41 interview questions for kitchen assistants (with answers)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 25 August 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

When you apply for a role in any organisation, answering interview questions is one of the most important parts of the application process. This is the stage at which an interviewer learns more about you as a person, and you have the opportunity to influence the application process with your personality. Knowing some of the most common interview questions can help you prepare for your next kitchen assistant interview. In this article, we discuss some of the most common interview questions for kitchen assistants and review examples of answers to provide inspiration and guidance for answering these types of questions.

General interview questions for kitchen assistants

Here are some general interview questions for kitchen assistants:

  1. How did you hear about this role, and why does it interest you?

  2. Do you enjoy working as part of a larger team?

  3. Are you good at handling pressure, and what strategies do you use?

  4. What was the most interesting part of working in your last job?

  5. What do you want the final job in your career to be?

  6. Where do you see yourself in five years?

  7. Are you applying for positions in any other companies at the moment?

  8. Tell me more about your skills.

  9. How do you deal with frustration and stress in the workplace?

  10. Do you have any short-term career development plans?

  11. How can a company help you to thrive as an employee in the future?

  12. What is one of your weaknesses in the workplace?

Related: Smart answers to interview questions (with examples)

Questions about experience and background

Below are some questions you might answer about your experience and background as a kitchen assistant:

  1. Why did you leave your role at your most recent company?

  2. Tell me more about your education and how it helps with a job like this.

  3. How long did you spend in your last role?

  4. How did you find your years in education?

  5. Do you have any practical experience in management roles?

  6. What was your favourite and least favourite thing about your last job?

  7. Can you tell me more about a project you mention in your CV?

  8. What was the most recent difficult decision you made in the workplace?

  9. How much of your prior experience was in a kitchen environment?

  10. How have you handled success in the past?

In-depth interview questions

Here are some in-depth kitchen assistant interview questions for candidates:

  1. What do you enjoy about working in a professional kitchen environment?

  2. Do you have experience working with industrial convection ovens?

  3. What is the safe temperature for storing cooked items of food?

  4. What are the right dilution rates for cleaning products in a kitchen environment?

  5. How long can you keep food on a hot food counter before it expires?

  6. How often do you complete deep cleans of equipment in a professional kitchen environment?

  7. Do you know how to operate an industrial dishwasher?

  8. Do you know what 'behind' means in a kitchen environment, and how would you respond?

  9. What is the highest standard of cooking you have completed?

  10. What is the meal you are most proud of cooking in your life?

  11. What are the main duties of a kitchen assistant?

  12. How do you respond when somebody doesn't like the food you cook?

  13. How much do you value customer feedback on your food?

  14. At what temperature is chicken safe to serve to your customers?

Interview questions with sample answers

Reviewing example questions with answers can help you understand how to answer different types of interview questions you might experience during a kitchen assistant interview. Here are some interview questions with sample answers to review:

1. What is your favourite meal to cook and why?

This is a common question in interviews for a kitchen assistant for a couple of reasons. It reduces the tension in the situation, getting the candidate to talk more about themselves rather than their professional persona. This question also establishes the cuisine the candidate understands most. Answer this question honestly and with a significant amount of detail. This demonstrates your clear passion for food whilst describing your cooking style. It can also help you distinguish yourself from other candidates in the process. Some interviewers ask this question as an early icebreaker that establishes the tone of the interview.

Example: 'One of the meals I enjoy cooking the most is udon noodle soup. This is a very broad definition of a meal, as there are so many different types of udon noodle soup, with miso and proteins playing an important role in what your soup tastes like. I enjoy creating these soups as they're opportunities for expressing myself in the kitchen and working more creatively with the ingredients available. This is also ideal for the role I'm applying for, with your focus on Western/Japanese fusion food.'

Related: What does a line cook do? (Including job requirements)

2. Why is food safety so important in the workplace?

Potential employers ask this question in an interview scenario as they have an interest in knowing the candidate has a focus on food hygiene and safety in the workplace. Food safety protocols are legal necessities in the U.K. A kitchen assistant having a good understanding of food safety's role is ideal for any restaurant seeking new employees. When answering, discuss the importance of food safety's role in detail and specifically discuss how you implement a food safety regime at work as a means of reassuring the interviewer of your knowledge.

Example: 'As someone with a lot of experience in kitchens, I have a comprehensive understanding of food safety laws and regulations. Knowing the consequences of poor food safety, I have a clear focus on ensuring customers get the best possible experience and have no risks when eating food that I play a part in creating. This includes writing food safety policies, which was a core competency of mine in a previous workplace. I also stringently follow all food preparation and cooking rules in the workplace, with no experience of straying from these guidelines.'

Related: What is a HACCP plan? (With steps to help you write one)

3. Are you suitable for leadership positions?

In some cases, an interviewer asks kitchen assistant candidates questions about their potential in the workplace. This includes topics such as whether a candidate has the potential for leadership positions in the future, as this establishes their potential for promotion in the future. When answering this question use your experience in previous workplaces as supporting evidence. Provide an interviewer with more clarity around your potential for working in a leadership role and encourage a greater level of confidence in you as a potential employee.

Example: 'I have the potential for transitioning into a leadership position in the years to come. Some of my leadership experience includes the time in my last role when a leader in the kitchen wasn't present due to an injury. I led the kitchen through a difficult service, ensuring we served all of the dishes in a timely manner. This is a skill I have the potential for improving over my time in a company and I'd look to work closely with the leadership team to make the most of my leadership potential.'

Related: How to address and strengthen leadership weaknesses

4. When have you experienced a challenge in the workplace?

This is a common question in a range of different interview settings. Interviewers ask this as a means of learning more about the way their members of staff respond to challenges and whether prospective employees have the skills necessary for reacting to difficult experiences. When answering this question, mention a specific time you responded to a challenge at work. Doing so and explaining how you contributed to a solution is ideal and demonstrates a proactive attitude in the workplace.

Example: 'In my last position, I was responsible for ordering stock for the evening service. One week, the supplier we use closed down due to illnesses in their organisation. I responded by creating a new supply line with a different company, supplying the same goods at the same price point. The company still uses the new supplier to this day and has not suffered issues with supply since the initial issue. This experience is something I learned from and provided me with the knowledge of how best to respond to urgent situations.'

Related: Q&A: describe a challenge you faced and how you overcame it

5. Do you have any questions for us?

This is a common question in an interview, rather than focusing specifically on working as a kitchen assistant. Interviewers ask this as a means of learning more about a candidate's interest in the company and their personal investment in the role. Prepare three questions in advance for this question and pick one that's most appropriate for the interview. This can help you show your genuine interest in the role and the company.

Example: 'As someone with an interest in improving the workplace around me as I develop, I was wondering if there was any form of staff feedback or contribution system? In all of my previous workplaces, I've made suggestions that have helped improve productivity and safety in the workplace. I want to contribute to the business in any way I can, and I feel like this is a potential way of doing so.'

Disclaimer: The model shown is for illustration purposes only, and may require additional formatting to meet accepted standards.

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