Though your coffee shop might have the best beans in town, your business will struggle to grow without skilled baristas to drum up an irresistible brew.
You need a team of professionals who are as passionate about what they do as you are about coffee – as this is one of the best ways for you to succeed.
The real question is: what makes a great barista?
There are a handful of qualities you’ll want to look for when considering hiring a new barista. Before we dig into the questions you’ll be asking, make a note of these character traits as well:
Passion & PositivityWhen you sit down with a potential barista candidate, ask yourself, do they seem genuinely excited about what they do? Typically, you’ll be able to tell in the first few minutes of the interview. When faced with making potentially hundreds of cups of coffee a day, it is important for your team members to enjoy their tasks and have a real passion for their craft.
Positivity is another key trait to look for. Remember that your baristas will be the face of your business, so you’ll want them to maintain a positive attitude as they work to ensure your customers’ experience is always a positive one.
The best baristas are organised and not afraid of a bit of multi-tasking. Talk to your candidate about their organisational skills and how they handle things under pressure. Those morning rushes are no joke!
It’s all about finding someone who can maintain a focus on customer service while still getting orders made correctly. Efficiency is vital to your coffee shop’s success, and your employees are the backbone of your operations – one slow cog in the wheel will upset your whole workflow.
Adaptability and attention to detail
Most coffee orders are custom these days, so you need to talk to your baristas about their ability to cater to each customer. They should be open to changes and personalisation, with enough creativity to place an order if a customer asks for something different.
Now that you understand a handful of key traits to watch for, let's dive into the questions you’ll want to ask each of your interview candidates. By gathering these answers, you’ll gain a deep understanding of which person would make for the best addition to your team.
Barista Interview Questions
- Have you ever worked in a coffee shop before? What did you like about it? What did you dislike about it?
- Sometimes, there might not be a lot of variety when it comes to your responsibilities. What will motivate you to continue to work hard?
- What are the best specialty coffee drinks you can make, and which is your favourite?
- Describe a time when you went above and beyond for a customer.
- Tell me the difference between a latte, a cappuccino and a macchiato.
- Describe a time when you’ve been faced with a challenging situation with a customer and how you dealt with that
- Why would you like to work here in particular?
- What do you think you could bring to this role that would provide an excellent customer service experience for our patrons?
- Talk me through how you would go about cleaning and maintaining an espresso machine.
- How much experience do you have with coffee art? Tell us about your favourite design.
- What personal strengths will contribute to you being a good barista?
- How do you manage stressful situations?
- Coffee shops are busy environments. What measures do you think you could you take to keep on top of the orders?
- What does teamwork mean to you?
- What coffee trends do you see in coffee culture today, and how would you keep on top of these evolving over time?
- Why do you feel that this role is a good fit for you?
- Why should we hire you?
Not all of these questions need to make it onto your interview list (unless you’re prepared to sit and chat for hours!), but they’re an excellent way to get to know your candidates and ensure you’re hiring the best barista for the job.
Once you’ve got the right barista, you’ll want to equip them with professional tools to ace their job. Sign up for a Trade Account with us, and you’ll gain access to everything you need to run a unique coffee shop. With discounted prices and one-of-a-kind product options, we’ll take the guesswork out of how you can stand out from the competition.