Chick-fil-A is yet another chain of fast food restaurants where you can work as a student. They specialize in chicken sandwiches, and their working culture is slightly different to the one you’d experience working for other fast food giants. However, you will earn a minimum wage (or close to it), you will work hard during peak hours, and you can definitely meet some interesting people in the restaurant, and have some fun along the way, just as you’d working for any other chain of fast food restaurants.
Interviews with Chick-fil-A are not particularly difficult. You will typically interview with one or two managers, and if you do well, they will offer you the job on the same day. The questions will revolve around your motivation, goals, experience, and attitude to certain scenarios from the workplace (dealing with pressure, having a conflict with a colleague, going an extra mile for a customer, etc). Let’s have a look at them, one by one.
Why Chick-fil-A? Why not some other restaurant or fast food stand?
You have a few options at this point. One is referring to your Christian faith (if you are Christian, of course). All Chick-fil-A restaurants are closed on Sunday, and all replace chicken with fish in their sandwiches on special occasions (such as Christmas), and you can feel the spirit of Christianity in many things the company does, in the values they promote.
This is a legacy of the late founder, S. Truett Cathy, a devout Christian. So, as Christian you can say that the values of the company resonate with your personal values and beliefs, and therefor you prefer to work for them instead of some other fast food retailer.
If you’re not a Christian, you can refer to other things. For example the vibe of the place, the fact that most meals served at Chick-fil-A are slightly more healthy than meals served at other fast food chains (they are still unhealthy though), or even to the location of the restaurant–close to your apartment, for example. Whatever you choose to talk about, they should get an impression that they are your first choice. And enthusiasm in your voice will definitely help the issue…
Do you have any prior experience in a food industry?
Let’s put things straight: most common jobs with Chick-fil-A (team member, line cook, fry cook, server, cashier, etc) are entry level. The company has a great system in place, steps you should follow on each position so the entire restaurant runs like a Swiss watch. And honestly, these steps are not hard to learn, regardless of whether you were blessed with intelligence or not.
Still, when you compete with the job with more people, prior experience is a plus. Explain what you did before, name your principal duties, mention that you tried to provide outstanding customer service, and have a reason ready why you’re not working at the place any longer, why you left the job.
If you have no experience in a food industry, you can talk about your willingness to learn and work hard. You can even praise the system they have in place, and on the job training, saying that you’ve heard about it from one of their employees (in any Chick-fil-A restaurant), who happens to be your friend. You can also ensure them that you expect a heavy workload, and feel ready to handle it.
How many hours are you willing to work each week?
It likely won’t surprise you that most employees at Chick-fil-A are still studying. Well, living alone, or having children, one will hardly meet their end needs with the wage from Chick-fil-A (or from any other fast food restaurant). That’s why the job is fitting mostly for students, and students cannot work just anytime, because they go to school…
If they ask you about your availability or about the number of hours you can work each week, try to always say at least 20 hours, because that’s the minimum they expect from you. What’s more, you should outline your weekly schedule and school commitments, and explain when you can work and when you cannot.
Why do you consider yourself a good fit for the position of cashier, team member, fry cook, etc?
You can point out a couple of strengths fitting for the position you try to get with Chick-fil-A. Working in the front line, you can talk about excellent communication skills, pleasant and friendly demeanor, ability to deal with complaints of the customers, and ability to work fast–that’s a big plus in any fast food establishment.
The strengths are slightly different for the job in kitchen, but one things you can always mention is that you consider yourself a team player. Of course, if you have previous experience with the same type of work, you can say that you consider yourself a good fit because of it. You won’t start from scratch. You already know your craft, and you enjoyed that type of work. Hence there is no reason to suppose you’d not enjoy it at Chick-fill-A, why you’d struggle.
The most important thing is to show your confidence. You believe that you will handle the job, and will at least somehow enjoy it, considering your personality, abilities, and expectations.
Can you make fries (cook chicken, prepare other simple dishes)?
You will get this question when applying for a cooking position. And while they will show you everything and teach you how to make each dish, it is again good to show some confidence in your abilities.
But simple yes or no won’t do the trick in this case. You should elaborate on your answer, explaining your experience. Perhaps you prepared the dish in question in one of your former jobs, or you cook it at home often. And if you cannot prepare this or that, you can again refer to your ability to learn quickly, and their excellent on the job training.
What does going an extra mile mean for you?
It is important to show proactive approach to work. They should get an impression that you always strive to do your best–for the customers, for your colleagues, and won’t do just the bare minimum the job requires.
You can give them a couple of examples. For example, seeing that your colleague in the kitchen struggles with workload, and at the same time not having any work at your station, you will go and help them out. Or when a customer isn’t sure about their choice, you will calmly and with smile give them recommendations, and answer all their questions.
You can say that going an extra mile mean a lot to you. It helps you feel good about your work, and gives a sense of purpose to anything you do, regardless of the job. Hence you never mind going above and beyond for your customers and colleagues.
Where do see yourself in five years from now?
Managers working at Chick-fil-A are not naive. Or at least most of them aren’t. They know that nineteen out of twenty new hires won’t stay with Chick-fil-A longer than a couple of years. This is just one of the jobs we have in a certain stage of our life, and then we move on to something better paid. And it is all right saying so, talking about something else you want to do in five years from now. However, you should always add that for the near future, let’s say the next 12 months at least, you see yourself working for Chick-fil-A.
Of course, you can pursue a managerial career with the company. If that’s your goal. In such a case, you can say that you imagine managing the entire restaurant in five years. Do not forget that add that you understand you have to start from the bottom, and walk the ladder step by step. But if you manage to prove your skills and motivation, everything is possible in five years time.
Other questions you may face in your interview with Chick-fil-A
- How do you handle pressure?
- Imagine that a customer complains about your service. How will you react?
- What are your salary expectations?
- What can you bring to our team at Chick-fil-A?
- Tell us about your greatest achievement.
- After everything we’ve discussed here, do you have any questions?
Final thoughts, next steps
Interviews for entry level jobs at Chick-fil-A belong to easy interviews. The company is almost always hiring, and the restaurant managers do not try to reinvent the wheel. They won’t ask you some difficult technical questions, expect years of experience from you, or ask you to undergo some elaborate psychometric testing…
On the contrary, the questions will be quite easy, just as I described in the article. Read my hints and think about each one for a while, making sure you won’t remain silent when you get it in the interview. And do not forget to show positive body language. They should get an impression that you are looking forward to working in the restaurant, and that they are your first choice, at least at this stage of your professional career. I hope you will succeed, and wish you best of luck!
May also interest you:
- KFC interview questions – Interview for the job with one of the most successful franchises ever? Learn how to make an impression on their managers.
- How to overcome interview nerves – 4 strategies that will help you get your nerves under control, and show your best self when it matters the most.
- 15 most common interview questions – Learn how to answer questions about your motivation, career goals, strengths and weaknesses, and other common interview questions.