Barista Job Interview Questions

Baristas work in restaurants, cafes, bakeries, coffee shops and so forth.  Their prime job is to make drinks including coffee, and mixed alcoholic drinks.

So you got a job interview coming up for the position of barista at Starbucks, Seattle’s best, and so forth.  What can you do to prepare for this interview, and how can you prepare yourself to answer the questions?  Knowing the question is half the battle as G.I. Joe says.

In today’s article we cover what employers look for,  common barista job interview questions and how to answer them.

Let’s cover a couple of questions that you’ll be asked in your barista job interview.  We can’t cover every single question nor can we cover every answer but will cover the main ones that will help you get the job.

What is good customer service to you in a coffee house?  – I think I’ll barista can provide great customer service by being friendly and I mean being sincere with each customer.  Being sincere I think is very important, this means being authentic and looking each customer in the eye and thanking them for their business.  Giving a genuine smile when you greet the customer are all keys. The other key component to providing good customer is anticipating customers and their needs.  I do this by watching the customers and looking at the coffee shop to see what’s needed before the customer asks.  This means that I will be checking to see if there’s enough sugar, if there’s no cream and milk etc.  This way a customer doesn’t have to come up to me and tell me that we have no more cream for that we are out of napkins.

Why should I hire you for this barista position?  – I have a passion for coffee and I’m a real people person.  I really enjoy learning about coffee and all the different blends, and roasting techniques.  I like to talk to customers and provide them good service.  I have the ability to maintain a calm friendly professional manner even when the store is really busy.  In fact I believe this is when I really thrive.  I think it’s important to stay calm and maintain control when there’s a huge line up for coffee because it sets a good example for the other staff.

Presentable.

Employers look for presentable baristas.  This means that you must look at least somewhat clean when you go for your job interview.  Large companies like Starbucks, which also have great employee benefits plans look for a more clean cut coffee barista.  While artsy and trendy coffee shops might except a more eccentric barista.  Is important that you dress and groom yourself appropriately before your barista job interview.

Can You Work Quickly And Under Pressure?

The coffee shops, cafés and restaurants that you want to work in are the busy ones.  Because this is where you’ll make the most tips, meet the most people, and have the most fun.  For this reason, high-profile employers look for baristas who can work quickly under pressure.  If you’re asked a question did describe how you can perform under pressure, so how will you answer this interview question?  You must answer by saying that you, “thrives under pressure”.  Further to this, you should provide an example of when you had to work under pressure and how you succeed.

Are You Warm And Customer Friendly?

When it comes to baristas the most of important personality trait is customer service orientation.  Smart café and restaurant owners know that the key to success is to hire baristas with great customer service.  The best way to answer these kinds of job interview questions is to provide an example when you went over and above and exceeded customer expectations.

Hard-Working And Flexible

Making drinks and cleaning up dirty dishes and cups is hard work.  Further to this, most coffee shop’s, cafés and restaurants open late hours, seven days a week.  So how do you think you will answer this questions, “Describe your work ethics and flexibility?”.  Make sure that you answer by reassuring the interviewer him that you are in fact, hard-working and that your flexible to work evenings and weekends.  The best way to do this is to reference former jobs where you work in busy environments, and had to do shift work or work evenings and weekends.  Speak to your work record.  For example a great job interview answer might be, “in the last three years, I have not been late or missed a shift.”  Stating facts like this to support your work ethic and flexibility will go a long way to showing the employer that you are the one they should hire as their barista.

How much time does your job require you to commit to outside obligations social, civic, etc.? How have you reacted to this? Give examples.

To what extent have you worked in very unpleasant conditions heat, dust, noise, etc.)? How did you cope? Give examples.

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Bonus Questions


  • Tell me how you handled a difficult situation.
  • Tell me about a situation when your work was criticized.
  • How do you monitor the status of orders that you've placed for materials or supplies? Give some examples.

Daily Interview Tip

Practice dealing with difficult moments such as when you forget what you are saying. Think about the structure of your answer - it is normally helpful to have a clear beginning, middle and end, with the end summarising what has just gone before. Don't take anything for granted in a phone interview. You may find you are on the phone for an hour and a half and are expected to answer detailed questions about previous roles and achievements. Negative body language will counteract anything you say. Exude confidence in how you walk, sit or answer questions.