There’s hardly anything better than a cup of a delicious ice cream on a hot August afternoon. Especially if you can choose from dozens of flavors, including lactose-free and vegan variants. Baskin-Robbins runs the world’s biggest chain of ice cream and cake specialty shop restaurants, with over 8,000 locations worldwide, including over 2,500 in US. In each single location several people work, serving ice creamtaking payments, and making sure everything’s fine in the “back office”, and customers can enjoy their favorite ice cream, or a delicious cake. If you also want to join their ranks, you’ll have to pass an interview. What will happen in the meeting with the manager?

Hiring managers at Baskin-Robbins won’t test you with some tricky situational (scenario-based) questions. Though it is an art to scoop a perfect cup of ice cream, everyone can learn to scoop at least a decent one in no time. What’s more, the job is pretty straightforward, and you even won’t have much time for any conflicts with your colleagues, since there will always be a queue of people waiting for their favorite ice cream, taking all your attention. The hiring managers will ask you only a couple of questions about your motivation, experience, availability, and so on. Let’s have a look at them right now, one by one.


Why do you want to work at Baskin Robbins?

Most likely you do not care much about the name of your employer. Perhaps you are applying for your very first job, and simply want to earn some extra money, and get some experience under your belt. Or you are just looking for a meaningful way of spending your summer.

And while it is fine to mention any of these things, you should still mention at least something positive about the brand, and the job. The key is to explain why you apply for the job with them, and not with McDonald’s or Dunkin Donuts, or some other restaurant chain in which you’d earn similar wage.

You can say that you were always interested in ice cream–how they make it, trying different flavors, enjoying the variety. And you have enjoyed your ice cream the most at Baskin Robbins, because hardly anyone can match them when it comes to selection. Now, looking for the job, they were logically your first choice.

Another alternative is referring to a recommendation from a friend. You know someone who works or worked in one of their restaurants. They told you nice things about the place, the customers, the working routine. You’ve enjoyed what you heard, and now, looking for a job, you decided to give it a shot. One way of another, they should get an impression that you aren’t there by a mere coincidence…

Do you have previous experience in food service and hospitality?

Experience is definitely a plus, but it is not a must. If you have experience, told them what you did, and focus on your desire to deliver an excellent service to the customers. What is more, you should have an answer ready to the question “Why did you leave your last job?“, because the chances are high that they will ask you. And do not say that you left because the job was hard and there were barely any breaks–the same will be the case with Baskin Robbins…

If you have no previous experience, ensure them that you are a quick learner, and definitely motivated to try your best. You can even say that though you have never worked in a similar place, you’ve been a regular to ice cream shops, and believe to understand the level of dedication and hard work that is expected from the employees, the level of customer service they should deliver each and every time. Lacking experience, you do not lack confidence in your abilities, and are sure that you will handle the job.


Are you a hard worker?

If you imagine that you’ll spend half of your time at work licking ice cream and playing with your smartphone, I must disappoint you. That’s not how it works. You will have your hands full most of the time, and on some sunny days you’ll end your shift feeling completely drained of energy. You will work hard, that’s the reality of this job, and of any other job in a popular restaurant chain for that matter.

Hence, obviously, you should say them that you consider yourself a hard worker. In an ideal case you should elaborate on this short answer. Tell them about an example from your previous job, or even from school, one which demonstrates your ability to work hard for several hours in one go.


Do you have a reliable transportation to this place?

Many servers, cashiers, and team members working for Baskin Robbins are still students, and they rarely have their own car. And you know how the cities in the US are built–they aren’t pedestrian friendly, and often they aren’t even bike friendly. That’s why your interviewers may ask about your means of getting to their place each day, some reliable transportation.

Try to prepare for this question in advance. Check the bus schedule, nearest bus/tram/subway stop, or try to ride to the place on your bike, measuring the distance and how long it takes you to get there, if it is possible at the first place, without facing a serious possibility of being hit by a car. You’ll impress the interviewers with this knowledge, and it will again serve as a good demonstration that you really want the job, and aren’t just trying your luck with their job offer.


What hours and days can you work?

Many employees at Baskin Robbins restaurants are part time employees, and still studying. It makes a lot of sense considering the wages, and the seasonality of the job. An adult with a family will hardly make enough to pay bills working in an ice cream shop… So, they know this won’t be your only job, or only commitment. And they wonder what hours and days you can work, serving delicious ice cream to their customers.

Try to come to the interview prepared. Think about your weekly schedule, and clearly specify how many hours you can work (in an ideal case it should be at least twenty), and on which days you can come to the restaurant. Keep on your mind that they prefer to hire responsible people, people who care about their future. Saying that you can work anytime and do not mind skipping school for the sake of the job would not help you getting hired at Baskin Robbins…


Why do you consider yourself as good fit for the job?

They can ask this question, or the one about your strengths and weaknesses. In both cases, you should try to connect your skills and personality traits with the job. For example, you can say that you are a hard worker and good when it comes to communication with people. You can even say that you enjoy working in a fast-paced environment, and do not struggle to focus on your work for a prolonged periods of time, without a need to take a break every thirty minutes.

As I’ve already mentioned, it is important to show your confidence in your ability to handle the job, and to at least somehow enjoy it. If you lacked the confidence, hiring manager would find it hard to hire you.


Tell us about a time you faced an issue with a fellow co-worker.

This is the only scenario-based question they commonly use at Baskin Robbins, unless they ask about your experience with difficult customers. Sure enough, when the workload is heavy and people are tired and share close quarters together, some conflicts will always occur. That’s completely natural and expected, and you should not say that you’ve never had a conflict with anyone, or do not expect to have any conflicts with your new colleagues (when applying for your first job).

On the contrary, you should either narrate a conflict you had in your past job, or say that you understand one cannot entirely avoid conflicts with colleagues in this type of work setting. Ensure the interviewers that you will do your best to keep your emotions under control, and want to be attentive to the needs and feelings of fellow coworkers. If something happens, however, and it likely will, you won’t struggle to admit being in the wrong, and apologizing to your colleague. What’s more, you won’t dwell on negative emotions. On the contrary, you won’t take things personally and once the conflict is over you’ll continue serving ice cream to the customers, with a smile on your face…


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Matthew Chulaw
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