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.
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
I begin with inspecting food preparation areas to ensure that they are cleaned and sanitized. I then oversee all food preparation activities and perform some myself as well. I gather ingredients, cook and bake dishes according to set recipes and ensure that customers' orders are delivered on time.
(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.
(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.
It is to your advantage if the employer tells you the range first. Prepare by knowing the going rate in your area, and your bottom line or walk-away point. One possible answer would be: "I am sure when the time comes, we can agree on a reasonable amount. In what range do you typically pay someone with my background?"
Discuss the importance of having an artistic culinary vision aptly combined with the necessity to instruct and oversee kitchen staff so that everyone performs at his best, while making sure supplies are always ready and fresh. The chef's vision, then, does not end with the dish, but encompasses the entire logistical process of getting the food on the customer's table.
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.
What makes you unique? This will take an assessment of your experiences, skills and traits. Summarize concisely: "I have a unique combination of strong technical skills, and the ability to build strong customer relationships. This allows me to use my knowledge and break down information to be more user-friendly."
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
Portioning is important firstly because you have to maintain quality. You have to make sure that customers get their money's worth. It works as a marketing tool in this case. Secondly, portioning food properly means that you are working within the food budget provided to you.
It's time to pull out your old performance appraisals and boss's quotes. This is a great way to brag about yourself through someone else's words: "My boss has told me that I am the best designer he has ever had. He knows he can rely on me, and he likes my sense of humor."
Up till now, an incident of this sort hasn't happened and I intend to keep it this way.
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."
I believe that Indian food is now becoming quite popular. This is mainly because it is considered healthy because of its vegan nature. As more and more people are becoming inclined to eat healthy, this particular cuisine is becoming a hot favorite of people around the world.
Sometimes it's best to talk about short-term and intermediate goals rather than locking yourself into the distant future. For example, "My immediate goal is to get a job in a growth-oriented company. My long-term goal will depend on where the company goes. I hope to eventually grow into a position of responsibility."
I believe in overseeing the work of others and checking myself constantly as well. When you have checks and balances such as the ones that I have placed, a thing like this is almost impossible to happen.
☛ What kind of formal training have you have?
☛ How would you describe the difference between broiling and braising?
☛ What dishes best showcase your creativity?
☛ What would you do if you were cooking and realized that you didn't have all the ingredients you needed to make a dish?
☛ What would you do if you were shopping and couldn't find the right brand of an ingredient for your recipe?
☛ How do you make sure that shift changes go smoothly?
☛ How do you respond to increases or decreases in customer flow?
☛ Describe the busiest times at your previous restaurant. How did you go the extra mile to help out?
☛ What are the least busy times? What do you do with your extra time?
☛ What would you do if you were on your way to work and your car broke down?
☛ How would you handle negative feedback from a customer about the food?
☛ Describe a time you went out of your way to please a customer.
☛ Describe a time you helped a co-worker finish a job on time.
☛ Describe a time you disagreed with your manager. How did you handle it?
☛ Tell me about yourself.
☛ Why did you apply for this job?
☛ What do you know about our company?
☛ What would you say are your strengths?
☛ What would you say are your weaknesses?
☛ What do you see yourself doing in five years time?
☛ What do you enjoy most in your current (or most recent) job?
☛ What do you enjoy least in your current (or most recent) job?
☛ What is your greatest career achievement?
☛ Why do you want to leave your current/previous job?
☛ How would your colleagues say about you?
☛ What single thing would you most like to change about your current job?
☛ What has been the biggest career disappointment?
☛ Do you prefer to work alone or with colleagues?
☛ What other job have you applied for recently?
☛ What is your reaction to criticism?
☛ How does this chef job sound to you?
☛ What is your current boss like?
☛ Why should we give the job to you?
☛ In what environment do you work best?
☛ What are your your hobbies?
☛ When was the last time you cried?
☛ Do you have any questions that you would like us to answer?
(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.
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.
Describe your specialties in cooking (pastry, sauce, etc.), and your relevant experience in general. You can also talk about anything else you excel at; perhaps your team management skills are especially outstanding, or your knowledge of local tastes, etc.
The interviewer is listening for an answer that indicates you've given this some thought and are not sending out resumes just because there is an opening. For example, "I've selected key companies whose mission statements are in line with my values, where I know I could be excited about what the company does, and this company is very high on my list of desirable choices."
I am highly experienced in cooking Italian, Chinese, French, German, Turkish and Indian cuisines, along with handling our traditional American food as well.
Interviewers use this type of psychological question to see if you can think quickly. If you answer "a bunny," you will make a soft, passive impression. If you answer "a lion," you will be seen as aggressive. What type of personality would it take to get the job done? What impression do you want to make?
Even if you haven't yet worked in a large establishment yourself, you know the chef's routine. Emphasize the nuances of the job to convey an impression of intimate knowledge. For example, ordering food so that there is always enough fresh supply, while choosing it so that the dishes are varied and interesting. It requires knowledge of the qualities of ingredients, as well as familiarity with the market and suppliers. The chef's routine includes the ability to coordinate these administrative tasks with the art of cooking.
If you're unemployed, state your reason for leaving in a positive context: "I managed to survive two rounds of corporate downsizing, but the third round was a 20 percent reduction in the workforce, which included me."
Yes, in more than one way. At one end, the chef has to be an effective team leader; chefs enact discipline and professionalism in the kitchen. Good chefs inspire their kitchen staff. At the other end, the chef might need to communicate with customers and should make the best impression possible in appearance and behavior.
Summarize your experiences: "With five years' experience working in the financial industry and my proven record of saving the company money, I could make a big difference in your company. I'm confident I would be a great addition to your team."
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.
I have been actively involved in overseeing the work of food preparers, sous chefs and line cooks during the 10 years that I have worked as a cook. Furthermore, I have been responsible for ensuring that food hygiene and safety practices are followed appropriately.
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
This is the most dreaded question of all. Handle it by minimizing your weakness and emphasizing your strengths. Stay away from personal qualities and concentrate on professional traits: "I am always working on improving my communication skills to be a more effective presenter. I recently joined Toastmasters, which I find very helpful."
Chefs are often involved in marketing and promotion of their restaurants. If you have any such experience or education, do not hesitate to say so. Chefs already know the market and can therefore participate in branding a place and creating marketing presence and promotional strategies.
Creativity is crucial for this line of work. You can state that the chef must know the tradition and history of the food s/he works with, as well as numerous ways to combine ingredients. Chefs think and experiment with combinations. They can combine the traditional with the modern, a general taste with a touch of something personal, and create new flavors by trying new ingredient combinations.
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.
Recently, I suggested incorporation of a vegan section for health conscious customers. This increased customer base by 45% and also increased the restaurant's revenue by a staggering 58%. I believe this is my biggest accomplishment yet.
(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.
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.
The interviewer wants to know what motivates you. If you can relate an example of a job or project when you were excited, the interviewer will get an idea of your preferences. "I was very satisfied in my last job, because I worked directly with the customers and their problems; that is an important part of the job for me."