So, you have successfully attained an interview for barista position. What’s next?
Well, start preparing for the interview! Barista interview preparation can be a tedious task especially for students and first timers. Therefor, it is advisable to search for some common interview questions and acceptable answers for Barista position before appearing in interview. If you go rehearsed, the effort will pay off in terms of added confidence. There are some common interview questions associated with each position. Same is the case for a barista position.
Barista interview questions are usually designed to gauge the candidate’s job relevant skills. One important tip is to read and reread the employer’s job description and give all answers based on these. Below are some sample barista interview questions and answers for your assistance.
Do you have any experience as a barista?
Yes. I have worked as a coffee brewer at Dunkin Donuts and enjoyed the experience immensely during the three years that I worked.
What type of work have you performed as a barista over the years?
As a barista, I have promoted coffee consumption by determining customers’ specific tastes and then providing suggestions for lattes, espresso and cappuccinos. Additionally, I have prepared coffee blends according to set recipes and those that I have created myself, along with ensuring a comfortable environment for all customers within the establishment.
Do you feel that is it important to be a great communicator while working as a barista? Give your reasons.
Communication skills while working in any area are important. They are important while working as a barista especially because reaching out to customers to determine their specific interests in coffee, and to provide them with what they are looking for is imperative. People take their coffee seriously and it is up to us baristas to make sure that they receive what they want!
What can you tell us about your customer service skills that will convince us that you are a good choice to hire as a barista?
When it comes to customer satisfaction, I am a force to reckon with. Providing the best possible customer service is my everyday mantra while working. I believe that the way I handle customers and their orders says a lot about my professionalism and ability to provide them with exactly what they are looking for.
Tell us of a time when provision of good customer service from your end, resulted in positivity for the establishment.
There was a time when a regular customer asked me if I would brew him a coffee blend that was not part of the menu. While this was strictly forbidden by the manager, as we had to stick to specified recipes to ensure quality blends, I had to initially decline. But on his insistence, I asked the manager for a special favor. The manager relented that one time. Little did we know that this new concoction would become our “special” in the coming weeks!
How do you handle adversity from customers?
While working as a barista is nothing like working as a bartender, we do have our share of irate customers. I keep my cool and try to resolve issues before they become crises.
On a busy day, how do you decide which customer to serve first?
That is a question that I have been pondering over for a while now. Priorities are usually dependent on a first come first served basis. However, if a large order is given to me, which will take a longer time to prepare, I do try to fit in a smaller one if there is time, like when the water is boiling or the coffee is brewing!
What basic skills do you believe a barista should possess to work at this position successfully?
Apart from communication skills, it is important for a barista to be customer-focused, understand food safety procedures, and possess excellent sales skills.
As far as operations of a coffee bar are concerned, what have been your duties?
Ensuring that the coffee bar is well-stocked is foremost. Routinely cleaning and clearing the counter, performing routine and preventative maintenance on coffee grinding and brewing equipment, reporting any safety hazards to supervisors, and ensuring prompt and timely delivery of supplies from vendors have also been part of my work in the past.
How will you handle a customer who is not happy with the coffee you presented?
By not arguing, apologizing immediately and offering a preference based / customized cup, carefully brewed, and served promptly.
Describe one instance when you had to work under great stress. How did you manage?
During work at the previous café, it so happened once that we ran out of high quality coffee beans. I handled the situation by remaining calm and by extensive praising and promotion of the regular bean we had to use that day.
How will you maintain focus amidst the monotony of making and remaking coffee throughout the day?
Well, you say it is a monotonous task, but not so for a person like me who has a passion for coffee. I believe in customized coffee making and each cup I brew is a new piece of art as far as my expertise is concerned. My focus is automatically refreshed with each new cup.
What is your favorite coffee? How do you like it brewed? What technique do you like the most?
My favorite coffee is Arabica and in technique I am addicted to espresso. As for coffee brewers, I personally prefer the grind and brew types though I am comfortable in working with any other types.
Baristas start work early morning and their shift can last till late at night. Do you think you can handle the customer services part effectively this early in the morning and that late at night?
The smell of coffee can wake me up at any time! I have a friendly disposition and if given enough breaks, I can work efficiently both early in the morning and late at night.
Describe a time when you provided impeccable customer services.
A regular customer at my previous place of work wanted a particular coffee blend on the day that we were out of it. When I informed him that we were out of it, he got a bit angry. Not wanting to lose him as a client as he was quite a touchy person, I asked him to wait an extra ten minutes, took permission from my manager and rushed to the market myself to buy the blend.