chef working in a kitchen with three lights hanging over him

How to prepare for an interview for a restaurant job

How to prepare for an interview for a restaurant job

Hazel Laughey our consultant managing the role
Date posted: 28/10/2022

It doesn’t matter if you’ve got years of experience behind you or you’re new to the hospitality world, putting some time into prepping for your interview is always a good idea. If you're invited to an interview, your application must have impressed the employer. Now it's your chance to dazzle them and show them that you're up for the job.

With over 1,600 M&B pubs, bars and restaurants scattered around the UK, you could say that we've conducted an interview or two. To help you make your next career step, we've put together our top tips for preparing for an interview for a restaurant job

Get to know the company

Understanding the company and what they stand for should be the very first thing you do when preparing for a restaurant job interview. So where do you begin? Take M&B as an example. On our careers site, you can find out about values, culture and benefits, all of which help you start to paint a picture of what it’s like to work for our company.

Next, why not pay the restaurant or pub a visit? There’s no better way to get a feel for a company than seeing it up close. Plus, you’ll get to engage with the people and work out if you could be a good fit.

Make sure to tell the interviewer that you popped into the restaurant and share some things you liked. This will go a long way in impressing the employer and showing that you are serious about the job.


Lay your outfit out the day before

Getting to know a company will not only help you when it comes to answering the questions, but it’ll also give you some pointers about what to wear on the day. And let’s be honest, knowing what to wear for an interview can be tricky. Think about your outfit well in advance, and you’ll save yourself rushing around last minute and being late.

If there’s one bit of advice we have, it’s to always dress professionally. Some restaurants will clearly have a stricter dress code. But even if the company is fun and playful, you want to look smart. If you can show the interviewer that you’ve taken care when choosing your outfit, they’ll consider that you’d put as much care into your work.

Be ready for the common interview questions

Restaurants are known for being fast-paced and high-energy. Get ready to answer any questions about how you thrive in busy environments, multi-task and think quickly.

Say that you were looking to work in an M&B kitchen. You could expect to be asked about how you work as a team, maintaining a friendly and positive manner, and upholding quality when things get busy. In your answer, the interviewer will want to hear that you’re diligent, hard-working and passionate about cooking.

So how about an assistant manager interview you ask? Hospitality hiring managers will be trying to figure out if you remain calm under pressure and be the person that a general manager can rely on. Think back to shifts when you’ve displayed these traits and make sure to talk about them in the interview.

Now say that you're interested in a front-of-house role. The interviewer is interested in your communication skills and customer service - a few of the essential waiting staff skills - as well as your food safety knowledge.

Take a look at more common restaurant interview questions to prepare you for the day.

Prepare some questions of your own

If you’re interviewing for a kitchen assistant job, you might ask, 'What does a typical day or week look like in this role?' This shows that you understand that there's a structure in a kitchen job, and it will give you a flavour for the role.

Now let's say you’re applying for an assistant manager role. Asking 'What are the team's strengths, and how could they perform better?' would shed some light on the team you'd be managing. It'll also show that you're keen to get stuck into the role and improve performance.

Lastly, let's consider that you're eyeing up waiting staff jobs, but you want to know if there's a chance of stepping up to a Team Leader role. 'Are there opportunities to progress beyond this role?' is a good question to uncover whether you can develop within the company.

Tips for interview day

Be confident. Remember that the people interviewing you have been in your very position. They’re not trying to catch you out with their questions. They just want to figure out whether you're the right fit for the role.

Be polite. Before you leave, let the interviewer know that you appreciate their time and look forward to hearing from them. This isn’t going to be the difference between getting the job or not, but manners go a long way.

Be yourself. Don't forget that the interviewer wants to get to know you. It's a great idea to talk about what you do outside of work and give them a better idea of your character. Just make sure to keep it professional.

Come and join a company that puts its people first

At M&B, we make people the priority, and everything else falls into place. We'll support you through every stage of your personal life, so you can bring your a-game to work.

Working in hospitality is like no other job. You're surrounded by people who know how to put in a good shift and have some fun along the way. So what are you waiting for? Check out our kitchen jobs, bar and waiting roles or see if there's a management position with your name on it.

List #1

Some articles you might like

4 people stood in a kitchen, one with their back to the camera, each are wearing striped aprons and chef hats.
What skills do you need to be a Kitchen Assistant?

Teaser

Kitchen

Content Type

Blog

Publish date

05/02/2024

Summary

Ready to turn up the heat in the kitchen? Whether you’re moving between Mitchells and Butlers brands or teams, or looking for an exciting new role, there are plenty of kitchen assistant skills that

Teaser

Find out more
Rebecca Skeet

by

Rebecca Skeet

Rebecca Skeet

by

Rebecca Skeet

A man standing behind a bar, pulling a pint of beer for a woman.
Is running a pub hard work?

Teaser

Management

Content Type

Blog

Publish date

04/30/2024

Summary

We’ll get straight to the point - running a pub can be hard. Whether it’s a fast-paced environment, regulations, cracking customer service, or working on the grind, you’ll have a lot to keep you busy

Teaser

Find out more
Rebecca Skeet

by

Rebecca Skeet

Rebecca Skeet

by

Rebecca Skeet

A smiling man in a grey shirt in a restaurant kitchen stood in front of four plates of food.
What does a Kitchen Assistant do?

Teaser

Kitchen

Content Type

Blog

Publish date

04/25/2024

Summary

Think that being a Kitchen Assistant is a boring job with no career progression? Think again! That’s just one of many big myths about working in a kitchen. There’s much more to being a Kitchen Assista

Teaser

Find out more
Rachael Langley

by

Rachael Langley

Rachael Langley

by

Rachael Langley

Young woman serving bright cocktail on a bar with fully stocked shelf of spirits as a backdrop
Why working in a pub is the best summer job for students

Teaser

General

Content Type

Blog

Publish date

04/24/2024

Summary

Evenings are staying lighter for longer and the days are growing warmer. Dare we say summer is on the way? If you’re thinking “How can I make money as a student?” and are keen to make some extra cas

Teaser

Find out more
Jess Birch

by

Jess Birch

Jess Birch

by

Jess Birch

sous chef standing over a kitchen apprentice watching them prep food
What skills do you need to be a sous chef?

Teaser

Kitchen

Content Type

Blog

Publish date

04/05/2024

Summary

Step into the kitchen with us as we delve into the world of sous chefs! You know what a sous chef job is all about, but have you ever wondered what it takes to be a great sous chef? When it comes

Teaser

Find out more
Rachael Langley

by

Rachael Langley

Rachael Langley

by

Rachael Langley

group of people sat in an office at a long desk
Area manager interview questions and how to answer them

Teaser

General

Content Type

Blog

Publish date

03/18/2024

Summary

So you’re eyeing up area manager jobs? Firstly, a big congratulations to you! Reaching this point in your management career is no mean feat. You’ve dedicated time, weathered storms and basked in suns

Teaser

We've put together a list of top area manager interview questions, along with tips to help you dazzle.

Find out more
Amandeep Chahal

by

Amandeep Chahal

Amandeep Chahal

by

Amandeep Chahal

three people and waiting staff uniforms smiling
How Dan moved between brands at M&B to progress his career

Teaser

Life at M&B

Content Type

Blog

Publish date

03/05/2024

Summary

In celebration of National Careers Week, let's chat about the rich diversity of career paths available in the exciting world of hospitality. Whether it's serving up drinks in lively bars or dishing ou

Teaser

Find out more
Steven Miles

by

Steven Miles

Steven Miles

by

Steven Miles

Waitress bringing food to the couple by the table
How to navigate hospitality interview questions

Teaser

General

Content Type

Blog

Publish date

02/28/2024

Summary

Welcome to your go-to guide for mastering hospitality interviews! Working in a pub, bar or restaurant is like no other job. It’s a whirlwind of excitement, human connection and showing guests a good t

Teaser

Working in a pub, bar or restaurant is like no other job. It’s a whirlwind of excitement, human connection and showing guests a good time.

Find out more
Amandeep Chahal

by

Amandeep Chahal

Amandeep Chahal

by

Amandeep Chahal

chef wearing chef whites and hat spooning sauce into a pot
What does a sous chef do?

Teaser

Pub and restaurant

Content Type

Blog

Publish date

02/27/2024

Summary

“Sous chef” literally means “under-chief”. But enough with the language lesson. Let's get to the juicy stuff.  Being a Sous Chef is all about keeping the kitchen humming and the food steadily flowing

Teaser

“Sous chef” literally means “under-chief”. But enough with the language lesson. Let's get to the juicy stuff.

Find out more
Amandeep Chahal

by

Amandeep Chahal

Amandeep Chahal

by

Amandeep Chahal

two men wearing chef's whites cooking in a commercial kitchen
What can you expect from head chef responsibilities?

Teaser

Kitchen

Content Type

Blog

Publish date

01/29/2024

Summary

So you want to dive into the world of head chefs and unravel what goes on behind the scenes? Gone are the days when Ratatouille was our go-to kitchen reference. Nowadays, with a smorgasbord of films

Teaser

While each kitchen dances to its unique rhythm, some things remain true no matter what. Let's uncover the head chef responsibilities you'll find in any role.

Find out more
Amandeep Chahal

by

Amandeep Chahal

Amandeep Chahal

by

Amandeep Chahal

Jobs

Jobs you might like...

Kitchen Assistant

Salary

Competitive Salary

Location

Toby Carvery - Stafferton Lodge, Maidenhead, SL6 1BN

Departments

Kitchen Assistant

Hours

Full Time

Vacancy Type

Other role

Brand

Toby Carvery

Location

Maidenhead

Description

No CV to hand? No problem! We've made our application process mobile friendly and removed the need for a CV. Our form takes 2 minutes to complete and tells us all we need about you!  With your suppor

Reference

2195417

Expiry Date

01/01/0001

Apply Add to shortlist
Waiting Staff

Salary

Competitive Salary

Location

Toby Carvery - Stafferton Lodge, Maidenhead, SL6 1BN

Departments

Waiting Staff

Hours

Full Time

Vacancy Type

Other role

Brand

Toby Carvery

Location

Maidenhead

Description

No CV to hand? No problem! We've made our application process mobile friendly and removed the need for a CV. Our form takes 2 minutes to complete and tells us all we need about you!  As Waiting Staff

Reference

2195416

Expiry Date

01/01/0001

Apply Add to shortlist
Part Time Bar Staff

Salary

Competitive Salary

Location

Miller & Carter - Lancing, Lancing, BN15 0EU

Departments

Bar Staff

Hours

Part Time

Vacancy Type

Other role

Brand

Miller & Carter

Location

Lancing

Description

No CV to hand? No problem! We've made our application process mobile friendly and removed the need for a CV. Our form takes 2 minutes to complete and tells us all we need about you!  As Bar Staff at 

Reference

2195423

Expiry Date

01/01/0001

Apply Add to shortlist
 

job search