Interviews can be highly stressful without adequate preparation. In this article, we will look at a few questions that should help you get ready for a Panda Express interview if your application goes through. Take a look at the following:
1. Why Us?
Why do you want to work at Panda Express? Remember, there are several American fast food restaurant chains that you could have chosen. You should praise Panda Express and even mention a few things that make it exceptional. The trick is to talk positively about your prospective employer.
I would love to represent you since I have always loved your food and the services I get whenever I visit. I also love Chinese cuisine. I took lots of cooking lessons on preparing Chinese food that I believe will come in handy. I’d be honored if given a chance.
2. What Do You Know About Panda Express?
What can you tell the interviewer about Panda Express? Show that you are interested in this employer by taking time to find out about the entity. Mention all the facts you may have come across regarding Panda Express. You can talk about many things such as their products and services, year of formation or even number of stores.
Panda Express first began operation in 1973 as Panda Inn in Pasadena, California. The restaurant chain specializes in American Chinese Cuisine. Some of your products are chicken, beef, shrimp, and regional entrees. You don’t use MSG in your meals, and for those who do not enjoy Chinese cuisine, you have sides, desserts, drinks, and appetizers.
3. Tell Us About Your Working Experience
Employers generally love taking in people with a level of job experience because it saves them the cost of training and time. If you have any work experience, mention how it relates to the particular job you are interviewing for. However, do not be discouraged if you lack tangible experience. You are free to sell yourself and convince the interviewer that your lack of experience won’t stand in your way.
I do not have tangible experience per se. I have been focusing on school and just recently graduated. However, I have a vast array of skills and qualities that will come in handy if I get this job. I am ready to prove myself in the workplace.
4. What Would Your Previous Boss Say About You?
This is a common question in interviews. The hiring manager wants to know the type of employee you are by how others perceive you. Even though you may be tempted to lie and talk highly about yourself, remember that a simple phone call to your previous workplace can unearth everything. Therefore, ensure that you are honest with the interviewer.
I enjoyed working with my former boss. He was a caring, understanding, but strict manager who also believed in employee motivation. Even though we weren’t in the same room most of the time, he would tell you that I am a diligent and hardworking employee who can also work well under pressure from the few times we interacted.
5. Why Should We Hire You?
The interviewer or hiring manager will always give you a chance to sell yourself. Talk about your capabilities, qualities, or any other thing that makes you qualified for this job. You should also reread the job description, know what the interviewer needs and mention the skills and experience required for the job that you possess.
This is my tenth year as a chef specializing in Chinese cuisine, which makes me highly experienced in this field and able to fit well in your organization. I am passionate about my job, diligent, hardworking, punctual, and able to work under tremendous pressure; some of the critical requirements in the restaurant industry.
6. How Would You Motivate Other Employees?
This is a pretty common question, especially if you are interviewing for a management position at Panda Express. Remember that employee motivation is essential as it keeps everyone on toes and interested in service delivery. You should mainly focus on intrinsic motivation and not material motivators such as money.
Even though money can act as a great motivator, it fails to deliver the same results in the long run. I will therefore focus on means that make them feel appreciated, such as praising them for their excellent work or recognizing them publicly. I have found out that employee recognition is one of the best ways of motivating them.
7. Comment About Your Availability
When are you available? Remember that most jobs in this institution are part-time jobs, meaning that many employees either have other jobs or are students. The wage cannot sustain a comfortable life, pay off your mortgages and take care of your kids. If you are an adult working at Panda Express, then you definitely have another job. Be honest. It will help you avoid future disappointments.
I am available for night shifts since I have a day job. I can also work during the weekends when I do not usually have a lot on my plate. I can also step in during the holidays if called upon. (The last part shows that you are flexible; trait interviewers love)
8. What Is Your Favorite Item On Our Menu?
We advise you to try and become a regular at Panda Express before applying for a job position at the restaurant. Remember, you will be better positioned to point out a particular item if you have eaten it or have first-hand experience. When answering this question, avoid mentioning an item with premium price tags. Pick an ordinary thing on the menu.
I have been a regular Panda Express customer and have had the opportunity to try out many items on your menu. I particularly love your black pepper chicken. It is very delicious and well made. I also tried your Beijing beef and fell in love with it.
9. Mention Your Greatest Strength
This is a general question that the interviewer or hiring manager asks to reveal more information about you. You need to identify and pick strengths that are relevant to the job at hand. Reread the detailed job description and determine strengths that will help you in your position.
I am a good communicator. I have exceptional people skills that allow me to get well with others, start conversations, pass information effectively, and help the customers. I believe that this strength will come in handy in such a customer-oriented environment.
10. How Do You Stay Motivated In This Job?
What keeps you going in this job? How do you keep soaring despite all the challenges you keep on facing? Do not mention the material benefits you will get when working at Panda Express, as you will become materialistic. Instead, focus on intrinsic motivating factors.
I am passionate about my role in the restaurant industry. I love interacting with customers and helping them out. I believe that my passion and commitment override any demotivating factor that I may come across. I have also had some good times in this industry which I reflect upon whenever I feel like giving up.
11. We Have Had Rising Complaints Of Employee Theft. What Would You Do If You Caught Your Coworker Stealing?
Employee theft is a significant setback in business, however negligible it may be. The interviewer at Panda Express will ask you such a question to ascertain if you are honest and trustworthy. Clearly explain the steps you will take if you find an employee stealing items from the workplace.
I would follow the internal policy for employee theft to the latter and report the perpetrator. I am a person of high integrity who believes that people should make an honest living. Even my former employers can vouch for my honesty. ( You must convince the interviewer that you will not ignore such an issue)
12. What Do You Normally Do During Your Leisure Time?
The interviewer wants to know what you enjoy doing in your free time. Talk about your involvement in an organization or sports club as well as your roles and contributions. You can also talk about your hobbies. This question will allow the interviewer to know more about you, determine your personality and ascertain what motivates you.
I love giving back to the community. Therefore, I visit children’s homes and volunteer at my local animal shelter during my free time. I may also read and pass the time playing with my dog. ( You can also share the skills you have learned if any of your outside activities are related to the position you are interviewing for)
13. How Do You Handle Setbacks?
The interviewer wants to know how challenges affect you both emotionally and in your work. Remember, there is no particular way of handling the stress that comes with work since we are wired differently. Tell the interviewee how you usually cope with workplace issues.
I understand just how disappointing setbacks can be, especially if you’ve given your all to the job. However, I also know that they are inevitable and may happen from time to time. I usually take some time to debrief with my manager and find out some of the things I could have done differently.
14. We Normally Offer A Training Program For All Our Employees. Which Aspect Do You Think You Need The Most?
The interviewer expects you to mention any training areas that you may be lacking. Think about your training and note what you would pick if you chose to focus on it. Please do not shy away from picking an aspect, fearing that they may find you incompetent.
If I had the chance to pick an aspect of training, I would focus more on health and safety. I would love to progress to management, and therefore knowing what to train the employees on would come in handy.
15. We Deal With Lots Of Cash Transactions Throughout The Day. Can We Trust You?
Panda Express needs trustworthy employees, especially when interviewing for a cashier position. Being a prominent entity, there are lots of cash transactions that happen during the day. Convince the interviewer that you are a person of high integrity who can be trusted with huge transactions.
Even my former manager can vouch for me that I am a trustworthy employee. I have handled huge loads of cash without taking even a single cent. I once found $1000 that a fellow cashier had misplaced and returned it to hon without taking anything. I believe in honesty and integrity.
16. How Many Days Did You Not Come To Work In The Previous Year
The interviewer wants to know if you are a diligent and reliable employee. Will you absent yourself from work regularly citing different reasons, or are you willing to push yourself and make an appearance every day? Nobody wants an employee who will keep giving excuses for not showing up.
I only failed to come to work twice when I had medical emergencies. I highly value my job and strive to give my all always. I cannot, therefore, absent myself from work without a valid reason. (Or you can say that you can’t remember when you failed to come to work without a good reason)
17. We Take Great Pride In Keeping Our Restaurants Clean Here At Panda Express. What Does Cleanliness Mean To You?
Panda Express is wired towards making its customers happy. One of the ways to keep customers coming back is maintaining high levels of cleanliness. Therefore, it would help if you convinced the interviewer that you value cleanliness and would do anything to uphold it in the workplace.
I highly value cleanliness. I live by the saying that cleanliness is next to godliness. I cannot condone working in a dirty place or living in a messy house. I even took cleaning classes after my high school education and know-how to work with different surfaces. It won’t, therefore, be an uphill task to me.
18. We Have Gained Some Momentum Through Social Media Marketing. Do You Follow Us?
The interviewer will always want to be sure that you are interested in the organization. Following them on social media means that you are interested in what they have to say, their progress, and their performance. However, do not lie. Just tell the truth if you don’t.
I am mostly active on Twitter. I follow you on Twitter which keeps me updated on your moves. I also took some time to go through your profile, and I am convinced that your social media manager is doing a good job. I hope he keeps up.
19. How Do You Normally Manage Difficult Customers?
You need customer handling experience if you want to work at Panda. There are different types of customers that you are likely to come across in your job. Some will be understanding, others difficult, while some may be impatient. Regardless of who you are dealing with, you are required to cater to all of them. Convince the interviewer that you can attend to the needs of all customers.
I have dealt with several demanding customers in my career. I have learned that the best helping them is by remaining calm and professional throughout the interaction. However, if I can’t manage after maintaining high standards of professionalism and calmness, I will refer them to my supervisor or manager.
20. Do You Believe That Honesty Is The Best Policy?
You cannot work at Panda if you are dishonest and untrustworthy. The interviewer hasn’t given you much of a choice since you have to agree that honesty is the best policy. You can explain how important it is in the workplace.
I believe that honesty is the best policy. It helps avoid future disappointments and makes one trustworthy. I usually take great pride in the fact that I am honest.
We have discussed some of the questions you should prepare for before appearing for a Panda Express interview. Ensure that you are at your best during the interview.