17 Kitchen Steward Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a kitchen steward, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

A kitchen steward is responsible for the cleanliness and organization of the kitchen area in a food service establishment. This position is often entry-level and does not require any formal culinary training. However, most employers will require you to pass a food safety certification before you are hired.

If you are looking for a kitchen steward job, you will likely be asked a few questions about your experience in the food service industry, your ability to follow instructions, and your knowledge of food safety. In this guide, we will provide you with some sample questions and answers that you can use to prepare for your interview.

Are you comfortable working in a fast-paced environment?

Working in a busy kitchen can be hectic, and employers ask this question to make sure you’re comfortable with that. They want someone who is able to work quickly while still maintaining quality standards. In your answer, explain how you stay organized and prioritize tasks. Show the employer that you are confident in your ability to keep up with the pace of the kitchen.

Example: “I am definitely comfortable working in a fast-paced environment. I have worked in kitchens for many years now, and I’ve learned how to balance speed with quality. I know how to multitask so that I’m always moving from one task to another without sacrificing quality or efficiency. I also use time management techniques to help me stay on top of everything.”

What are some of the most important skills for a kitchen steward?

Employers ask this question to make sure you have the skills necessary for the job. They want someone who is organized, has excellent communication skills and can work well with others. When answering this question, think about what skills you possess that would be beneficial in this role.

Example: “Some of the most important skills for a kitchen steward are organization, time management and communication. As a steward, I would need to keep track of many different tasks at once. This means I would need to be able to prioritize my responsibilities and stay on top of deadlines. In addition, it’s important to be able to communicate effectively with other staff members. I am good at communicating clearly and concisely, which makes me a strong candidate for this position.”

How would you describe your work ethic?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your work ethic and how you approach your job. They want to know that you are a hard worker who is willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. When answering, think of an example from your past where you worked especially hard or stayed late at work.

Example: “I have always been someone who approaches my work with a strong work ethic. I am someone who will stay late if needed and put in extra hours when necessary. In my last position, there was a rush on orders one night, so I volunteered to stay until they were all complete. It took me two extra hours, but I got everything done.”

What is your experience with food safety procedures?

Food safety is a major concern for many employers, and they may ask this question to make sure you have the experience necessary to keep their kitchen safe. In your answer, explain how you ensure food safety in your current or previous position. If you haven’t worked in a restaurant before, you can talk about how you would implement food safety procedures if given the opportunity.

Example: “I am very familiar with food safety regulations because I’ve been working as a server at a high-end restaurant for five years. The chef has always made it a point to teach us servers about food safety so we know what to do when customers ask questions. For example, I know that we should never reuse plates or utensils without washing them first. We also need to wash our hands frequently throughout the day.”

Provide an example of a time when you had to deal with a difficult customer or client.

Employers ask this question to see how you handle conflict. They want to know that you can remain calm and professional when faced with a challenging situation. In your answer, try to focus on the steps you took to resolve the issue.

Example: “When I worked as a server at a restaurant, one of my tables was very rude. The man kept asking me for more water and then would spill it all over the table. He also asked for extra food without paying for it. When he did this, I calmly told him that we could not give him any more food until he paid for what he already had. After that, I brought his check right away so he wouldn’t have an opportunity to request anything else.”

If hired, what would be your primary focus as a kitchen steward?

This question is an opportunity to show the interviewer that you have a clear understanding of what’s expected of kitchen stewards. It also allows you to highlight your strengths and abilities as they relate to this role. When preparing for this question, think about what skills you would need to perform well in this position. Consider which ones you feel are most important and how you’ve used them in previous roles.

Example: “My primary focus would be ensuring that all staff members are performing their duties safely and efficiently. I believe that safety should always be a top priority, so I would make sure everyone was following proper procedures and using safe equipment. Another major focus would be making sure we’re meeting production goals while maintaining quality standards.”

What would you do if you noticed a coworker not following proper food safety procedures?

Food safety is a major concern in the kitchen, and employers want to know that you’re aware of proper procedures. They also want to make sure you can communicate with your coworkers effectively. In your answer, explain what steps you would take to address the situation and ensure everyone follows food safety guidelines.

Example: “If I noticed a coworker not following food safety procedures, I would first approach them privately to discuss the issue. If they were unaware of the proper procedure, I would help them understand it. If they continued to ignore the rules, I would report the incident to my manager so they could handle the situation.”

How well do you communicate with others, both verbally and nonverbally?

As a kitchen steward, you’ll need to communicate with your team members and other staff members in the kitchen. Employers ask this question to make sure you can do so effectively. In your answer, explain how you use both verbal and nonverbal communication methods to get your point across.

Example: “I am very good at communicating verbally with others. I always speak clearly and loudly enough for everyone to hear me. If someone doesn’t understand what I’m saying, I repeat myself or rephrase my statement until they understand. Nonverbally, I also try to be as clear as possible. When giving directions or instructions, I use hand gestures and facial expressions to help people better understand what I’m trying to say.”

Do you have any experience working with large quantities of food?

This question can help the interviewer determine if you have experience working in a kitchen that serves large groups of people. If you do, share your experiences and how you handled them. If you don’t, explain what you would do if faced with this situation.

Example: “I worked at a restaurant where we served hundreds of customers every night. I learned to work quickly while still maintaining quality. I also developed systems for organizing food so it was easy to find when needed. This helped me keep track of inventory and ensure we always had enough food on hand.”

When preparing food, what is your process for ensuring quality and consistency?

This question can help the interviewer understand how you approach your work and ensure quality standards are met. Your answer should include a specific process for ensuring food is prepared correctly, but it can also highlight your attention to detail and ability to follow procedures.

Example: “I always use recipes that have been tested and approved by my supervisor or manager. I also make sure all ingredients are prepped before starting any cooking so I don’t need to leave the kitchen during prep time. This helps me avoid mistakes like missing ingredients or incorrect measurements. When I’m actually cooking, I measure out each ingredient precisely and cook according to the recipe’s instructions. I also taste test each dish as I prepare it to ensure it tastes right.”

We want to improve our recycling efforts. Are there any ways you would try to increase recycling in the kitchen?

The interviewer may ask this question to see if you have any ideas for improving the recycling efforts in their kitchen. Use your answer to highlight a specific way you would increase recycling and how it could benefit the company.

Example: “I think one of the best ways to improve recycling is by educating employees on what can be recycled and what cannot. I would create a list of items that are recyclable, such as different types of plastics, glass and paper products. Then, I would post the list in multiple locations throughout the kitchen so everyone has access to it. This way, when someone throws something away they aren’t sure about, they can check the list to see if it’s recyclable.”

Describe your experience with using kitchen equipment.

This question can help the interviewer determine your experience level and how comfortable you are with using kitchen equipment. Use examples from previous jobs to describe what types of equipment you’ve used, how often you used them and any specific skills you have for operating these tools.

Example: “In my last position as a line cook, I was responsible for cooking all meals on the hot line. This required me to use several different pieces of equipment including gas burners, deep fryers, grills and ovens. I also had to use various utensils like knives, spatulas and tongs to prepare food. I’m very comfortable using most kitchen equipment and am always looking for ways to improve my skills.”

What makes you stand out from other candidates for this position?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your qualifications and how you can contribute to their team. When answering, it’s important to highlight a skill or experience that makes you unique from other candidates. You may also want to mention something that is relevant to the job description.

Example: “I have five years of experience as a kitchen steward in a large restaurant. I am familiar with all aspects of the position, including managing staff, ordering supplies and ensuring food safety standards are met. In my previous role, I was responsible for hiring new employees, which helped me develop excellent interviewing skills. This knowledge could be beneficial if you’re looking to hire additional staff.”

Which cuisine do you most enjoy working with?

This question can help the interviewer determine if you have experience working with their organization’s cuisine. If they ask this question, it is likely because your answer will show that you are familiar with the kitchen’s current menu and style of food preparation. It can also show that you enjoy working in a similar environment. When answering this question, try to choose a cuisine that is similar to what the employer serves.

Example: “I most enjoy working with Asian-inspired dishes. I find them challenging but rewarding when I am able to create something new or perfect an existing dish. In my last position, I was responsible for creating several different Asian fusion dishes each week. This helped me develop my skills and learn more about cooking these types of meals.”

What do you think is the most important aspect of customer service in a restaurant setting?

This question can help an interviewer determine how you prioritize your work and what skills you use to provide excellent customer service. Use examples from previous experience to explain which aspects of customer service are most important to you, and highlight the skills that make you a strong candidate for this role.

Example: “I think communication is the most important aspect of providing good customer service in any setting. I always strive to be friendly and helpful when interacting with customers, but it’s also important to me to listen carefully to their needs and respond appropriately. In my last position as a kitchen steward, I noticed that one of our servers was having trouble communicating with a large party about their orders. I stepped in to assist her by taking down all of the orders so she could focus on delivering them to the guests.”

How often do you think kitchen stewards should clean their workstation?

This question can help interviewers understand how you prioritize your work and the steps you take to complete it. Your answer should show that you know when to clean your workspace and why it’s important to do so.

Example: “I think kitchen stewards should clean their workstation at least once a day, but I usually try to do it twice. The first time is before my shift starts, and the second is right after service ends. This helps me stay organized throughout the day and ensures that I don’t leave any messes for other staff members to clean up.”

There is a new dish on the menu that needs to be prepared quickly. How would you go about doing this?

This question is a great way to see how you would handle the pressure of working in a busy kitchen. It also shows your ability to multitask and prioritize tasks. When answering this question, it can be helpful to give an example of a specific dish that was prepared quickly under similar circumstances.

Example: “In my last position as a line cook, we had a new dish on the menu that needed to be prepared quickly because there were many orders for it. I started by making sure all of the ingredients were ready before starting to prepare the dish. Then, I worked with another cook to divide up the task so that both dishes could be prepared at the same time. This allowed us to get through the rush without any issues.”


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