A Line Cook interview is quite a force to reckon with but it should not be taken as a “problem”. Interviews are not something we can avoid if we want to attain a job which is why it is important to take them very seriously. Remember that an interview is conducted to judge if an individual is a good fit for a Line Cook position. So it is up to the candidate to make sure that he or she answers in a way that makes him appear to be a good fit.
Interviews are a great avenue for candidates even if they don’t end up getting a job. An interview can teach us much in terms of how and what types of questions are asked. One unsuccessful interview can become the basis of the next possibly successful one! Since interviews hold so much importance, it is vital to make sure that we prepare for them. Preparation includes researching the company so that you know what its goals are and making sure that you research questions that you may be asked about the position you are applying for.
The following set of interview questions and answers for a line cook’s position will provide you an idea. Some tips have also been added so that you can answer each question properly.
Tell me something about yourself?
I possess an associate’s degree in culinary arts and have been working as a junior cook for the past two years. I am an organized person who has a demonstrated ability to run and maintain a hygienic cooking station.
Why did you choose this profession?
Food is my passion and I enjoy experimenting with different flavors. My exposure to different parts of the world as a child developed in me an understanding of various cuisines and I like to invent fusion dishes which is why I opted for a culinary career.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Being a highly motivated individual with a passion for cooking, in the next ten years I see myself working as a head chef in some five star restaurant or having one of my own.
What strategies do you apply in order to keep yourself organized?
I am an inborn manager and usually enter my work station pre organized. To ensure organization at work, I always send requisition for supplies needed at least one day in advance and I always pay special attention to prep work. Things are least likely to go wrong at a cooking station if the prep targets are achieved well in time.
Do you think a cook needs mathematical skills?
Definitely! A cook needs mathematical skills to weigh things accurately, make unit conversions and double or divide ingredient quantities to attain desired amount of any given recipe
Explain a time when you faced a difficult situation and how you dealt with it?
During the last holiday season while I was in charge of the pastry station, a colleague who was in charge at the entrée station had to go on urgent leave. I covered up for him while maintaining my own station as well. The first day was a bit difficult but then I developed and applied some effective strategies and did all that was possible before hand to ensure timely food service. I was able to run both stations simultaneously without extra help for a week
Share a major achievement you have made as a line cook previously?
I contributed a special sauce recipe to serve with the restaurant’s most famous Crisp Fried Fish and it was included in the menu. I also initiated and implemented high quality safe and hygienic work station practices at the restaurant which were highly commended by the sous chef
Tell us of some of the duties that you performed every day.
(This question is aimed at finding out how much you know about your work and what experience you have had previously. Be precise but make sure that you provide information of important tasks.)
Station set up, food preparation, stocking, cleaning and some amount of cooking are some of the duties that I performed on a daily basis.
What skills do you think a line cook should possess to be successful in his / her work?
(Be careful! The interviewer is trying to gauge if you actually possess all the skills that you are supposed to. Provide detailed information of some of the important skills that you believe a line cook should have.)
The foremost skill a line cook should possess is the ability to prepare food in accordance to food handlers’ guidelines. He should also possess knowledge of cooking procedures and safety rules for kitchen equipment. Additionally, he must be able to do repetitive work without getting bored and be flexible with job duties that he may is entrusted with.
What would you do if you found that kitchen equipment entrusted to another line cook is broken or in poor repair?
(This is a trick question aimed at determining how well you handle situations that involve peers. You have to show that you are a tactful person and not a telltale.)
If I come across something like this, it is my duty to talk to the responsible individual and explain to him that he needs to report the problem.
How do you ensure a smooth service period?
(This is another question aimed at determining how well you know your work. Be specific as to what you believe is the right set of activities to ensure smooth services.)
Smooth service is the basis of any type of food service organization. To ensure this, I make sure that there is sufficient stock and levels of food supplies available to line stations at all times.
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