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Top 20 Panera Interview Questions and Answers

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Panera is a well-known food chain that has been serving delicious food and beverages to customers for over 20 years. They are known for their fresh breads, salads, and sandwiches, as well as their warm and inviting atmosphere. As Panera continues to grow, they are constantly looking for new hires that will help make the company even better. If you are looking to join the Panera team, it is important to know what to expect in an interview. In this blog post, we will be discussing common Panera interview questions and answers to help you better prepare for your upcoming job interview.

At Panera, the first step to becoming an employee is the job interview. During the interview, the interviewer will ask a variety of questions to gain insight into your skills, experience, and personality. Common questions posed to Panera job applicants include inquiries about customer service skills, familiarity with Panera’s menu, and the ability to work in a fast-paced environment. Knowing the answers to these questions can help you stand out from the competition and increase your chances of getting hired.

Job Interview

In addition to the standard questions asked during a Panera interview, it is also important to be prepared to answer questions related to your work experience and the food industry in general. Knowing the ins and outs of the restaurant business can demonstrate to the interviewer that you are passionate about working at Panera and that you understand the company’s goals. Additionally, familiarizing yourself with Panera’s menu and policies can help show that you are dedicated to providing high-quality customer service.

By being prepared and knowledgeable about Panera and the food industry, you can make a great impression during your job interview and increase your chances of getting hired. Knowing the answers to common Panera interview questions and being familiar with the company’s menu and policies can help you make a positive impression and stand out from the competition. With the right preparation, you can ace your Panera interview and get one step closer

Overview of Panera Interview Process

The Panera interview process is a multi- step process that is designed to help the company find the best candidates for their open positions. Depending on the role, the process can involve one or more interviews, and the steps may vary slightly between positions. Generally, however, the process begins with an initial screening interview. This interview is usually conducted over the phone and is designed to assess the basic qualifications of the candidates and ensure that they meet the minimum requirements for the role.

If the individual passes the initial screening interview, they will be invited to a face- to- face interview at a Panera location. The face- to- face interview is typically more in- depth and allows the hiring manager to get a better sense of the candidate’s skills and qualifications. During the face- to- face interview, the candidate is typically asked a series of standard questions as well as some questions that are specific to the position.

If the individual performs well during the face- to- face interview, they may be invited to a third interview. This interview is usually conducted with a senior manager and is designed to evaluate the candidate’s soft skills and abilities to work in a team environment. Depending on the role, the third interview may also include a skills test or a role play.

After the third interview, the candidate may be asked to complete a background check and drug test. Once the candidate has passed all of the necessary steps, they will be offered the position. The entire process usually takes two to three weeks, depending on the position and the number of candidates interviewing.

Top 20 Panera Interview Questions and Answers

1. What experience do you bring to the role?

I have over five years of customer service experience. I’ve held a variety of roles in a few different industries ranging from retail to hospitality. I understand how to handle customer inquiries and how to best meet customer needs. I am also a quick learner and I am very comfortable working independently, but I also have great team-working skills. I am confident that I can bring all these skills and more to this role.

2. What would you say are your strongest qualities?

I would say my strongest qualities are my customer service skills, my communication skills, my ability to stay organized and on task, and my ability to work independently and with a team. I also have a strong work ethic and I am very detail-oriented. These qualities have helped me excel in my current and former roles, and I’m sure they’ll help me excel in this role as well.

3. What do you know about Panera Bread?

I know that Panera Bread is a popular restaurant chain with locations in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. I also know that Panera Bread offers a variety of quality, freshly-prepared meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as catering services. Additionally, I know that Panera Bread has a commitment to providing a great customer experience, and that the company emphasizes fresh, high-quality ingredients in all of its dishes.

4. Describe a time when you had to deal with a difficult customer.

I once had to deal with a difficult customer while I was working in a retail store. The customer was extremely agitated and demanding. I stayed calm throughout the interaction and managed to successfully defuse the situation by listening to their concerns and offering them options to resolve the issue. After patiently explaining the store policies, the customer gained a better understanding of the situation and we were able to come to a resolution in a timely manner.

5. Why should we hire you for this position?

I think I would be an excellent addition to the team at Panera Bread. My customer service and communication skills are top-notch, and I am confident that I can provide excellent customer care to all of your customers. Additionally, I am a motivated and organized individual who is not afraid to take initiative and handle whatever tasks are put in front of me. I believe that my combination of customer service and organization skills, as well as my strong work ethic, will be an asset to your team.

6. How do you handle a stressful situation?

When I am in a stressful situation, I take a few moments to take a deep breath and compose myself. Then, I take a step back and assess the situation. I try to figure out what is causing the stress, and then I think of ways to address the issue. Once I have identified the problem and possible solutions, I work on implementing the best option. This process has allowed me to effectively handle stressful situations in the past.

7. What would you do if a customer wanted something that wasn’t available?

I would apologize for the inconvenience and explain to the customer why the item isn’t available. Then, I would try to offer the customer an alternative that is similar to the item they wanted. If that isn’t possible, I would offer the customer a refund or credit for their purchase. I would also let the customer know that I appreciate their business and that I am sorry for the inconvenience.

8. What would you do if a customer had a complaint?

If a customer had a complaint, I would listen to their complaint respectfully and empathy. I would thank the customer for bringing the issue to my attention and apologize for the inconvenience. I would then try to figure out the best way to address the customer’s complaint, which may include offering a refund or credit, or providing an alternative solution.

9. How do you handle customers who don’t know what they want?

When I am dealing with customers who don’t know what they want, I try to help them by asking questions and offering suggestions. I would suggest options that are popular at Panera Bread and ask the customer questions about what type of food they are looking for. I would then help the customer find something that meets their needs.

10. Do you have any questions for us?

Yes, I do. What kind of growth opportunities are available for employees at Panera Bread?


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11. What do you think makes Panera a great place to work?

I think what makes Panera a great place to work is the emphasis on diversity and inclusion. All employees are treated with respect and given the opportunity to grow and develop. The company values each employee’s unique perspective and encourages open communication and collaboration. Additionally, Panera offers competitive wages and a comprehensive benefits package. This allows employees to feel secure and supported while they work towards achieving their career goals. Lastly, Panera is a fast-paced, customer-driven environment that encourages creativity and innovation – making it an exciting place to work.

12. What experience do you have working with customers?

I have over five years of experience working with customers in a variety of roles. During my time as a customer service representative at a retail store, I was responsible for handling customer inquiries and providing assistance with product selection. I was also in charge of processing transactions and maintaining customer loyalty. In my current role as a bank teller, I am responsible for providing excellent customer service including opening and closing accounts, balance inquiries, and loan processing.

13. How would you handle a customer who is unhappy with their food?

If a customer is unhappy with their food, I would take the initiative to address the issue immediately. First, I would apologize for any inconvenience and then inquire into the specifics of what went wrong. This could be anything from the food being cold to the order being incorrect. Once the issue is identified, I would then offer a solution. This could be anything from a free meal or a discount on the food. Most importantly, I would ensure that the customer feels heard and valued by providing a positive customer experience.

14. What do you think is the key to providing great customer service?

I believe the key to providing great customer service is being attentive and listening to customers. This involves actively engaging with customers, being knowledgeable about the product, and providing helpful and accurate information. Additionally, it is important to be respectful and patient when dealing with difficult or angry customers. Always maintaining a positive attitude and having a friendly demeanor will help to ensure that customers feel respected and valued.

15. How do you handle difficult situations?

When dealing with difficult situations, I first take a deep breath and remain calm. I also take a step back and assess the situation objectively. Once I have a better understanding of the problem, I then seek to come up with a solution that is mutually beneficial to all parties involved. I also ensure that I remain professional, respectful, and understanding throughout the entire process. Furthermore, if I am unable to find a resolution, I will then seek out a manager or supervisor for additional assistance.

16. What do you think is the most important quality for a successful team member?

I believe that the most important quality for a successful team member is being a good communicator. This involves being able to effectively communicate ideas, thoughts, and feelings in a clear and concise manner. Being a good communicator also involves being able to listen actively and provide feedback in a respectful and timely manner. Additionally, successful team members should be able to work collaboratively with others to accomplish tasks and goals.

17. How do you handle a customer complaining about prices?

When a customer is complaining about prices, I would first thank them for bringing it to my attention. I would then take the opportunity to explain the reasons why the prices are what they are, such as the high quality of the ingredients or unique recipes. Additionally, I would inform the customer about any discounts or special offers that we have available in order to make the purchase more affordable. Lastly, I would politely explain why the prices are the way they are and end the conversation with an offer to help the customer with their purchase.

18. How do you handle working with a difficult coworker?

When working with a difficult coworker, I take a non-confrontational approach. I would first try to understand the source of the difficulty by asking open-ended questions and actively listening. Once I have a better understanding of the situation, I would then seek to come up with a resolution that is mutually beneficial to both parties. Additionally, I would ensure that I remain professional and respectful throughout the entire process.

19. What is your experience with food safety and sanitation?

I have extensive experience with food safety and sanitation. I have been trained in all the necessary safety protocols such as proper food storage and handling, temperature control, and hygiene. During my time as a prep cook, I was responsible for making sure all food was prepared and cooked to the correct temperature and guidelines. Additionally, I was in charge of ensuring that all kitchen surfaces were clean and sanitized. Lastly, I was also responsible for maintaining a safe and sanitary work environment.

20. How do you work under pressure?

I work well under pressure because I stay organized and prioritize tasks according to their importance. Additionally, I stay focused and take breaks when needed to help me stay motivated and energized. I also find it helpful to break down large tasks into smaller, more manageable ones in order to make the task seem less daunting. Lastly, I remain positive and remind myself that I am capable of successfully completing the task.

Tips on Preparing for a Panera Interview

  1. Research the company: Before your interview, make sure you are familiar with the company’s history, mission statement, and products or services.
  2. Prepare your answers: Think of examples from your past experiences that demonstrate your skills and qualifications.
  3. Practice: Practice answering common interview questions and speaking clearly and confidently.
  4. Dress appropriately: Wear clothing that is clean, professional, and comfortable.
  5. Arrive early: Get to the interview location 10- 15 minutes before your scheduled time.
  6. Bring a copy of your resume: Have a printed copy of your resume, as well as your references, with you during your interview.
  7. Have questions ready: Have a few questions to ask the interviewer prepared ahead of time.
  8. Listen carefully: Listen carefully to the interviewer’s questions and answer them fully and honestly.
  9. Show enthusiasm: Show enthusiasm for the job and the company.
  10. Follow up: After the interview, send a thank you note to the interviewer to thank them for their time.


Finding the right answers to common Panera interview questions can be a great way to set yourself up for success in the interview process. With a little bit of preparation and practice, you can feel more confident in your responses and be better prepared to demonstrate your qualifications and capabilities. By studying these Panera interview questions and answers, you can be more prepared to impress the hiring managers and land the job you’ve been waiting for. Good luck!