Preparing for the Interview
Panda Express regularly needs to hire individuals who consistently work hard. A hiring manager contacts eligible workers to schedule job interviews after receiving and reviewing the appropriate forms. Applicants generally hear back from within a week or two and schedule interviews according to availability. Candidates should arrive at the interview on time and ready to answer questions about personal history, employment background, job skills, and availability. Job hopefuls should also review company history and menus. The ability to recite menu items from memory or facts about the formation of the fast food chain often impresses hiring managers and may lead to further consideration for employment.
What to Wear
Dress accordingly depending on the position desired. Managerial candidates should wear formal clothing, whereas server and kitchen staff job hopefuls should wear business-casual attire.
The predominantly mall-based fast food chain conducts one-on-one, question-and-answer sessions with prospective employees as well as phone interviews and group interviews, depending on the volume of applicants. Some restaurant locations introduce potential hires to current Panda Express employees during the job interview.
How to Make a Good Impression
Demonstrate confidence during the interview and highlight any previous experience in the restaurant industry. Answer interview questions clearly and concisely, but avoid over-elaborating. Applicants should engage hiring managers as long as possible while staying genuinely interested. Asking questions about company culture and potential job duties may assist in gaining employment. Following up with the hiring manager after the interview may prove advantageous in gaining employment.
Potential Interview Questions
Interview questions cover past jobs and reliability as a future employee. Specific examples include:
- "How do you best represent a fit with Panda Express?"
- "If you could change one thing about a past job, what would it be?"
- "What is your favorite item on the menu?"
- "What are three of your greatest weaknesses?"
Navigating the Hiring Process
In most cases, applicants only need to participate in a single interview. Managerial candidates are typically the only applicants to undergo multiple interviews. Each interview varies in length, with most Panda Express job interviews lasting upwards of 30 minutes. Hiring managers may close out interviews with a job offer, but many candidates wait as long as a week to receive a call back regarding employment.
Panda Express Prep Cook Interview Video
Interviewer: Please describe your job title and primary duties.
Panda Express Prep Cook: I was the prep cook. That meant I had to come in and cut up. We do a lot of vegetables, onions, peppers. I mean all kinds of stuff. I’ve got to prepare everything for the cooks, for them to get ready.
Interviewer: What was the work environment like?
Panda Express Prep Cook: It was actually pretty good because we had a lady that came from … That’s what she did. She went all over and they’d just opened a new one down here so we were coming in fresh. She came in, showed us exactly the way to do it. She was real nice, she was real helpful and I mean she made it real easy.
Interviewer: How would you describe the application and interview process?
Panda Express Prep Cook: I had to do it online and then they contacted me. I think it took like two weeks and then they contacted me, had me come in for a follow up interview and went from there.
Interviewer: What questions did the interviewer ask during the job interview?
Panda Express Prep Cook: It was for a prep cook so Mike asked me how my knife skills were, on a 1 to 10. I think I told him an 8. He said I need someone that can lift 50lb bag of onions, somebody that can, if we need you to go on the line and serve, you can serve, or if I have to have you cook. You’ve got to be versatile. He said, “Most important, I’ve got to have somebody that’s dependable. Are you going to be here?”
Interviewer: What other advice would you give to a job seeker looking to gain employment?
Panda Express Prep Cook: Someone that’s looking for a job is if you get through the application process and they call you in for an interview, you need to ask questions. He’s going to ask or she’s going to ask their questions, what they expect out of you and everything. You need to follow that up and ask them questions. What is this company going to do for me? Shoot back at them and see how they respond to that. I find a lot of times when you do that, they get interested and they say, “Okay, well maybe this is the person for us. He’s not only expecting certain things from us that we’re expecting from him. He wants to know. What are you going to do for me? What am I going to get out of this experience?” I find it’s always good to ask them a few questions after they get done with asking you what’s going on. You say, “Hey by the way, what about this? What’s Panda going to do for me?”