25+ Chipotle Interview Questions and Best Sample Answers [2020]

Chipotle is an American national restaurant chain. Chipotle is considered a fast-casual restaurant in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, and France. Chipotle offers tacos and Mission burritos. The name of the restaurant (Chipotle) comes from the Nahuatl name for a smoked and dried jalapeño chili pepper.

The Chipotle values are available to read on the corporate website. Their mission statement says that they “believe that food has the power to change the world.” And prides itself on being “one of the first national restaurant brands to commit to goals on local and organic produce.” The tagline “Real ingredients. Real purpose. Real flavor.” represents the Chipotle brand and company culture.

Chipotle refers to their employees and team members as “crewmembers.” Chipotle believes that this title is more inclusive and embraces teamwork within the work environment.

Preparing for a Chipotle Interview

Before preparing for an interview at Chipotle, it is essential to review the company jobs portal. This portal has information regarding culinary skills required, career growth and bonuses, and other details regarding company benefits. It can be assistive in being familiar with the workplace in advance of interviewing.

The next step in preparing for a Chipotle interview is to read through the job description or job advertisement (sometimes referred to as a “job ad”). The job description will contain helpful information on the position, hours required (part-time or full-time), and other requirements that can assist in positioning the interview with the hiring manager, store manager, or crew member.

Chipotle rarely interviews in a “group interview” format. But some restaurants prefer to have multiple interviews before choosing a crew member.

Chipotle Interview Questions & Answers

Below are chipotle job interview questions and answers.

What do you know about Chipotle?

Answer: I know that Chipotle began in 1993; Chipotle’s CEO Steve Ells opened a small burrito restaurant in Colorado. He used this as an opportunity to fund his fine-dining restaurant. And Chipotle took off.

Are you familiar with the company values?

Answer: Yes, I understand that Chipotle prides itself on local and organic produce. And in creating a warm work environment and workplace that’s inclusive of all crew members.

What’s your availability look like for this position?

Answer: I’m available throughout the weekdays and weekends as a part-time employee or full-time employee.

How would you describe your customer service skills?

Answer: My customer service skills come from a place of having active-listening skills and communication skills and being able to listen to customers and then respond. I want to truly hear to the other person when they speak, not simply anticipate an answer.

How would you introduce yourself to new team members and crew members?

Answer: I would tell team members what drives my passions at home. And then describe my reason for wanting to join the team. And then inform each person what’s motivating me in the workplace.

What would you do if your cash register was over by $20 at the end of the night?

Answer: I would leave a note at the end of the night for the manager and inform them of the issue. Secondarily, I would follow company procedures and policies on these matters that I would learn from the training program. Cash handling is an integral part of the job and can always be improved.

What type of customer service methods do you think are unique to you?

Answer: First of all, I think that Chipotle has always been known for its efficiency. This means that I want to provide a high-quality experience but I also want to serve our customers quickly. This includes the in-store lines and making sure customers are being handled according to store policy. I would try to answer questions that any customer has. This includes questions about gift cards or purchases. As well as try to provide customers an answer on what type of extra's they had inside their orders to ensure that they are being checked-out properly while paying for their meal if I was operating as a cashier during that shift.

How do you handle multitasking?

Answer: I’m familiar with the need to multitask. I like to express when I’ve reached maximum capacity, so that other team members can better coordinate with myself.

Do you have reliable transportation?

Answer: Yes.

How would you handle an unhappy customer?

Answer: I would first speak with the person and apologize for the mistake. Learn more about the error. And then try to correct it.

What would you do if a customer asked for double meat?

Answer: I would inform the customer that it may cost them extra. Aside from that, once receiving their approval, follow through with their request.

How would you work with the cashier?

Answer: By ensuring that they were familiar with the customer’s order and then ensuring the customer is charged correctly for their order.

How would you ensure a clean work station?

Answer: I would always be wiping it down, looking for small details in the work station that might not be appealing to a new customer. I consider this as having “attention to detail.”

How would you handle food that looked like it was unsanitary?

Answer: I would inform the other crew members and throw the food away.

How would you handle a dirty part of the restaurant?

Answer: I would inform other crew members and deal with the situation.

Are you familiar with a point of sale system?

Answer: I am.

Are you familiar with online orders and mobile orders?

Answer: I am familiar with it as a customer. I want to learn more about how these matters are being handled within the restaurant on a case by case basis.

Describe a time you had to teach someone something. How did you do it?

Answer: In my previous job, I needed to educate a new trainee on our company policies. We reviewed the policies but then put them into action. The new trainee and I went through the restaurant and then examined how the procedure took place. I appreciated this excellent work experience that I feel will follow me throughout my career.

How long do you plan on working here?

Answer: At least six months, hopefully, longer.

If your shift was coming to an end, but your replacement hasn’t shown up, what would you do?

Answer: I would stay until the new person arrived. But work to inform the other person that they are not there but need to be.

Why is customer experience important?

Answer: Because it drives customer experience. How a customer feels and interacts with the restaurant is integral to growing this business.

How fast should a customer get through our lines here?

Answer: I believe that a customer should get through the line within five minutes to ten minutes.

Why do we show customers our food cooking process?

Answer: Because we have an extremely high-quality standard, we want to show that our preparation techniques are of a certain quality.

What concerns you about working here?

Answer: I've never worked in fast food or casual food dining with rush hour times like Chipotle. I'm concerned about what that might look like for me. And what that might do for my health if I become too stressed out from it. What I can say is that I'm not as concerned about this after hearing about the Chipotle process for working together and ensuring that the preparation station is coordinated.

What qualities can you bring to the team?

Answer: I've always been able to stay motivated even when things aren't "going well." I feel confident that I can bring a positive attitude and motivation to the team when they need it the most. I want to be able to come to work every day and bring a smile with me. This will be something that both customers and our staff can appreciate.

What do you value most as a chipotle customer?

Answer: The experience when I come into the store. The location is always clean. I'm able to see the coordination of the employees and staff. I can see the food being prepared. I have confidence that my food is going to be sanitary and cared for. There's a quality level that I'm always appreciative of when I visit a store.

How would you treat a fellow chipotle employee?

Answer: With the highest level of respect. I believe in treating others as we want to be treated ourselves, even in situations where there might be a disagreement or a difference of opinions. It sounds cliche, but being able to "agree to disagree" truly is a special thing.

Why do you want to work at a Chipotle and not somewhere else?

Answer: I'm a fan of the brand. I've been a customer for a number of years. And I feel like this will provide me ample experience to get into the culinary field. Exploring the culinary field professionally is something that I'm considering for myself in my later years. Having the opportunity to work here should provide me with valuable insight that can assist me with my career path and life path.

Do you eat organic food?

Answer: Yes. And the fact that Chiptole has hormone-free meat and is consistently finding ways to source their ingredients on a local level is what attracts me to Chipotle as a customer. These same qualities are what is going to make me proud to work here, too.

Tell me about a time you demonstrated great teamwork.

Answer: I was working in a previous retail setting. And there was a customer who had asked me a question that I wasn't familiar with. I wanted to answer the question for the customer. But noticed that all associates were busy occupied with other customers. At that time, I decided it was best if I could ask for help. I asked our store manager, who was occupied, but I mentioned this was going to be an important skill for me to learn. And he/she understood and moved forward with helping me. This is an example of great teamwork because I wanted to learn but also was aware of my surroundings and wanted to make sure every associate was working efficiently.

What does great teamwork mean to you?

Answer: I'd like to tell a small story of great teamwork. A store manager previously asked our team to stay with the store later in the working hours to make sure that store stock was properly ordered and managed. Our inventory was simply out of control. During this time, job titles went away. And it was up to each person to decide how they might help with the process. I decided that I wanted to assist with counting and checking stock before it was put into the ordering system. I asked the rest of the team if this would be helpful. And it seemed to inspire other workers to want to define how they might be able to help with the process as it got started. Working as a team, supporting each other, and maintaining positive communication is key to being able to achieve goals for the business and operate quickly with a high standard of work.

Questions to Ask the Interviewer

Below are good questions to ask the interviewer at the end of an interview with a Chipotle store manager, hiring manager, or supervisor.

  • Can you tell me more about the interview process?
  • Can you tell me how many people are part of the hiring process?
  • What do you look for in an ideal candidate?
  • What advice would you give someone who is interviewing?
  • How do the chipotle managers supervise employees?
  • What’s the training experience like?
  • Can you explain more about the high standards of food quality and sourcing?
  • What skill do you feel is most important for a chipotle team member and crew member?
  • Will there be a second interview before a job offer is made?
  • What type of career path options are available here for me?
  • Can you tell me what you personally value about the company culture here?
  • What are some of the short-term goals for the role?
  • What are some of the long-term goals for the role?
  • How would I be able to apply my problem-solving skills in this role?
  • Can you tell me more about what the onboarding process is like for this role?
  • What do you think the work-life balance will look like for this role?
  • When looking at me as a candidate, what do you think the team will value the most?
  • What are you most concerned about when it comes to myself as a candidate?
  • What skills do you feel every candidate should have in this role?
  • What is your personal management style?
  • Can you tell me more about what the hiring process has been like for this role?
  • What follow-up questions would you ask if you were trying to get hired in this role?
  • What competencies do you feel the team will value the most?
  • What are the long-term plans for the department or team I'm going to be working with?
  • What strengths and weaknesses do you feel this role should have more of?
  • What common interview questions would you advise someone to stop asking?
  • Give me a one-word answer of how you would describe the company's culture.
  • What goals should I have as a candidate in this role?
  • What are your goals for this role?
  • What are the goals the team has for this role?
  • What’s the biggest challenge you could see me getting enthusiastic about in this position?
  • What career advice do you think the previous employee in this role would want to provide me?

The most opportune time to ask the interviewer questions is at the end of the interview. A job candidate should do their best not to interrupt the interviewer, hiring manager, or store manager when speaking. It's best to take notes during the interview and mark any questions that have been answered. By doing this, the candidate can ensure that when they ask questions at the end of the interview, it doesn't feel like the question has already been answered by the manager.

Asking questions is a great way to keep the conversation engaged and show the manager that the candidate was performing "active-listening skills" during the interview.

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, and many more.

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