Starbucks Interview Questions and Answers How to Increase Your Chances of Getting a Job in Starbucks How to Answer Starbucks Job Interview Questions (+With Examples) Right Questions to Ask at the End of a Starbucks Interview Starbucks Interview Tips and Tricks on How to Make a Good Impression Conclusions
Starbucks Interview Questions and Answers How to Increase Your Chances of Getting a Job in Starbucks How to Answer Starbucks Job Interview Questions (+With Examples) Right Questions to Ask at the End of a Starbucks Interview Starbucks Interview Tips and Tricks on How to Make a Good Impression Conclusions
Updated 01/09/2020

Starbucks Interview Questions and Answers

Nervous about a Starbucks interview? Get familiar with the possible questions beforehand and learn the best ways to answer them. Spend some time learning the company’s culture and mission, and you will dazzle them with your compatibility.

Nervous about a Starbucks interview? Get familiar with the possible questions beforehand and learn the best ways to answer them. Spend some time learning the company’s culture and mission, and you will dazzle them with your compatibility.

A job interview is a nerve-racking event. You come to an unfamiliar place, and some unknown people ask you personal questions about how you see yourself in 5-year’s time. You fumble for words and feel awkward. That is the gist of how most job applicants feel at a job interview for any position. As a corporation boasting 15,000 stores across the US, Starbucks has hundreds of job applicants knocking on their doors daily. Interviewing for a position at a Starbucks café can be even more nail-biting because you feel the pressure to fit into the Starbucks culture. However, you need to remember that a job interview is a two-way street. Not only are they checking you out, but you are checking them out too.

That is why, when going into an interview, the prep stage is crucial. Go to the company’s website and get into the mentality of a Starbucks employee. Look through lists of the most common interview questions, and practice mock interviews with your friends or on your own. After filling your brain with factual information about a company, you can be confident that you will find the correct words faster to prove to the hiring manager that you have the proper mindset to satisfy this particular employer. To help you get in the right frame of mind, here’s our guide for Starbucks job interview questions.

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How to Increase Your Chances of Getting a Job in Starbucks

Although a job interview seems like the focal point of a months-long job hunt, it is just the tip of the iceberg. An iceberg built by lengthy and time-consuming preparation consisting of scouring job boards, polishing your resume, and endless networking. Pursuing employment at Starbucks is no different.

First, you check out job postings on Starbucks’ website and job search engines. You may want to read how to find a job in 2020 as the job market is in perpetual change.

Next, you look at what you can offer and what sets you apart from other candidates.

Then you do your best to hone your resume and cover letter to meet Starbucks’ job requirements.

Modern recruiters are picky. They have seen it all. It does not mean though that you have to go out of your way to stand out. After all, Starbucks does not offer creative positions where the more extraordinary, the better. However, you still can play it safe and create your resume and cover letter using a professional writing service. In this case, you get a sleek layout and an effective self-presentation that will help you truly stand out from the crowd.

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Finally, getting ready for a Starbucks job interview is a must. Even if you boast a slick resume, an unsatisfactory job interview can bust your chances if you come unprepared and unaware of the company’s history. Therefore, learn some fast facts about Starbucks.

Also, be ready to show how well you think on the go. The recruiters love to flabbergast job seekers with tricky questions. In a recent The New York Times interview, US Army headhunter Kristin Sailing says, “The interview is a better measure of emotional intelligence indicators, preparedness, punctuality, work ethic and all the other little things that might make a good interpersonal fit.”

Forbes’ career expert Liz Ryan explains that your attitude is what matters the most: “The specific words you choose to answer the question aren't important. What's important is your mindset.”

According to Ryan, a successful job applicant should come to the interview with an easy-going mindset of an individual who is happy with a proposition but does not look desperate and ready to do absolutely anything. Companies appreciate integrity.

When you answer Starbucks interview questions, always focus on the company’s needs. Try to understand what they are looking for in a candidate. Ryan explains,

“Framing replies that demonstrate you understand their problems, or ‘pain points,’ makes a big difference when competing with many other qualified candidates.”

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How to Answer Starbucks Job Interview Questions (+With Examples)

Starbucks is pretty clear about their application process. They post lists of the most common interview questions on their website. Besides, there are many discussion boards regarding the recruitment process at Starbucks on Reddit and other resources where candidates can get a glimpse of what is ahead of them.

The questions asked at Starbucks interviews can be divided into behavioral, corporate, and personal groups.

Behavioral Interview Questions

Like recruiters in many other corporations, Starbucks hiring managers want to know how a candidate is going to react in certain situations. They try to gauge this by asking about the candidate’s previous work experiences and challenging situations. The most common approach to answer this type of question is the STAR method: S - Situation, T – Task, A – Action, R – Result.

Let’s look at an example of the STAR method.

Question: Tell me about a time when you were overwhelmed at work but performed well nonetheless.

Answer: At my last job, we occasionally had rush hours when we were overwhelmed with orders. It was a period of recession and the company could not hire more people. (SITUATION: you set the scene and explain who was involved and what the problem was)

As my job was to take orders at the counter, I noticed that people had trouble paying by credit card. It would take less time for those who paid in cash because we often had lousy Internet, and hence it often took longer to process credit card payments. (TASK: you describe your responsibility and whether you took it upon yourself or was asked to do it by your manager).

During my downtime, I gave the bank a call to ask about the possibility of a bad connection on their end. I found out that they had noticed that their clients with older bank equipment complained about similar issues. They said they would fix it (ACTION: you tell what exactly you did, how it affected the situation, and what else you did).

Within a few days, they delivered new card readers, and I was commended for taking the initiative and resolving this problem. It eased the waiting time and increased customer satisfaction (RESULT: you share the outcome in detail and explain whether the higher-ups and/or clients were satisfied and whether your work performance was noticed).

Starbucks Barista Interview Questions Using the STAR Method

  1. How do you approach conflicts at work? Give me an example.
    STAR Answer: From my experience, I know that many conflicts at work arise from miscommunication. Once my colleague stopped picking up slack during rush hours, whereas we usually helped each other out on our shift. I asked around and found out that she heard a piece of gossip about me. I decided to resolve the conflict by talking, so I brought a couple of very delicious home-made turkey sandwiches (I had made sure it would not conflict with her preferred diet) and invited her to have a bite with me. We talked, and I cleared up the gossip. After that, we worked together well, and our team was often commended for our cooperation and high performance.
  2. What do you do when you have a conflict with a client?
    STAR Answer: It depends a lot on what kind of conflict. Once I confused two orders and one client did not notice it but the other got very angry with me and came up to the counter to yell at me. In this situation, I could not just switch the drinks as the first client already took a sip. So first I made a new drink for the angry client and then I approached the not angry client apologizing for my mistake and offering a new drink. She refused and said it was ok so I just gave her a free cookie. My supervisor often praised the way I can placate an angry customer. It is my strong side.
  3. Did you have situations in the past where you saw displeasure on a customer’s face from a café’s drink or food? And how did you address it?
    STAR Answer: I am well aware that not all customers tend to approach the staff about something they don’t like in the service. I know perfectly well that even if the patron says nothing to us right now, it can backfire later on social media. As soon as I see an unhappy customer, I ask him or her whether they enjoy their coffee (or another drink). If they explain what is wrong with it, I offer to remake their beverage. I recently had a situation like this. The guy said he found out that he hated cinnamon. So I remade his cappuccino and added nutmeg instead. He was pleased and later I would see him around quite often.
  4. Were you tasked to perform an assignment that you have never done before? How did you manage it?
    STAR Answer: As my work experience is pretty moderate, many work tasks are new to me. At my previous job, I didn’t know how to operate a cash register. When my supervisor said it was time for me to act as a cashier, I asked for a few days to observe how others do it. I made notes and asked questions, and in two days, I was ready. My hands-on approach helped me get the necessary experience. I tried to do it during downtime, and when rush hours came, I excelled as a cashier.
  5. What are other behavioral questions asked during a Starbucks interview?

  6. Can you tell us about a mistake you made in your previous role and how you corrected it?
  7. Name one of the most stressful situations in your previous jobs and what you did about it?
  8. Have you been performing well under enormous pressure? Tell me more about it.
  9. Do you set goals? Tell me about a goal you met.
  10. What about instances when you were unable to meet your goal? Were you upset? What did you do?
  11. What have you done in the past when you disagreed with your shift manager?
  12. Have you exceeded expectations in your previous roles?
  13. Give us an example of the best customer service you provided.
  14. Is it easy for you to request help if you are overwhelmed with daily tasks?

Corporate Interview Questions

As a global leader in coffee chain stores, Starbucks expects its employees to have skills suitable for their position and to share the company’s values and mission. That is why hiring managers always ask candidates questions about Starbucks’s culture, aiming to find out how well a new employee is going to fit in.

When answering questions about Starbucks’ culture, your main task is to show your enthusiasm and willingness to work specifically in this company. You should always answer, keeping in mind what benefit you will bring the company if hired. Make sure you accentuate how well Starbucks treats its employees, mentioning benefits and services the company provides (healthcare, stocks, pension).

  1. How do you expect to make a difference at Starbucks?
  2. What do you like the most about Starbucks coffee shops?
  3. How do you see Starbucks more fully integrated into a community?
  4. Do you share Starbucks’ ethical values?
  5. Why should we hire you?
  6. Why do you want to work with us?

Also, before going into a job interview, learn some facts from the history of Starbucks. Being founded in 1971 in Seattle, the company’s name was inspired by a fictional character, Mr. Starbuck, from the American novel Moby-Dick by Herman Melville. You can find more information online.

You may get a question about your salary expectations. If it is your first interview with the company, you can skip it. But if asked at a final stage, you need to answer it though not necessarily with a number. You can give a range or let them make an offer. In any case, check out the salary range for this position in your area beforehand.

Keep in mind that sometimes Starbucks recruiters hold telephone interviews. Often they ask corporate interview questions over the phone first then choose candidates to invite to the in-person interview. First interviews can also be conducted in small groups, so be ready to answer questions alongside other candidates.

Personality Interview Questions

You will hear a lot of personality questions too. They are rather typical and directed at finding out whether you have the personal qualities required for the job to which you are applying. For example, if you want a barista position, you should be clean, well-organized, friendly, and passionate about coffee. If applying for a shift manager at a coffee shop, you need superb communication skills, multitasking skills, leadership, and customer service skills. Being aware of what qualities are expected from an employee in a specific position allows you to modify your answers to fit the expectations.

Here is a list of sample questions you may get at a Starbucks’ interview personality-wise:

  1. What are your weaknesses and strengths?
  2. How do you handle repetitive jobs and routines?
  3. Are you an ambitious person?
  4. Are you a good fit for a fast-paced environment?
  5. What is your favorite Starbucks beverage?
  6. Can you explain the choice of your favorite Starbucks drink?

If they ask you about your favorite item on the menu, it doesn't matter what you name. Your answer must show your passion and positivity about Starbucks and its products. Develop a rich vocabulary to describe the taste, smell, and look of Starbucks’ foods and drinks. Also, demonstrate passion and enthusiasm when talking about Frappuccinos and cold brews.

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Right Questions to Ask at the End of a Starbucks Interview

Asking an interviewer some questions at the end of the meeting is a great way to show that you care and are prepared. In The New York Times article on job interviews, Bryan Clark advises candidates to “turn an interview into a dialogue” and ask potential employers thoughtful questions about how the team operates and probably even ask to show you the area where you are about to work.

Questions to Ask During Starbucks Interviews:

  1. Who is the leader of the team?
  2. What are you supposed to do on an average working day?
  3. Can I see a tour of the work area?
  4. Why is that position vacant now? Who took it before, and why did they leave?
  5. Can you introduce me to some of my prospective colleagues?
  6. Do I have to wear a uniform?

It is not uncommon for applicants to receive a job offer right at a Starbucks interview. So make sure you ask the right questions.

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Starbucks Interview Tips and Tricks on How to Make a Good Impression

A Starbucks interview is not just about questions. There are many other aspects involved. You may wonder what to wear to a Starbucks interview, how long you should talk, and how often you can call a hiring manager. Here are a few Starbucks interview tips:

  • Right attitude. It is crucial not only to know what to say but how to say it too. Try your best to exude confidence through your non-verbal communication. Express your motivation and passion by smiling and having eye contact.
  • Be generous with the words. Avoid giving curt, monosyllable answers. Elaborate each of your answers into at least 2-3 sentences.
  • Wear smart casual. Jeans can be appropriate if you add a jacket or a white shirt. Don’t wear a dress suit or a bandage dress.
  • Be insistent. It is ok to remind recruiters about yourself from time to time. You don’t need to call a hiring manager every day, but once a week is ok. This way, you show that you are still interested in and enthusiastic about the job. Some candidates get a position at Starbucks precisely because of their continued interest.
  • Bring a resume. And a cover letter. Thus you will show that you are organized and professional. Bringing your application to an interview is one of the tricks of getting a job at Starbucks. Apart from showcasing your formatting and writing skills, you can always take a glimpse at some facts of your work experience that you may forget in moments of nervousness and anxiety.
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Remember, hiring managers are not trying to trip you up or sabotage your application process. But finding a great job takes two. Always keep in mind the perspective of an employer. Direct all your answers to serve them rather than to demonstrate yourself. Show that your work ethic is noble, you have integrity, and you are a hard worker with a required set of professional skills: friendliness, teamwork, cleanliness, etc. Quickly skimming interview questions before you meet with a hiring manager will help you come up with satisfying answers.

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