5 Things You Should Do Before Your Barista Interview

So, you’ve read the job description and completed your application, and now you’ve been invited for a barista interview.

Being prepared for your interview could be the difference between you getting the job or not. It therefore pays to invest some time getting ready for your barista interview. Keep reading for five things you should do before your big day.

Research the company

Your first step should be to research the company you’re applying to, and the shop you will work in.

It’s not just about making sure you know where the shop is so you get there on time. Head online to learn about the company’s ethics, culture and products. If it’s a small independent store, try arranging a meeting with a current member of staff to find out more, or visit in advance of your interview to ask some questions.

It’s also useful to know about the range of coffee available and what’s currently being promoted. Being able to share information about the company in your interview demonstrates that you’re prepared and that you’re taking the job seriously.

Do your coffee homework

Do you know your flat white from your latte?

In advance of your interview, learn as much as you can about coffee. If you have previous experience, then that will help you answer some interview questions. If you’re new to the role, there are plenty of videos and tutorials online to help you learn the basics.

Melissa Lang, retail recruiting manager at Starbucks, says: “I would say it’s really important to have an appreciation for coffee. So many people connect over coffee and tea every day. Many of our interviews start with a coffee tasting so that we can share a moment of connection with each candidate before we get down to the specifics of the job.”

Iron your shirt

You only get one chance to make a first impression. So, ensuring that you look the part can help you to get your interview off to a great start.

Dress smartly and clean your shoes. Similarly, don’t arrive to your barista interview chewing a gum or eating. Don’t be late, and don’t arrive at your interview talking on the phone or writing an instant message.

Prepare answers to the common interview questions…

At your barista interview you can expect to face a range of questions about your experience, your skills, and why you want to work in a coffee shop.

If you don’t prepare answers to these questions, then you could struggle in your interview. Try and come up with a range of examples that you can cite in the interview – perhaps times you have demonstrated commitment to a task or where you have gone above and beyond the norm to provide excellent service.

Common questions that you can expect to hear at a barista interview are:

  • Why did you choose this store/company?
  • Describe a time when you exceeded a customer’s expectations.
  • What is your favourite type of coffee?
  • How would you handle a customer complaint?
  • What skills do you feel you can bring to the job?

You may also be asked logistical questions about your availability, particularly if the role will involve shift work. Make sure you prepare answers to these questions.

…and prepare your own questions to ask

As well as answering the interview questions, you are likely to be invited to ask questions of the interviewer.

It’s always an excellent idea to have some questions of your own. You could ask about the range of tasks you will be expected to carry out, and what the opportunities are for progression within the organisation.

Melissa Lang from Starbucks says: “Ask questions about the values of the specific team you’re hoping to work for. For example: “What qualities do you value in your top performers?”

“If there’s a bullet point on the application that really piques your curiosity, dig deeper and ask about it. Be able to articulate your strengths, and be authentic.”

If you’re looking for your next barista job, you can find the latest jobs on offer and more at MeetYourBarista.

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