Prep Cook qualifications to look for
Prep cooks prepare and plate food according to a restaurant's menu specifications. They are assigned a specific place in the line, such as the grill or vegetable prep station.
This is an entry-level position and many prep cooks use this position to move into higher ranked positions like Sous Chef and eventually Executive Chef.
Your top hire may have two or more years of experience in culinary school, but some of your best candidates may have learned by having ample hands-on experience. Your candidates should have knowledge about cooking techniques, restaurant management, and health and safety procedures.
Keep an eye out for candidates who are:
- Fast learners
- Cool under pressure
Top tip: Hire candidates willing to grow by making sure their personal career goals align with your company's mission.
Prep Cook interview questions
- What kind of formal training do you have when it comes to preparing and plating food?
- How would you describe the difference between broiling and braising? Walk me through each process.
- What dishes showcase your creativity? What is your favorite dish to make?
- How do you ensure your station is well stocked, even when it’s busy?
- How do you keep your team informed if you are running low on a specific ingredient and can no longer make a dish?
- How do you prepare your station for the next shift?
- How do you respond to increased customer flow?
- Describe a time you helped a co-worker finish a job on time. How does teamwork come into play on the line?
- Describe a time you disagreed with your manager. How did you handle it? What was the outcome?
- Describe the busiest times at your previous restaurant. How did you go the extra mile to help out? How did you handle the stress?
- What are the least busy times? What do you do when things are slow?
- How do you handle it if you are running behind and tickets are flowing in?
- How would you handle negative feedback from a customer about the food? How do you go the extra mile to ensure their happiness?
- Describe a time you went out of your way to accommodate a customer.