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A line cook is an entry level position in a restaurant. Line cooks work under a sous chef or head chef in most kitchen. They do most of the prepping and cooking in the kitchen under the supervision of the chef. In smaller kitchens, a line cook may be expected to handle various tasks in the kitchen but in larger kitchens, each line cook is usually assigned one particular station and they take full responsibility for it, whether it is attending to the grill station, marinating, cutting, precooking or working in the veg prep area.
There are no formal education or training requirements to become a line cook but completing a culinary arts program could pave the way for higher starting salary and advancement opportunities. You must have some basic cooking and prepping knowledge to work as a line cook. In addition, you must also be able to follow instructions exactly so that the meal turns out exactly as the chef envisioned it.
Most line cook interviews are conducted jointly by the sous chef or head chef and the restaurant manager or owner. Chefs are extremely particular about the line cook working under them and will ask you questions that will help them assess your efficiency in the kitchen. Do you have experience working with large-sized kitchen? What duties did you perform in your earlier experiences working as a line cook? Do you know the difference between different cooking techniques? Do you know how to braise, broil, sear and pan fry? If your earlier experiences were all with smaller kitchens, take some time to expand your knowledge. Also, read through line cook mock interview questions to get a better idea of what types of questions to expect at your line cook interview.