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Line Cook interview questions and answers

This Line Cook or Chef de Partie interview profile brings together a snapshot of what to look for in candidates with a balanced sample of suitable interview questions. Similar job titles include Chef.

Christine Del Castillo
Christine Del Castillo

Former Community Manager at Workable specialized in employee experience, talent brands and our event series, Workable Ideas.


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Line Cook Interview Questions

To hire Line Cooks, more and more restaurants are looking for candidates with two or four year culinary degrees. Graduates from these programs are equipped with knowledge about cooking techniques, restaurant management and health and safety procedures. This is an entry level position at the “back of the house,” and many line cooks use this position as a stepping stone towards being Sous Chef and then ultimately an Executive Chef.

 You’ll want someone who can work quickly and efficiency. Your candidates should have the endurance to work in a noisy, stressful environment on their feet for several hours at a time. They should be excellent at time management and should be willing to pick up more work during their downtime or to help out any colleagues who are behind on time. The ability to work well with a team is critical for this role.

The best candidates for this position are reliable and hospitable in addition to being knowledgeable and hardworking chefs. They should be able to find substitutes for their shift if they are late or absent for any reason. If for any reason they find themselves with an upset customer, they should be able to respectfully resolve the situation. 

Operational and Situational questions

  • What kind of formal training have you have?
  • How would you describe the difference between broiling and braising?
  • What dishes best showcase your creativity?
  • What would you do if you were cooking and realized that you didn’t have all the ingredients you needed to make a dish?
  • What would you do if you were shopping and couldn’t find the right brand of an ingredient for your recipe?
  • How do you make sure that shift changes go smoothly?
  • How do you respond to increases or decreases in customer flow?
  • Describe the busiest times at your previous restaurant. How did you go the extra mile to help out?
  • What are the least busy times? What do you do with your extra time?
  • What would you do if you were on your way to work and your car broke down?
  • How would you handle negative feedback from a customer about the food?
  • Describe a time you went out of your way to please a customer.
  • Describe a time you helped a co-worker finish a job on time.
  • Describe a time you disagreed with your manager. How did you handle it?


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