Chipotle's Hiring Process: Everything You Need to Know
Are you ready to cultivate a better world? If so, Chipotle might be just the place for you. Believe it or not, Chipotle was founded way back in 1993. Since then, it’s been dishing up tasty fast casual Mexican food in more than 2,000 locations across the U.S., Canada, U.K., France, and Germany.
Whether you’ve been itching to join the ranks of Chipotle’s crew or are on the job hunt and know you have the skills to rock out in a Chipotle uni, let’s walk you through Chipotle’s hiring process and how you can set yourself up for a stellar interview and subsequent job offer.
Chipotle’s hiring requirements
The best thing you can do for yourself pre-interview is to go into the hiring process with two eyes wide open. That means doing your research first. This’ll help you understand Chipotle’s hiring requirements and what they expect from their employees.
Take stock in Chipotle’s mission of cultivating a better world. They’re food-focused and believe in people, which means you can expect them to be on the lookout for passionate employees who are looking to grow into whatever role they assume behind the Chipotle counter.
No previous experience required
You don’t need to have worked at a Mexican grill or even another restaurant in order to apply for a gig at Chipotle. Just know what you’re getting yourself into – the quick-paced life of customer service. Expect busy shifts and lots of customers.
Culinary interest recommended
While you don’t need past experience, we do recommend at least having an interest in cooking. Chances are, you’ll start your Chipotle career on the infamous burrito line, cooking up savory food and putting smiles on customers’ faces with every scoopful of extra steak and dollop of sour cream. Like any job, you want to enjoy it!
Sure, tucking burritos like a culinary wizard might not be your ultimate end goal, but it’s still important to enjoy what you do all the time, no matter what that “do” might be.
You probably won’t find yourself bench pressing hundreds of pounds or hurling sledgehammers into cement, but you should still be prepared to work on your feet all day long and occasionally do a bit of lifting.
Chipotle’s application process
Applying to any job can be extremely daunting, which is why we’ve gone ahead and compiled as much information as we can about applying to Chipotle and owning your interview process.
Most people apply online, and the process typically takes between 1-2 weeks. Make sure to fill out all parts of the application and be honest. Trust us, you don’t want to have to navigate turbulent waters during an interview when something’s brought up from your application that isn’t true.
It’s much easier to be honest up front. Even if it’s a matter of disclosing something less-than-great, you’re better off doing it immediately.
Getting a call back
So your application was a hit, and you’ve received a call from Chipotle. Congrats! Now it’s time to prepare yourself for the big interview.
In the past, you’d probably be asked to do any and all interviews at Chipotle. However, given the ongoing pandemic, you might complete one or more interviews over the phone or via video call.
Regardless, know what Chipotle wants: authentic, motivated, and hard-working employees who don’t see Chipotle as “just another job,” but an opportunity to serve others, work with an incredibly diverse team, and grow personally and professionally.
What’s more, Chipotle believes that its top performers exhibit 13 distinctive characteristics. They strive to find people who are: motivated, infectiously enthusiastic, respectful, curious, presentable, happy, honest, polite, smart, ambitious, high energy, hospitable, and conscientious.
Another way to think of it – Chipotle wants well-rounded individuals, and it’s up to you to show the Chipotle staff how your personal and professional experiences have shaped you into the hard-working, holistically talented person that you are today.
Preparing for the interview
Because providing an exceptional customer service experience is one of Chipotle’s core values, you should think about (and be able to describe) past work situations where you went above and beyond to meet guests’ needs.
Make sure to double-down on your research. The more you know about Chipotle in this stage, the better. It helps to know about Chipotle’s dedication to natural, high-quality ingredients, its respect for the environment, and how it truly cultivates a better world.
Beyond its customers and employees, the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation funds initiatives supporting local economies, sustainable agriculture, and food education. And you never know – there might come a time during your interview where you can bring this up and distinguish yourself as someone who’s actively interested in Chipotle’s philanthropic pursuits.
As far as job interview questions, prepare for things like:
Why do you want to work at Chipotle?
What does customer service mean to you?
How do you think you will handle working in a fast-paced environment?
Do you like to work alone or within a team? Why?
Where do you see yourself in the next 3-5 years?
How does Chipotle fit into your career goals?
If you’re interviewing in-person, make sure to dress appropriately. Business professional is always your best bet. If you’re interviewing over the phone, don’t discount still dressing up. Seriously, it can put you in that interview mindset.
Above all, take a few deep breaths before you interview and just be yourself. Answer each of your interviewer’s questions in full. Be honest and open to feedback. Know that no matter who your interviewer is, they just want to make sure that you’re a good fit for the team. Bring your authenticity and just be yourself. You’ll come out alright.
Make sure to also jot down any questions that you have for your interviewer. It’s always good to have something that you can ask. It emphasizes your interest and, depending upon what you ask, can prove that you did your research. We have a few basic questions to help get you started.
Sometimes, Chipotle interviews end with a job offer on the spot. If yours doesn’t, don’t worry. It doesn’t mean the interview went poorly. In fact, more times than not, your interviewer needs a few days to gather HR paperwork before an offer can be made.
It’s also totally appropriate to follow-up a few days after the final interview if you haven’t heard back. This can only help emphasize your commitment and overall interest in the position.
More about the hiring process at Chipotle
It really does pay dividends to understand a business’s identity when you’re applying for a job or preparing for an interview. Chipotle’s mission hinges on realness and authenticity. They respect authentic people because they work hard to make real grub.
For Chipotle, the taste of food is largely dependent upon how it’s raised and how it’s prepared, which is why they take pride in a simple menu made from flavorful ingredients. Chipotle was one of the first national restaurant brands to commit to goals centered around using local and organic produce, as well as only using responsibly raised meat that’s held to the highest animal welfare standards.
If you’re passionate about animal welfare and eco-friendly eating, there’s no better place to work than Chipotle. And working the lightning-fast burrito line brings plenty of benefits. As an hourly Chipotle crew member, you’re afforded:
Quarterly bonus eligibility
Higher education assistance
A free meal each day you work
Paid time off
Health and wellness assistance
401(K) retirement savings
Chipotle throws the “just another job,” mentality out the window, offering employees an exciting experience ripe with opportunities to grow and, if desired, make Chipotle a long-term career option.
Need more help?
We hope this guide to applying for a job at Chipotle has been more than enough to get you started and feeling confident about what it takes. But the journey doesn’t stop here – we all know that. If you have any other questions about applying and interviewing at Chipotle, let us know in the comments.
Or, if you’re wondering about other aspects of the job search, check out our huge collection of blog resources. We tackle just about every topic we can think of so that you always feel confident in your search. Best of luck!