Who is a cook? This is a profession for individuals who prepare food for consumption in the food industry in settings such as restaurants.
Below are the top 20 Interview Questions and Answers you are likely to be asked. Also, you will have sample answers to guide you on how you are supposed to answer the questions.
1. Why Are You Interested In This Role?
In this question, your interviewer expects you to tell them why you are there at that particular moment. Tell them why you are attending the interview. Consider talking about having a job and learn from them as well.
“As a graduate in Bachelor’s in hospitality, I would like to put my skills that I have learned academically and through experience into place. I want to use that knowledge and skills to better the performance of your restaurant. According to a research I have conducted about your restaurant, I have seen a great performance in the food sales. I want to be part of this team that is doing great in maximizing the sales of your restaurant. In addition, I would like to learn and improve my skills through your team. We all grow from learning from each other.”
2. What Are The Roles Of A Cook
The interviewer wants to know whether you are aware of the duties and responsibilities that you are supposed to perform as a cook. Talk about the critical roles of a cook.
“As a cook, I am expected to perform several duties which among them are;
a) Ensure ingredients and final products are fresh.
b) Follow recipes, including measuring, weighing, and mixing ingredients.
c) Bake, grill, steam, and boil meats, vegetables, fish, poultry, and other foods.
d) Present, garnish, and arrange final dishes.
e) Occasionally serve food.
f) Handle and store ingredients and food
g) Maintain food safety and sanitation standards.
h) Maintain a clean and safe work area, including handling utensils, equipment, and dishes.”
3. What Are The Qualities That A Cook Need To Be Successful
The interviewer wants to know what qualities you would need to be successful in this role. Talk about the qualities of a good cook.
“First of all, stamina is very essential in this role. There are long-standing hours and one needs to be very strong to be able to perform their duties as expected. In addition, physical strength is crucial as well. Cooks are constantly lifting, reaching, bending, and grappling heavy cooking pots full of food. One needs to be very strong. A good cook should also be able to multi-task several activities. As you cut and prepare your ingredients, you will need to be checking the state of the food being cooked. Those few qualities would make a great cook.”
4. What Major Challenges Did You Face During Your Last Role? How Did You Manage?
Your interviewer wants to know what challenges you came across and how you solved them. Talk about events you had difficulties with while solving them.
“One of the biggest challenges that I have faced in this role is stiff competition. As we know, cooks determine a lot whether the customers are going to continue being your customer or not. The way we prepare food determines it all. There are a lot of cooks who trans night trying to get the latest styles and techniques on how to prepare certain foods. So, a cook will have to always stay updated on what the competitors are doing. This is to make sure that you are always ahead of them. Sometimes, the pressure is too much but you have to cope with it by doing your new styles and trying new recipes to give customers the best.”
5. Describe Your Daily Routine As A Cook
The interviewer wants to know what your daily schedule would be like. Give them a very organized routine starting from the first activity to the last activity of the day.
“As a cook, once I arrive at my workplace I would change my clothing and get down to work. After dressing I have to check that all my equipment are in good condition and make sure that the kitchen is well cleaned. I would then start preparing the ingredients and storing what needs to be stored in fridges. After that, I would start preparing food for the day. That would be a repeated routine on a daily and hourly basis. After all day of the repeated routine, I would clean my equipment for the next day.”
6. Describe Briefly About Your Experience
The interviewer expects you to talk about your past roles and how long you worked on this question. Talk about the positions you have helped, the number of years, and the experience you got.
“As a cook, I have worked for five years in two different workplaces. One was a café, and the other one was a restaurant. The first year, I started working as an assistant cook for two years, and I was promoted to be a cook since I had all the qualifications to be one. After that, I worked as a cook for one year, and then I was transferred to another restaurant where I also worked as a cook. I worked there for two years, and my contract ended.”
7. What Kind Of Strategies And Mindsets Are Required For This Role?
The interviewer wants to know what strategies and attitudes you have towards this role. What should always ring in your head for your success in this role? Talk about your attitudes and a key focus in this role.
“As a focused cook, I should be able to focus on long-term quality work. The main focus should be on learning and observing what I can add to my skills to better my performance as a cook and, at the same time, satisfy my customer’s expectations as well. Whenever I try out new ideas and make mistakes, I should know that I am learning new techniques to meet my customer’s needs. I am always determined in creating new recipes and making sure that they are being productive and excellent. Giving tasty food should always be the core business here.”
8. What Is The Biggest Challenge That You Foresee In This Job?
The interviewer knows that you must have foreseen a big challenge that might affect this field in the future. Talk about the challenge that you think might bring a big problem in the future if not looked into.
“In the future, I believe that we will need more technology in this industry. Fatigue and tiredness on every cook’s end day. Of course, after work, you would love to take a walk maybe, do some exercises and meet your friends. However, for cooks, it is the other way round. You have to get so tired due to the many activities you are entitled to that day. This will lead to pain in the shoulders, swollen legs, muscles, and other minor health issues. There should be an invention of robots to perform some activities in the kitchen so that they can lower the burden for cooks. ”
9. How Do You Stay Motivated In Your Work?
When the interviewer asks you this question, they expect you to talk about what keeps your morale day by day. Talk about your motivation while working.
“As far as my motivation is concerned, it all comes from my job. Cooking the best foods and tasty ones has always been my motivation. Whenever I learned new recipes, tried them, and worked, I would feel motivated to try more new recipes. As long as the customers are satisfied, I will continue learning different techniques to meet their expectations. Also, whenever customers give food I have cooked a good rating, I am always determined to continue giving them the best services ever.”
10. Describe A Time When You Failed In This Role And The Lessons You Learned
The interviewer expects you to tell them when you made a mistake in your career and were able to learn a lesson from it all. Talk about one event you failed, and the results were not appealing.
“Before I became a pro in this role, I must have had challenges here and there. And as we all know, mistakes are there to be made and we have to learn from them. One thing I did not know is that meat is not supposed to be cooked straight from the refrigerator. This is a mistake that I did at my entry-level and the results were not as expected. This leads to meat being overcooked, raw, or undercooked. This is a tip that I learned from another cook and I improved on that.”
11. Why Do You Feel You Are Most Suited For This Role?
The interviewer wants to know why you think you are the best candidate for this role. What it is that makes you get chosen over any other candidate. Consider talking about your unique qualities and strategies that differentiate you from any other candidate.
“Being a cook is a post that comes with a lot of responsibilities. It needs an experienced person who can give the customers the best since they understand what is expected of them. I believe that I have all the experience needed for this post. Having worked in this relevant field for five years, I believe I have all it takes to be the cook you are looking for. In addition, I believe that I have all the strategies and qualities needed for this post.”
12. Share With Us Your Greatest Achievement
Your interviewer wants to know what aims you have dreamed of achieving and you achieved them. Talk about the most meaningful goals that you have achieved, awards, and promotions in your career.
“As a sort of appreciation and recognition of the employer’s efforts, my previous employer would recognize and award the best staff every year. I won this title for three consecutive years. This came from the customer’s feedback by rating the quality of the food that we cooked. There would be a rating device when at the edge of the table where you would rate the food out of five stars. At the end of the year, each staff would get all the performance, and the best would win this title. This award came along with a certificate that is attached in my curriculum vitae too.”
13. Give Us Five Kitchen Machines Used In This Field And Their Functions
The interviewer wants to know whether you are aware of the tools and equipment you should use while working. Give the five pieces of equipment and what they are used for.
“There are several machines and equipment that are essential for a cook. Among them, the five are;
a) Burners – These are used for cooking, steaming, and boiling.
b) Cooking ranges – Used for cooking, boiling, baking, and frying
c) Ovens – used for cooking, baking, roasting, and browning.
d) Griddles – Used for preparing breakfast items such as omelets, sandwiches, burgers, etc
e) Griller machines – Used to grill meat.”
14. Tell Us The Different Types Of Ovens That You Know Of.
The interviewer is testing your knowledge on the types of tools and equipment that as a cook you are supposed to use.
“The different types of ovens are;
a) Rack oven – It contains a set of stacked racks often placed equidistant, one above the other in a tall stainless steel frame. This oven is good at producing a large volume of food items such as loaves of bread, cookies, and croissants.
b) Deck oven − It contains racks or rotisseries that can cook various meats such as chicken, duck, lamb, etc. simultaneously and evenly. They also come in baking deck and pizza deck variants. The number of decks is generally up to four.
c) Tunnel oven − It comes in direct heat and indirect heat variants. It is suitable for high-temperature baking.”
15. Talk About Five Different Types Of Ingredients You Know Of.
The interviewer is testing your knowledge of the different types of ingredients. Mention every type and talk briefly about them.
“The main types of ingredients are;
· Oils, vinegar, and condiments
· Canned goods and bottled items
· Grains and legumes
· Baking products’
· Refrigerator basics
· Freezer basics
· Storage produces.”
16. Give Us Five Different Types Of Knives That You Know Of.
The interviewer is testing your knowledge on the types of knives that you use in the kitchen.
The different types of knives are;
· Serrated knife (Bread Knife) − It has a long thin blade with a serrated edge that provides sawing-like motion. It is used to slice certain foods with firm skins or outer layers such as bread, tomatoes, and capsicums.
· Carving knife − This knife comes with a long, thin, and sharp blade to ensure neat and accurate cutting.
· Slicing knife − It has a long sharp blade that tapers at the end and helps to slice fruits and vegetables finely.
· Turning knife − It is an essential component to present the food uniquely. This knife has a small curved blade that is used to carve the vegetables into the shape of a container.
· Cleaver − It is a butchers’ knife. It is very strong and sharp to cut through large pieces of meat such as pork and beef.”
17. Give Us Five Fuels And Energy Used For Cooking
The interviewer wants to know whether you know the different types of fuels and energy used for cooking.
· Wood fuel
· Liquid propane
18. How Did You Learn That We Are Recruiting?
The interviewer wants to know how you knew that there was a cook vacancy in their company. Tell them whether someone referred you, you learned from a poster, or from electronic advertising.
“Since I have a friend of mine in one of your restaurants, she told me that a cook was needed in your restaurant. That’s how I learned that you were recruiting.”
19. What Is Your Biggest Strength?
The interviewer wants to know what it is that you are best at.
“As far as my career is concerned, I just love working in teams. Teamwork is my biggest strength.”
20. Why Did You Leave Your Previous Role?
The interviewer wants to know why you quitted your last role. Don’t talk ill about your previous employer or staff.
“The reason why I left my previous workplace it’s because it closed down due to the world Pandemic which has affected a lot of businesses across the world.”
Being a cook is one of the best careers. Answer the questions with creativity and show your interviewers that you are the best for that position. All the best.