California Pizza Kitchen
3.4 of 5 141 reviews
www.cpk.com Los Angeles, CA 5000+ Employees

California Pizza Kitchen Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Apr 6, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting the Interview 

49%
35%
10%

Interview Experience 

79%
8%
11%

Interview Difficulty 

40 candidate interviews
Relevance Date Difficulty
in

No Offer

Negative Experience

Average Interview

Server Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
Deer Park, IL

I applied in-person and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at California Pizza Kitchen in March 2014.

Interview Details – I turned in a paper copy application when I heard they were short handed and got a call for an interview a few days later. The GM was rude on the phone and gave me less than 24 hours notice for when she wanted to interview me and was irritated that I had class and was not available. We rescheduled for two days later but when I arrived she was not there. A kitchen manager let me know she had "just stepped out" and had me sit and wait for her to arrive. I sat for over 45 minutes while she had "run out to pick up some cheese", and eventually the kitchen manager decided to interview me instead. He was relaxed and had a good sense of humor and I felt the interview went well, although he informed me that they don't consider my experience as a food runner (the only thing you could do under 21 at my past restaurant) as true experience in the food industry, which puzzled me. As I got up to leave (over an hour after I arrived) the GM finally arrived and wanted to interview me as well, even though the kitchen manager just had and had taken notes/scored me on his sheet. She proceeded to ask all the same questions but was pushy and rude. At one point, she suggested that I start off training on take out and as I smiled, nodded and maintained eye contact she accused me of "not looking too happy about that opportunity". I tried to assure her that I would be more than happy to work take out but I felt it was no use. At one point I adjusted my watch on my arm because the band was pinching me but kept eye contact with her-she stopped, made a face and asked if I had a problem or somewhere to be (which I obviously didn't since I had been sitting there for over an hour and a half). It wasn't as if I studied my watch face or tapped it, I literally just adjusted it with my other hand while I was listening to and looking at her. Nevertheless she told me that she thought I would be a good fit, and said after I got trained on take out I could start serving as well and that she would start me off small to manage easier. She told me she would call me that weekend. After a week went by I called during off hours to check in and the kitchen manager who had interviewed me let me know that most managers were at a convention in California, not to worry, that I was still a candidate, but things were just moving slower. After waiting nearly a month, I called back, expecting to set up training. Instead, he simply said "if we haven't called you yet, we don't want you" and hung up. I couldn't believe how rude they were to me throughout my whole experience. I used to love eating there but now that I know how awful the management is, it's hard to go back.

Interview Question – Would you consider yourself a "foodie"?   Answer Question

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Declined Offer

Neutral Experience

Server Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate

Interviewed at California Pizza Kitchen

Interview Details – Was recommended by a friend. Fast interview process, started the following week, trained for a week before working the floor on my own.

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Restaurant Manager Interview

Anonymous Employee
Los Angeles, CA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at California Pizza Kitchen in November 2010.

Interview Details – Phone interview with recruiter. The recruiter called me and interviewed me about my strengths and past experience for about 30 minutes. Then set up my second interview at the end of the call immediately. The recruiter told me to go to a local CPK at a specific time of morning, before they opened. I met with a with local General Manager who asked me many questions about what my strengths were and several operations questions and some if/then questions about situational scenarios for about 30/40 minutes. Before I left, the GM set me up with a third and final interview with the District Manager who was the friendliest and most relaxed. The DM asked mostly fluff questions and some business savvy questions like about when was the worst day as a manager type of questions.

Interview Questions

  • Tell me about a time when your store was not meeting your budget guidelines, what were some of the steps you took to rectify the situation   Answer Question
  • Tell me about the most important lesson you have learned up to this point as a manager in your career and why.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – If you have excellent experience, do not sell yourself short. The raises and appraisal process is miniscule and you'll never make-up for low-balling yourself when you started. Have your target amount in mind, and work toward that industry standard. If you are worth it, they will pay it.

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Server Interview

Anonymous Employee
Oak Brook, IL

I applied in-person and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at California Pizza Kitchen in April 2010.

Interview Details – Nice people but know what hospitality is all about and know how to describe food!

Interview Question – Describe flavors of the food   View Answer

Negotiation Details – none

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Waiter Interview

Waiter

Interviewed at California Pizza Kitchen

Interview Details – CPK Hawaii holds group interviews every Wednesday. I had to fill out a resume that was provided, which included general questions (experiences, reasons for applying, etc.) and also some questions about ingredients that they use (e.g. types of cheese). The interview was done in a group format (10+ people).

Interview Question – The manager asked us questions regarding restaurant service. Standing in front of 10+ other applicants and talking was pretty intimidating.   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Server Interview

Server

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at California Pizza Kitchen.

Interview Details – Personable, laid-back interview.

Interview Question – None, they just wanted to get to know you. The hiring manager sat me down and asked me some questions about my work history at other restaurants and my college experience. No behavioral or very tough questions, it seemed more like they were looking for someone who fit their staff's personality. Overall, positive experience, although it did take two weeks for them to get back with me. I would recommend having a few questions prepared for the interviewer to show you have interest and to get to know the people a little better.   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Waiter Interview

Waiter
Boston, MA

I applied in-person and the process took 2 days - interviewed at California Pizza Kitchen in April 2010.

Interview Details – Very simple process, even if you have never been a waiter even though most places look for experience. I went in person to apply for the job, and they told me to come back for an interview the next day.

Interview Question – Describe yourself in 3 adjectives   View Answer

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Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Server Interview

Server

I applied in-person and the process took 1 week - interviewed at California Pizza Kitchen.

Interview Details – Simple interview

Interview Question – How would you handle a difficult customer?   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – There was none

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Very Easy Interview

Host Interview

Anonymous Employee

I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at California Pizza Kitchen.

Interview Details – General questions about working with people and in a restaurant

Interview Question – Do you know what jicama is?   Answer Question

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Declined Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Server Interview

Server
Lone Tree, CO

I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at California Pizza Kitchen in May 2013.

Interview Details – Group interview first with basic questions to get to know your personality. Second interview was with a trainer and the store manager, again nothing crazy just getting to know my personality. Main thing they were looking for was smile!

Interview Question – Nothing was out of the ordinary except they have you fill out a sheet with questions if you know the what color chardonnay or Merlot is and some kind of random fruit, thats not relevant to their menu.   Answer Question

Reason for Declining – I accepted an offer at another store, but I wish I had taken this. Seemed like a nice pay 60-70 per 3 hrs

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