Barista in her job, a girl of Asian origin, she is taking an order from a customer. She wears white shirt and a blue apron. You do not need any special education or experience, if you want to get a job of a barista. Only two things matter in an interview:

1. Whether you can show the right personality, attitude, and motivation for the job. You can show it in your answers to their questions, but mostly it is reflected in your non-verbal communication, and your interview presence.

2. Whether you can convince them with your interview answers. The interviewers will ask you some behavioral questions, trying to understand your behavior and attitude to various work-related situations. If your answers meet their expectations, and if they see you as a great candidate for the job, they will hire you. Let’s have a look at the questions right now:


This job is repetitive. What would motivate you to do it well every day?

Job interview in a restaurant. Two ladies, casually dressed, talk at a table and drink coffee.Hint: You should focus on your preference to routine jobs, stressing that a good feeling from a well-done job, and belonging to the hard-working team, motivates you to try your best in job every day.

Good answers:

  • To be honest with you, I prefer routine jobs. To try to do my duties a bit better every day motivates me, and I enjoy this process of improving myself. Good working environment matters to me as well, and I really like the environment in your cafeteria.
  • If I see that the customers are satisfied with my work, if I see that they enjoy their time in a bar, it makes me proud and motivated to work hard. It does not matter if a job is repetitive.


What would you do if you were late for a shift?

Hint: Say that you are rarely late, because you understand your absence creates problems for other colleagues. And if you were late, you would notify the manager as soon as you knew you were going to be late, and apologize to your colleagues upon your arrival.

Good answer:

  • I have never been late to school or work. I understand that my absence would cause problems for other colleagues, and I always prefer to come thirty minutes before the start of my shift, counting with a possibility of a traffic jam, or other unexpected event on my way to work. However, if something extraordinary happened and I was going to be late, I would notify the shift manager and I would apologize to the colleagues upon my arrival.


Describe a time when a customer was not satisfied with your service.

Handshake at the end of a successful interview. Hint: Customer is always right, even if they are wrong. Try to speak about a situation from a past, one when you eventually delivered the desired customer service, or use the formulation: I have not been in such a situation before (since this is my first job application). However, if it happened, I would do the following: …

Good answer:

  • One time I did not notice a customer. He waited for his order for about twenty minutes. When I finally came to his table, he was extremely dissatisfied and said he would never ever come to our restaurant. I strongly apologized for my behavior and offered him a free drink. That helped me to win him over, and he eventually ordered a meal.


Other common barista interview questions

  • Why would you like to work here and not somewhere else?
  • Describe a conflict you had with one your colleagues.
  • Give an example of best customer service you provided.
  • What would you do if you saw someone stealing from the register drawer?
  • What your teacher/former colleague would say about you?
  • Why should we hire you?


Interview at STARBUCKS

If you apply for a job at STARBUCKS, you should have a look at STARBUCKS Interview Guide from Mathew Arnolds. Mathew worked for STARBUCKS, he knows all the ins and outs of their hiring process, and he has decided to devote his career to helping people who want to work for the famous coffee retailer.

We at highly recommend his website and eBook, especially if you have little experience with interviewing for a job, or struggle to succeed in the interviews.  Check the book here: Link to the eBook.