Bartending is a popular role for people to be in throughout their lives. Whether you’re looking for part-time work or a career in bartending, when you apply for a new job, you must be prepared.
Below are the top 17 bartender interview questions that you’ll most likely encounter in your interview. Continue reading to get a good idea of the type of questions, and note down the sample answers we provide.
17 Bartender Interview Questions + Answers
1. What do you know about our business?
This is important for the interviewer to get a sense of whether you are familiar with their business.
- To answer this question, research the company and its founding date, as well as information about the owners.
- Also, become familiar with the clientele that the business serves, and any specialty facts about what their unique offering is in their products, experiences, and company culture.
2. Why do you want to work here?
This is one of the bartender interview questions that can catch people off guard. Here are some examples.
- This is the type of establishment that I would enjoy visiting as a customer, as it feels welcoming, high-quality, and has enjoyable energy to be in.
- I have heard great things about this business and would feel proud to represent a place that people genuinely love to visit.
- I have seen how happy the team look as they work, and would love to be a part of that kind of work environment.
3. What is your experience in bartending?
Reference your past roles and what skills you have gathered in your bartending career so far.
- I have worked as a bartender for X years and in that time, experience a range of roles and responsibilities including (insert your experience here).
- I have completed by relevant certifications to be a qualified and legal bartender, and am yet to experience hands-on work and eager to get started in the industry.
And if you don’t feel like you have enough experience, there are some great online courses to help you learn quickly. Many of them are free and several come with certificates.
4. How do you handle fast-paced environments?
Bartending requires you to be quick thinking and have a strong skill of multi-tasking.
- I feel energised when working in a busy and fast-paced environment, as I enjoy the rhythm of work and feel like I get into a good flow.
- I can stay calm and collected, even when dealing with high volume orders and managing multiple tasks at the same time.
5. How do you handle an intoxicated person?
Bartender interview questions will surely reference problem solving tactics, especially when it comes to dealing with having to cut-off intoxicated people.
- Generally, this does not happen as I continue to analyse the situation as I serve to ensure customers are not reaching the point of intoxication from my service.
- If I notice that there is an instance of intoxication, I would politely use my authority to cut the customer off by first communicating with my team and assessing whether they agree, and then speak to the customer’s friends (if they are with others) to first go about the situation subtly.
- If the person continues to approach the bar, I would then firmly, yet with friendliness, offer a non-alcoholic drink and let them know that I will no longer serve them alcoholic beverages at this time.
6. What is your greatest strength as a bartender?
Show off your talents here and express how this will be a valuable asset for the business.
- I feel that my strong memory gives me the ability to not only remember multiple drink orders and manage multiple tasks for highly efficient work but also I remember customer’s names and orders to offer a welcoming and personal service for every guest.
7. What is one of your weaknesses as a bartender?
Bartending interview questions can also be a little sneaky in assessing how you see yourself in your areas of growth, here are some examples of answers that would work for this question.
- I’m still learning how to make complex cocktails without the recipe in front of me, though I have been learning from books and coworkers and feel that I will soon upgrade for regular cocktails to more unique drinks very soon.
8. How do you work in a team?
Bartending requires an ability to be social and communicate well with others, customers and coworkers included.
- I love working in a team environment as I feel when we flow together smoothly, we can achieve more in our work and support one another.
- I am a social person and love getting to know other people and being around others whether it is personal in a, or professional setting.
- I have strong communication skills to effectively express to others what needs to be done and how we can achieve that in a direct, yet polite way.
- I have experience delegating tasks to members of a team in a way where the environment still feels harmonious and balanced in how we manage our tasks together.
9. What is your experience with pouring beer?
Potential bartender interview questions might also ask about specific techniques and skills.
- I have extensive experience pouring draft beer and understanding the different taps and needs of pouring for the texture and carbonation of the beer style. I love working through that and developing my capacity to pour the perfect beer with the right amount of froth.
10. What additional skills do you have beyond mixing drinks?
Show that you’re a versatile employee with giving examples of additional skills.
- I can handle cash and take orders on a POS system.
- I can serve drinks to tables and take orders for food also.
- I have experience preparing small plates of food and snacks.
- I have worked in environments that required me to manage betting stations for a range of gambling concepts.
11. What would you do if there is smashed the glass in the bar or public areas?
Bartender interview questions can also be about hypothetical situations to assess your problem solving ability.
- I would first be sure that no one is hurt, and then ask people to make space and move away from the area.
- I would get correct sweeping equipment to be sure I do not get cut when I clean, and sweep and clean all glass, as well as mop the area if the drink was full.
- I pay attention to the detail to ensure that the space is completely safe and clear before it is open for the public, or us behind the bar, to be in.
12. How would you describe your customer service skills?
As a bartender, you are in the service industry. You must have strong service skills to be an effective employee.
- I prioritise customer service above all else, as I understand that serving is my main role, and customers are the business’s livelihood.
- I describe my skills as being friendly, approachable, energetic, professional and welcoming to all guests.
13. How do you handle complaints from customers?
Your ability to resolve conflicts is going to be valuable for the interviewer to hear.
- I remain calm and clear in my words and body language and first listen to what they have to say.
- I am sure to first understand their complaint and assess whether I have the responsibility to create a solution.
- If it is beyond my authority, I communicate with my supervisor and manager the whole situation and ask the customer to wait patiently as I attempt to resolve this for them.
14. What is your availability?
Another one of the common bartender interview questions you may get asked is about your availability.
- I am available part-time, with flexible hours and the ability to work long shifts, where needed.
- I have open flexibility, looking for full-time work and to work as much as possible.
- I’m willing to work night shifts, open and close, work overtime where needed, and also work on holidays.
15. Describe your salary expectations
This one can be a delicate subject, so be mindful of how you answer.
- This question requires you to have basic knowledge of the common award rates for your role. This will differ depending on where you live, your age, and your role.
- Look into general salary ranges, and then express the range to the employer. Be sure to be clear and rational in how you express this.
16. Why do you believe we should hire you?
This is where you can show that you are confident in your value as a bartender.
- With my experience in different roles and my love for this work, I believe that I’ll add value to your company as an employee.
- I bring a fresh, positive and passionate attitude to work and genuinely care about making the experience of the customers as enjoyable as possible.
- I feel that I am exactly what you’re looking for, and eager to learn and continue to grow to be the best employee I can be for your business.
17. What questions do you have for us?
Bartender interview questions aren’t just about you being asked, but also you asking the interviewer some questions. This could come up towards the end of the interview.
- What skills do your strongest bartenders have?
- Why do you enjoy working for this business?
- When do you expect to decide?
To learn more, check out my guide on the top bartender resume skills to add to your CV!
I have also done an in-depth review of the best online bartending and mixology courses in case you want to brush up on the latest trends.