Real Interview Questions from 4 Food Jobs

Recently I just graduated from Ryerson University so I know first hand the emotions that come from graduating. What is the most daunting is the interview process. Researching so much but not even knowing what they are going to ask. It’s so frustrating!

During my job search process, I went from not hearing anything to scheduling three interviews in one week.  I wanted to share some of the questions that I came across during my interviews because I wanted to make your interview process a little less daunting.

The four types of positions I interviewed for were:

  1. Research and Development
  2. Sensory Technologist
  3. Quality Assurance
  4. Project Manager

*For clarity on my background. I am a Chemistry graduate with a marketing minor.  In my final year I performed an undergraduate thesis where I studied cocoa butter. I had two co-operative placements in the past, one as a Quality Control Student Technician and Research and Development Assistant. If really want the whole list check out my Linkedin.

Quality Assurance

  • Why do you want to work for the company?
  • Tell me about your background, work experience, school projects.
  • Please tell me about a time where you had a conflict on the plant and what you did in that situation.
  • Explain a situation where you managed a project and what was the outcome of it?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • What makes your excited about quality assurance and why?
  • Do you have any experience performing keeping up with documentation?
  • What activities did you perform in your quality control position? Did you deal with keeping up with documents?
  • What value can you bring to this role?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  • Do you have any experience working with quality systems such as HACCP?
  • Do you have anymore questions for us?

Research and Development

  • Please give me a summary of your work experience, projects
  • What do you know about the company?
  • Why do you want to work for this company?
  • What was the size of the team you worked with?
  • Explain a situation when you had to perform a project management
  • Can you explain what tasks you performed at your R&D position?
  • What about you can you bring value to this position?
  • Do you bake? What was the last thing you made?
  • If you were in a situation where two people thought there project was more important and both wanted their job done first how would you deal with them.
  • Here is a list of tasks. Place them in order of how you would perform them throughout the day/week. Explain your decisions of why you choose to do them this way.
  • Do you have anymore questions for us?

Sensory Technologist

* Just a note this was a position for statistical analyst of sensory data. The job was to run sensory panels and then analyze the data. It was not a tasting position.

  • Why do you want to work for this company/role?
  • Which statistical tests have you performed and do you have any experience working with statistical software?
  • Was there ever a time that you disagreed with a situation. What did you do
  • Do you have any experience performing sensory work such a course or such?
  • Did you perform any statistical measurements during your thesis?
  • When you worked in R&D did you perform any sensory panels?
  • You have written here that you blogged about flavour on the MyFoodJobRocks. Can you tell me a little more about that?
  • Do you have anymore questions for us?
  • What is something you have completed that you are really proud of? It doesn’t have to be work/school related.
  • Do you have any work experience you left off of your resume?

Project Management

  • Tell us more about yourself
  • Explain more about your undergraduate research project. What were the results of the project?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  • How do you manage your time?
  • Do you have any experience managing projects?
  • Who do you look up to? It can be either in the industry or in your personal life.
  • How do you ensure that a project is performed on time?
  • What capacity have you helped out with FoodGrads?
  • Do you have anymore questions for us?

The outcome!

I am happy to say that my job search came to an end. After interviewing with 6 companies (and applying to a whole lot more) I was able to find a placement in Quality Assurance. Wish me luck! I will make sure to give you all the details of my transition from school to the workforce!

Author: Veronica Hislop – Veronica is a recent Chemistry grad from Ryerson University and loves looking at the science in the kitchen. She has a passion for bringing awareness to sustainability in the food industry. When Veronica is taking a break from her food endeavours you will find her at home reading a great novel and playing with her cats.


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