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How to prepare for a head chef interview

Posting date: 27/02/2024

So, you’re on the lookout for a new Head Chef role? Job hunting might not be everyone's idea of fun, but it's a golden opportunity to look at what you want in a career.

But when you’re lucky enough to find a role that’s right, what’s next? It’s time to start preparing for the interview. And this is where we come in. To help you turn up to that interview brimming with confidence, we've whipped up a three-step playbook.

Let’s dive right in.

Step 1: Familiarise yourself with head chef interview questions

When gearing up for an interview, the first stop is tackling the questions. While you can't predict every question that will come your way, that doesn't mean you can't prep.

Remember, interviews come in different flavours, but they're all about digging deeper into your skills and personality. Here's a taste of what you might face:

  • Describe your training and how it’s shaped your success
  • How do you build positive relationships with your team as a Head Chef?
  • How would you improve our guest experience?
  • Share your approach to upholding kitchen hygiene and safety standards.
  • What inspired you to choose a kitchen career?

And here are some pointers for nailing those responses:

Describe your management style

When it comes to impressing the interviewer, showcasing your leadership style is key. They're eager to hear about your knack for getting hands-on in the kitchen, while also knowing when to let your chefs shine. They want to know how you drive an ongoing positive culture and inspire a kitchen team to hit targets.

At Parkdean, we've got some seriously impressive tales of career growth. Just look at Dannika's journey – from part-time Waiting Staff to Head Chef. And we’re looking for leaders who can continue to recruit, train, and nurture a top-notch team.

Use specific examples

Ultimately, the interviewer wants to hear about your growth journey.

So, when they ask about your secret to firing up your team, dish out a personal anecdote. And if you've got some epic wins under your belt, like smashing records week after week, spill the beans! Don't hold back on sharing those impressive success stories.

It’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it

  1. Get straight to the point - cut the fluff and make every word count
  2. Say it with confidence and show that you're ready to take charge of any kitchen
  3. Be passionate and show that you’re a born motivator

Step 2: Read the job description, carefully

Okay, this might sound like a simple one, but hear us out. Before you hit that apply button, be clear on what they’re looking for. Pay close attention to the skills listed. Does your experience match?

Watch out for any running themes. For example, if you see keywords like ‘budget’ and ‘targets’ popping up throughout, you can bet this job is big on results. Knowing this will help you craft the perfect head chef CV, as you can sprinkle in the performance metrics that catch the hiring manager's eye.

Step 3: Get to know the company

No matter how much you prep for the interview, if you don't learn about the company, you'll miss out on key insights. What do they stand for? Who are their guests? What sets them apart?

At Parkdean, the interview is your opportunity to show our hiring manager that you're ready to proudly wear the Parkdean badge. We want you to embody our values and make us proud to welcome you to the team.

Bonus tips:

  • Prepare questions for the interviewer that show you’re genuinely interested in the role
  • Interviews are two-way, so ask questions about the interviewer and why they like working for the company
  • Be yourself!

Come and see what jobs we’ve got cooking up

What makes a Head Chef job at Parkdean different from any other? We make great things happen every, single, day. Our kitchen team creates unforgettable moments for our guests, all while making great memories of their own.

Don’t just take our word for it though. Check out Scott’s journey to discover why he's been part of the Parkdean family for over 14 years and still going strong.

If leadership is in your DNA, head to our food and beverage jobs to find a Head Chef job with us.




Jodie Smith our consultant managing the role
Posted by Jodie Smith
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