Top 21 Coffee Shop Interview Questions In 2021 [With Answers]

Be it a sunny day or any special occasion, people love to have a cup of coffee with either their newspapers or their dear ones. The demand is such, that the coffee shops are almost completely full with tables even pre-booked. Working in a coffee shop is a surreal experience as you will see and meet a wide variety of people daily. This can give you a sense of novelty and newness enabling you to remain fresh and energetic throughout your working day or hours.

The Most Common Vacancy

There are several jobs or positions in a coffee shop that varies and depends upon the scale of operations and the size of coffee shop. The most common and widely advertised vacancy is that of a Barista, whose main duties are to:

  • Prepare beverages such as:
    • Coffee (including blended coffee)
    • Tea
    • Milkshakes
    • Other hot as well as cold beverages offered by the coffee shop
  • Sanitizing the work area regularly
  • Ensure the work area is properly cleaned with adequate mopping and brooming
  • Clean the utensils every time they are used
  • Clean as well as sanitize the tables, chairs, and other sitting areas of the coffee shop

The role of a barista is primarily to make beverages. In some small-scale coffee shops due to the availability of a limited budget, a barista may be required to multi-task and perform cleaning activities also. Baristas being a multi-tasker often holds a respectable position in a coffee shop and is adequately paid. The interview processes are usually tricky and demand serious and thorough preparation.

Best 21 Interview Questions

1) How Do You Make A Coffee Strong?

This question tests your practical working procedures.

Sample Answer

In order to make a strong coffee, the basic formula is to prepare a stronger decoction. This is possible by adding more coffee grounds with the same or even less amount of water. Upon blending and heating it a dark black and brownish decoction would be prepared, A shot of hot milk can be added to this mixture, and your strong brewed coffee is ready to be served.

2) How Do You Preserve Coffee?

In order to prevent wastage of raw materials and promote more judicious use, it is a common habit of interviewers to ask this question.

Sample Answer

The coffee beans have oils. These oils are the soul of a coffee bean as they are responsible for providing a characteristic taste and aromatic flavor to the preparation. Hence, it must be the primary duty to preserve these oils. By keeping them in the deep freezer, it has been observed that the oils of a coffee bean remain intact and don’t perish. Further, whenever possible the beans must be fresh and must not be older than a fortnight.

3) What Is A Macchiato?

This question tests your knowledge from the practical working procedures.

Sample Answer

Sir, it is a type of coffee and is in huge demand nowadays. A macchiato usually has very less quantity of milk but is foamed at the top. This coffee works perfect for the customers who wants to experience a strong flavor. This coffee is usually sipped fro the mug by the customers and their taste buds will experience:

  • Caramel
  • Espresso
  • and some sweet milk all at one go.

For presentation purposes a layer of foam is made at the top.

4) Can You Work Fast?

This is a practical procedure based question.

Sample Answer

Being a recognized and trusted brand, I am fully aware of the number of customers this coffee shop attends per day. I assure you that I have the ability to work fast in a structured manner. For this, I first understand the design of the work area and the assembly line. Post this, I try to practice by simulating a real-time scenario. After practicing for a few days, I usually see that my speed has improved considerably.

5) How Will You Serve Your Realtives? Would You Give Them A Free Treat?

This is the most common interview question specific to the food industry. Workers employed at these places tend to misuse their positions by offering a free treat, meal, or a cup of coffee to their relatives and friends. Hence, convince your interviewer properly that you won’t do the same.

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Sample Answer

I am a committed and loyal employee who always thinks and works for the welfare of my employer organization. Giving free treats to my relatives or kins is not my style and preference. I do not support this idea as this is simply a theft of pilferage. I like to work with integrity and honesty. Be assured, I will never offer any free thing to any known person of mine in any circumstance or condition.

6) Where Were Coffee Beans First Discovered?

This question tests your textual knowledge related to coffee.

Sample Answer

I believe, the first coffee beans were discovered in the forests of the Ethiopian plateau. A man named Kaldi accidentally discovered coffee. He observed that after eating berries from a particular tree, his goats became so active, zestful, and energetic that they were not sleeping and were roaming on the farm all night. He shared his findings with a monastery head who transformed it into a drink that can be consumed by humans.

7) How Do You Handle Repetitive Tasks?

Making coffee, cleaning the workplace and handling customers, might seem boring and repetitive for some. But every job is repetitive, and you are expected to perform these duties.

Sample Answer

I believe there is nothing like repetition. It is just your daily tasks. We eat daily, breathe daily and sleep daily, we simply don’t get bored by doing it. I treat and put my work in the same category. Hence, being a disciplined and committed person, repetition is no hurdle for me and I will surely get over it without any help.

8) What Advice Will You Provide To A Dishonest Colleague?

This question tests your awareness and approach while facing unethical circumstances.

Sample Answer

If my colleague is involved in theft, I will not give any advice rather, I will report it straight to my manager or maybe the police. If he or she is being involved in unethical practices such as free treats, not doing work seriously, or maybe showing a casual attitude at the workplace, I will advise him or her to work seriously and perform the duties and tasks in a willful manner.

9) Can We Use Alcohol With Coffee?

This question tests your knowledge of the various forms of coffee available worldwide.

Sample Answer

Yes sir, we certainly do. In a quest to satisfy taste buds and customer preferences, coffee shops and chefs have come a long way. An Irish Coffee has been devised, in which whisky is mixed with filter coffee. Post this, a layer of whipped cream is spread at the top, giving it a perfect look as well as taste.

10) How Important Is Learning New Skills In Life and Career?

This question tests your attitude and approach towards learning new and latest developments in the coffee field.

Sample Answer

Obscurantism must be prohibited and one must always open one’s mind to new possibilities and learnings. There are several developments and innovations taking place every day in the food industry with new recipes and preparations hitting the market every now and then. Hence, one must be vigilant and keep educating oneself with all the latest developments, along with trying something new voluntarily.

11) How Important Is Sanitizing?

All the public places, including coffee shops must be properly sanitized from time to time. You can be asked and expected to perform this duty. Hence, answer positively.

Sample Answer

We all know the havoc, this crazy virus has wreaked on the entire humanity. Unhygienic and non-sanitized places are the powers of this virus. But we can defeat the effectiveness of this virus by sanitizing our work areas properly. Hence, I totally understand the requirement f frequent sanitization and am ready to perform the duty whenever I am expected to.

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12) What Material Is A Filter Paper Made Of?

This question tests your technical knowledge related to various coffee equipment.

Sample Answer

A filter paper, which is used to filter coffee is usually made of crepe. Crepe paper allows an easy flow of coffee between the paper and filter tunnel. Further, crepe paper is made of long fibers, that are coarse in nature, usually available from the barks and branches of fast-growing trees.

13) What Is Xanthan Gum?

This question tests your knowledge about the various preservatives added in the coffee.

Sample Answer

Xanthan gum is a preservative usually found in instant coffee often available in powdered form. It is a polysaccharide, which is a common food preservative. It acts as a thickening and stabilizing agent that prevents the particles of coffee powder from separating from each other, thus preserving the quality as well as taste. It is absolutely safe for human consumption and is used widely in several food products.

14) Are You Interested In Cleaning The Service and Work Area?

Being in a coffee shop, you can be asked to clean and mop the floors of the shop. Hence it is advised that you answer this question in a positive way.

Sample Answer

Cleaning the shop not only maintains a high level of hygiene but also attracts customers to the place. I support the idea of adequate cleaning and spotless coffee shops. I am ready and willing to clean the service area as well as the work area of my employer’s coffee shop.

15) What Is Your Favorite Coffee?

This question tests your knowledge of the various types of coffee available.

Sample Answer

Sir, being a coffee lover I love coffee in every style and form. Still, if I have to pick one, I would certainly choose Cafe Mocha or mochaccino. It is a variant of the latte style of coffee, in which we add a little chocolate. I personally prefer this for having. But if you talk about preparation, I love to prepare an arabica coffee due to its strong essence and aroma.

16) What Is Affogato?

This question tests your knowledge of the various mixtures of coffee and ice-creams.

Sample Answer

Affogato is one of the most demanded unions of coffee and ice cream. In a cappuccino cup, espresso is poured over vanilla ice cream that enhances and increases its taste manifolds. I am a master in making such unions and fusions.

17) When Can You Start?

It is a common habit of the interviewers to ask you this question. But don’t get excited or thrilled, as this question in no way guarantees your selection. Respond in a thoughtful and calibrated manner.

Sample Answer

  • If you are employed: I am working with ABC Coffee house and being desperate for a job change, I have already submitted a notice to them. I will get my relieving letter in further 2-3 days. Hence I will be able to join your organization by (_____mention your expected date_____)
  • If you are unemployed: I am currently not working anywhere and also have no prior commitments or pending obligations. This makes me eligible to join your organization immediately.

18) What Is Your Biggest Strength?

This is a common interview question that tests your self-awareness. A perfect answer to this question requires thorough self introspection and analysis.

Sample Answer

I believe my ability to remain calm and composed even in high workloads or stressful conditions is my best ability. I have experienced and tested myself in similar conditions numerous times in my past, and most of the time I have won the battle unscathed. Remaining calm at difficult times gives you the ability to make informed decisions and this helps you to progress significantly.

19) How Do You Handle A Disgruntled Customer?

This question tests your understanding of the practical difficulties faced by employees of the institution.

Sample Answer

The coffee shop is a service-based industry that serves the general public and common people who have come to the coffee shop to enjoy their spare time. I try my best to prepare the best coffee or any beverage that they have demanded along with ensuring that the table and the eating area have been sanitized and cleaned. Still, if I will encounter such a situation, I will use my active listening skills to understand the issue patiently and then provide an amicable resolution.

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20) Why You Chose Us?

This question tests your seriousness and loyalty towards the organization.

Sample Answer

Being a pioneer in the field and a prominent organization having operations in almost 32 countries all over the world, joining your prestigious company is a no-brainer for me. With a loyal customer base of more than 1 million, it a highly profitable organization carrying an established brand. Since my childhood, I have always admired this institution and this company is the reason, why I chose to become a barista.

21) Do You Have Any Questions For Us?

Closing an interview session is an art, that every interviewer is well aware of. At the fag end of an interview session, an interviewer is usually ask you this question, wherein you are expected to shoot a few questions towards the interviewer. You are expected to ask at least 2 to 3 questions related to the organization and job profile. You can ask questions based on the following model questions:

  • How is the overtime allowance calculated for the employees?
  • What are the work timings?
  • What benefits are offered by the organization to its employees?
  • Does coffee shop provides refreshments to its employees?
  • Does you shop has quarters to rest and take a short break from work?

Download the list of questions in .PDF format, to practice with them later, or to use them on your interview template (if you want to crack Interview):

Conclusion

Working in prominent coffee shops, like Starbucks, Costa coffee, or maybe McCafe, is a dream for several aspiring baristas all over the world. Not only the pay, but it is also about the satisfaction and accomplishment a barista achieves post making an aromatic cup of coffee. If you have relevant skills and interests this could be a good career option. If you like our articles then don’t forget to share them with your family and friends. Also, do let us know through the comments section below, how much you like our articles.

References

  1. https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/edit/10.4324/9780203931950-15/research-performance-human-geography-reflections-diary%E2%80%93photograph-diary%E2%80%93interview-method-alan-latham
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1300/J075v23n02_02