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Line Cook Interview Questions

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hey guys,

All of those awesome seasoned Chefs out there, heres a question for you. Worked as a chef some years ago before I went into private pratice. Hoping to go back into the game and being going for lots of interviews lately. Can someone please tell me the most appropriate way to answer these questions:

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

2) What are your weakness? 

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

4)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?

5)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?
post #2 of 14

Where did you get those questions? I've never been asked them. 

post #3 of 14

I've never been asked those questions, except maybe a few on a job app. I don't know that I'd want to work at a place that asked those kind of questions. Stage for a night or two or three.

Actions speak louder and truer than words, especially in a kitchen.
 

post #4 of 14

Answers:

 

1.  I cook all the orders.

 

2.  I'm allergic to weakness.

 

3.  I prepped, cleaned, and worked the line every day I worked in every kitchen I've ever worked in.

 

4.  Every time I've worked I prepared every item in its proper sequence in a timely and efficient manner.  Every time I got tired I continued to work.

 

5.  The last difficult decision I faced was whether or not to stab my employer in the face.  I considered the fact that my employer was a raging self-absorbed asshole with no sense of business and no experience in working in a commercial kitchen.  It took me two years to make my decision.

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

Believe it or not, I got asked this questions at an interview. lol

post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 

wvman2374, I do appreciate spunk...But you know in the time you took to type up that clever retort, you could have actually helped me out a little, still I cracked a smile... Good one ;) 

The actual question from the interview was " If you had 15 orders and you were on the line alone." Maybe they just want to know how you'd do under pressure, but I get the sense that my answer wasn't quite what they were looking for. 


Edited by Cajun Princess - 4/22/13 at 7:47am
post #7 of 14

15 orders?

Is that 15 tables, each with multiple guests, or one large table of 15, or 15 tables of one each?  Does this include working go orders at the same time?  Will I be answering the phone while cooking?

 

Weakness?

"The truth will set you free".

Baking...I have almost no experience with baking, but I would love to learn all I can.  I've always wanted to add baking to my skill set.

 

On the line alone?

I have worked the line many times without assistance.  I think I do a very good job of getting out the food in the correct sequence.  I don't get frustrated, and my goal is to make the food as good as it can be for the customer.

 

Prep, cleaning, line?

I am experienced in preparing most prep items, and am efficient and fast.  I also am experienced in working the line. 

 

Cleaning?

Cleaning is what I constantly do when I'm not cooking or prepping.  I LOVE to clean because clean surroundings make me feel good.  I'm a cleaning freak.  Gotta always be cleaning something when I'm not cooking or prepping.  My favorite things to clean are toilet bowls, fryers, grills,  grease traps and the fryer gas pipes.  I get satisfaction when the bathroom stainless really shines.  And walk-ins are my cleaning/straightening specialty.

 

Ok, might want to tone down the last one a little.  But I actually have had a few "cleaners" like this who were also excellent in the kitchen.

If I find another one, I may make them a partner.

post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raibeaux View Post
 My favorite things to clean are toilet bowls, fryers, grills,  grease traps and the fryer gas pipes.

LOL... I'd hire you! 

 

Cajun Princess: It sounds like you're trying to get a job at Applebees. Shoot higher. 

post #9 of 14

Im going to answer your questions more for fun , because i believe any true restaurant would put you on the line for a few hours and see your work quality then go by what the employee ( who is willing to kiss a** ) trying to  to get the job. 

 

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

Answer: Depends on the orders and there methods cooked , i would attempt to do them alone , if im in the weeds i either stay calm , breathe , and try to get everything out orderly to feed everyone m or ask for help to a disoccupied chef. 

2) What are your weakness? 

Im a very talkative person , probably if there was less movement in the kitchen i would commence talking lol. Aside from that im not very good filleting fish , but it depends on the fish really.

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

Worked several weeks as a prep cook before getting boosted up to line. I had to prep , clean and work the salad station and as an expiditor awhile before working the line. I obviously prep and clean everything before and after my shift and or the restaurant has closed;

4)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?

Well i organize myself according to the deman really. I usually try to have quality over velocity to be honest. Usually i have an order of doing things and never just do things out of a random outburst. Tired.... people in the kitchen get tired but im sure most dont sit down and rest we work it out till its time to hit the hay. Really anyone who is getting tired from standing up shouldnt be working in the kitchen especially when you will be standing up 8 - 12+ hours.

5)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?
An annoying waiter who was very lazy an impatient. I just didnt kill him because i needed a spare waiter , and it would be a shame to get blood on my uniform. People like him shouldnt work in kitchens , but im still deciding on whether i should toss his butox out of the kitchen or tell him to shut up and do his job and stop annoying me. 
 
Really i go by an old quote taught to me by my mentor: Trust be not trusting.... aka Trust no one.
If i was an employer i would throw your resume into the spinning fan and tell you to get an apron and have a trial run with you on the line.
Work experinece means something , people nowadays will put anything for credibility on a resume when some can barely make rice...

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

Reply

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

Reply
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cajun Princess View Post

wvman2374, I do appreciate spunk...But you know in the time you took to type up that clever retort, you could have actually helped me out a little, still I cracked a smile... Good one ;) 

The actual question from the interview was " If you had 15 orders and you were on the line alone." Maybe they just want to know how you'd do under pressure, but I get the sense that my answer wasn't quite what they were looking for. 

Glad you smiled.  My point through the humor was that the questions were a bit ridiculous.  They sound like either some canned interview script from a large corporate HR department, or something some 19 year old KM looked up off the internet in order to conduct his first interview as an employer.  The only question of any import was number 3.  

 

I've not been a cook my entire life, I actually spent 10 years as an attorney, so I have been involved in a number of interviews on both sides of the hiring divide...as well as interview type situations of all kinds (depositions, trials, etc).  I can say that its typically not the answer itself but the way that the answer is given is what matters.  Usually by the time I'm sitting face to face I have some information about this person regarding their past work experience through prior employers or through my own contacts;  at this point its really a matter of exploring the personality of the potential employee and seeing how they might fit in, and allowing them to ask questions and gain understanding of the position offered.  Obviously I want to gather some more information during the interview, but its factual information and not hypothetical information.  Hence, questions like numbers 1 and 2 and poor interview questions.  Number 2 is actually quite a classic, so much so that there are typical canned answers to it..."I work too hard" "I'm overly critical of my own performance" etc.  

 

My honest response to the question you were actually asked, the one about 15 orders on the line alone, would be a question of my own..."Is it typical here for a single cook to be left alone in the kitchen with 15 open menus?"   Thus you see why its a poor interview question...if the answer is yes it signals poor management and potential staffing issues, if the answer is no then why is the interviewer wasting time by asking an irrelevant hypothetical?  So it appears to me, and others here as well it seems, that you are probably better off elsewhere, as simply asking such interview questions implies poor management and likely indicates the existence of other problems.  Honestly, those questions reek of an inexperienced KM from a turn-and-burn franchise like Applebees;  so, as Vic puts it, shoot higher.

post #11 of 14
Not to be a bitch... but here's a thought... since there people won't be working and there and YOU might be... why don't you Answer them true to yourself....quote name="Cajun Princess" url="/t/75407/line-cook-interview-questions#post_425243"]wvman2374, I do appreciate spunk...But you know in the time you took to type up that clever retort, you could have actually helped me out a little, still I cracked a smile... Good one wink.gif 
[/quote]
post #12 of 14

Just sound confident.

 

I've never asked or been asked those questions. If you've got experience enough, you'll get a trial run, if that goes well and you seem like a decent enough guy, you're hired. That's how it's worked with me, anyway. 

post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by wvman2374 View Post
 

Answers:

 

1.  I cook all the orders.

 

2.  I'm allergic to weakness.

 

3.  I prepped, cleaned, and worked the line every day I worked in every kitchen I've ever worked in.

 

4.  Every time I've worked I prepared every item in its proper sequence in a timely and efficient manner.  Every time I got tired I continued to work.

 

5.  The last difficult decision I faced was whether or not to stab my employer in the face.  I considered the fact that my employer was a raging self-absorbed asshole with no sense of business and no experience in working in a commercial kitchen.  It took me two years to make my decision.


Very late, I know. But I love the #5. Hilarious!

post #14 of 14

#5 is the best answer ever!

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