Working in a coffee shop can be a great experience. After you have given the manager your resume and cover letter, you just have to wait and see if you get called in for a face-to-face interview. While this can be a little stressful for some people, you can help relieve some of that anxiety by preparing thoroughly and having a good idea of what kinds of questions you are going to be asked.
Every interview is going to consist of different questions. Naturally, you should be prepared for the more common ones, such as why you want to work at the establishment and what your greatest strengths and weaknesses are. However, some questions are more likely to pop up for barista interviews than others. What follows are coffee shop worker interview questions and answers you need to provide. The answers are just samples, and you should customize them to make them relevant to your own background.
6 Coffee Shop Worker Interview Questions & Answers
How would you handle an upset or unruly customer?
I have dealt with numerous difficult customers in the past. I have found that the best method is to avoid arguing is to simply apologize. Regardless if the customer is in the wrong, it is not worth the hassle, and I definitely would not want to make a scene in front of everyone else in the building. I would then provide the customer with a new beverage or food item of their choice. I believe that smoothing everything out in a professional manner is the best way to move past the situation and to ensure the customer would be willing to return to the shop in the future.
How do you maintain focus while performing repetitive tasks throughout your shift?
Having worked in a coffee shop before, I understand that doing the same thing over and over again can weight on some people. However, I truly enjoy preparing a fresh cup of coffee for customers and have found ways to keep my head in the game. I love talking to people, so one way to stay focused is to carry on a conversation with the customer while preparing the coffee. In the event of downtime, I am great at finding tasks to complete, whether it includes cleaning the main area or restocking shelves behind the counter.
What is your availability? Would you be able to work early morning/late evening shifts?
Right now my class schedule is from 9 AM to 3 PM on Mondays and Wednesday, and 9 AM to 1 PM on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Outside of that, I am willing to work whenever you need me. I know the shop opens at 6 AM, and I would be more than willing to come into work before class. I can even come in after my classes and work until closing.
Things tend to get busy around here, particularly in the morning. How do you manage stress?
I believe the best way to deal with stress on the job is to ensure that everyone on the team is contributing. I would make sure we have dedicated people to man the registers while other individuals are busy preparing the drinks, prioritizing when needed to ensure customers get their orders in a timely manner. One time at a previous cafe, someone unexpectedly did not show up to work. We all worked even harder to ensure the customers were satisfied for rush hour. Afterward, I made sure to thank everyone personally and tell them how appreciative I was of their efforts.
What is your favorite type of coffee?
I love a well-prepared cappuccino. I prefer mine dark with a little less milk than normal, and if the barista can sprinkle some grated chocolate on top, all the better.
Describe a time when you went above and beyond to provide excellent customer service.
There was an instance when one of our regulars came in, and we were out of the beans that went in his usual roast. He was naturally a little upset, but fortunately a farmer’s market was taking place just a block away. I went out, purchased some more beans and managed to keep him as a regular patron.
These coffee shop worker interview questions and answers should give you a good sense of the type of responses you need to prepare. With some foresight, you will feel a lot better answering typical inquiries.