17 Barista Interview Questions + Answers! [Free Guide]

Barista Interview Questions

If you’re wondering what kind of questions you’re going to be asked in your interview for your potential barista role, we’ve got you covered. The following barista interview questions are some of the most common questions you’ll be asked, so take a look and get prepared.

Below you’ll find not only the top 17 barista interview questions but also some well-prepared and relevant answers. You can also brush up with one our highly reviewed online barista courses.

Good luck with your interview.

17 Barista Interview Questions + Answers

 Barista Interview Questions

1. What do you know about our business?

Your barista interview questions could start with this basic question. Make sure you can list facts about the business.

  • Take time to read about the restaurant/cafe and note how long it’s been open for, as well as information on the founders and their ‘mission/vision.’
  • Memorize some items on the menu to demonstrate you know their products.
  • If there’s any other information about the business’s history, awards, or special point of difference, reference these.

2. What specialty hot and cold drinks can you make?

Knowledge of specialty drinks is key to being a barista.

  • I can make a range of hot specialty coffees and drinks on the espresso machine, including black coffee varieties, lattes, cappuccinos, piccolo, macchiato, matcha, teas and, more.
  • I have experience in cold drink preparation from milkshakes and smoothies, to ice coffees and juices.

3. What are your best specialty coffee drinks that you make?

This is another one of the more common barista interview questions. Express your strengths in hot drink making here.

  • Express here what your strongest drink is, also describing why you feel it is your best by demonstrating your knowledge on what makes a good drink.
  • Describe feedback you may have received from customers for your best drinks, noting especially if you had specific regular customers.

4. What are your strengths as a worker?

There are many options for answers here, choose the most relevant to you.

  • I pay strong attention to detail to stay on top of service, cleanliness, and customer satisfaction. 
  • I can keep a clean workstation, whilst also handling the demands of a busy and high volume workflow.
  • I am a positive and happy person and feel that my energy is felt by my coworkers and customers to brighten their day.
  • I have a high expectation of the standard of my work, making sure it is accurate and consistent in the drinks I make and the service time.
  • I can multitask well in handling different jobs, making multiple drinks, as well as taking orders while preparing and serving beverages.

5. What are your weaknesses as a worker?

Be humble and express where you have room to grow.

  • I am learning more about food service, as well as being a barista, and presently I am being challenged through this learning process with how to balance creating hot and cold drinks, taking orders and serving customers, and also preparing menu items as well.
  • I can get very focused on my tasks with strong tunnel vision, to the point where I need to be reminded to take breaks and even to know what time of day it is.

6. What do you believe makes a good barista?

Barista interview questions can be sneaky like this, so be prepared by seeing our examples below.

  • Technical knowledge of how to use the equipment.
  • A genuine passion and interest in coffee as more than just a beverage, but also in the process of harvesting and roasting the beans.
  • Someone who can multitask and work at a fast pace, while staying calm and positive amid busy service periods.

7. What other skills do you have beyond making coffee?

A barista must be a versatile worker.

  • As mentioned, I can make other specialty hot drinks, as well as cold beverages using milkshake, smoothie, and juice equipment.
  • I am well-versed in using a POS system to process orders.
  • Mathematics skills allow me to process orders efficiently in cash handling.
  • List any other skills that you have from previous roles, or from jobs in another industry that may translate to this environment.

8. What is your experience in coffee art?

Barista interview questions could also reference the skill of coffee art.

  • I have taken a coffee art course and feel confident in my skills of creating the right froth in steaming to pour various designs in specialty drinks.
  • I am beginning to learn coffee art from my co-workers, and look forward to continuing to practice these skills.
  • I am planning on taking a short course in coffee art to enhance my skills in this area.

9. How do you clean and maintain a professional coffee machine?

Employers want to know that you are well-versed in proper cleaning in a commercial environment.

  • At the beginning of my shift, if it is morning and the first time the machine is being used, I clear the machine running hot water through the shots and work the steamer.
  • At the end of my shift, I use professional coffee machine cleaner to run through the shots until it runs clear, making sure it is accurate in running all cleaner through.
  • I scrub and then soak the tools in boiling water to sterilize. 
  • I wash all grates and wipe down all surfaces of the machine, and I sweep away all coffee grinds in the work station. 

10. How do you handle fast-paced work?

Barista work is fast-paced work, be sure you can express that you’re up to the challenge.

  • I love working in high energy, fast-paced environment. It feels dynamic and enjoyable.
  • I find that I can maintain calming energy even when the demand for work is high and the pace is fast, there’s something about being in the rhythm and flow of this work that I enjoy.

11. What are your strongest customer service skills?

Potential barista interview questions may also touch on customer service.

  • Listening to customers so that they feel heard and respected when they are placing their orders and preferences.
  • Greeting customers with a smile, and offering and warm and welcoming energy is part of my personality.
  • I feel that I take my love for social situations into my role so that I can chat with any person, no matter their demographic, and make them feel like a person, rather than just another number.

12. How would you handle disagreements and complaints with customers?

Show that you are an objective, professional communicator here.

  • I can maintain an objective viewpoint to listen to the customer’s point of view and be sure that they feel heard in their expression. 
  • I politely express that I understand and explain to them the situation without emotional charge.
  • I let them know that I will take this issue to a senior staff member if I cannot resolve it, and make sure they are not left waiting too long so that they feel they are being taken care of.

13. How do you work in a team environment?

Baristas often work alongside many people, so show that you can work well with others.

  • I feel that working with others is a great way to advance skills and learn new techniques.
  • I feel the dynamic energy of working with others is inspiring and enjoyable.
  • I am a good listener, and take direction from others well.
  • I have experience delegating to others in certain tasks to maximize efficiency. 

14. What is your availability?

Choose the option that is most relevant to your situation.

  • I am open to work part-time hours, with flexible availability including mornings and closing shifts.
  • I am looking for a full-time role, so I am open to work as much as possible.

15. Where do you see yourself in 2 years time?

This answer will convey your commitment and seriousness for the role. Be honest, yet mindful that they’re looking for a staff member who will stay for a while.

  • I would ideally continue in this role, having learned more and advanced to a supervisor or management position. 

16. Why should we hire you?

This is where you can show that you are confident in your value as a great barista.

  • I believe my experience gives me the expertise to be a valuable employee and my drive to continue to evolve means my work will always be at a high standard.
  • I feel connected to the energy and vision of this establishment and feel that my particular personality and interests suit the business culture.

17. Do you have any questions for us?

Finally, to end this list of barista interview questions, here are some questions you could ask the interviewer.

  • When do you expect to have made a decision?
  • What do you see as the most important qualities of a great barista?
  • What do you personally like about working here?

To learn more, you can see my guide on barista resume skills to even better further your chances of getting a job.

References

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