33 Common Interview Questions for a Barista
A barista is someone who serves customers and makes coffee and espresso drinks for them. When you go in for an interview for this job, the boss wants to make sure you can make good drinks and treat customers well. During your interview, they will probably ask you a number of questions about your skills and experience as a barista. We answer 33 common interview questions for baristas and show you how to answer some of them in this article.
These questions help the interviewer learn more about you and why you want to be a barista:
- Tell me a little bit about yourself.
- What is your favorite caffeinated drink?
- How would your old boss describe you?
- How do you do what you do best?
- What are some of the worst things about you?
- What do you want to be up to a year from now?
- Do you like to learn how to cook new things?
- Which drinks do you like to make the most and least?
- Why do you want to be a barista?
- Why do you want to work in our coffee shop?
Questions about work and history from the past
These questions help the interviewer decide if you have what it takes to be a barista:
- What do you think about service to customers?
- Tell me about a time you made a drink with espresso.
- Show me how to clean an espresso machine step by step.
- What do you need to know to do well at this job?
- Tell me about a time when you did a great job of helping a customer.
- Show me a mistake you made and tell me what you learned from it.
- Do you know how to use a cash register?
- What are some relevant job duties you have experience doing?
- How much do you know about coffee, tea, and the different kinds of each?
- Do you know what it’s like to be at work when it’s busy?
The answers to these questions help the interviewer imagine how well you’ll do on the job:
- Do you find it easy to do math in your head?
- Can you keep track of what people say to you?
- How would you deal with a hard-to-please customer?
- What would you do if you started your shift and found that we were out of coffee beans?
- Are you okay with being on your feet for your whole shift?
- What do you want to get out of this job?
- How do you figure out how to solve a problem?
- Do you think it’s important to work as a team?
- How do you handle things that make you feel stressed?
- What would you do if the work area was a mess after the last shift?
Sample interview questions and how to answer them
Prepare your own answers to these interview questions by looking at how others have answered them:
Tell me about a time when you had to work with a difficult person.
As a barista, you might have to deal with a tough customer from time to time. Employers ask this question to find out if you have dealt with difficult customers in the past and still provided great customer service. To answer this question, use the STAR method. Tell what happened, what you had to do, what you did, and what happened because of it.
Example: “I used to work at a coffee shop, and there was always one customer who was a pain. He was very picky about what he was told to do, and if something was wrong, he told people right away. One day, he came in with his usual mug of coffee and asked me to fill it. I had to tell him nicely that we didn’t fill people’s cups anymore because it wasn’t safe. He made it clear that he didn’t like this new rule.
I had to move quickly to keep the space quiet so that the other customers could relax. I told him that it was great that he used his cup more than once to help the environment. I then told him what else we were doing to make up for this change in policy. I tried to be nice to him the whole time, but he changed a lot. He told me that he knew what I meant and that he was just worried about not wasting time. He was in a much better mood the next time he came in.”
How do you keep going when your shifts are long?
When you work as a barista for a long time, your job can get a little boring. Employers ask this question to see if you can keep working even when you’re tired. Telling them what you do to keep yourself going will show them that you want to do good work for the whole shift. Give an example of how a good attitude can help you get through your shift.
Example: “When I have to work long shifts, having a good attitude keeps me going. My work isn’t boring to me because I see it as a chance to make a customer’s day better. I can make sure that everyone who comes into the coffee shop has a great time by paying extra attention to the drinks I make. I also keep myself motivated by getting enough sleep the night before work. I am adamant that I need eight hours of sleep every night to refuel.”
What do you have to offer to our group?
The goal of your barista interview is to show the employer that you have a lot to offer their team. This is a question that employers ask to find out what you want from the job. Before your interview, think about what makes you a good candidate. Read the job description to help you think of specific skills and abilities you can talk about in your answer.
Example: “My work ethic is the most important thing I can bring to your team. Every time I’m on my shift, I think it’s important to do good work. I will make sure that every customer leaves your coffee shop feeling cared for and happy. I can also help because I know a lot about how coffee is made and drunk. I know that this shop cares a lot about artisan blends and local ingredients, which are two things I know a lot about. I can tell a customer a lot about their drink if they want to know more.”
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