Here we have provided the top 10 most asked Chipotle interview questions along with suggested answers that will help prepare for your interview. Preparing will help you give great answers and also help you relax so you can let your personality shine through in the interview, showing that you are the right person for the job.
1. Tell me why you want to work at Chipotle.
Before you attend the interview, make sure you review Chipotle’s website. You should know and understand Chipotle’s values. Being able to talk about its values in the interview will allow you to show that this isn’t just about getting a job for you. Your goal here is to secure a job specifically with Chipotle. Your answer should show you understand its approach and admire it. Do that, and your answer will make the right impression with the interviewer.
When I think about Chipotle, the first word that comes to mind is real. And I think for Chipotle, it is more than just a word. Being “real” to Chipotle means fresh food every day, using ingredients you can pronounce, fighting for our planet and treating its people right. A company with these values is a company I respect. Also, being treated right in my job is important to me. I believe I would be valued and supported here.
2. How would you define exceptional customer service?
Customer service will form a large part of many roles in Chipotle. Providing exceptional customer service is one of its main values. This question is an opportunity to show the interviewer you understand this. Use your answer to provide an example of what you think exceptional customer service is. Show that you represent this value and would fit into the team.
A customer always wants to feel important. They shouldn’t feel like just a number. Chipotle recognizes that in its values. To provide exceptional customer service, I put the customer at the heart of what I am doing. It doesn’t matter what might have happened in my personal life that day. Exceptional customer service means always being polite, happy, and willing to help. It means making the customer feel like family, and also solving the customer’s problem, sometimes before they even realize they have a problem.
3. Do you prefer to work in a team or work alone?
Although the question asks about your preference, use your answer to show the interviewer you work well as part of a team. Working for a food service company is not about working alone. You must be able to work well with others, communicate well with them, and do all that under pressure during busy periods.
I am perfectly comfortable working as part of a team and working alone. I appreciate that there will be tasks that I can complete alone, but I also see working at Chipotle as an opportunity to work as part of a team. For me, teams create a friendly work environment. I perform best as part of a team. I have worked in teams in the foodservice industry. I believe that being able to work well together created a better experience for the customer, not just for the team. We all paid attention and could spot issues and work together to resolve them. For example, if there was a slow-moving customer line, we would work together to move customers into other lines. Or if we noticed another team member struggling, one of us would step in and try to help. This teamwork and awareness helped us make sure customers had the best experience.
4. While we aim to provide exceptional customer service, occasionally, you might have to deal with an upset or difficult customer. Tell me how you would deal with that.
Accept that although you would always aim to provide exceptional customer service, you realize that sometimes customers can become upset or difficult. Walk the interviewer through how you would deal with that situation. Share an example of dealing with an upset or difficult customer, if you have experienced this. Be clear about the steps you took to resolve matters. If you don’t have experience in this type of situation, explain to the interviewer how you think you would deal with this problem.
I would always aim to provide each customer with exceptional service, but I recognize that occasionally I may not appear to meet the needs of the customer. While I do not have direct experience in dealing with customers in this situation, I would first listen to what the customer had to say. I would want to make sure I understood exactly what the problem was. Then I would look for a solution to resolve the situation quickly. I would always stay calm and professional. For example, if a customer was unhappy that we had given them the wrong order, I would apologize to the customer and offer to get the correct order for them. I would then have the correct order prepared and delivered to the customer. I would check whether the customer needed anything else. I would then end with an apology. After I took care of the customer, I would make sure I understood what had gone wrong with the order so we could prevent it from happening again.
5. Have you ever had a problem with a co-worker or a manager? How did you resolve that?
The interviewer wants to know how you handle conflicts within either a team situation or with a superior. They want to see that you can stay calm and professional but can try to resolve the situation instead of making it worse. They also want to understand if you are the type of person that gets along with others or not. Make sure not to speak negatively or badly of others. This will end up with the interviewer doubting your personality instead. Explain that you try to avoid conflict if possible. Show the interviewer you recognize that if a conflict arises, you need to deal with it.
I always try to work well with my co-workers and my managers, but I recognize that occasionally there can be conflict. I remember a previous co-worker who started coming in later and later. I also noticed that she was frequently taking longer breaks. I didn’t want to go directly to my manager. I tried to talk to her about her timekeeping when she was late again one morning. I asked her if everything was okay because I’d noticed that she had been regularly late and that she wasn’t normally late. She told me everything was fine but continued to be late and take longer breaks. I felt I had no other option to raise it with my manager, in case anything was going on with my co-worker. I also wanted to be fair to my other co-workers who were covering for her. My manager had a quiet word with her, and the issue resolved itself. My manager didn’t tell me why things had changed. My co-worker told me she had had some personal issues in her life and that she felt better having spoken with my manager. I was glad that we could resolve the issue in a friendly manner.
6. A customer asks for double meat for free. How would you deal with that?
The interviewer wants to know how familiar you are with store policy. They want to know you are prepared to enforce that policy, in this case, that there is a double meat charge. Make it clear you understand the store policy and the need to enforce it. Show you understand that you would have to tell the customer that they would have to pay for it. Tell the interviewer you would get the customer’s agreement before you add the double meat to their meal.
I realize that a customer might ask for double meat or other freebies, but that there is a charge. I would explain clearly and calmly to the customer that the store policy is that there is a double meat charge. I would tell them how much it would cost and ask them to confirm that they still wanted the double meat. If the customer insisted on double meat for free and I could not resolve the issue, I would ask for help from my manager.
7. What do you consider are your strengths?
Before the interview, read the job description and think about the skills the interviewer is looking for. You can then use this question to show the interviewer how your strengths and experience match the job role. When choosing strengths, choose those that are relevant to what is required for that particular role, but always be truthful in giving your answer. Use your strengths to highlight how you can shine in the role.
I think one of my biggest strengths is my positive attitude. I think a positive attitude is really helpful in serving customers. I also think a positive attitude can help with teamwork. Customers want to deal with people who are friendly, approachable, and helpful. By maintaining a positive attitude, I will come across as friendly, approachable, and helpful, even if the situation is difficult. With co-workers, staying positive can help with team motivation and spirit. I also think the fact I combine a positive attitude with being adaptable is a strength. I realize in a fast-paced environment, you must be flexible because priorities can change. I think these two strengths together would make me an excellent Chipotle team member.
8. Tell me what you consider your greatest weakness.
There is no point in denying you have a weakness or weaknesses – we all have them. Prepare in advance, and pick a weakness that you will use to answer this question. Pick a weakness that won’t be harmful to this role. You can choose a weakness that could also be thought of as a strength, or you can choose a weakness that will not make it difficult for you to do the job. Also, be prepared to tell the interviewer what you are doing to overcome your weakness.
I think my biggest weakness is that I can sometimes lack confidence. This can keep me from speaking up and from asking for help. I don’t want to seem like I’m asking stupid questions. I have worked on overcoming this because I know I need to understand the task I am being asked to do, or what the customer wants.
9. Do you believe food has the power to change the world? Please explain your reasons.
Chipotle believes that food has the power to change the world. This is born from the belief that how food is raised and prepared has an impact on people and the planet. Talk about your belief in this view and why you agree. Show an understanding of the steps Chipotle has taken for the benefit of the planet and how those steps can have a positive impact on the world.
I believe that food has the power to change the world. Specifically, how we raise and prepare food has the power to change the world. We have to be committed to goals that can improve the planet and our environment, not just for our benefit but for the benefit of future generations. We have to sustain our planet. For example, Chipotle is committed to using responsibly-raised meat with no added hormones. Chipotle is also committed to redirecting waste away from landfill sites and recycling used plastic gloves into waste bags. These are all steps that can reduce the impact on the environment, create sustainability, and change the world.
10. Why are you the right candidate for this role?
This is your opportunity to sell yourself and persuade the interviewer you are the right person to work at Chipotle. Be familiar with the job description and use this question to show that your experience and your strengths match with the role at Chipotle. If you don’t have direct work experience, think about any other roles you may have had, which could show you have the right skills for the role. If you have volunteered in an organization where you had to work as part of a team, you can use this experience to show your transferable skills.
I thrive in a fast-paced environment. I have worked in the service industry for the last two years and find I am most comfortable in that industry. I enjoy being able to work as part of a team. I get the most satisfaction from ensuring that customers leave happy and likely to return. I think this role would allow me to thrive and put my skills to their best use.
Next 40 Most Asked Chipotle Interview Questions
- Tell me what you know about Chipotle.
- Tell me about yourself.
- How do you deal with stressful situations?
- Can you tell me what you know about our mission statement and values?
- Have you ever received constructive criticism? How did you deal with that?
- If a customer was rude to you, how would you deal with that?
- How often do you eat at Chipotle?
- Can you give me an example of a time you had to multi-task and how you coped with that?
- How familiar are you with “point of sale” systems?
- Where do you see yourself in three years’ time?
- How would your previous employer describe you?
- Are you comfortable rotating stations?
- What cash handling experience do you have?
- How do you think you would deal with the daily rush periods?
- Your shift is almost over. Your replacement hasn’t arrived. What do you do?
- What kind of work environment do you think suits you best?
- A customer tries to order an item that isn’t available. They become angry when you tell them it isn’t available. How do you think you would handle this situation?
- In your free time, what do you like to do?
- What do you think is the difference between a job and a career, if any?
- What is your availability?
- Tell me about your experience in this industry.
- What do you think it means to be a leader?
- Tell me about a time you tried to teach someone something new. How did it work out?
- A customer isn’t happy about their meal. How would you resolve the issue?
- What are your long-term goals?
- What is your favorite thing about working in the foodservice industry?
- Are there any areas you feel you would benefit from more training?
- Can you tell me what a restaurateur is?
- What characteristics do you think define a Chipotle employee?
- What is your favorite item on our menu?
- If you saw a co-worker doing something wrong at the station next to you, how would you react?
- What do you think it takes to be a top performer at Chipotle?
- How would you describe Chipotle to someone who had never heard of the company?
- Tell me about the nicest thing you have ever done for anyone.
- What do you think of as your greatest accomplishment?
- Tell me why you think Chipotle stands out from its competitors.
- How important is cleanliness to you?
- What is your least favorite thing about working in the foodservice industry?
- What was a typical day like in your previous job?
- Why do you want to work in the foodservice industry?
10 Best Questions to Ask in a Chipotle Interview
Once the interviewer has asked you all the questions they have, they will usually give you the chance to ask questions of the interviewer. Take this opportunity. The questions you ask can be a further opportunity to show the interviewer you want this job. The questions you ask can also help you assess whether Chipotle is a good fit for you. An interview is a two-way process.
- How would you describe the culture at Chipotle?
- What skills and traits do your best employees have in common?
- Can you describe a typical day in this role?
- What do you like about working at Chipotle?
- What opportunities are there for growth and advancement?
- Can you describe your ideal candidate?
- What training can I expect to receive?
- What was the biggest surprise when you started working for Chipotle?
- What is your least favorite thing about working for Chipotle?
- What could I do to exceed your expectations in this role?
After you have spent time preparing to answer the interview questions, visit the Chipotle website and read about it and its values. Do a quick Google search to see if it is recently in the news for anything in particular. Make sure you have a plan for getting to the location (and a back up plan if you need it), and know exactly how to get there. Prepare your clothes and make sure you are dressed appropriately. Then relax and don’t forget to smile and make a personal connection with the interviewer so they can see you would be great with customers. You’ve got this!
Keith Miller has over 25 years of experience as a CEO and serial entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur, he has founded several multi-million dollar companies. As a writer, Keith's work has been mentioned in CIO Magazine, Workable, BizTech, and The Charlotte Observer. If you have any questions about the content of this blog post, then please send our content editing team a message here.