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P.F. Changs Interview
Questions

30 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Question 1 of 30
What do you feel is the most important characteristic in order to be successful with P.F. Changs?
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How to Answer
It is essential to research P.F. Changs before your interview. You should be aware of the characteristics they value in their staff and leadership team. Likely, you will be able to find some great information on their website, a job description, or within their company values and mission statement. Show the interviewer the similarities in your characteristics, and what P.F. Changs seeks out in their new hires.
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30 P.F. Changs Interview Questions
Win your next job by practicing from our question bank. We have thousands of questions and answers created by interview experts.
Interview Questions
  1. What do you feel is the most important characteristic in order to be successful with P.F. Changs?
  2. Have you received any training in formal dining?
  3. In high-end dining, you may come across very discerning customers. How do you handle a picky customer?
  4. There are many options for you in the fine dining industry. Why do you specifically want to work with P.F. Changs?
  5. You will be required to process expensive customer transactions. Do you consider yourself a trustworthy and honest person?
  6. At P.F. Changs we value our customers and always put them first. Do you agree with the phrase 'The customer is always right'?
  7. Tell me about your food safety training or health and safety related certifications.
  8. At P.F. Changs, we require background checks on all employees. Will you comply?
  9. We will require you to be available on weekends, evenings, and holidays. Is there anything in your schedule hindering your availability?
  10. Do you feel that you are currently paid what you are worth?
  11. We look for education from WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust). How many levels have you completed?
  12. Looking at our wine list, what would you suggest as a pairing with our rack of lamb?
  13. What does the term, 'a la carte' mean to you?
  14. Have you already familiarized yourself with our menu?
  15. Have you dined here before? If so, describe your experience.
  16. What does it mean to 'romanticize' a menu?
  17. How would you respond if a customer wrote a bad review online, regarding your service?
  18. How would you react if a customer asked to send a $60 steak back, after eating over half of it?
  19. Explain to me, step by step, the proper way to serve wine.
  20. Do you consider yourself a 'foodie'? Why or why not?
  21. What does the word 'hospitality' mean to you?
  22. Which aspect of serving do you dislike the most?
  23. Tell me about the worst dining guest you have ever dealt with, and how you persevered through the situation.
  24. How would you handle a co-worker who was acting unprofessionally towards our dining guests?
  25. Have you ever had a table 'dine and dash'? If so, how did you handle the situation?
  26. If P.F. Changs hired you today, what would you accomplish first?
  27. We cannot always predict how busy we will be in our dining room. How do you react to a sudden increase in your workload?
  28. When entering a new job, describe how you build relationships with your new coworkers and managers.
  29. What is the worst thing a previous manager could say about you?
  30. How many days were you absent from work last year?
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Answer Examples
1.
What do you feel is the most important characteristic in order to be successful with P.F. Changs?
It is essential to research P.F. Changs before your interview. You should be aware of the characteristics they value in their staff and leadership team. Likely, you will be able to find some great information on their website, a job description, or within their company values and mission statement. Show the interviewer the similarities in your characteristics, and what P.F. Changs seeks out in their new hires.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"Through my research on P.F. Changs I saw a theme surrounding honesty and diligence. I agree that these characteristics are fundamental. In addition to these, I would add a positive attitude, willingness to learn, and strong listening skills."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I understand from researching P.F. Changs online, and also from being a customer in the past, that you seek people who are disciplined, intuitive when it comes to the needs of others, can remember the small details, and carry a highly positive attitude. I will bring all of these characteristics to P.F. Changs. My references can attest to the fact that I am diligent and honest as well."

2.
Have you received any training in formal dining?
Many high-end restaurants will have a robust internal employee training program. Talk to the interviewer about any specialized training you have received in your career. The interviewer will take note, from your response, on the areas where you may need additional training.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"With my current company, I received two-week in-house training which included topics on best-practices, health and safety, up-selling, and wine pairings. They were beneficial training programs. Can you tell me a bit more about your training program here at P.F. Changs?"
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I am new to the workforce and have not experienced a lot in the way of industry training. I do have my food safety certificate and look forward to gaining even more training through this role with P.F. Changs."
3.
In high-end dining, you may come across very discerning customers. How do you handle a picky customer?
With high-end, fine dining usually comes customers who are very particular about their dining experience. Are you able to brush it off when a customer is extra picky, or do you take the event personally? Assure the interviewer that you can keep professional composure when it comes to demanding customers.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have spent many years working in the restaurant, hotel, and other customer service based industries. I no longer take it personally when a customer is picky or difficult. I will do my best to make them happy, but I fully understand that you cannot appease everyone."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I handle an extra-choosy customer with utmost care! I listen, and do my best to deliver above their expectations."
4.
There are many options for you in the fine dining industry. Why do you specifically want to work with P.F. Changs?
With many options in the upscale dining industry for employment, why do you want to work for P.F. Changs? Talk to the interviewer about your preference for their company. Dig deep when it comes to your response, bringing up specifics related to their menu, clientele, awards they have won, or their company mission.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I am careful to be employed with a company that holds a strong industry reputation. I'd like to work for P.F. Changs because your training programs are above the industry standard and you have a reputation for treating your employees very well."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I especially want to work for P.F. Changs because I have friends who have worked here previously, providing me with positive feedback on their experiences. I am looking for a positive work environment where I can stay for a long time to come. Also, I am passionate when it comes to fine wine, and your list is incredible."
5.
You will be required to process expensive customer transactions. Do you consider yourself a trustworthy and honest person?
In the fine dining industry, you could be completing transactions from a few hundred dollars, into the thousands. Can you be trusted with a customers' black American Express card or a $4,000 bottle of wine? Draw on the strength of your references and assure the interviewer that you are a trustworthy and honest employee.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"One of my greatest strengths as an employee is my level of honesty and trustworthiness. I have multiple references who will attest to the fact that I am competent and honest. I have experience handling large amounts of cash and credit card transactions. I have opened bottles of wine worth up to $2,000 and invoices up to $8,000."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I see myself and trustworthy and always honest. My integrity has never been in question, and my most recent manager will be happy to give you a solid reference regarding my reliability and transparent approach in the workplace; whether that be with large cheques or expensive food and beverage items."
6.
At P.F. Changs we value our customers and always put them first. Do you agree with the phrase 'The customer is always right'?
'The customer is always right' has been a long-standing mantra for service-based organizations. Do you agree with this mantra? Why, or why not? The interviewer would like to see you respond positively. If possible, take a look at the company website to see what their mantra or customer service statement is.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"Although I believe that the customer is not always right - it's important to treat them as though they are. Within the limitations of health and safety, etc.; I believe it's best to accommodate the customer within reason."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Some customers are quite impossible to please so I would not go so far to say that the customer is always right. With that said, I do treat every customer with the utmost respect and do put their needs first in all reasonable situations."
7.
Tell me about your food safety training or health and safety related certifications.
Health and safety is the main priority for all high-end dining establishments. Walk the interviewer through any related training. If you have any physical cards or certifications to show, be sure to bring those into the interview. If some of your certifications are close to expiration, be sure to disclose that.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have had training in my past three roles in regards to health and safety, and well as proper food handling. If there is additional training that you require me to participate in, I am happy to do so."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I am new to the workforce and, having just graduated from university; I do not have formal training in health or safety. If you have any required coursework related to this position with P.F. Changs, I am happy to get a head start on that training."
8.
At P.F. Changs, we require background checks on all employees. Will you comply?
To work for many high-end restaurant establishments, you will need proper vetting. Since you will be working around expensive food and alcohol products, you must assure the interviewer that you can pass a criminal record check. If you have a criminal record, this is the time to disclose it. In most cases, refusing to comply will result in your ineligibility for the role.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I am happy to participate in a full criminal background check. I have a clean record."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I will disclose to you that I received a DUI in 2014 but do not have any other marks on my criminal record. I am happy to comply with any background checks that you require."
9.
We will require you to be available on weekends, evenings, and holidays. Is there anything in your schedule hindering your availability?
Restaurants are often open late, on weekends, and on special holidays. Being in the service industry will require you to be flexible in your availability. Assure the interviewer that you can handle the schedule associated with this role. If you have scheduling limitations, this is the time to disclose them.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I am accustomed to working a wide range of shifts that include evenings, weekends, holidays and a large amount of voluntary overtime. I enjoy working and am happy to work whenever required."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I am very flexible with my schedule except for Wednesday evenings, when I attend evening university courses. Other than that evening, I am willing to accommodate any of your scheduling needs."
10.
Do you feel that you are currently paid what you are worth?
The interviewer would like to know if you feel undervalued in your current role. Many employees will look for new work if they think that they are underpaid and underappreciated. Of course, this potential new employer wants to ensure that they will make you a competitive offer that will entice you to join their establishment, and stay there. Talk to the interviewer about your current compensation and whether or not you feel it is fair. Be sure to have researched your answer to back you up, versus throwing out a random number and hoping it will stick.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I believe that I am ready for a restaurant manager position, which would bump up my pay quite significantly. I am paid fairly for being an assistant manager, but am craving an increase in responsibilities, which is why I am seeking out a new role."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I feel that my current employer pays me fairly; however, I would like to see an increase in pay with an increase in responsibilities."
11.
We look for education from WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust). How many levels have you completed?
WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) is a well-known organization through the restaurant industry, which provides courses and exams related to wine and spirit education. Many fine dining establishments prefer to hire those with some wine knowledge. Your education through WSET can include Level I, II, III, or IV for Wine and Spirits, and even Sake. Discuss with the interviewer any formal training you may have from WSET, or other wine-related coursework.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have had a lifelong dream of becoming a sommelier one day. I have completed the Wine and Spirits Level I Foundation Certificate and look forward to continuing my wine education."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Although I have not taken coursework through WSET specifically, I have taken a couple of wine pairing classes through my neighborhood wine store. If you have a keen interest in hiring someone who will achieve WSET certification, I am happy to entertain this."
12.
Looking at our wine list, what would you suggest as a pairing with our rack of lamb?
Whether you have formal training in wine pairings or not, the interviewer would like to see how confident you are when it comes to making suggestions to customers. Also, this question tests how much research you have done on their menu and wine list.

Some suggestions for a rack of lamb include:

- Syrah
- Borolo
- Bordeaux

It is safe to say that most old world wines will pair nicely with this style of meaty dish. Share your knowledge with the interviewer, being as specific to the P.F. Changs menu as possible.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have always enjoyed a Petite Sirah with a rack of lamb. I saw on your wine list that you offer Michael David's, 'Petite Petite.' Since this bottle is 85% Petite Sirah and 15% Petit Verdot, I find it a delicious selection that does not overpower a lamb dish. That bottle would be my suggestion."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"You have many amazing wines at P.F. Changs. Before making a final suggestion, I would ask the customer what their favorite wines are from home. Then, I would make an appropriate recommendation based on their palate. I see on your menu that you have an amazing Borolo which would be a fantastic pairing to any lamb dish."
13.
What does the term, 'a la carte' mean to you?
There are a few words and terms, based on the French language that you will likely come across while working in the upscale restaurant industry. The phrase, 'a la carte,' applies when you dine at a place where you can order dishes from a regular menu. The opposite offering is, 'd'hote,' which means a set menu. Just explain to the interviewer that you understand these terms.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"The term 'a la carte' to me, means, off the menu. I have worked only for a la carte style establishments; however, I have served on special occasions where there is a set menu. For instance, on Valentines Day."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"To me, 'a la carte' describes most restaurants, where diners can choose their desired selections from a menu with a significant amount of variety."
14.
Have you already familiarized yourself with our menu?
Your response should always be 'yes!' The interviewer will gauge your interest in working for P.F. Changs, and your engagement level, by the effort that you exude. Do you want to be a stand-out candidate? It does not take much time to scan through a menu before your interview. Most restaurant menus are available online. Familiarize yourself with a couple of appetizers, entrees, desserts, and a bit of the wine and cocktail offerings.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have taken some time to study your menu, as I am very excited about this opportunity. I noticed that you have a wonderful selection for all dietary preferences including vegetarian and gluten-free options. Also, I appreciate that you have a robust wine list. I am a true wine enthusiast!"
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I have dined at P.F. Changs a couple of times in the past and am familiar with your chef's style. The cuisine here is always incredible, and the overall experience unforgettable. I like that you have wine pairing suggestions listed under each entree and that the chef does a tasting menu which changes seasonally. I look forward to contributing to your talented and dynamic team."
15.
Have you dined here before? If so, describe your experience.
If you have a chance to dine at P.F. Changs before your interview, it's a great choice to make a reservation and have a first-hand look. If you have not eaten there before, be sure to express your interest in having the experience. Rely on any reviews you have read online or feedback that you have received from friends, family, or those in your network.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have dined at P.F. Changs once before, for a holiday party with a former employer. It was a private event, so I should point out that my experience, although marvelous, was not the typical dining experience. We ordered a huge array of delicious appetizers, and the cocktails were creative and paired very well with the food choices. I remember the service being very attentive as well."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I came to P.F. Changs on a date night just one month ago. My experience was so wonderful; it's what prompted me to apply for a job here. I loved the atmosphere, the server was very attentive, and the menu was the best I have seen in a long time."
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