How do you handle complaints about meals you have prepared?
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"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!"
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.
"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."
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.
"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."
Share with the interviewer your ability to work on a team and where applicable, what behaviors you conduct to help the overall team.
"It is one of my favorite restaurants to dine at! I love the sea bass special dish and enjoy dining here regularly with clients. I'm impressed with how you change the menu each season and you have received many credible reviews/write ups in the local newspaper."
With any job interview, it is crucial to understand the restaurant you are applying to. We recommend visiting the establishment to learn key information such as the menu, staff and story. If you have a favorite dish, be sure to share this with the interviewer.
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.