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Sous Chef Interview
Questions

39 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 39
Have you ever been part of planning a food budget and menu?
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How to Answer
Being able to plan a menu and food budget is an important task as a chef. Give examples to the hiring manager on how you have had a hand in these types of tasks.
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Answer Examples
1.
Have you ever been part of planning a food budget and menu?
Being able to plan a menu and food budget is an important task as a chef. Give examples to the hiring manager on how you have had a hand in these types of tasks.

Rachelle's Answer
"I have assisted for many years in food budget and menu planning. Although I have never done these two tasks on my own, I feel confident that I could perform these tasks very well with little training."
2.
Why are you the best candidate for us?
This is a great opportunity to brag about yourself and the unique skills that you would bring to this position, should you be the successful candidate. Talk to the hiring manager about your skills and unique talents that set you apart from other candidates.

Rachelle's Answer
"I feel that I am the best candidate for you because I have a great amount of leadership experience as well as strong training in a variety of cuisines. I have aspirations to be the best executive chef in the city and would love to do that with your restaurant group."
3.
What do you know about flattop, grill, and saute stations?
Talk to the hiring manager about your understanding of flattop, grill, and saute stations. You can be brief when answering this question.

Rachelle's Answer
"I know a great deal about flattop, grill, and saute stations. I have cooked using all of these station types but I have also trained others on the proper use of these stations."
4.
Tell me about your experience in the food industry.
Take a few minutes to bring your resume to life for the interviewer. Briefly highlight your experience, promotions, and any additional bragging points in your career.

Rachelle's Answer
"My experience in the food industry started at a very young age where I worked at a local restaurant as a busser. I earned money for culinary school by working my way into the kitchen and making tips. After completing culinary school I was lucky enough to stay on at the french fusion restaurant that I completed my apprenticeship in. I have been there for 5 years and am now ready for a change in my career."
5.
What is the most difficult part of being a Sous Chef?
Talk to the interviewer about what you feel is the biggest struggle in your career as a sous chef. It's great to speak openly and honestly but be careful to not use an example that may cause a red flag for the hiring manager or cause you to appear incompetent for the job.

Rachelle's Answer
"I feel that the most difficult part of being a sous chef is also the part that makes me most excited to come to work every day. The pressure of deadlines and thinking on my feet is the most difficult but it's nothing that I cannot handle."
6.
Have you ever been part of a food and safety health audit?
Food and safety health audits are a regular and important part of being in the food industry.

If you have been a part of a food and safety health audit before, talk to the hiring manager about that experience.
Rachelle's Answer
"Yes, I have been part of approximately 5 food and safety health audits in my career as a sous chef. Every one of these audits, we have passed with flying colors. I do fully understand what needs to be done in order to pass an audit."
7.
What was your greatest accomplishment as a sous chef?
What are you most proud of in your career so far? Tell the hiring manager about your greatest accomplishment, how you got there, and why it made you so proud.

Rachelle's Answer
"My greatest accomplishment as a sous chef was gaining the opportunity to train briefly under Anthony Bourdain. This experience really boosted my passion for food again, and I was able to learn so much."
8.
What are your career goals as a Sous Chef?
As a sous chef, where would you like to see your career go in the future? Talk to the hiring manager about your dreams as a sous chef.

Rachelle's Answer
"My career goals include becoming an executive chef and leading a large team one day. I am more than happy to put in the work that it takes."
9.
What do you know about our kitchen?
Researching the company prior to your interview is incredibly important. Visit the company's website, and any online reviews or other sources that you can gather. Talk to the hiring manager about the points that you found the most interesting and/or impressive.

Rachelle's Answer
"I was able to do a great deal of research on your restaurant group before coming in today. What I know is that you have been in business for 12 years and have been voted 'Best Tapas' in the city. I am really impressed by the amount of media attention your restaurant has received as well as the great online reviews."
10.
Can you offer flexibility in your schedule for overtime, weekends and some holidays?
As a sous chef, your schedule may be sporadic and unpredictable. Let the hiring manager know that you are able to make yourself available when needed.

Rachelle's Answer
"I fully understand that as a sous chef, I will need to be flexible with my schedule and availability. Overtime, weekends, and holiday shifts are all things that I am used to working and I have no issues with being available when needed."
11.
What is your greatest strength? How does it help you as a Sous Chef?
What are you most proud of in your career? Talk to the hiring manager about what makes you amazing at your job. What makes you a stand-out candidate from all the rest?

Rachelle's Answer
"My greatest strength is my ability to lead under pressure. In a kitchen environment, this skill is incredibly important. It has helped me to move up in my career by being able to showcase myself as a strong leader, early on in my career."
12.
What do you like most about being a Sous Chef?
What makes you happy to come to work every day? Talk to the interviewer about your favorite part of your job as a sous chef.

Rachelle's Answer
"As a sous chef, what I enjoy most is the fact that I am able to be creative on a daily basis. The fast pace of a kitchen is exhilarating and each day goes by so incredibly fast."
13.
What is your favorite food to eat?
What is your favorite type of cuisine, and why? This answer will tell the hiring manager a lot about your particular taste and flare for food.

Rachelle's Answer
"My favorite types of food to eat include the classic dishes, but with a twist. For example, a traditional American burger, but with fois gras and duck confit."
14.
How would your former employer describe you?
Instead of speculating, this is a great time to talk about what others have said about you during your employee reviews.

Rachelle's Answer
"My former employer would describe me as patient, knowledgable, reliable and a fast worker. I have some former written reviews if you would like to see them."
15.
When have you resolved a conflict with a kitchen helper?
Conflict resolution skills are very important as a sous chef because you will be working in a high-stress/high-pressure environment. Talk to the hiring manager about a time when you have specifically resolved a conflict.

Rachelle's Answer
"I resolved a conflict, just last week, between two of my kitchen helpers. They had a disagreement about the schedule and booked time off. I resolved this through sitting down with each of them individually, and then together. We came down to the basis of the issue and resolved it quickly through strong communication."
More Interview Q&As
Explore expert tips and resources to be more confident in your next interview.
Behavioral
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All Career Q&As
Suggested Career
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Continue practicing by visiting these similar question sets
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39 Sous Chef 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. Have you ever been part of planning a food budget and menu?
  2. Why are you the best candidate for us?
  3. What do you know about flattop, grill, and saute stations?
  4. Tell me about your experience in the food industry.
  5. What is the most difficult part of being a Sous Chef?
  6. Have you ever been part of a food and safety health audit?
  7. What was your greatest accomplishment as a sous chef?
  8. What are your career goals as a Sous Chef?
  9. What do you know about our kitchen?
  10. Can you offer flexibility in your schedule for overtime, weekends and some holidays?
  11. What is your greatest strength? How does it help you as a Sous Chef?
  12. What do you like most about being a Sous Chef?
  13. What is your favorite food to eat?
  14. How would your former employer describe you?
  15. When have you resolved a conflict with a kitchen helper?
  16. What individual has had the greatest influence on you?
  17. Have you ever been overloaded with work?
  18. How do you evaluate success?
  19. What do you do to stay educated about new food trends?
  20. What do you do to ensure the quality of the food going out is always up to par?
  21. What is your greatest weakness? What are you doing to improve it?
  22. What was your biggest disappointment as a sous chef?
  23. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  24. Give me a time when you had to set an important goal in the past and tell me about your success reaching it.
  25. When have you made a suggestion to the executive chef before? How was your suggestion received?
  26. What is your favorite cuisine to cook?
  27. Tell me about your record of attendance and punctuality in your past positions.
  28. What steps do you follow to ensure that food is not wasted?
  29. How closely do you adhere to food safety guidelines and regulation?
  30. What steps do you take to ensure safety in the kitchen?
  31. Are you experienced in giving feedback to junior staff such as kitchen helpers?
  32. Are you an efficient worker?
  33. When have you led employees before? Why was it necessary for you to lead in that situation and how do you believe your leadership skills were?
  34. What are your qualifications as a sous chef?
  35. Tell me something you would like to learn or improve upon.
  36. How do you ensure success when working with a Chef and/or a Kitchen Manager?
  37. Tell me about your education. How has it prepared you for a Sous Chef position?
  38. How do you handle stressful situations?
  39. What is your greatest career accomplishment?
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