The job is about the unsung heroes in any commercial kitchen who work tirelessly. Not only, they are providing clean serving dishes but also making sure that the kitchen staff has clean tools! In this article, we will be sharing some of the questions with answers that you might be asked in your interview as a Dishwasher.
1. Why Are You Interested In This Role?
I like the food service industry and I want to work my way up in the restaurant industry. I do enjoy working under pressure because I like being active. I am taking a restaurant management course as well and planning to be part of a management role.
2. What Are The Roles Of A Dishwasher?
Traditional tasks carried out by the dishwashers include washing dishes, glassware, flatware, pots, as well as pans, etc. Garbage can cleaning, water or steam cleaning, and other works are also part of the traditional jobs of the dishwasher. Other traditional tasks include maintaining the working area of the kitchen, maintaining pieces of equipment and keeping utensils in an orderly fashion, sorting cleaned dishes and utensils, and cooking pieces of equipment in storage areas and individual place setting including sweeping, scrubbing floors, and removal of the trash.
3. What Are The Qualities That A Dishwasher Needs To Be Successful?
In my opinion, there are a few essential qualities that one must possess in this role.
- Time Management: It is important to be on time for every shift and able to balance multiple responsibilities throughout the day. Ideally, you should be a few minutes early for each shift.
- Communication: teamwork makes the dream work, and this rule also applies to restaurant kitchens. Working together with the chefs, line cooks, and other back-of-house staff is the best way to ensure that operations run smoothly.
- Knowledge of Health and Safety Codes: Since sanitation is at the core of the restaurant dishwasher job, it’s important to stick to the health codes and guidelines laid out by local and state laws. Having a working knowledge of best practices will help you avoid mistakes or confusion about proper procedures. With hot stovetops, sharp knives, heavy machinery, and more, being safe in the kitchen is vital.
4. What Major Challenges Did You Face During Your Last Role? How Did You Manage Them?
The kitchen becomes one of the most stressful places during busy hours. In my last role, one of my co-workers started getting angry at me due to frustration. I did not say anything in the first few days, considering that there must be some problem with my work. After some time, I spoke to my co-worker and asked him if I was doing something wrong. I apologized if I am causing any inconvenience to him. He did not give me a proper answer but the attitude continued. I spoke to the supervisor and he was glad that I spoke on it. He took care of the matter.
5. Describe Your Daily Routine As A Dishwasher?
I usually get to work around 8:30 in the morning and start by cleaning the prep area. I then move on to washing dishes until lunchtime, when I take my break. After lunch, I clean the kitchen and prep areas again before starting to wash dishes again until dinner service.
6. Describe Briefly About Your Experience?
I’ve worked in several different restaurants and I’ve learned a lot about how to keep a kitchen clean. I’ve also learned how to work well with my coworkers and how to handle stressful situations.
7. What Kind Of Strategies And Mindset Are Required For This Role?
Always maintain your productivity in this role and be consistent in fulfilling your duties. We are the unsung heroes of a kitchen but we know our worth. If the tasks given are managed with integrity, this role has a lot to deliver to your career.
8. What Is The Biggest Challenge You Foresee In This Job?
As of now, I see long hours as a challenge. I have worked in a commercial kitchen but I have researched the busy hours of this space and I believe that shift is going to last for 12 hours or so.
9. How Do You Stay Motivated At Work?
In my experience, I have learned that If I take small breaks during my shift, it helps me. Since the kitchen temperature is high during busy hours, I make sure that I am well hydrated so that I don’t feel fatigued during my shift. I also carry my iPod with me because music helps me stay motivated in the kitchen. During slow hours, I usually spend time with the staff for casual talk and discussions.
10. Describe A Time You Failed In This Role And The Lesson You Learned?
Once during my shift, I broke a couple of dishes due to a wet and slippery floor. My supervisor was angry with me. I apologized for my carelessness and requested the in-charge to provide me anti-slip matt for the washing area. I learned that I should keep the floor area dry throughout the day because it can cause a lot of incidents since almost all of the staff across the area. It never happened again in my kitchen!
11. Why Do You Feel You Are Qualified For This Role?
I have the ability and willingness to work under pressure situations. Over time, I have developed a good speed too. I possess good stamina and I am physically pretty strong to work for long stretched hours without any break in between. I am ready and up for the challenge in this role.
12. Share With Us Your Greatest Achievement
In my previous role, I have loaded more than 500 glasses, silverware, and dishes into the dishwasher each shift, running an average of 5 loads per shift too. It was one of the craziest Christmas seasons but great tips from customers too!
13. What Are Your Methods For Stain Removal On Dishware Or Silverware When The Dishwasher Doesn’t Remove Them?
First, I make sure that I wash the dishes thoroughly so that other easy stains can be removed. For difficult stains, I use baking soda paste because it is an excellent cleaner and odor neutralizer. I take a tablespoon of baking soda and add water or white vinegar to make a thick paste. I use a scouring pad and scrub the stains with the paste and rinse. Lemon is a great common product that can be used as a mild solvent. If the stains are deeper then I use the soaking method. In hot water, I dissolve 1 tablespoon of baking soda with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar per cup of water. The stained dishes should be stained for a minimum of 1 to 2 hours.
14. What Are The Common Instructions For Using A Potent Solvent Like Commercial Chemicals?
There are several brands available in the market for this. I make sure that I read the instructions on the package carefully. Another important thing is to make sure that there is a proper ventilation area where I am doing the task. To avoid any skin damage, I wear rubber gloves. After application, I rinse the dishes carefully to ensure that none of the chemicals remains on the dish.
15. What Care Is Required When Using Bleaching Ceramics?
Any sort of chlorine bleach or product that has traces should not be used on glazed china or ceramics since it ruins the glaze. For these, oxygen bleach is used by combining it with water and soaking the dishes in it. It also works best for crazing lines on the ceramic that happen due to ceramic age.
16. What Is The Right Way To Wash Plastic Containers?
If the dishwasher is being used then always place plastic on the uppermost rack so that it is not exposed to high temperature. If there are any stains then sunlight works best since it has a natural bleaching effect. If there is an outdoor location where sunlight is present, you can leave dishes upside down for a minimum of 2 hours. If still, there are stains on the plastic then baking soda and vinegar can be used. Soak the containers in the solution of baking soda, vinegar, and warm water in 1:1 for 1 to 2 hours.
17. How Can Stains Be Avoided On Ceramic?
Never scratching the ceramic is the best tip to avoid stains. The cracks become home to difficult stains. If ceramic is used for serving hot food then it’s always best to warm the dishes in the oven. The sudden heat change causes cracks too. For coffee and teacups, it is best to clean them immediately because these beverage stains set in so quickly that it becomes tough to remove those. Ceramic should be washed in hot or warm water so that grease can be removed easily.
18. Do You Know How To Maintain Dishware Inventory? If Yes, How Do You Do It?
Yes, I have managed the inventory for dishware and other items like pots and pans. I simply use Microsoft Excel in which I create a table with columns across the top. Along with the name, unit of measurement, current count, unit price, and the total cost is mentioned. If there are any similar items, it is grouped while listing all items. Add the quantity present in the sheet along with the price if required. I usually did cycle counting at the start of the day or at the closing time to track everything on record.
19. What Is Inventory Cost Accounting?
It is the process of determining how much product your company should carry to reduce the total inventory costs. It looks at more than just the actual cost of the product and considers storage, administration, and market fluctuation.
20. How Did You Organize And Store Dishware At Your Previous Job?
Yes, organizing helps in the smooth operation of the kitchen, especially during busy hours. I separate the dishes into piles depending on the usage. For example, Pots and Pans are stacked together and away from ceramics because the chef will be using them. All heavy items like bowls should be in low cabinets and spatulas and wooden spoons in caddies near the stove. The dishes should be accessible in the dish drainer near the service station.
21. What Are The Advantages Of A Commercial Dishwasher In A Restaurant Setting?
The biggest advantage is constant supply during rush hours, especially lunchtime. From dishes to glasses, the customers don’t have to wait around for this at least. One of the key benefits of investing in commercial dishwashers is that they can wash large quantities of dishes in a short amount of time. This means there’s no waiting around for clean pots. Commercial dishwashers provide an opportunity to ensure that dishes are washed and sanitized in line with these regulations. So that the food and drink you serve are safe for customers.
22. How Do You Ensure That Resources Are Not Wasted When It Comes To Dish Washing?
I am here to contribute to the company with my skills and labor, and not to lead them to a loss. I make sure that I am not wasting any resources including water and smartly manage my tasks around it.
23. In Your Previous Roles, Have You Done Any Tasks Apart From Washing Dishes? What Type Of Chemicals Are You Familiar With?
Yes, I have been given tasks like cleaning countertops and prep areas for the chefs to use. I also have done storing supplies in the pantry along with sweeping floors. I usually assist my team during busy hours as long as my work is not getting disturbed. I use the following during my work:
- Glass Cleaner- A glass cleaner to clean the windows and even the stove glass door. I sometimes use a chemical-based or sometimes make a solution myself by including vinegar and water in a spray bottle for cleaning the glass in the kitchen.
- Sink and Tile Cleaner- For Kitchen tiles, I keep tile cleaner handy and for the sink, if it’s stainless steel, I use a specific cleaner.
- Stove Top Cleaner- There are many cleaners on the market for cleaning the stovetop, but oven cleaner works very well for stubborn burnt-on foods and grease.
- Floor Cleaner- Any floor cleaner will keep floors shiny and clean.
- Miscellaneous Supplies- baking soda is for stubborn stains, vinegar is good for cleaning drains, and bleach for hard to get stains on the floor will work well.
For any sort of stubborn odors in the kitchen, I put out some baking soda to absorb the smells or place a small cup of vinegar out to freshen the air. For Appliances in the fridge, I clean them weekly as per requirement especially the refrigerator and microwave oven.
24. Do You Have Experience Working With Commercial Dishwashing Machines In A Professional Kitchen Setting? How To Choose One?
In my previous roles, I have used commercial dishwashing machines at work including loading and unloading. I have used both conveyor and high-temperature dishwashers.
The choice between a pass-through dishwasher and an under-counter dishwasher is all dependent on the layout and washing scenario of the kitchen. A pass-through dishwasher eliminates the effort of bending down to stack and load a machine but they are generally more expensive and take up more space. An under-counter dishwasher is ideal for general use and is laid out just like a domestic dishwasher you might find at home with a drop-down door and drawing the baskets in and out. You will need to consider and weigh up the benefits and drawbacks of each machine layout for a particular scenario before making a purchase.
Stainless steel commercial dishwashers can stand up to everyday use for a much longer period. Stainless steel does not weather in the same way as plastic does with temperature and will not crack, split or warp like plastic. Stainless steel is also a much better surface for limescale as limescale struggles to bond with stainless steel in the same way as it does with plastic. This means machines take longer to scale up and when they do, they are much easier to un-scale with chemicals.
25. How Do You Clean Delicate Glassware Or Any Other Sort Of Fragile Dishes In The Kitchen?
I always segregate fine china and wine glasses from cooking pots and pans due to their delicacy. In my previous role, I created a separate drop area for these types to make sure each item is clean efficiently without any damage.
Be confident and smile as you give your interview. Also, dress casually in a pair of jeans. Make sure you have a hard copy of your resume in hand that mentions all your previous and updated responsibilities and educational records. An un-updated resume is simply a negative point because it shows your lack of professionalism. These 25 questions are surely going to help in acing the first round of interviews as a Dishwasher. Good luck!