrating at times.
18. Where do you prefer working – in a hotel or a restaurant?
I feel that both have different challenges to offer, so I would not mind working in either.
19. Are you able to work flexible hours?
Yes, I work flexible hours even in my present place of work. I do not mind changing work hours at all.
20. Is there a chef that you admire?
The chef under whom I got training is someone I admire the most. I believe that he is the most insightful individual I have ever come across.
21. What cuisines are you a pro in making?
I am a pro in creating many cuisines including French, American, Indian, Korean, Chinese, and Italian.
22. What is your favorite cuisine?
My favorite to cook is French. Also, I love the Italian cuisines.
23. Tell me about your wine knowledge?
I am highly experienced in suggesting the right types of wines with the food that I make.
24. How do you ensure the quality of your ingredients?
I buy only high-quality ingredients. I do my research properly, and ensure that only the best vendors are brought onboard.
25. When do you feel happy at work?
I feel happy when am creating something new.
26. What would you do if you saw a worker break food safety practice?
I would deal with the issues strictly. I believe that anyone who can do such a thing should not work in a food establishment.
27. Can you recall a time when a dish was returned to the kitchen?
A guest sent a dish back because he did not like the overpowering smell of garlic. The dish was garlic mushrooms, so I could not do much about it.
28. How do you follow trends in the industry?
I keep an active eye out for changing industry trends. If I see something new, I research it and try to provide correlating services to my clients.
29. How do you handle supervisory work?
Usually, there is a kitchen supervisor performing this work. When there isn’t one, I make sure that I properly oversee the work of kitchen personnel.
30. What do you look for when you hire people to work under you?
The main thing that I look for is their passion. Then, I concentrate on how much they know about the work that they are being considered for.
31. Why do you want to leave your present job?
I feel that I have learned as much as I can in my present job. Since the restaurant is not introducing anything new, I feel that my growth has stopped.
32. Why do you want to work for us particularly?
I see that you keep adding new items to the menu. This excites me, as it shows your passion for this work.
33. Why do you think that you are the best person for this job?
I possess all the skills and qualifications that you have covered in your job advert. I feel that hiring me will be an excellent decision because I will not need to be trained at all.
34. Can you bake as well?
Yes, my baking skills are as perfect as my cooking skills.
35. Tell me of your most amazing baked item.
I make the country’s best cinnamon rolls. And I do not claim this myself – the people who eat them do.
36. How do you ensure the freshness of food?
I take food rotation activities quite seriously, to ensure the freshness of stored food. And I make sure that I buy only the freshest of green groceries.
37. What do you like most about this work?
Cooking is my passion. The fact that I can work on something that is so close to me is a great motivator.
38. Tell us of a time when you did something that you were commended for.
Last year, I managed to implement a food rotation system, which reduced food wastage by 70%. The restaurant manager was very proud of me, and I was commended for my innovative mind and great effort.
39. What would you change about your current workplace?
I would change the way they handle vendor relations.
40. What are your 5-year plans?
I want to meet my goal of learning 30 different world cuisines within the next 5 years. For this, I am constantly learning, and have even enrolled myself in a world cuisine course after hours.
41. Besides 5-year plans, do you have any planning for the near future?
I intend to hold a series of training workshops for aspiring chefs so that they can learn the ropes.
42. If we hire you, when can you join us?
I am currently serving my notice at my current workplace. I can join you within 20 days from now.
43. Do you have any questions for me?
I would love to know more about the different cuisines that you offer at your restaurant.
Interviewing for a chef position will require you to prepare for some standard and some situational questions. The hiring manager will want to know your talents as a chef, which is why you must view the above mentioned 43 chef interview questions and answers in detail.