Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.

You are watching: Why do you want to work for potbelly


Question 1 of 31

Have you ever taken the fall for a situation, where it was really not your fault, in order to protect a coworker?


Taking the fall for a situation, to protect a co-worker, is a tricky situation. It can show teamwork, but it may not be the most honest thing to do. Talk to the interviewer about your thoughts on taking the fall for something you did not do.


"I do not believe in "taking the fall" for people based on protecting them. Transparency is always a good idea, and if something went wrong, then it needs to be addressed to prevent it from happening again. When it comes to clients, I will apologize on behalf of the company for errors. In that case, I will do what it takes to protect the company"s reputation."


"I have taken the heat for a situation that was not my fault. Honestly, it wasn"t anyone"s fault, and I understand that sometimes the blame needs to land somewhere when corporate is looking for answers."


SuggestedInterview Q&As

Explore expert tips and resources to be more confident in your next interview.

Suggested CareerInterview Q&As

Continue practicing by visiting these similar question sets

Potbelly Sandwich Works Interview Questions


1.

Have you ever taken the fall for a situation, where it was really not your fault, in order to protect a coworker?


Taking the fall for a situation, to protect a co-worker, is a tricky situation. It can show teamwork, but it may not be the most honest thing to do. Talk to the interviewer about your thoughts on taking the fall for something you did not do.



Rachelle"s Answer

"I do not believe in "taking the fall" for people based on protecting them. Transparency is always a good idea, and if something went wrong, then it needs to be addressed to prevent it from happening again. When it comes to clients, I will apologize on behalf of the company for errors. In that case, I will do what it takes to protect the company"s reputation."



Rachelle"s Answer

"I have taken the heat for a situation that was not my fault. Honestly, it wasn"t anyone"s fault, and I understand that sometimes the blame needs to land somewhere when corporate is looking for answers."


2.

See more: How Tia Lola Came To Visit Stay By Julia Alvarez, How Tia Lola Came To (Visit) Stay

At Potbelly Sandwich Works we have gained a lot of momentum this year using social media marketing techniques. Do you follow us on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter?


Before an interview, you should always thoroughly research the company"s online presence and, if possible, follow them on social media. This research is also helpful because many companies will post their new openings using their social media platforms. The interviewer would like to know if you are authentically engaged in the Potbelly Sandwich Works brand and product.



Rachelle"s Answer

"I know that you have a great social media presence and I do follow your Instagram account. Of course, your posts always make me hungry!"



Rachelle"s Answer

"I am not involved with social media; however, I can only imagine that your posts are fun and mouthwatering. Should I end up on these social platforms, I will be sure to follow Potbelly Sandwich Works."


A part of being a diligent employee is to ensure that you are always on time and present when expected. It"s great to even be 10 minutes early rather than just showing up right on the dot. Talk to the interviewer about your attendance.



Rachelle"s Answer

"I had zero unexcused absences last year. In total, I took 12 vacation days out of my 15 allotted days. I was sick just 2, and a note from my Doctor accompanied those. Once I was late due to a terrible snow storm, and I always try to be 10 minutes early for my shift."


Rachelle"s Answer

"I cannot recall the exact number, but I think it was around three days total. All absences were excused and with notice."


4.

At Potbelly Sandwich Works we handle a lot of cash transactions throughout the day. Do you consider yourself responsible and trustworthy? Give me an example.


Assure the interviewer that you are trustworthy and honest. Speak about times in your career that your employers have relied on you. You can also refer to any positive employment references.


Rachelle"s Answer

"When I worked at Company ABC, I was responsible for balancing approximately 10K in cash every day. There was never a discrepancy. I have solid references who will speak to my honest and reliable character as well."


Rachelle"s Answer

"I consider myself honest, trustworthy, and responsible. A great example of my honesty would be the written reference that I have from my most recent employer. Here is a copy for you."


5. At Potbelly Sandwich Works we encourage education and training for our employees. If you could further your education, what path would you choose, and why? Talk to the interviewer about your education and training and discuss any areas where you would like to expand your knowledge. Keep your answer simple. If possible, keep your reply related to the career path for which you are interviewing. For instance: You want to avoid declaring your desire to be a dolphin trainer when you"re applying for a regional sales manager role. Example #1: "If I could further my education in any way I would choose to expand my knowledge in food and wine pairings. I have always found wine culture to be interesting." Example #2: "I appreciate that Potbelly Sandwich Works encourages continued education and training. That"s so great to hear! If I could further my education in any way, I would choose to take courses in leadership and management. I would love to end up in a supervisory role later in my career."6. When you suffer a setback, how does that emotionally affect you and your work? Everyone handles the stress and disappointment of setbacks differently. Discuss with the interviewer how you typically cope with delays in the workplace. Example #1: "Experiencing a setback is always disappointing, and can be a bit disheartening, but I understand that it happens from time to time. If I experience a major setback, I will take a few moments to debrief with my manager and discuss what I could have done differently. Then, I move on!" Example #2: "I understand that setbacks happen from time to time. I don"t enjoy setbacks, but I do take them as a learning experience. If I face a setback in the workplace, I will often ask for help to recover the time, if a deadline is in front of me. If it"s a difficult customer who shook me up, I will take a breather outside for a moment. There is always a healthy way to cope."7. When have you spoken up for cause, knowing that it would directly look unfavorable on you, because it was the right thing to do? Every manager wants a team player who will not resist company policy or argue about every detail of the workload. However; time may come when you need to speak up about something, and it may not look the best on you. Talk to the interviewer about a time that this may have happened to you on the job. Example #1: "For the most part, my company abides by all labor regulations. In the case of overtime, they did not abide by the regulations, and I had to speak up for my team. The company was not happy about it because it cost them a lot of money but, in the end, they realized that they were in error." Example #2: "I stuck up for an employee bullied in the workplace. They did not fit in, and perhaps their personality was a bit off-putting; however, nobody deserves treatment like that. My co-workers didn"t like being called out, but eventually, they came around. All in all, it was worth it to speak up."8. Do you think honesty is always the best policy? Is honesty always the best policy? Talk to the interviewer about your thoughts on honesty in the workplace. Example #1: "Sometimes full disclosure can damage someone"s self-esteem, and reality isn"t always best expressed in full and can be self-indulgent based on the person"s intention. In those instances, honesty isn"t always the best policy." Example #2: "I was always raised to be honest so yes - I do believe that honesty is the best policy. It"s best, to be honest, and tell the truth whenever possible."9. At Potbelly Sandwich Works we put a great deal of value on customer service. How would you describe your customer service skills? Assure the interviewer that you can meet their customer service standards. Draw on your references or examples of a time when you went over and above for a customer. Example #1: "Your customer service standards are one of the reasons I was so attracted to your company. I am highly trained in hospitality and am a very attentive individual. When you call my references, they will attest to my great customer service skills." Example #2: "I would describe my customer service skills as consistent, positive, and energetic. As a customer of Potbelly Sandwich Works in the past, I appreciate the value you put on customer service."10. The casual dining industry is very competitive and turnover can be high. Why do you want to work for Potbelly Sandwich Works over any of our competitors? Casual dining has a higher turnover rate than many industries, and it"s often to no fault of the company. Assure the interviewer that you see a longer-term fit with Potbelly Sandwich Works. Example #1: "I have researched Potbelly Sandwich Works and read a lot about your company culture and customer service philosophy. I would choose you over your competitors because your organization seems genuine, honest, and you do what you can to encourage growth in your employees." Example #2: "I want to work for Potbelly Sandwich Works first, because you have a well-known reputation for strong management, growth opportunities, and fair pay. I would be thrilled to build a lucrative career with Potbelly Sandwich Works."11. Do you have experience in corrective discipline and terminations? Terminations and corrective discipline measures can be very difficult to do but, with experience, they do get more comfortable. Talk to the interviewer about the extent of your experience with terminations and discipline. If you do have the experience: "I have been a part of individual terminations and group lay-offs throughout my career. I am comfortable with these types of tasks." Example #1: "I have been a part of individual terminations and group lay-offs throughout my career. I am comfortable with these types of tasks." Example #2: "If you do not have the experience: "I have not been in a position to perform terminations or hold corrective discipline meetings; however, I would be willing to perform these types of tasks with a small amount of training and research."12. We have some strong competition at Potbelly Sandwich Works. What do you think makes us stand out? The interviewer would like to know what attracts you to a role with Potbelly Sandwich Works. Discuss how this position stands out to you over any others. Example #1: "I believe that Potbelly Sandwich Works stands out above its competitors because it has an incredible reputation for quality food and strong customer service. I"d like to work for an organization that takes quality and service as seriously as you do." Example #2: "Through my research of Potbelly Sandwich Works I have found that you stand out most by your great online reviews and unique brand marketing strategies on Instagram and Twitter."13. At Potbelly Sandwich Works we put a lot of pride in the cleanliness of our restaurants. How important is cleanliness to you? The interviewer would like to know that you have an interest in keeping up their high standards of cleanliness. Give examples of times when you went over and above to meet cleanliness standards in your previous role(s). Example #1: "I am very concerned about cleanliness as it has everything to do with first impressions, and also the health of your customers. In my current position, I am always the first to notice anything out of place or in disorder. Rest assured, I would be proud to uphold the cleanliness standards at Potbelly Sandwich Works." Example #2: "I appreciate that Potbelly Sandwich Works has such a strong focus on cleanliness. I have taken some health and safety related courses and am confident that you will be more than satisfied with my standard when it comes to cleanliness."14. Do you see long term career potential with Potbelly Sandwich Works? If so, where would you like to see your position go in the next 2-3 years? Talk to the interviewer about the ways that you would like to see your career grow with Potbelly Sandwich Works. What type of role would you want to gain in the future? Example #1: "I would like to see my experience in leadership grow over the next few years. Potbelly Sandwich Works has a strong reputation for developing and promoting their employees which is something that I am excited about." Example #2: "I would like to see a long-term fit with Potbelly Sandwich Works. If I could grow with your company, I would like to see it turn into a management role that includes a component of human resources. I am currently earning my BA in Human Resources and would love to have an opportunity here when I graduate."15. When have you been asked to perform a function or complete a task in which you had little or no experience in doing? Have you ever had to take on a task or a role that you felt was over your experience level? Talk to the interviewer about a time when you have dealt with this type of situation. What was the outcome, and what did you learn? Example #1: "When my manager went on unexpected medical leave for three months last year I was asked to step into her position in the interim. I knew the basics but was certainly not trained on the specifics of the role. I was able to take it on successfully by leaning on my team, reading a lot of company manuals, and asking many questions. Once my manager returned she was very pleased with the progress that I made, and I was promoted." Example #2: "When I was a hostess in my last position, one of our servers called in sick at the last minute on a busy Saturday night. My boss put me into a server role with very little training. It was intimidating, but I felt a rush at the same time. The night was successful, and my tips were a great reward!"16. Rate your communication skills from 1-10 with proper examples backing your given rating. On a scale of 1-10, how skilled are you in communication? Why did you choose that particular rating for yourself? Example #1: "I rate my communication skills as a 9/10 as I will, on occasion, have times when I am not as clear as I would like to be. My supervisor and co-workers will attest to my clear and concise communication skills. Because I am an open leader, my team will let me know if I need to clarify anything." Example #2: "My verbal communication skills are strong; however, I would say that my written communication skills are not as strong. I don"t have the experience when it comes to email communication, for example. For this reason, I would rate my communication skills as a 7/10."17. At Potbelly Sandwich Works we offer a strong training program. What aspects of training do you feel you need most? Talk to the interviewer about any areas of training that you feel you may be lacking. If you could choose the focus of your training, what would you pick? Example #1: "If I could choose an aspect of training I would like to learn more about health and safety. My end goal is to gain a leadership position with Potbelly Sandwich Works so some training as a team lead would be valuable as well." Example #2: "When it comes to training in the restaurant industry, I feel that I could use more training in the operation of the point of sale systems. I like to fully understand the software programs and platforms that I work with, to ensure efficiency and faster service for my tables."18. What do you know about the workplace culture at Potbelly Sandwich Works? Assure the interviewer that you have researched the workplace culture at Potbelly Sandwich Works. What do you enjoy about the culture, and how does it align with what you are seeking? Example #1: "I have spoken to a few people that have worked for Potbelly Sandwich Works and they all have great things to say. I am seeking a workplace environment that is collaborative and positive and this role seems like a perfect fit." Example #2: "I have researched Potbelly Sandwich Works a great deal, before coming in today. On your website, you mention that you have a collaborative culture with a primary focus on "service-with-a-smile". This culture is precisely the one that I am looking to work in."19. How do you manage difficult customers? The interviewer would like to know that you can professionally and tactfully handle demanding customers and challenging situations. Example #1: "I have handled very challenging customers in my previous roles and can remain professional through all situations. When I face a difficult customer, I find that it is usually due to a breakdown in communication. Because I am a strong communicator, I can diffuse most situations." Example #2: "When I have a difficult customer I will try to kill them with kindness. It"s often difficult for a negative person to continue being negative when they have nothing feeding the fire in the first place."20. Have you taken any Food Safety courses? The interviewer would like to know if you have taken any food specific training or certifications? If you are Food Safety Certified, be sure to bring that certification with you to your interview. If you know of any industry-specific certifications required of you, be sure to address those in the discussion. Example #1: "I have taken Food Safety Level I, II and III. I see that you mention ABC and XYZ in your job posting. I do not have training in these areas; however, I am more than willing to take this training and become certified before my first shift." Example #2: "I am happy to take any food safety courses that you recommend. Because this would be my first position in the restaurant industry, I am new to these topics. With that said, I am very confident in my ability to quickly succeed. Are there any courses I could take to better prepare, while you make your hiring decision?"21. At Potbelly Sandwich Works, our restaurants are open evenings and weekends. What are your preferred shifts? Do you have any limitations to your availability? If you have any restrictions on your schedule, it is best to bring this up with the interviewer right away. The restaurant industry is fast-moving and nearly always open. When can the manager rely on you to be there? Example #1: "My schedule is very open except for Monday evenings. I am able and willing to work overtime, and weekends as well." Example #2: "I am a team player with very few limitations to my schedule. I do have classes on Monday and Tuesday evenings. Other than that, I am available."22. How do you handle stress? Are you someone who can handle stress on the job? How do you manage the stressful times? Talk to the interviewer about your ability to control pressure in the workplace. Example #1: "I handle stress very well, and when you call my references, they will attest to this fact. When I am under pressure on the job, I focus on the task at hand and make sure not to get distracted. Staying on deadline is very helpful, and I will delegate when necessary to alleviate some stress." Example #2: "Stress is part of any demanding job, and I have learned to embrace it. I take good care of myself and prioritize my workload to maintain a healthy balance in my stress levels."23. What questions do you have for me? Don"t let this question catch you by surprise! After you do your research on the company, write down some questions that came up for you. Next, review the company website, watch videos and read articles and press releases to see if any of those questions can be answered through those resources. Interviewers love to hear intelligent questions about their company culture, the work environment, awards and community involvement. They like to be praised for the ways you are impressed by their innovation, reputation, and impact on their industry. Be strategic with your questions. If you still have uncertainties about the position that needs to be clarified, this is an opportunity to get those answers as well. Example #1: "Thank you for asking - I do have a few questions. What is top of mind when it comes to filling this role? Also, what types of career growth opportunities would follow this position? And lastly, do you have internal candidates who are also interviewing for this position?" Example #2: "Here are some sample questions: - When would you like to have this position filled? - How long has this role been vacant? - Is this a replacement search or a newly created role? - What is your favorite part about working here? - What is the company"s primary goal for this position in the next 12 months? - Is there anything from my background and experience that I can clarify for you? - What do you see as the most significant change in this industry over the past three years? - Is there any reason why you would not hire me?"24. Are you a leader or a follower? A good leader takes the initiative, listens and communicates well with others. A good follower is good at following directions and working hard to accomplish tasks. Both have great qualities. Depending on the role, it may be more critical for you to instigate solving problems and creating innovative solutions, or it may be more important to get the work done. Share some of your strengths to show you have qualities in both categories. Example #1: "It depends on the situation. I am good at listening and following directions, but I am also great with people and working as a team to solve problems. I would say I have qualities of both, and I know I would rise to the occasion if given a leadership opportunity." Example #2: "I can be a follower when necessary; however, I am naturally a leader at heart. I like to mentor others and am a good example to new employees."25. We have had concerns with employee theft recently. What would you do if you caught a co-worker stealing? co-worker stealing? Some businesses have trouble with employee theft, and they need to make sure that they are hiring someone who is honest and trustworthy. Talk to the interviewer about the steps you would take if you caught a co-worker stealing at Potbelly Sandwich Works. Example #1: "I am sure that you have an internal policy for employee theft so I can assure you that I would follow the required steps to report the theft. I am a trustworthy person with a strong track record of honesty with my previous employers." Example #2: "If I caught an employee stealing, I would report the incident immediately. As a previous manager, I understand the value of employee honesty."26. How do you respond to problems that require a quick solution? When it comes to complex problem solving, decisions are not always readily reached. It takes practice, experience, and confidence to learn what sorts of decisions yield the best results. Walk the interviewer through your process when it comes to making quick decisions. Do you rely on past experiences? Perhaps you go with a gut feeling. Maybe you have read case studies that you lean on in these instances. Problems that require you to act quickly can be emergency situations such as knowing where the fire extinguisher is and grabbing it fast enough to put out a small grease fire in the company kitchen. Other quick decisions could be if you are asked to take on a new responsibility and are only given five minutes to decide if it"s something you are prepared to take on. Going with your gut is a skill, and the more you learn to trust your intuition, the easier it becomes to make these types of decisions. Demonstrate that you are confident and able to react swiftly when the need arises. Example #1: "I thrive under pressure and always have, so when I"m given a time-sensitive situation to address, I light up and get down to business. I am more impactful and even more creative when I have little time to do much besides jump in and take charge. This ability to make fast decisions is especially helpful in my role as manager when there is an inventory, personnel, or customer issue." Example #2: "I respond well to emergency and fast-moving situations that require intuitive decisions. I was raised to trust my initial response so, I do just that! One recent example was when we had a kitchen fire in my previous place of employment. Many of the staff panicked, but I relied on my training, found the fire extinguisher, put the fire out, and made sure that everyone was okay and uninjured."27. When a problem arises, what are your first reactions? The interviewer wants to know if your reactions to problems reflect maturity and professionalism. How you react will significantly determine how you fit with their existing team. Perhaps your computer crashes, and you realize you may have just lost all of your hard work. Or maybe you are limited on time and have a deadline rapidly approaching. Demonstrate to the interviewer that you take a very methodical approach to problem-solving, rather than reacting in an impulsive way when a problem occurs. Example #1: "When a major problem arises, my first instinct is to take a step back and absorb what just happened. I then go into " Example #2: "I have taught myself to become much calmer with my first reactions when problems arise. Now, I will step back and review my options for solving the problem rather than allow myself to become frustrated."28. Tell me about a time when you had to lead a team. What was your biggest success factor? The interviewer would like to hear about a time that you led a team, with a positive outcome. The highlight for the interviewer the primary factors that made your leadership style a success. Your example could come from the workplace or perhaps a time when you led a group project during your post-secondary studies. Example #1: "Just last month I was asked to lead our day shift employees when my boss was away on sick leave. I took charge for two weeks, and the experience was quite positive! I believe the biggest success factor was that I tried to emulate his leadership style and did ask his help when I wasn"t sure what to do. I feel this experience prepared me for a leadership role. I am excited to take on a team lead role again." Example #2: "Our company had a contest last month to see who could up-sell the most menu add-ons, and I was asked to be our team leader for the challenge. I enjoyed that responsibility, and we ended up winning the reward in the end because my team increased sales by the highest percentage."29. Do you have reliable transportation? Even if you"re not expected to drive for the job, you will need to have some form of reliable transportation. If you take the bus or ride a bike, that works too! Share that you have the means to get to work consistently and on time. Example #1: "I have reliable transportation. My vehicle is in great condition, and I am comfortable with the amount of travel required to get to Potbelly Sandwich Works every day." Example #2: "I take public transit; however, I find it to be very reliable. I was late to work only once last year, and that was due to a snowstorm which stalled all of our employee"s commute - including those with personal vehicles. Rest assured, I am reliable and will always come to work on time."30. What do you enjoy doing in your free time? If you are a part of any organizations, sports teams or clubs, talk about your involvement. Share the role you play and your contribution as well as what you enjoy about it. If you enjoy other activities like writing, hiking or spending time with friends, talk about those too. This question gives the interviewer a chance to get to know you. They are interested in learning about your personality and what motivates you. If any of your outside activities are related to this position, definitely share the skills you have learned and the similarities. Example #1: "I spend a lot of my free time volunteering at the local animal shelter. I think that it is important to give back to your community, whenever possible." Example #2: "I love to read in my free time and spend as much time as I can doing that. I can be found reading anything from a 19th-century piece of British literature to the latest dystopian fantasy novel. My absolute favorite thing to do is to travel and couple it with reading: on the beach, on the plane, or just read about the cool intricacies of the place I"m visiting."31. Tell me about your experience in training and coaching others. Coaching and training experience may not be a direct requirement for this role, but they are abilities that are always valued by an employer. Briefly explain the knowledge that you do have in training, and coaching, in the workplace. Example #1: "In my last position, I trained new hires on how to use our applicant tracking system. It was a very cool experience because it showed me that I love to teach and train. I am good at explaining how things work. It required a lot of patience, but it helped me to recognize my leadership potential." Example #2: "I have been a part of the interviewing and on-boarding team in numerous organizations. Whether I am training formally or not, I am always the go-to for shadowing and mentorship. It"s something for which I am very passionate. I love to see others succeed and help them do so. I"ve done this in each company I"ve worked for and wouldn"t have it any other way. "