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Kitchen Manager Interview
Questions

35 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Updated August 17th, 2018 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Job Interviews     Careers     Food Service    
Question 1 of 35
How do you show your kitchen staff the importance of communication in the workplace?
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How to Answer
As a leader, 'telling' and 'showing' are two very different things. Talk to the interviewer about how you personally put communication into action in the workplace.
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Answer Examples
1.
How do you show your kitchen staff the importance of communication in the workplace?
As a leader, 'telling' and 'showing' are two very different things. Talk to the interviewer about how you personally put communication into action in the workplace.

Rachelle's Answer
"I show my kitchen staff the importance of communication through my willingness to ask questions if I do not understand the first time. I do not pretend to know something just to save face. By creating an environment where questions are encouraged, we have increased communication greatly, and have seen a better safety record and less food returned to the kitchen, as a result."
2.
Tell me about an organization or group outside of work that you contributed to.
Many hiring managers will choose one candidate over another because of their volunteer experience. They feel that it shows strong character and selflessness...all qualities that make a great employee. Talk to the interviewer about your willingness to give back to your community in some form of volunteerism. If you do not have formal volunteer experience you can draw on things you do in your spare time to assist friends, family, or even your current employer.

If you do have volunteer experience: "For the past 8 months I have volunteered every Wednesday evening at our local animal shelter. I will help with grooming the animals, feeding them, and walking them. It's been a really fun experience and rewarding at the same time."

If you do not have volunteer experience: "I have not formally volunteered in these most recent years, however; I spend a lot of time helping my sister who is a single mom. I will babysit on weekends, cook dinners for her and drive the kids to appointments when necessary. I feel that it is very important to take care of the needs of family."
Rachelle's Answer
"For the past 8 months I have volunteered every Wednesday evening at our local animal shelter. I will help with grooming the animals, feeding them, and walking them. It's been a really fun experience and rewarding at the same time."
3.
You have discovered that an item on the menu is not selling well. What would you do next?
Food costs are a critically important factor to the success of any restaurant and an under-performing dish can greatly affect those costs due to potential food waste. The interviewer wants to see that you are capable of taking important action when a situation like an under performing dish comes to light.

Rachelle's Answer
"If I discovered that a menu item was not selling well it would be very important for me to address this with the restaurant owner immediately. I would come to the owner with supporting facts and numbers. Not only that, but I would also approach the owner with a suggestion or two on what we can do to increase the sales or make a profitable menu change."
4.
We have had concerns with employee theft recently. What would you do if you caught a co-worker stealing?
Some businesses have trouble with employee theft and they need to make sure that they are hiring someone who is honest and trustworthy. Talk to the interviewer about the steps you would take if you caught a co-worker stealing.

Rachelle's Answer
"I am sure that you have an internal policy for employee theft so I can assure you that I would follow the required steps to report the theft. I am a trustworthy person with a strong track record of honesty with my previous employers."
5.
When you suffer a setback, how does that emotionally affect you and your work?
Everyone handles the stress and disappointment of setbacks differently. Sometimes, in the fast pace and high stress of a kitchen environment, setbacks can feel even more elevated than they truly are. Discuss with the interviewer how you typically cope with setbacks in the workplace.

Rachelle's Answer
"Experiencing a setback is always disappointing, and can be a bit disheartening, but I understand that it happens from time to time. If I experience a major setback I will take a few moments to debrief with my team and discuss what we could have done differently. Then, we implement what we learned, and we move on!"
6.
What unique qualities about yourself would you bring to our company?
There are some things that your resume cannot do. Showing off your great personality is one of them, for instance! Talk to the interviewer about some of your unique qualities and be sure to tie these qualities into how they will benefit the company, should they hire you.
Rachelle's Answer
"I have a unique ability to strike up conversation and build rapport with nearly anyone. This is a great help when it comes to customer service and sales. My up-selling percentages are always very high."
7.
Clear communication is incredibly important in a kitchen setting. Rate your communication skills from 1-10.
On a scale of 1-10, how skilled are you in communication? Why did you choose that particular rating for yourself?

Rachelle's Answer
"I rate my communication skills as a 9/10 as I will, on occasion, have times when I am not as clear as I would like to be. My current kitchen staff will attest to my clear and concise communication skills. Because I am an open leader, my team will let me know if I need to clarify anything."
8.
What appeals to you about the role of kitchen manager?
The interviewer would like to know some of the reasons that you have chosen a career path of Kitchen Manager. By understanding your interests, and what drives you, the hiring manager will better know if you are a fit for their organization. Be sure to include some important facts about the company itself. This is a time to discuss your career interests and how this company will keep you excited for years to come.

Rachelle's Answer
"There are many appealing factors to being a Kitchen Manager. I love the fast pace that I am faced with on a daily basis. Also, I am a highly creative person. Crafting new dishes is a highlight for me. One of the reasons I am applying with your restaurant is because you are so well known for unique fusions and daring dishes."
9.
What do you know about our restaurant?
Hiring managers often receive hundreds of applications per job. If you are lucky enough to land an interview, make some effort to conduct research on the opportunity. You don't need to be an expert, but you do need to be knowledgeable on the restaurant before your interview.

Start by searching the restaurant's website and social media accounts. Then, take special note of any recent news articles, events or contributions they have made to the community. Identify their mission and values so that you can be clear on what they stand for.

Rachelle's Answer
"Your restaurant mission of excellent quality and service definitely resonates with me. Also, your loyalty to purchasing local ingredients really jumps out to me. It is probably why you are the longest standing business of all your competitors. I also love that you are working to make your kitchen green by recycling, composting, and minimizing energy costs."
10.
Our restaurants are open evenings and weekends. What are your preferred shifts? Do you have any limitations to your availability?
If you have any restrictions in your schedule it is best to bring this up with the interviewer right away. The restaurant industry is fast-moving and nearly always open. Offer your availability and be clear on any restrictions you may have.

Rachelle's Answer
"I understand that I need to be available and flexible, as a kitchen manager. My schedule is very open with the exception of Monday evenings. I am able and willing to work overtime, and weekends as well."
11.
How can we motivate you on the job?
Every employer should know how each staff member is best motivated. Talk to the interviewer about the variety of ways in which you are best motivated on the job.

Rachelle's Answer
"I am best motivated through words of praise and recognition for a job well done. I do like to know that my efforts are being noticed. In my current position we have a leader board and I do like that concept because it creates a healthy bit of personal competition in me as well."
12.
A kitchen manager must be a strong individual who is able to handle busy workloads. How do you keep motivated through stressful times?
The interviewer would like to know how you are best motivated during the most stressful periods of your day. Talk to the interviewer about the variety of ways in which you are motivated on the job, especially during peak stress times.

Rachelle's Answer
"I am best motivated through words of praise and recognition for a job well done. I do like to know that my efforts are being noticed. In my current position we have a kudos board and I do like that concept because it creates a healthy bit of personal competition in me as well."
13.
How do you feel about performance incentives?
Performance incentives can be very motivating. Talk to the interviewer about your feelings re: performance incentives.

Rachelle's Answer
"I feel that performance incentives are a great idea. They keep an employee motivated to do a great job and ensure that they are on top of their KPI's. The majority of people are very enthused about being rewarded for their successes."
14.
How would you describe your work ethic?
When the interviewer asks about your work ethic they are looking for specific examples or keywords they can relate to. When you read the company job posting or job description do they refer to particular company ethics? Talk about their values and how those align well with your personal work values.

Some characteristics you may want to use are:

- Determined/Driven
- Accountable
- Humble
- Respectful
- Dependable

Rachelle's Answer
"I am a very dedicated and loyal employee. I saw on your website that you describe your company as honest, transparent and you go the extra mile for your customers. My work ethic is the same. I am honest, flexible, and come ready to work hard for my employer every day."
15.
What questions do you have for me?
It's always a great idea to have questions ready for the interviewer. Review the company website and other online resources to ensure the questions you are asking are not mundane, or redundant. The last thing an interviewer wants to hear is a list of questions you could have found the answers to from simply watching a video on their company site!

Here are some sample questions:

- When would you like to have this position filled?
- How long has this role been vacant?
- Is this a replacement search or a newly created role?
- What is your favorite part about working here?
- What is the company's primary goal for this position in the next 12 months?
- Is there anything from my background and experience that I can clarify for you?
- What do you see as the biggest change in this industry over the past 3 years?
- Is there any reason why you would not hire me?
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35 Kitchen Manager 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. How do you show your kitchen staff the importance of communication in the workplace?
  2. Tell me about an organization or group outside of work that you contributed to.
  3. You have discovered that an item on the menu is not selling well. What would you do next?
  4. We have had concerns with employee theft recently. What would you do if you caught a co-worker stealing?
  5. When you suffer a setback, how does that emotionally affect you and your work?
  6. What unique qualities about yourself would you bring to our company?
  7. Clear communication is incredibly important in a kitchen setting. Rate your communication skills from 1-10.
  8. What appeals to you about the role of kitchen manager?
  9. What do you know about our restaurant?
  10. Our restaurants are open evenings and weekends. What are your preferred shifts? Do you have any limitations to your availability?
  11. How can we motivate you on the job?
  12. A kitchen manager must be a strong individual who is able to handle busy workloads. How do you keep motivated through stressful times?
  13. How do you feel about performance incentives?
  14. How would you describe your work ethic?
  15. What questions do you have for me?
  16. Are you capable of handling disputes in a professional manner? How do you respond to customer complaints?
  17. We have gained a lot of momentum this year using social media marketing techniques. Do you follow us on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter?
  18. What Food Safety training do you have?
  19. We put a lot of emphasis on the cleanliness of our restaurants. How important is cleanliness to you?
  20. What are your salary expectations?
  21. When have you had to make a split second decision? How do you react under unexpected pressure?
  22. Where do you see yourself in five years?
  23. What do you know about our organization?
  24. Would you consider yourself a creative person?
  25. How do you determine priorities when you have multiple urgent needs in the kitchen at one time?
  26. What is your greatest weakness?
  27. Tell me about yourself.
  28. Part of being a Kitchen Manager is keeping an eye on food costs. What was the greatest cost-cutting effort you made at your previous employer?
  29. Have you dined with us before? What would you change or improve?
  30. What do you think are the top 3 qualities required to be a successful kitchen manager?
  31. How will you ensure that you are respected and listened to as a kitchen manager?
  32. How do you see your career progressing within the hospitality industry over the next 3 years?
  33. If you were to try to take corrective action with an employee, what would be your approach?
  34. Walk me through your experience as a kitchen manager.
  35. What would your friends say are 3 of your best qualities?
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