Head chef interview questions

Head Chef Interview Questions

Time really is of the essence when it comes to chef hire – and believe it or not – not everyone on the planet is currently trying to hire a CDP. In fact, many businesses are looking for great Head Chefs to help them thrive not just survive in these challenging operating times.

A Head Chef manages the daily operations of a commercial kitchen. Their duties include budget management, designing the menu, hiring, training and overseeing kitchen staff (plus much more).

So, when you get to the interview stage of your Head Chef recruitment process, it’s important to be armed with a range of questions designed to help you assess the potential of your candidate. 

To help, we’ve put together 20 Head Chef interview questions that you can pick and choose from.

Head Chef interview questions 1 to 10

1. What attracted you to a career as a chef? Why did you enter the culinary field?

2. Describe your training and any educational background?

3. What would you change on our menu?

4. How do you take ownership of the customers’ experience?

5. Describe to me your role in purchasing, receiving and developing/controlling budgets?

6. How does food cost factor into menu creation?

7. What are some of the best food vendors you work with? 

8. What cuisine is your specialty? 

9. How do you change your menu seasonally? 

10: What steps do you take to control the quality of the food that goes out to customers?

Head Chef interview questions 11 to 20

11. Do you allow customers to request ingredient substitutions?

12. What steps do you take to make sure you can accommodate special diets?

13. Recall a time you handled a situation with a disappointed customer. What did you do and what was the outcome? 

14. How do you keep labour costs under control? How do you monitor this? 

15. Describe your approach to hiring staff. What qualities do you look for in your kitchen crew? 

16. How do you handle letting go of employees? 

17. How involved are you in managing your team? How much independence do you give them? 

18. Describe your experience with multicultural and multilingual teams. What steps do you take to ensure everyone feels comfortable? 

19. Recall a time you resolved a conflict with a difficult employee. What were the issues and outcomes? 

20. What are your thoughts on training and mentoring new employees? 

Also, don’t forget to keep an eye out during the interview process for candidates who demonstrate:

  • Strong leadership
  • A budget mind-set 
  • Creativity
  • Coolness under pressure
  • Resourcefulness  
  • Business acumen

And finally…

The industry has changed, but has your approach to hiring chefs? 

A smaller chef talent pool and much more competition means it’s vital for every employer regardless of size to utilise the most effective recruitment tools in the market to engage the talent they need.

Save yourself precious time and money by using Only Chefs, the UK’s leading chef-only direct hire platform. Plus, sign up today and get 6 weeks free access to the platform and a chance to win 12 months free access worth £3,000 (T&Cs apply, click link for more).

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