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Line Cook Interview
Questions

26 Questions and Answers by Ryan Brown
Updated August 30th, 2018
Job Interviews     Careers     Food Service    

Question 1 of 26

What are your greatest strengths?

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1.

What are your greatest strengths?

This is the time to discuss the talent you offer, and employers want to see that you know yourself and work within your strengths. Jump right in offering your key strength! Next, talk about how you use this strength in the workplace! Whatever your strength may be, link it back to how it positively impacts the school.

Ryan's Answer

"

2.

Do you work well under pressure?

The interviewer will be interested to learn about your ability to work well under pressure. Share examples or past experiences where this has been a factor.

Ryan's Answer

"As a line cook, working in a fast-paced environment under pressure comes with the territory. It is the only environment I know! In all of my roles as a line cook, I have continued to contribute high performance during high-pressure meal servings when it pays greatly to hustle!"

3.

Describe your experience with prep-work, cleaning, and working on the line.

The interviewer wants to find out how much you know about your work and what experience you have had previously. This is a great opportunity to highlight past experiences and information about tasks you have accomplished in the line cook environment.

Ryan's Answer

"A large part of the line cook role is setting up a station for the day. Food preparation and cleaning happen hand in hand to ensure the shift runs smoothly."

4.

Are you efficient with your time?

The interviewer will be interested to learn how you manage your time in the most effective way possible to do your job well. Take the opportunity to share specific examples about how you make the most of your time.

Ryan's Answer

"Effective time management makes all the difference in the success of the line cook. I often apply different techniques to making sure I can effectively manage my time to the best of my potential. This includes combining tasks where possible and making time management a priority in my day to day work."

5.

Tell me about a time when you had to work at a steady pace putting things in sequence. What did you do? What happened when you got tired?

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 a steady pace putting things in sequence.

Ryan's Answer

"Steady organization and pace or putting things in sequence for 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 helps to ensure we are equipped with the tools to operate steadily. Taking good care of yourself inside and outside of the workplace is a crucial part of keeping your energy levels up at a steady pace. I exercise, eat and sleep well which helps to me be ready to conquer a shift."

6.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

The interviewer will be interested in learning about your long-term goals. Here is your opportunity to share with them that you have given these goals thought and have a direction in mind. Have fun with this answer!

Ryan's Answer

"I absolutely love cooking and it is my long-term career aspiration to become a top chef in a fine dining establishment. It will take hard work and I am willing to take the necessary steps to get there. To help accelerate my long-term goals, I welcome the opportunity to learn from the leaders around me and work with a mentor to achieve my career goals. Who knows?! One day, I could own my own restaurant!"

7.

Why should we hire you?

Interviewers want to understand the one thing that sets you apart from all of the other candidates applying for this job. Here is your opportunity to shine and stand out by confidently answering in a way that highlights your most valuable assets as a candidate. Where applicable, share your previous experiences that qualify you for the role you are interviewing for. Enthusiasm goes a long way!

Ryan's Answer

"There is no one that will work harder and be more dedicated to your kitchen than I can be. I am passionate about culinary arts, customer service and adding value to your establishment. My experiences working as a Line Cook in ABC Family Restaurant have prepared me to do this job well. I am beyond confident that I can perform this job above and beyond to your expectations. I'm excited to do it too!"

8.

Do you work well on a team?

Share with the interviewer your ability to work on a team and where applicable, what behaviors you conduct to help the overall team.

Ryan's Answer

"You are only as good as the team you are working on, so working on a team is critical to my own personal success. As a team player, I notice when people are struggling and seek them out to help mentor or coach them wherever possible. Communication amongst the team is also critical to our success."

9.

Why are you the best candidate for this position?

The objective for this question is to determine the one unique thing that sets you apart from the rest of the candidates in the applicant pool.

Ryan's Answer

"I am qualified for the role as a line cook and love your restaurant! There is nothing better than doing what you love for a place you admire. You have a great reputation in this area and I aspire to contribute value long term to your success as a restaurant."

10.

How do you handle complaints about meals you have prepared?

The interviewer will be interested in how you hear and respond to complaints. A line cook's work is successful if the client enjoys the meal. Share any techniques you apply to resolve the complaint promptly.

Ryan's Answer

"While some line cooks might take complaints personally, I do what I do to make sure my clients are having a pleasant meal experience. If they are not happy, I will listen to the complaint and come up with solutions to resolve them. If meat is over or under cooked, and we did not get it right the first time, I will work quickly to prepare the meal again in hopes to get it right. Depending on the situation, I will work with the server to provide a discount on the meal ticket or suggest alternative meals they might like. There have been times I have personally delivered the corrected meal and brought it out to share my apologies for not hitting it on the mark the first time!"

11.

Explain a time when you faced a difficult situation and how you dealt with it?

The interviewer will be interested in learning about a challenging situation you encountered and what you did to overcome it. Take the opportunity to shine and share an instance that you proactively solved a difficult situation.

Ryan's Answer

"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."

12.

Do you think a cook needs mathematical skills?

The interviewer will be interested in learning about how you view math skills in your role as a line cook. Think of instances where you apply mathematical or financial skills. This is your opportunity to highlight how you apply these skills in your work.

Ryan's Answer

"Math is in every kitchen, on every recipe card, and at each holiday gathering. The mathematics of cooking often goes unnoticed, but in reality, there is a large quantity of math skills involved in cooking and baking. Additionally, we apply math and time management to making sure orders are prepared or ready when they need to be. We also utilize math with inventory management and maintaining the budget of the kitchen. It is the food we make that makes you a great cook, and math is a large part of what happens behind the scenes."

13.

What strategies do you apply in order to keep yourself organized?

The interviewer will be interested in learning about different strategies you have applied stay organized on the job. Recall instances where you applied methods to maintain organization and the importance you place on doing this well.

Ryan's Answer

"I take pride in my work station being clean and organized. Often times, I will arrive to work early to make sure everything is properly stocked and set for the day. Inventory management done well and in a proactive way is a great way to prepare for success. Additionally, working in a clean space helps everyone stay organized and on track."

14.

Why did you choose this profession?

Every career decision starts with a 'why'. Here is your opportunity to share with the interviewer what specifically a career in the food industry makes you tic!

Ryan's Answer

"Cooking is the thing that I am most passionate about. When with my family, I enjoy creating new dishes and taping into cuisines that I do not typically cook. When people get together for a meal, it is a pleasure to provide them with an experience that is memorable for whatever occasion is at hand."

15.

If you have different orders and you are on the line alone, how will you manage that?

This is your opportunity to share with the interviewer any specific examples where you had to manage a heavy workload with a shortage in staff. Reiterate your ability to perform under pressure and share how you overcame the challenge.

Ryan's Answer

"During the last holiday season while I was in charge of the dessert 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."

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26 Line Cook 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 are your greatest strengths?
  2. Do you work well under pressure?
  3. Describe your experience with prep-work, cleaning, and working on the line.
  4. Are you efficient with your time?
  5. Tell me about a time when you had to work at a steady pace putting things in sequence. What did you do? What happened when you got tired?
  6. Where do you see yourself in ten years?
  7. Why should we hire you?
  8. Do you work well on a team?
  9. Why are you the best candidate for this position?
  10. How do you handle complaints about meals you have prepared?
  11. Explain a time when you faced a difficult situation and how you dealt with it?
  12. Do you think a cook needs mathematical skills?
  13. What strategies do you apply in order to keep yourself organized?
  14. Why did you choose this profession?
  15. If you have different orders and you are on the line alone, how will you manage that?
  16. Describe the last time you made a difficult decision on the job as a Line Cook. What facts did you consider? How long did it take you to decide?
  17. What do you know about our restaurant?
  18. How many hours can you stand on your feet without a break?
  19. Think about the last time your manager critiqued your work. How did you respond?
  20. How did you fill downtime at your last job?
  21. How do you deal with heavy loads of stress?
  22. How are your communication skills?
  23. What are your greatest weaknesses?
  24. What do you like least about being a Line Cook?
  25. What do you like best about being a Line Cook?
  26. Why did you choose to become a Line Cook?
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