Prep Cook Interview Questions
A prep cook is an entry-level member of the kitchen. They’re the ones who set up workstations, chop, peel, cut and prepare ingredients so the chefs can cook and finish dishes.
This position doesn’t usually require any education. Some experience in cooking and customer service is desirable although you can easily train the most promising candidates. A food handler’s permit is typically required so make sure to bring it up during the interview.
Related: How to attract and hire entry-level employees
Every kitchen or restaurant is different so ask questions depending on your specific requirements. A great general practice is to ask them to demonstrate their skill and manual dexterity by preparing some ingredients.
Any questions you want to ask should be geared towards their reliability, teamwork and ability to follow instructions. You should also be looking for motivation and enthusiasm for the specific position. Asking about their knowledge of safety and sanitation is a great way to choose the best among candidates.
Operational and Situational questions
- If you suddenly had a lot of work to do and other prep cooks weren’t helping, how would you handle it?
- What would you do if you were asked to prepare a sauce you had never prepared before?
- Imagine you have a question about something but the chef isn’t around. What do you do?
- In what order would you place different ingredients (vegetables, meat, fish etc.) in the refrigerator?
- What’s your experience in food handling?
- Do you prefer working alone or as a team?
- What do you do to stay punctual?
- What did you like most in our menu?
- What entrees/sauces/etc. can you prepare?
- How do you ensure cooks have always adequate supplies during a rush?
- What cleaning activities do you think are necessary in the kitchen?
- Tell me about a time you made a mistake while preparing ingredients. How did you correct it and what did you learn?
- Recall a time you showed excellent customer service
- What’s the most difficult situation you’ve encountered in previous jobs?