Tips on the First Round of Interviews
Job seekers interested in working at Chili’s restaurants must perform well during the interview process. The hiring process usually consists of two interviews for most entry-level jobs. An assistant manager typically conducts the first interview. Applicants should expect a one-on-one session with standard interview questions covering basic topics such as job skills, availability, work history, and desire to work for the popular nationwide restaurant chain. Following the interview, the worldwide restaurant often administers a pre-employment examination consisting of a skills assessment and personality test. The exam includes various math and English questions as well as questions designed to gauge behavioral traits. If successful in passing the first interview and examination, applicants may move on to the second interview.
The Second Interview
Depending on the Chili’s restaurant hosting the session, the second interview may feature either a 1:1 format with the general manager or a panel arrangement with two or three hiring managers presiding over the meeting. At the second interview, applicants should expect to answer behavior-based questions and provide solutions to specific scenarios. Typical interview questions asked in the second session include: "How do you deal with an upset customer?", "What would you do if you had a scheduling conflict with a coworker?", and "How would you accommodate a guest wanting a dish not offered on our menu?" After the second interview, the restaurant typically conducts background checks.
In addition to behavioral questions, Chili's interviews often feature brief exercises in which applicants perform some of the duties specific to the desired position. Prospective cooks, for instance, sometimes have to prove their knowledge by analyzing a recipe and converting basic units of measurement. Hiring managers may also ask aspiring cooks to use scales to measure out specific amounts of various ingredients provided at the interview. Likewise, candidates interviewing for server jobs frequently sell particular menu items to the hiring manager or describe a dish in detail as if a customer requested the information.
Dress and Behavior
Potential workers should dress in casual business wear and arrive early to Chili’s job interviews. When answering interview questions, applicants should speak confidently and demonstrate enthusiasm at all times. Before responding to questions, an interviewee should take a moment to plan a well-organized reply and answer queries completely while refraining from long-winded responses. The popular chain needs to hire dedicated, customer-focused employees. Interviewees should show passion for jobs and strong desire to serve restaurant guests. Most importantly, applicants should remain positive and display friendly, enthusiastic demeanors throughout interview processes.
Chili’s Server Interview Video
Interviewer: Please describe your job title and primary duties with Chili’s.
Chili’s Employee: My job title at Chili’s was server. My primary duties were waiting on customers. They have a computerized system, so you have to be able to type in the orders into the computer. There’s a lot of cleanup and side work and being able to multitask and you wait on your customers and do your side work at the same time.
Interviewer: What was the work environment like at Chili’s?
Chili’s Employee: Very upbeat. The environment is fun. They do have a bar and they serve alcohol, but they definitely keep it, you know… it doesn’t get rowdy or anything like that. The customers and the employees… it’s a very fun environment.
Interviewer: What was your favorite part about working for Chili’s?
Chili’s Employee: My favorite part about working at Chili’s would probably be the people. You almost become like a family. The employees get very close. We would do things after work together. And, you know, it was just like friends.
Interviewer: Please describe a typical day as a Chili’s server.
Chili’s Employee: A typical day at Chili’s, my normal shift was approximately 10 to 3 or 10 to 4. Sometimes I did work the dinner shift. You would go in and clock in on the computer with a clock-in ID. And you have a section of tables, approximately four tables to a section. If it’s a weekday or a day shift, you do have more tables. They don’t put as many servers on the floor. And typically, as your customers are seated, the hostess seats them and you greet them. They encourage you to sit with your customers and be very friendly, kneel down at the table. You offer them a drink, maybe suggest a margarita or whatever special we have, take their order, ring it into the computer system. And you do that for several hours. You have to pay close attention to the customers, make sure they have what they need. Simultaneously, help other people. If the other servers get behind, help them.
Interviewer: How would you describe the application and interview process with Chili’s?
Chili’s Employee: The application was pretty much just a normal application. For the interview, they actually give you a copy of their menu and it’s broken down into all the ingredients, for instance, their salads, their salad dressings, all of their menu items. They do quiz you on that at the interview because that’s important that you know what spices are in things, what ingredients are in things. So, the interview was kind of tough, not really hard but kind of tough. You definitely had to know the menu.
Interviewer: What should an applicant wear to the Chili’s job interview?
Chili’s Employee: To the job interview at Chili’s, I would dress not too casual but not too dressy. I think Chili’s has the atmosphere of kind of hip and cool. So, something that’s defiantly in style, appropriate for an interview but with some style to it, too.
Interviewer: What questions did the interviewer ask during the job interview?
Chili’s Employee: The interviewer asked if I was a good team worker, if I was willing to help other people if they needed help, if I could multitask. They also asked me, “If you had an upset customer, what would you do?” I think they might have given me a scenario: “Their food isn’t hot enough. How would you handle the situation?” They need to make sure you can defuse an upset customer.
Interviewer: What other advice would you give to a job seeker looking to gain employment with Chili’s?
Chili’s Employee: I would give a job seeker the advice of be yourself, try and be upbeat because that really is their atmosphere and what they’re looking for, and learn the menu because not only will it help you in the interview, but you need to know it when you are working there. When people have questions, you need to know the answers.
Chili’s Kitchen Help Interview Video
Interviewer: Please describe your job title and primary duties.
Chili’s Kitchen Worker: I’m a kitchen worker, so that basically means I wash dishes, prepare food. So, it’s just a basic work environment. It smells good all the time.
Interviewer: What was the work environment like?
Chili’s Kitchen Worker: It was fun because we all formed a team, we all get together. Like, if a dishwasher is falling behind, the kitchen workers might go over and help them, if we’re caught up on the dishes. So, it was a real good environment with teamwork.
Interviewer: What was your favorite part about working there?
Chili’s Kitchen Worker: Basically, just the environment, teamwork as a whole with each other. It’s just a fun place to work at.
Interviewer: Please describe a typical day as an employee.
Chili’s Kitchen Worker: Well, you just come in, start your shift, and whatever your job duties are… like if it’s slow at the time, you can just clean up, get some of the dish area, and you can prep stuff, you can go in, grab the meat stuff. It all depends if you’re an opener or a closer. The openers, they would have to do more of the preparatory stuff. The closers would do more of the closing down stuff, basically.
Interviewer: How would you describe the application and interview process?
Chili’s Kitchen Worker: The application is just basic. Just walked in, filled out the application, so they knew I had experience. I asked to speak with the manager. So, I met him, told him my name, told him I was in school in the area, and we just built up a good rapport, and that’s how I got the job.
Interviewer: What questions did the interviewer ask during the job interview?
Chili’s Kitchen Worker: Basically, my availability. What hours would I be available to work. That was about it. They didn’t really need anything else. They trained you if you didn’t know how to do anything.
Interviewer: What set you apart from the other candidates?
Chili’s Kitchen Worker: Probably just the rapport I had with my manager. Once I came in, we had an instant connection. We both liked music, so the song that was playing in the background, the artist is one of my favorite artists. We just put up a rapport and I was hired.
Interviewer: What other advice would you give to a job seeker looking to gain employment?
Chili’s Kitchen Worker: Basically, just be ready to work hard and be flexible because so many people bring different personalities in the building. You might not get along with somebody or you might take a joke the wrong way, or something like that, so you just have to be prepared to be flexible, and stuff like that.