Commis chefs work in commercial kitchens under chef de parties. Recently, this position has been in high demand. If you are having an interview for the position of commis chef, this article is for you. We have provided the common 25 commis chef interview questions and answers to help you ace your upcoming interview.
1. Why Are You Interested In This Role?
I have recently graduated with an associate degree in culinary arts. Previously, I have been on a one-year internship at one of the commercial kitchens in our district. During this time I gained a lot of experience in assisting with different kitchen roles including mopping up the kitchen, unpacking and organizing deliveries, and ensuring that food is properly stored. I have also gained skills that will help me perform this role effectively such as the ability to stand for long hours, work under pressure, and follow strict instructions. My communication, organizational, and time management skills are on another level. I am looking for an environment where I can make use of my skills, knowledge, and experience. After reviewing your job posting for this role, I believe I can get such an opportunity here.
2. What Are The Roles Of A Commis Chef?
The role of a Commis chef includes:
- Cooking and preparing high-quality dishes
- Preparing fish, meats, and vegetables
- Assisting with deliveries and restocking
- Helping other chefs
- Helping with stock rotation and cleaning
- Assisting in the preparation of food
- Ensuring that kitchen and food safety standards are observed in the commercial kitchen
3. What Are The Qualities That A Commis Chef Need To Be Successful?
To succeed in this role, a commis chef should have the ability to produce good quality food, work under minimal supervision, and develop their own skills and knowledge. He or she must have strong team management, oral communication, team working, and multitasking skills. It is also necessary for him or her to have an attractive appearance.
Additionally, a good commis chef should have sound knowledge of food health and safety regulations.
4. What Major Challenges Did You Face During Your Last Role? How Did You Manage Them?
The major challenge was during Covid 19 pandemic. The restaurant had a lot of outside orders from our clients. There were movement restrictions at night from the government. However, the management wanted to still keep the restaurant running. We were required to work for long hours during the day to compensate for the night hours. Keeping up with this trend was difficult for me. Realizing that life had to go on despite the pandemic, I had to be flexible and adapt to the new changes.
I began to do exercises in the morning, putting on flat shoes and taking plenty of water. This helped me a lot in standing for extended periods and I didn’t find the job as challenging anymore.
5. Describe Your Daily Routine As A Commis Chef?
My daily routine depends on the instructions from the chef de parties. However, they include:
- Preparing sauces, and salads as ordered by the chef de partie
- Measuring meal ingredients as directed by the chef de partie
- Seasoning of various meat as well as preparing vegetables and fruits
- Taking the inventory of supplies and informing the supervisor regarding the depleted supplies
- Receiving the ordered deliveries as well as confirming that they are of good quality
- Discarding all spoiled food from the refrigerators, freezers, and stock rooms
- Cleaning the workstations
- Plating and presenting food items according to the instructions given by the chef de partie
6. Describe Briefly About Your Experience?
I have been working as a commis chef for three years now at a Joyland restaurant. During this time I have developed useful skills in this role such as time-management, communication, interpersonal, organization, ability to work under pressure, and multitasking skills. I have also gained expertise in assisting with different kitchen roles including mopping up the kitchen, unpacking and organizing deliveries, and ensuring that food is properly prepared and stored. Should you offer me the opportunity to work here, I will use the skills and experience that I have obtained in exceeding your expectations for this role.
7. What Kind Of Ofstrategies And Mindset Are Required For This Role?
To succeed in this role, a commis chef must have sound knowledge of food preparation and storage. He should know how to hold knives and other kitchen materials. The commis chef must have the strategies of keeping the workstations clean before beginning to perform other roles. Everything that the commis chef does should be as per the instructions given by the chef de partie.
8. What Is The Biggest Challenge You Foresee In This Job?
Technology is evolving rapidly and food service is also shifting online. Commis chef and chef de parties must be flexible to adapt to the new way of doing this. They must prepare to be packing and delivering food outside the restaurants. This may be quite demanding and will require proper arrangements for the smooth running of the physical restaurant and online restaurant.
9. How Do You Stay Motivated Artwork?
I have had a passion for this job ever since I was small. The job itself is a great motivation. I love preparing and cooking different meals. I also get motivated by new ways of doing things such as preparing new foods, interacting with new customers, and learning new ways of packing and delivering food. Besides, I am keen on details and I follow instructions without any problem.
10. Describe A Time You Failed In This Role And The Lesson You Learned?
when I was new in this career, I would take a lot of time doing a particular task. I would do a task after completing a certain task. This would cause delays in food preparation and cooking. Customers kept complaining that the food they ordered was taking a lot of time to be prepared. I had to consult with my colleagues on how they performed their roles since everything would go well on their side. That is when I realized the secret of multitasking. I have been using this strategy even today and it has made my work more enjoyable.
11. Why Do You Feel You Are Qualified For This Role?
I have an associate degree in culinary arts and one year of experience as a commis chef. I have experience in assisting with different kitchen roles including mopping up the kitchen, unpacking and organizing deliveries, and ensuring that food is properly prepared and stored. Additionally, I can stand for long hours as well as clearly follow instructions. My time-management, communication, interpersonal, organizational, ability to work under pressure, and multitasking skills are on a high level too. Besides, I am an attractive person who can work with minimal supervision yet perform effectively.
I believe that my strong skills, qualities, traits, education, and experience will help me to exceed your expectations for this role.
12. Share Withus Your Greatest Achievement
My biggest achievement was when I successfully began an online program for taking and delivering orders outside our restaurant. I realized this after Covid 19 pandemic, most of the clients were not able to come over to the restaurant. However, they still would require our services. When we launched this program, it seemed hard to manage but eventually, it picked up. Through this, the restaurant has added its revenue by 47 % over the last year.
13. Do You Have The Ability To Handle Stress Without Burning Out?
Yes, I do. Previously I have been working at a restaurant that was becoming very busy at peak meals. It required us to work fast and quickly in preparing food as ordered by customers. I enjoyed the challenge of making sure that things were running smoothly and food was prepared without delays. When accidents occurred in the kitchen, I would quickly find a swift solution and I would keep everything moving as per required.
14. Kindly Demonstrate Your Knowledge In Food Handling Procedures?
Besides holding a food handler’s license, I have a sound knowledge of food health and safety regulation. I always keep my food safety and hygiene certificate updated. Previously, our chef de partie guided us in creating our in-house procedures for preparing food for customers with different health issues including diabetes, allergies, and other issues. In the period that I have been working in that restaurant, we did not experience any cross-contamination issues.
15. Why Is It Important To Follow The Set Service Standards, Procedures, And Policies?
Policies, procedures, and standards help to work towards a common goal. They enable the workforce of a restaurant to act in a specific manner that seeks to achieve a common goal. Thus, following them is important to direct individual efforts towards achieving the set goals and objectives. Otherwise, employees who do not adhere to set rules will hardly achieve the set goal. In the end, the ultimate objective will not be achieved.
16. This Role Require You To Be Creative When Preparing Dishes For Customers With Different Health Issues. Kindly, Demonstrate Your Creativity When Adjusting Menu Items.
I am a flexible commis chef who can adjust quickly in preparing food without compromising on the quality. I am well aware of the health complication of certain foods on customers with certain health conditions such as allergies. Having been a vegetarian, I realized that the restaurant I was working in had not considered a menu for people like me. Without revealing my identity as a vegetarian, I suggested to the chef de parties two meals that can work for vegetarians. He took my idea and included it on the menu list. Since then, vegetarians began to stream into the restaurant and we made a good profit out of that.
17. Do You Have The Ability To Stand For Long Periods Of Time?
Having worked in a restaurant before, I am well aware that this is a requirement for this role. Thus, I do not have any problem standing for long periods of time. I wear well-fitting shoes with low heels, stay hydrated as well as maintain a good posture. This enables me to remain comfortable while performing my duties.
18. How Would You Handle A Customer Who Is Not Satisfied With Your Food?
Ensuring that customers are happy with the food presented to them is my delight. However, if a customer brings to my attention that he or she didn’t like the food I prepared, I would show my appreciation to them for letting me know what they feel. I would apologize for that situation and inform the customer that that is not my usual way of doing things. I will then find ways of rectifying that mess including immediately preparing a fresh dish for him or her. I will ensure to apologize again when presenting the dish for the second time.
19. Suppose You Find Yourself Not Busy At Work. How Can You Spend Your Day At Work?
Sometimes lull days can occur at the restaurant. If this happens at the restaurant and I discover that I am not busy, I would take it as an opportunity to handle routine work such as cleaning the work stations, taking the inventory of supplies and informing the supervisor regarding the depleted supplies, and discarding all spoiled food from the refrigerators, freezers, and stock rooms.I would also reach out to my coworkers and supervisor letting them know that I’m available to help in any way that could be beneficial to them.
20. How Can You Ensure That The Food Being Served Is Safe To Consume?
I observe all the food handling procedures when preparing foods. This includes wearing suitable gloves when handling raw food, washing hands before and after wearing gloves, and covering my hair among others. I do not also touch cooked food with my bare hands. Additionally, I do not sneeze, spit, smoke, touch hair or face, or eat food when handling food. Even when washing cooking utensils, I use a dishwasher instead of my hands.
21. As A Commis Chef, Why Do You Need To Ensure That Food Safety Measures And Practices Are Observed In The Restaurant?
Food safety measures and practices are important for the restaurant as they help in keeping away food poisoning and foodborne illness. Food poisoning and food-borne illness take place when food gets contaminated by viruses, bacteria, and other germs. When such food is consumed by customers, they get ill.
22. If A Wait Staff Submit An Order Incorrectly, How Would You Handle That Incident?
Mistakes can happen in the restaurant environment due to the high pressure of our work. If I realize that an order has been placed incorrectly, I would seek to understand the cause of the issue. I am aware that the waitstaff perform their roles in a fast-paced environment and I would not be surprised that this has happened. I would support solving the issue should it have been caused by human error or misunderstanding between the waitstaff and the customer. In the course of offering a solution, I would restrain myself from casting blames.
23. Explain To Us How You Define Success
In my opinion, success is reaching your goals. I measure success by evaluating whether I have been able to accomplish my goals within my set timeframe. For instance, last year I had the initiative to market our new restaurant to my friends and other people. I worked hard to market the restaurant menu and services on different social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. This raised awareness regarding our new restaurant and we began receiving many customers compared to before. It also increases the restaurant revenues tremendously. We had to expand it to accommodate more customers. To me, this was a big win and a success as well.
24. Where Do You See Yourself In The Next Couple Of Years?
In the next five years, I look forward to holding a managerial role to demonstrate my leadership qualities at this restaurant. Additionally, I would like to be more evolved in my career including having improved and gained more skills in my career. I will be happy if in the next few years I’m referred to as a more intelligent person than I am today.
25. What Is Your Ideal Work Environment?
I like working in an environment where people work towards a single goal like here. I believe that a perfect work environment is one where other colleagues do not pull down each other’s effort but instead work towards team building. I believe that when colleagues respect each other and embrace teamwork, the morale for work increases mong the workforce.
Reviewing the questions provided along with their answers will improve your confidence during the interview. However, do not forget to familiarize yourself with more situational and behavioral questions. Going through the restaurant website will help you to know the kind of behavioral and situational questions that can be asked during the interview.