OysterLink Job Platform Launching Dec. 2024
The OysterLink Job Platform is Launching December 2024

Top Line Cook Interview Questions & Example Answers

If you are looking to hire a Line Cook to join your establishment, you’re definitely in the right place.

These sample questions should help you during your upcoming interviews with potential candidates.

If you’re an applicant seeking a job as a Line Cook, you can use these same questions to prepare for your next interview and hopefully start off your career in hospitality the right way.

72% of job seekers use the interview process and how smooth it went to decide whether to accept a job offer or not.

Almost a third of all candidates, 32% to be exact, think recruiters ask them irrelevant questions during a job interview.

32% of job seekers think recruiters ask them irrelevant questions in a job interview

[Source: Robert Walters Group]

The way you conduct a Line Cook job interview can greatly reflect on the quality of candidates you attract and ultimately hire.

To help you streamline your interview process, we’ve put together a list of questions to ask when interviewing Line Cook candidates.

Additionally, we included example answers to help aspiring Line Cooks prepare for the job interview.

Line Cook Interview Questions About Skills and Experience

Here are some questions you can ask a Line Cook candidate to learn about their skills and experience:

Do you have any experience working as a Line Cook?

Example answer: “Yes. I have three years of Line Cook experience working in a fine-dining restaurant. I was in charge of the grill station where I prepared various types of meats, including steaks, lamb chops and poultry dishes. I was also occasionally tasked with cleaning and preparing seafood for further cooking. “

What kitchen equipment are you comfortable working with?

Example answer: “Thanks to my previous roles, I have become highly skilled at using various kitchen tools including conventional ovens, flat-top grills, meat slicers and pasta makers. I am confident that given the opportunity I will be able to master any equipment needed for doing the Line Cook job efficiently.”

Do you have any formal cooking education?

Example answer: “Yes I do. I graduated from the Culinary Institute of America where I obtained an Associate Degree in Culinary Arts. During my studies there, I was trained in basic cooking techniques and best food safety practices. I also gained hands-on experience with various cuisines including French, Italian and Chinese.”

Alternative answer: “I don’t have any formal cooking education. I learned everything about kitchen operations from hands-on experience, online sources like YouTube how-to videos or through mentorship from experienced Head Chefs.

I always had a great passion for cooking, so when I got my first kitchen job working as a Dishwasher, I used every opportunity to learn, ask questions, volunteer and observe how Chefs and other kitchen staff perform everyday tasks. I always knew I would become a Cook one way or another.”

Would you rather hire a candidate who graduated from the prestigious Culinary Institute of America, or a passionate candidate with no formal education?

Do you find the physical aspect of a Line Cook’s job to be demanding?

Example answer: “Working on your feet in a hot environment for eight hours straight can be challenging at times, but I’ve always been a very energetic person and prefer jobs that involve physical activity over static, office jobs.”

How do you manage to fulfill multiple orders at the same time during peak restaurant hours?

Example answer: “During peak hours, I start preparing food items that take longer to cook first, and then move on to the items that require less preparation time. I also make sure to stay in communication with other team members at all times so that we are all aware of our responsibilities and work together towards achieving the common goal.”

Situational Line Cook Interview Questions

Line Cooks can encounter many unforeseen challenges, so this next set of questions will help you assess the candidate’s interpersonal and communication skills:

You suddenly run out of a key ingredient for a popular dish. How would you handle this situation?

Example answer: “When faced with a situation like that, my first instinct would be to inform the Kitchen Manager of the shortage. Next, I would consult with the Head Chef to see if there is an alternative for that specific ingredient that’s readily available, and one we can use without compromising the quality of the dish. If there is no alternative ingredient we can substitute the main one with, I would notify front-of-house staff so they can recommend alternative dishes to customers.”

What would you do if you noticed one of your kitchen team members not following food safety procedures?

Example answer: “I would first try to settle the issue privately, by reminding that team member why following the safety protocols is important. If they continue to do it, I would escalate the matter to a Head Chef or the Restaurant Manager as I consider guests’ safety to be the number one priority in any food establishment.”

What would you do if you got a customer complaint saying your dish is undercooked?

Example answer: “If I get a customer complaint about an uncooked dish, I would first apologize for the inconvenience and start preparing a dish from scratch. This time, I would make sure to do it properly by checking the temperature and consistency multiple times. Lastly, I would approach the customer either personally or through a Server after the dish has been served, to make sure they are satisfied with the final outcome.”

Additional Line Cook Interview Questions for Assessing Candidates’ Motivation

Use the next set of questions to gauge how motivated the candidates are to work in your establishment.

Are you familiar at all with our restaurant?

If a candidate is excited to join your team, they’ve likely researched your restaurant and know some basic things about your company.

What inspired you to pursue a culinary career?

This question will help you determine if a candidate looks at their Line Cook career as something they enjoy doing or something they’re just currently doing before finding something else.

Who is the person you look up to in the culinary world?

A Line Cook who is determined to follow a culinary career will be able to name a few Michelin-star Chefs they look up to, like Gordon Ramsay or Joel Robuchon.

What Not To Ask in a Line Cook Job Interview

To leave a good first impression on your candidates, try avoiding personal questions related to their marital status, religion or political views.

Also, try not to ask any questions about their sexual orientation as these questions can seem rude and be perceived as an invasion of their privacy.

Line Cook Job Description FAQ

You can consider hiring a Line Cook with no previous experience if you have an established training program and people who can dedicate time teaching them all the necessary skills without compromising kitchen operations.

Some of the most frequent mistakes when writing a Line Cook job description are:

  • Vague list of duties living candidates unsure of the tasks they are meant to do
  • Not specifying salary
  • Overusing acronyms and jargon

A Line Cook collaborates on a daily basis with Head Chefs, Executive Chefs, Sous Chefs, Dishwashers, and occasionally with front-of-house personnel such as Servers and Waiters/Waitresses.