18 Bartender Interview Questions and Answers

Updated: July 17, 2023

Bartenders work in restaurants, hotels, and bars where they mix drinks and serve customers.

Depending on their place of work, bartenders may work as servers, but in most places, their job is behind the bar counter.

They need to be great managers too as they are required to handle different types of people in different situations.

While bartenders are expected to encourage customers to drink more in order to sell more and receive tips, they have the challenging job of handling customers who have had too much to drink or are getting rowdy.

Bartenders are selected very carefully as mixing drinks is not the only task of this job.

They also need to keep the bar well-stocked and should have knowledge of how to mix drinks in keeping with state and federal laws.

Besides that, they check for identification before serving customers and are also expected to keep track of their bills.

Recommended Read: Bartender Resume Sample

The following are 15 possible interview questions along with appropriate answers for the bartender position.

Bartender Interview Questions and Answers

1. Tell me about your experience as a bartender.
I have been working as a bartender for the past 5 years at a busy cocktail bar in the city. During this time, I have honed my skills in mixology, customer service, and maintaining a clean and organized bar environment.

2. How do you handle difficult customers?
When dealing with difficult customers, it is important to remain calm and composed. I always strive to actively listen to their concerns and find a solution that meets their needs. If necessary, I involve the manager to ensure a positive resolution and maintain a pleasant atmosphere for all customers.

3. How do you ensure responsible beverage service?
Responsible beverage service is crucial in maintaining a safe environment. I follow strict protocols, such as checking IDs to verify age. I prioritize the well-being of customers and promote a responsible environment.

4. How do you handle a busy shift with multiple drink orders?
During a busy shift, efficiency is key. I prioritize the drink orders based on their complexity and time-sensitive requests. I utilize time-management skills to multitask while ensuring accuracy and quality in every drink I prepare. Additionally, effectively communicating with other team members helps streamline the process and maintain a smooth bar operation.

5. How do you stay updated on cocktail trends and new drink recipes?
As a bartender, I believe in continuous learning and staying updated. I regularly attend industry seminars, workshops, and I actively follow reputable mixology blogs and publications. Collaborating with fellow bartenders allows me to exchange knowledge and experiment with new ingredients and techniques.

6. In a nutshell, what is bartending?
Bartending means helping customers with the menu selection, taking their orders, and serving food and beverages in a welcoming, courteous, and efficient way to attain the utmost level of guest satisfaction. It also includes mixing drinks, garnishing food, keeping the bar well-stocked and organized, and maintaining the cleanliness of the bar area.

7. There are numerous opportunities for bartenders available in the market at present. Why do you want to work with us?
I researched a lot about different employers, but your company appealed the most to me because it offers the best services to guests in the town. Also, you provide excellent opportunities for employee development and career growth which is not comparable to any of your competitors.

8. Do you possess any relevant certification?
Yes! I do have:
• TIPS certification
• Mixologist training from Brinker International
• Food Sanitation certificate with three months of trainee employment at California State County kitchen

9. What are your key strengths as a bartender?
I have a proven ability to quickly take, prepare and serve all bar orders for beverages and food, greet guests, and communicate effectively. Moreover, I am highly skilled in mixing ingredients to make cocktails and maintaining the cleanliness of the bar. Besides my regular tasks, I am also able to perform the duties of a server, in a backup function as needed.

10. In a bar full of customers, how do you decide on priority?
I usually go from left to right while acknowledging to all customers that I am working on their orders. In some situations, I even work on a first-come-first-served basis.

11. Compare yourself with your previous co-workers and rate your customer service ability. Explain why?
On a scale of one to ten, I would rate myself between eight and nine because I had always been able to make my customers satisfied by utilizing high-quality hospitality and customer service skills. I never received any complaints.

12. For serving customers what personal traits do you think a bartender should possess?
A bartender needs to have an outgoing, friendly, patient, courteous, and extroverted personality for excellent customer service. Also, they must be punctual, organized, and tidy.

13. How would you manage cash transactions at the counter?
Ringing customer checks into the system, collecting cash, recording it, and returning change accurately and efficiently. I am also able to process credit/debit card transactions and billings carefully following appropriate company policies and procedures.

14. How would you handle a shortage of cash in your drawer at the end of your shift?
It had happened to me once when on a jam-packed night I missed a payment from a customer. I paid from my pocket because it was my responsibility. Since then, I make sure that each customer pays before he leaves the premises.

15. According to State and Federal Laws, what implications do you need to take care of?
We need to check the identification cards of the customers for age verification according to the State and Federal Law requirements. Also, the rule for maximum consumption limit has to be followed and applied to the customers as well.

16. What should be the primary characteristics of a bartender?
In my opinion, a bartender is supposed to be well-mannered, sociable, and prompt with a sense of humor. He must have excellent attention to detail and the ability to multitask in a busy environment.

17. Are you comfortable wearing a bar uniform?
Yes! It would be a great pleasure for me.

18. Can you work on rotating shifts?
Yes! I am enthusiastically willing to work nights and weekends.