Hiring the best and brightest baristas can make or break your business. For most coffee shops, baristas are the faces of your brand. Their dispositions will directly influence the experience your customers receive. Finding and retaining talent can be difficult without adequate knowledge of the position and what kind of candidates said position usually attracts. However, it's far from impossible.
Truthfully, not many people aspire to prepare morning beverages professionally. Understanding that fact is an imperative first step to find out what their purpose is. However, just because few people have career goals in coffee preparation doesn't mean that you should assume all candidates are only looking to make a quick buck. Figure out their purpose and more by asking the right questions.
Asking the right questions, ideally open-ended ones, during the interview process can help you as a business owner to effectively differentiate between the legitimate and illegitimate barista candidates. It's not uncommon to earn more than one answer to a question when it's posited as open-ended, not to mention the added benefit of identifying candidates' conversational abilities. Listed below are some appropriate interview questions to ask prospective baristas applying for a position. Pick your favorites and reap the benefits from your establishment's success.
- Why are you interested in being a barista?
- Why are you interested in being a barista at this particular establishment compared to elsewhere, or a chain(e.g. Starbucks)?
- Can you talk more about your barista experience, if any?
- If you have experience, can you tell me how you would go about making a cortado?
- If you don't have any barista experience, what other work experience do you have that would be relevant to this position?
- Explain a time you've dealt with a difficult customer and handled the situation.
- Explain how you handle working under pressure(e.g. Morning rush, understaffed shift)
- How would you handle working with a difficult coworker?
- What was one of the hardest decisions you had to make at your past job and what was hard about it?
- What does good customer service look like to you?
- What are your career plans? Would you leave this position if a more lucrative opportunity exists elsewhere?
- What can you bring to this business that is lacking?
- What about your personality makes you easy to work with others?