Tips for sous chef interviews.

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Do you have any tips to help prepare for an upcoming sous chef interview?

Are there common interview questions that come up again and again?

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stephen Cherry in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania

83 months ago

If you have to ask this question you are not quite ready

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cateringpro in Waterlooville, United Kingdom

66 months ago

Daniel in Portland, Oregon said: They will ask you about percentages for food, and labor costs. How you controlled those costs at previous jobs. If it is your first time applying for a Sous Chef position make yourself familar with the average food cost percentages that most restaurants require (30-32%) Labor costs can vary depending upon if they lump service staff with kitchen. Kitchen should be under 23% in most situations, 19-20% is great in kitchen labor costs. The best way to cut these costs is to increase sales, waste is decreased significantly when inventory is being used, labor costs dramatically decrease when employees are kept busy. Remember, your position as Sous Chef is to relieve the Chef or Executive Chef, it is your duty to step into his shoes and enforce his policies while he is away. Be loyal, and trusted to act in his behalf during his absence. Many times you are a liason between the Exective Chef, and kitchen staff, be ready to be caught in the middle sometimes as this is very common. The Sous Chef is usually alot closer to the general kitchen staff, because the Executive Chef is busy with the administrative/bookkeeping end of the business. Be able to be diplomatic, and support your supervisors, and subbordinates alike.

Great answer i have been a head chef for 12 years and i remember being promoted above my friend, we were all chef de partie's and then i was sous chef and taking control of the kitchen on the head chefs days off, catering profiles online has the mosted asked interview questions in their profiles and help with costings, it's not every chefs dream to do the books, when cooking is most important, catering profiles online also have a gross profit calculator that is fast and simple and makes you look good in front of a new head chef.

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Daniel in Portland, Oregon

61 months ago

You gave a 2 word answer (k.Orvolli) Kind of like Dah!! You didn't mean to sound bitchy. What the hell, are you kidding me!! I am trying to tell these people the truth and give them advise that will help them, meanwhile your trying to tear me down. What is your agenda!!

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K. Orvolli in Portland, Oregon

61 months ago

Well, I'm sorry you feel that way, but you need to calm down a bit, we all have an opinion and I didn't mean to make mine sound offensive. You aren't the only one who can give advice. Why all the exclamation marks? I'm calm, collected, just trying to discuss....same as you I'd thought. No reason to get upset, and I REALLY didn't mean to sound like bitchy. I just thought that information like that you had given should be obvious to anyone starting out working in ANY profession. You should look back over what I had said, I was agreeing with you....not trying to bring you down.
Calm....down. Also, at what point did I "tear you down"?
Everything in my response was just agreeing with what you had said and trying to explain my two word answer.
No agendas here.

-K

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K. Orvolli in Portland, Oregon

61 months ago

Also....my whole response was meant to be an apology to a two word reply.

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montuckyp

58 months ago

i thought they would want real world skills but turns out they just want book knowledge.

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rgthth in Perkasie, Pennsylvania

56 months ago

Ricardo in Fort Worth, Texas said: yes , they will ask you about the mother sauces

If you don't already know the MOTHER SAUCES as a COOK then go back to Mc Donalds

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B in LV in Las Vegas, Nevada

53 months ago

Daniel I would work for you anyday

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HC in Omaha, Nebraska

49 months ago

@Daniel in Portland: Thank you for all of the advice you gave in this forum! I am applying for a Sous Chef/Assistant Chef position with my job and needed some sample questions. Most of what you said is what I had already planned to cover in my interview (the most important asset is the team, info about dishwasher, which is how we currently treat ours-all as a team!, and how the Sous Chef is ultimately the middle person). It helped me to reinvent my answers. I enjoyed the reading.

-HC

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checks in Calgary, Alberta

48 months ago

Thats great, we are trying to develop ourselves in our profession and all we hear is back stabbing and and fighting from two as they call them selves executive chefs. I thought this was a team working enviroment. No I in teams is there gentlemen?

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Jonathan in Saint Cloud, Florida

43 months ago

cateringpro in Waterlooville, United Kingdom said: Great answer i have been a head chef for 12 years and i remember being promoted above my friend, we were all chef de partie's and then i was sous chef and taking control of the kitchen on the head chefs days off, catering profiles online has the mosted asked interview questions in their profiles and help with costings, it's not every chefs dream to do the books, when cooking is most important, catering profiles online also have a gross profit calculator that is fast and simple and makes you look good in front of a new head chef.

I agree that learning about food cost is an important aspect in reaching executive chef status but to be a first time sous chef I feel it is more important to understand multiple cooking techniques new and classical and be very knowledgeable at maintaining a well executed haccp program. It is also very important to have outstanding leadership skills and earn the respect of the hourly team members then demand it. At most places there is an executive sous chef that will handle the food cost and administrative duties in the executive chefs absence.

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Alex in Ypsilanti, Michigan

35 months ago

I have a job interview for sues chef position tomorrow and everyone's comments have been very helpful. Thank you all!.

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Strawstine in Dallas, Texas

32 months ago

How do I apply to a cruise ship.?I have exeperience in various parts of Cooking and baking.

pedro diaz in Brooklyn, New York said: well by junior sou chef i would have to believe that you mean chef tournant that's what ship board culinary positions goe by anyhoo i would say get ready for a very very bussy contract i hold a possition on the norwegian crusie line in Hawaii my contrack is 4 months on 2 months off vacation paid, i work 7 days a week 12 to 14 hour shift unlike regular cooks they have a day off chef tournants or soue chef ar recognised as managerial staff holding a higher pay with vacation pay involved and less time on the ship regular cook 6 months managment 4 months, but with all that said and done i would recomend that you put on all your hats in the culinary field and use then wisely and pase your self because it is a very bumpy ride anything else i could help you with get back to me ! regarding foods cooking tips staffing ordering purchasing shceduling exct!

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donna waters-richardson in Houston, Texas

31 months ago

Daniel in Beaverton, Oregon said: Dave,I ran out of space during my last post so I had to start another, sorry. Anyway, if you would like to get some more questions to ask of perspective Chef 's, or if anyone else needs questions answered I would be happy to respond. Email me at dtkangiser@aol.com.

Do you hav a new email address DT?

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Daniel in Mcminnville, Oregon

28 months ago

donna waters-richardson in Houston, Texas said: Do you hav a new email address DT?

Yes, my new address is dtkangiser@yahoo.com

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etastella in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

20 months ago

hi, Daniel I'm Marilyn and I will have an assessment interview for a sous chef position in the next 5 days. I will be facing a group of people to question me. As someone ho has experience on this field, what do you think is the common questions they would give me and how to answer them. I have been working as a CDP for 5 yrs. now but I'm not used to this interview thing. Pls. help!

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Daniel in Portland, Oregon

20 months ago

Hi Marlyn,
Some of the first questions they will ask is the food and labor cost percentage parameters of your last position/establishment. How did you adjust when you fell out of those parameters; what actions did you take to bring your food and labor costs in line. They almost always ask a future goals question. What are your plans for the future? Don't be afraid to tell them your ambitions even if it isn't a permanent position within the company you are applying with. Give them a 5 year plan that includes them, a 10 year plan that may, or may not, include them, and so forth. Be brief and concise with your plan. They will most likely ask you a situational question that will require you to evaluate and respond with a solution to a complex problem. Example - There is a grease fire under the Char-broiler that has the potential of getting out of control, how would you respond? Don't forget to start out the answer with a preventative solution, before you direct your answer toward the immediate solution to the problem. Well, in that instance proper cleaning and maintenance of the Char-broiler will normally prevent such an occurrence, but that being said, first take away the oxygen from the flame with either a box baking soda, if that doesn't work know the locations of the nearest fire extinguisher and use it, last resort pull the hood pin, exit kitchen, call 911 and evacuate the establishment. If I can be of any other help please feel free to ask....... Daniel

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etastella in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

20 months ago

Daniel in Portland, Oregon said: Hi Marlyn,
Some of the first questions they will ask is the food and labor cost percentage parameters of your last position/establishment. How did you adjust when you fell out of those parameters; what actions did you take to bring your food and labor costs in line. They almost always ask a future goals question. What are your plans for the future? Don't be afraid to tell them your ambitions even if it isn't a permanent position within the company you are applying with. Give them a 5 year plan that includes them, a 10 year plan that may, or may not, include them, and so forth. Be brief and concise with your plan. They will most likely ask you a situational question that will require you to evaluate and respond with a solution to a complex problem. Example - There is a grease fire under the Char-broiler that has the potential of getting out of control, how would you respond? Don't forget to start out the answer with a preventative solution, before you direct your answer toward the immediate solution to the problem. Well, in that instance proper cleaning and maintenance of the Char-broiler will normally prevent such an occurrence, but that being said, first take away the oxygen from the flame with either a box baking soda, if that doesn't work know the locations of the nearest fire extinguisher and use it, last resort pull the hood pin, exit kitchen, call 911 and evacuate the establishment. If I can be of any other help please feel free to ask....... Daniel

Thank you Daniel for replying to my question. Can I send you a mail on yahoo?

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etastella in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

20 months ago

To all, pls help me as well, do you know any situational questions for a sous chef position.

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