Chef & Head Cook Interview Questions & Answers

Chefs and head cooks oversee the daily food preparation at restaurants and other places where food is served.

Interviewers look for candidates that demonstrate excellent skills such as:

In this blog, we discuss commonly asked interview questions during job interviews for chef & head cook positions. We also discuss the qualities that interviewers look for in successful candidates. In other words, we’re here to help you out!

Also, read more about frequently asked job interview questions here and check our job interview preparation checklist.

Skills Interviewers Look For In Successful Candidates

Below we discuss the skills you can highlight in your answers to demonstrate that you’re qualified for the job.

Business skills

Why interviewers are interested in your business skills:

Executive chefs and chefs who run their own restaurant need to understand the restaurant business. They should know how to budget for supplies, set prices, and manage workers so that the restaurant is profitable.

Communication skills

Why interviewers are interested in your communication skills:

Chefs must communicate their instructions clearly and effectively to staff so that customers’ orders are prepared correctly.

Learn more about communication interview questions and how to answer them!

Creativity

Why interviewers are interested in your creative skills:

Chefs and head cooks need to be creative in order to develop and prepare interesting and innovative recipes. They should be able to use various ingredients to create appealing meals for their customers.

Dexterity

Why interviewers are interested in your dexterity:

Chefs and head cooks need excellent dexterity, including proper knife techniques for cutting, chopping, and dicing.

Leadership skills

Why interviewers are interested in your leadership skills:

Chefs and head cooks must have the ability to motivate kitchen staff and develop constructive and cooperative working relationships with them.

Learn more about leadership interview questions and how to answer them!

Physical stamina

Why interviewers are interested in your physical stamina:

Chefs and head cooks often work long shifts and sometimes spend entire evenings on their feet, overseeing the preparation and serving of meals.

Sense of taste and smell

Why interviewers are interested in your sense of taste and smell:

Chefs and head cooks must have a keen sense of taste and smell in order to inspect food quality and to design meals that their customers will enjoy.

Time-management skills

Why interviewers are interested in your time-management skills:

Chefs and head cooks must efficiently manage their time and the time of their staff. They ensure that meals are prepared correctly and that customers are served on time, especially during busy hours.

Learn more about time-management interview questions and how to answer them!

(source: bls.gov)

Chef & Head Cook Job Interview Questions & Answers

During a job interview, the hiring manager wants to discuss several things. Think of your:

Below you find a list of commonly asked interview questions.

Examples Of General Chef & Head Cook Interview Questions

  1. Tell me about yourself.
  2. How would you describe yourself?
  3. Why do you want to work here?
  4. What interests you about this position?
  5. Walk me through your resume.
  6. What motivates you?
  7. Why are you leaving your current job?
  8. Describe your work ethic.
  9. What is your greatest strength?
  10. How does your experience qualify you for this job?
  11. What is your greatest weakness?
  12. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  13. Tell me about a challenging work situation and how you overcame it.
  14. What are your expectations for this position?
  15. What are your career goals?
  16. Why should we hire you?
  17. What did you like most about your last position?
  18. What did you like least about your last position?
  19. How do you handle stress?
  20. What is your greatest accomplishment?

Learn how to answer these common job interview questions!

Examples Of Specific Chef & Head Cook Behavioral Interview Questions

Learn more about answering behavioral interview questions by using the STAR interview technique.

  1. Where and how were you trained to be a chef? Did you go to culinary school / Do you hold any culinary certifications?
  2. Are you a team player? Give me an example of a rewarding teamwork experience.
  3. How would you describe your management style?
  4. How many employees currently report to you as a chef?
  5. What is your specialty as a chef/head cook?
  6. What is your favorite dish to cook? Why?
  7. Tell me what you would change about our current menu?
  8. Describe your proudest moment as a chef?
  9. Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult employee.
  10. Describe the most challenging meals you have cooked in the past. What is your process of overcoming challenges?

Learn more about questions to ask the interviewer during your job interview.