Chef Interview Questions for Candidates

Going to a Chef Interview?

Want to be as prepared as possible?

Read on for top tips and a bank of interview questions you may get asked so that you can nail that interview!


Tips for Responding to Chef Interview Questions

Keep these tips in mind when you consider how you are going to respond to chef interview questions you might be asked. Remember to BUY CAKE before your interview!

Beyond Food: Although one of the most important aspects of a chef’s role is cooking food and creating a menu, you may have management of other areas too, such as hiring staff. Be prepared to discuss restaurant service skills as well as food service, as these both contribute to an efficient running of a dining establishment.

Use Your Contacts: If you know someone who is either currently working at the restaurant or has worked there in the past, they might be able to give you insider information to help you to make the best impression during your interview. The more you know about the business, the more you can tailor your answers to show how you will improve their menu.

Your Research Matters: Doing your research on the company will help you frame your responses. Make sure you are familiar with the restaurant’s menu and cuisine and find out as much about its business model and history as you can.

Come with Questions: Ensure you come with questions to ask the interviewer. This will show them your depth of knowledge and interest in the position.

Attitude: Although working in a kitchen can be stressful, personality and a positive attitude matter! Be prepared to answer questions about how you work with others and handle stress. Avoid pointing fingers or complaining about former colleagues or managers as this will leave a bad impression.

Know Your CV: You’ll likely be asked about your previous roles so be prepared to discuss the restaurants where you’ve worked in the past.

Examples: Share your relevant experience by giving examples from previous roles you’ve held. For example, when you are asked how you would handle a complaint from a customer, your answer will be most meaningful if you can allude to a similar situation that you have handled in the past.



Scroll down for the types of questions you may get asked!


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Examples of Chef Interview Questions You May Be Asked

Here is a non-exhaustive list of some of the questions you may get asked during an interview, with explanations on how you would be expected to answer them and what the interviewer is looking for.

“Can you tell me about a time when you’ve had a dish returned to the kitchen?”

This question seeks to find out how well you can cope under pressure and how you’re able to put the customer’s needs first. A good answer prioritises replacing the dish immediately and holding your nerve. Don’t blame others for making mistakes as this will make you look unprofessional.

“What made you decide to become a chef?”

Here you will get a chance to establish your passion for your cooking and what kind of ambitions you have. Try and emphasise what you love most about being a chef and an instance where you realised that you wanted to pursue the position. You can also talk about any chefs which have inspired you here. Having a genuine passion for your chef career gives the interviewer confidence that you want to do well, which is a must-have for any chef.

“What do you believe are strong characteristics a chef should hold?”

This question enables employers to gain an insight into the qualities you believe a chef should have and how you plan on upholding these qualities and characteristics. It is best to list a few qualities you think are needed to provide a great experience for both employees and customers and be prepared to give an example of how to use these qualities too.

“What interests you about working for our restaurant?”

To name a few reasons, it could be because it’s your favourite place to eat, the current menu, the location, or even the opportunity to progress up the roles you’ll have within the kitchen. Once you’ve given a solid reason(s) why, find something that makes their place stand out, whether that is good reviews, the atmosphere of the restaurant, the variety of dishes available – it could be anything you like as long as it makes sense and is honest.

“What is your favourite dish to cook and why?”

Whether it’s the challenge of making a new dish or the comfort of making an old favourite or is it a dish you were taught at a young age that you’ve always loved to make? This question allows you to be creative and give an answer that is unique to you.

“What is your culinary education background? Did you receive additional training from a culinary institute?”

This question seeks to find out how much culinary education you have as well as any qualifications you may have gained, whether that be in food safety, hygiene, or specific culinary training.

“What is your proudest moment as a chef?”

Here, the interviewer will be trying to gauge what attributes you value, how efficient you are in your job and how well you tackle a hindrance to achieve that certain goal. A good way to answer this question is to follow the S.T.A.R approach (Situation, Task, Approach, Result).

“If you were told to provide a lower-calorie menu and had to make each of your dishes healthier, how would you approach that process?”

This is a scenario and objective style of question that requires you to think in detail and gives insight into how well you perform as a chef. Here, you would also employ the S.T.A.R method to tell the interviewer how you would approach making the dishes healthier and lower-calorie and what your process would be to make that happen.


Though not all of these questions may come up in your chef interview and you will not be able to remember answers to every question, it is good to have a ‘bank’ of answers that you can apply across multiple questions so that you can give well-rounded answers when asked.

Remembering to BUY CAKE before your interview will ensure that you are prepared for the questions the interviewer may ask.

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Good luck!

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