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6 real-life barista interview questions

A Barista is a professional skilled in making and serving coffee, often working in coffee shops, cafes, or restaurants. This role requires a deep understanding of coffee brewing techniques, customer service skills, and the ability to work efficiently in a fast-paced environment. Creativity, attention to detail, and a passion for coffee are essential traits for a successful barista.

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Content team

Content manager Keith MacKenzie and content specialist Alex Pantelakis bring their HR & employment expertise to Resources.

These barista interview questions are directly sourced from real hiring managers and they are ready to use.

Descriptif du poste de Barista H/F

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6 good Barista Interview Questions

  1. Do you know how to do latte art?
  2. Do you know the specific fluid ounces that go in each beverage?
  3. How much experience do you have with inventory management?
  4. Can you work early mornings?
  5. Do you thrive under pressure?
  6. How do you handle difficult customers?

Here are 6 interview questions with sample answers, based on real hiring managers, to help you identify the best candidates for this role.

1. Do you know how to do latte art?

This questions assesses skill in a specific, desirable aspect of coffee making.

Sample answer:

“Yes, I am proficient in creating latte art. I have practiced various designs like hearts, rosettas, and tulips. Latte art is not just about aesthetics for me; it’s about demonstrating care and precision in coffee making. It enhances the overall customer experience and showcases my passion and skill as a barista.”

2. Do you know the specific fluid ounces that go in each beverage?

This questions tests knowledge of standard coffee measurements.

Sample answer:

“Absolutely. I’m familiar with the standard measurements for various beverages. For example, a typical espresso shot is about 1 ounce, a latte generally has 1-2 ounces of espresso with steamed milk, and an Americano consists of 2 ounces of espresso with added water. Adhering to these measurements is crucial for consistency in flavor and quality.”

3. How much experience do you have with inventory management?

This question evaluates experience in an important aspect of café operations.

Sample answer:

“I have two years of experience with inventory management. At my previous job, I was responsible for tracking coffee beans, milk, and other supplies. I developed a system for monitoring stock levels, predicting future needs based on sales trends, and placing timely orders to avoid shortages without overstocking.”

4. Can you work early mornings?

This question inquires about availability and suitability for typical barista hours.

Sample answer:

“Yes, I am very comfortable with early morning shifts. I understand that coffee shops have their busiest hours in the morning, and I am prepared to start the day early. I find the busy morning rush invigorating and enjoy being part of customers’ start to the day.”

5. Do you thrive under pressure?

This question assesses ability to handle the fast-paced environment of a café.

Sample answer:

“I do thrive under pressure. In fact, a busy coffee shop environment energizes me. I stay focused, efficient, and maintain a high level of accuracy in my work, even when the line is out the door. I believe that maintaining composure and a friendly demeanor under pressure is key to excellent service.”

6. How do you handle difficult customers?

This question tests customer service skills and conflict resolution.

Sample answer:

“When dealing with difficult customers, I remain calm and listen attentively to understand their concerns. I believe most issues can be resolved with empathy and effective communication. I always strive to find a solution that satisfies the customer while adhering to shop policies. My goal is to turn a challenging situation into a positive experience for the customer.”

What does a good barista candidate look like?

A good Barista candidate should have a strong knowledge of coffee brewing techniques and be skilled in customer service. They should be familiar with standard coffee recipes and be able to work efficiently in a busy environment. Creativity in latte art and a passion for coffee are great assets. The ability to work flexible hours, including early mornings, and to manage inventory effectively are also important. Good candidates are calm under pressure and adept at handling customer queries and complaints with professionalism and empathy.

Red flags

Red flags in a Barista candidate include a lack of basic knowledge about coffee brewing or beverage proportions, poor communication skills, and inability to work during key hours. A candidate who gets easily flustered under pressure or shows reluctance to engage with customers may struggle in this role. Limited understanding of inventory management or lack of interest in learning and improving coffee-making skills can also be concerning.

Frequently asked questions

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