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Panda Express Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Aug 11, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting an Interview  


Interview Experience  


Interview Difficulty  

Average Difficulty
149 candidate interviews
Relevance Date Difficulty

No Offer

Negative Experience

Average Interview

Manager Interview


I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Panda Express.

Interview Details – it took 2 week for the whole process. got 3 interview and OJP ( on job preview). got a phone call interview, second is on line interview, and third is one on one interview. The last is OJP. where you go and work for 5 hrs. it is suppose to let you feel what is like to work at Panda. At the same time it is to let Panda see if you are a good fit for them. I felt that I was not shown enough and what was expected from a manager.

Interview Question – what do you expect from Panda?   Answer Question

No Offer

Negative Experience

Average Interview

Corporate Employee Interview

Corporate Employee
Rosemead, CA

I applied online and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Panda Express.

Interview Details – The epitome of an unnecessarily long and time wasting process, this is by far the most grueling yet unexciting interview experience I've ever had.

Applied online and received a call in 2 days to set up a phone interview for the week after. The phone interview questions were as generic as it gets, and by the end, I was invited to an in-person interview for the following week. By this point, if you haven't read "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People," you really need to do so before you attend the in-person. You will also need to look at the videos they send you that talks about how they make all their employees pay to take self-help classes called Landmark Forums (cost range from $600 to the thousands)

As for my in-person interview with the HR representative, half of it was consisted of very generic questions. The other half was HR questioning me about the book 7 Habits, Landmark classes, and how I can relate.

I didn't hear back for another 2 weeks, after which I received a call from HR who scheduled me an interview with management 2 weeks out and said she'd follow up with confirmation email within the week. The email was never sent, so I had to follow up to confirm. There will be more articles on Panda's corporate culture you need to study.

For my 2nd in-person, I met with the VP I'd be directly working with. Very little of the interview was a conversation about me and my experience/skill sets, most of the interview again, focused on the book, signing up for Landmark, and Panda's culture and mission/value. Interview wasn't challenging, it was really just memorizing and reciting the blabs you know they want to hear and praise Landmark with them. By the end of my 2nd in-person, VP was satisfied and said she'd love to have me meet with another VP, and then the CEO, but I should register for Landmark first. She also laughed and told me that the long interview process frustrates a lot of candidates.

Weeks later, I got contacted by HR to set up a "coaching call" for the following week to go over answering interview questions based on (surprise!) the book/ Landmark/Panda culture. HR said she'd get back to me the next day for my next interview date. Days went by and no news. I followed up only to be told nothing was confirmed. By this time, I had been interviewing with Panda for 2 months for an ENTRY LEVEL position and wasn't even half way done; I was only getting bored/annoyed with the repetitive and uninteresting questions.

Weeks went by, I received another job offer just as Panda's HR left a voicemail for me to call back to discuss my next interview step. I tried getting a hold of HR for 2 days and no answer. I sent an email explaining my situation, stating my interest with Panda and that I'd like to gauge where I stand with Panda's interview process to help me make a decision regarding the other offer. HR replied that she's busy and would call me in 2 days; no concern about the fact that I had a decision I needed to make in a short time frame. During our call, which merely lasted 10 minutes, she refused to give me an update as to where I stand in the process, and proceeded to question why I have not signed up for Landmark if I was so interested in working for them. Well...I was unemployed and didn't have $600 to throw around? Finally, HR and I reached an agreement that I'd attend a free introduction course for Landmark and write a paragraph summary on what I learned. I felt like I was being treated like a high school student.

The very next day, I saw that the position I had applied for was reposted online. I knew they had started to look for other candidates, but I went to the landmark free intro class just to check it out anyways...big mistake! They make you talk about the most personal issues you have in front of strangers and tell you by signing up, you'll have "access to tools that will help fix all your problems." I was then harassed with calls for 3 weeks from Landmark trying to convince me to pay for their weekend seminar. I told them I was unemployed and didn't have the extra money at the moment, and Landmark's reply was that I need to borrow money from family and friends...REALLY?

After sending in my paragraph summary and restated my interest to HR, no reply whatsoever. 1 month later, I received another voicemail to call back. I called back, only to be told they had moved forward with another candidate. I was extremely glad that I had started working by then and did not bother to pay for the Landmark classes. Panda is inconsiderate and unemphatic to potential candidates who are on a timeline to find employment. Unless you REALLY want to work here, willing to go through the 4 months interview process, willing to pay the for landmark classes without a guaranteed job offer, willing to continue to commit to the fake how much you like the culture, keep looking elsewhere - there are plenty of other great opportunities out there without all the hustle.

Interview Question – An unexpectedly tricky question was that being Chinese, I was asked about my opinion regarding their food, which really isn't authentically Chinese.   Answer Question

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Lead Counter Help Interview

Lead Counter Help

I applied in-person and the process took 1+ week - interviewed at Panda Express.

Interview Details – It is an interview like no other. Very specific. Be ready to share without being asked a lot of questions. The interviews are hard but to the point. Be powerful when you share because you are not just being interviewed for the position you applied but for any other open position.

Interview Question – Sharing about what I would do on certain situations and scenarios.   View Answer

Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Receptionist Interview


Interviewed at Panda Express

Interview Details – The first step of the process includes a phone interview, the second is an in person interview with the department manager and recruiter. The third step is a trial and an in person interview with the hiring managers.

No Offer

Negative Experience

Average Interview

Team Member Interview

Team Member
Las Vegas, NV

I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at Panda Express in May 2014.

Interview Details – I applied online, the next day I got a call to schedule an interview. I had to wait in the eating area. Then it was just a typical interview she asked questions I answered.

Interview Question – What is your greatest weakness? your favorite store? do you have reliable transportation? Typical stuff   Answer Question

1 person found this helpful

Declined Offer

Negative Experience

Average Interview

Restaurant Manager Interview

Restaurant Manager

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Panda Express in May 2014.

Interview Details – I first had a Skype interview with a member of HR, which I obtained thru a recruitment agency. I was asked pretty basic interview questions, and was moved onto the next phase, the in-person interview with a Team Leader at one of the locations.

Interview Question – How do you fit into this culture?   View Answer

Reason for Declining – Didn't fit well into the mold they had set out.

Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Assistant Manager Interview

Assistant Manager

Interviewed at Panda Express

Interview Details – I had an interview at the store itself. I could say it was casual or relaxed.
Typical interview questions were asked like, "Why Panda?", "What do you know about Panda?", "What are your long term goals?"
Then he explained the organisational structure of panda, he explained their culture, what they are.

Interview Question – What can you contribute to Panda?   Answer Question

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Restaurant General Manager Interview

Restaurant General Manager
Seattle, WA

I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Panda Express.

Interview Details – Applied online on the beginning of April. There are 3 interview processes. First, had phone interview a week later. General questions like "what do you know about Panda?" "Why do you want to work here?" " what are your weaknesses?" Secondly, I was invited for face-to face interview two days later. In-person interview was easy. Similar questions like the phone interview. I spent about 10~15 minutes for interview. After that, last process, I was invited for Panda Preview. The day before that, I was asked to complete criminal background application. When I got there on preview day, I completed the rest of application. I worked there for 4 hours including break time. During the panda preview, 3 managers asked questions. I hate that part because they asked same questions like last 2 interviews. At the end of the interview, they would call me in 3 days whether or not I am hired as GM. Today is the 3rd day. However, I haven't received any call or email yet!!! I am nervous!!!! Hopefully I can get a job

Interview Question – Nothing too difficult or unexpected question.   Answer Question

Accepted Offer

Negative Experience

Difficult Interview

General Manager/Assistant Manager Interview

General Manager/Assistant Manager
Los Angeles, CA

I applied through other source and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Panda Express in February 2014.

Interview Details – Went to an open house and did a group interview. Got a call back for another interview with their version of an area/district manager. Interviewed and was asked to go to one of their monthly seminars at headquarters. I went and found out more about the company and the people. I was then offered a position starting at the "bottom" to work my way up as a manager through email. They stated I would progress within 3 months and work my way up as that was what they envisioned. I had no problem starting at the bottom. However after that they sent me to another interview my 3rd one with the training manager. At no time other than asking about what I wanted to be paid and the hours I wanted was acknowledged but only discussed at my 3rd interview. She tells me hours are based on performance and you start at minimum wage. She then tells me she will be in touch to see where they will place me and I would be called for another interview. I asked her am I not hired yet? As it was stated in email I was offered a position by the area manager. She said she could not confirm and that all employees even cooks and basic help have to interview around 3 times. After that its been over 3 weeks and I have not heard anything back. The problem I had is I felt like I was jumping through hoops and they were saying how high. If you are seeking college educated individuals for a manager position than why not only myself but other reviewers have stated do you offer positions at the very bottom serving food? The process is on false pretense. I understand we should all start at the bottom as those individuals we were interviewing did as well and I am fine with that, but understand if your seeking managers to be at the bottom state clearly your intentions to basically train us to move forward to the positions we are both seeking and that is to be a manager. I don't believe 3-4 interviews for being a cook or serving food is relevant. Its a waste of time and after stating they wanted me to start at the bottom but you want to interview me more? Throughout the process I blew away and impressed them as stated over and over by the hiring managers. I communicated well and my answers were intelligent. However it is no wonder your having problems seeking the 100s of new managers you need for the future as you can tell if your looking for jobs there is always an open hiring ad for Panda somewhere. Your process is overly excessive for someone who just wants to get through the door to serve food. By the second interview by the area manager who asked if I offered you a lower position would you say yes, and I said yes. You already have your mind made up but why make me jump through more hoops to be a food server? You don't know what your looking for, if you want people to start at the bottom why not hire within? If you want managers why seek and waste people's time when you just want to make them servers and cooks? In their emails exchanged to one another there is lack of communication even within higher ups as two people said I was hired and the third can't confirm? And after all this time pass at least follow up as if other avenues were pursued or you changed your mind. This whole process took over a month as I drove down over 4x to have these interviews. Panda is based on helping people develop and strive for excellence in their lives…but from my experience from the process it was anything but.

Interview Question – What is the Panda Way? What is Panda's culture? What do you like about Panda what would you change? Give an example you were proactive in your decisions or acted without being supervised or needing a manager.   View Answer

Negotiation Details – They asked what I was seeking I said part-time/full time and starting at $10. Only till the 3rd interview by the 3rd hiring manager did the truth reveal itself hours were limited to performance and money was starting minimum wage. I think being part-time helps limit the benefits you receive and is cost cutting of course because the state of the economy.

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

GMIT Interview

Atlanta, GA

I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Panda Express in April 2014.

Interview Details – i applied online, then got a digital interview a week after i applied. After i done the digital interview, a manager called me the second day to tell me to have a interview with her four days later. I dressed with business code and had a resume with me. the interview was with two managers and took 1hr to finish. During the interview, i had to answer so many questions that were about anything, such as what have you observed when you were waiting for the interview in the restaurant? what would you like to change or to improve for this restaurant? why you choose panda express? what food do you like from here? can you tell me about yourself? what is manager? what does manager do? whats the difference between manager and co-workers? where do you live? and more questions. Then, they told me how long and how complicate the interview will go. In the end of the interview, they told me to prepare for OJP and another interview after OJP. The next day, I got a text message from the manager told me to check my email in order to fill out a background/ references check. Then, two days later, i got the time and address where i had to do my OJP, also was told to bring two government documents. So... tomorrow I will go with black pants, long black socks, and non slip black shoes to do my OJP. Hopefully its gona be fine, God bless me.

Interview Question – have you applied for other jobs too? what other jobs have you applied? why you choose panda express since you have so many chooses out there? if we ask you to work in another state, would you say yes? .....more.   Answer Question

See What Panda Express Employees Are Saying

 Former Store Manager

Pros: “Great training program for manager. New mentality focus on people factor.” Full Review

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