Job search FAQs
Frequently asked questions about Barista jobs
Baristas make coffee drinks at cafes, coffee shops, or large cafe chains. However, their duties and responsibilities vary depending on their work environment, market size, and business policies.
Generally, baristas greet customers in a friendly manner and take their orders. They keep customers engaged throughout the process by finding out more about their orders, recommending various products offered by the cafe or coffee shop, taking and processing payments, and so forth.
They may be involved in keeping the coffee shops cleans, particularly in smaller establishments that do not have enough finances or space to hire an independent cleaner. Baristas also maintain high knowledge of coffee products and related items on the menu, keeping their clients informed and satisfied all the time.
A high school diploma or equivalent should be enough to get you hired as a barista. However, having a higher level of education is always an added advantage but not necessary.
Most employers also prefer applicants with experience in the hospitality industry. If you’ve previously worked at retail, as a receptionist, or anything related to customer service, you stand a higher chance of being hired.
Baristas are also required to have a basic understanding of math, given that they’re usually involved in counting money, giving change, monitoring inventory, among other related tasks. Above all, baristas should have great communication skills; this attracts customers and maintains a high customer retention rate.
The requirements for a barista job vary depending on company policies. However, some general requirements may include:
A high school diploma or General Education Degree (GED)
Food handlers permit
Experience working in the hospitality industry and actively interacting with customers
Basic math skills
Ability to multitask - this mostly involves communicating with customers while processing their orders
Knowledge of coffee and related products
Familiarity with telephone, office, and point-of-sale software
Some employers do not require applicants to have food handlers permit to work as baristas. However, some states may require such professionals to have a food handlers permit or a related permit before being hired for this position.
Also, most employers offer on-the-job training for new employees, and the same applies to baristas.
Baristas job interview questions cover different aspects, such as the applicant’s background, employment history, experience, and so forth. Interviewers also ask job-specific questions to find out if you are the right fit for the job.
It is, therefore, a great idea to practice these questions before your interview, increasing your chances of being hired. Some of the most common barista interview questions include:
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Do you have any prior experience working as a barista or in any customer service field?
What’s the difference between a latte, macchiato, and cappuccino?
What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
What is your favorite type of coffee?
How do you keep your work area clean, including the expresso machine?
How would you handle a disgruntled customer?
Do you have any previous experience operating point of sale equipment?
Why should we hire you?
Given that baristas directly interact with customers, most employers usually look for personality traits or qualities that build the business’s reputation. Here are some great examples of the qualities of a good barista.
Ability to market products on the menu
Ability to build client relationships
Attentive to customer’s needs
A barista’s role comes with a lot of responsibility; here are some skills to boost your performance even without prior experience in this field:
Here’s the tricky part: if you aren’t a morning person, you may not enjoy working as a barista. This is because most coffee shops open very early in the morning, mostly at 6 AM.
Depending on your employer’s policies, you may be required to arrive an hour before opening to go through the day’s program. Alternatively, you may decide to work afternoon or evening shifts. Still, these two shifts aren’t usually as busy in most cases because most people prefer having coffee first thing in the morning.
Yes, working as a barista is a good job choice. In a world where many businesses are shifting from offline to online, baristas are among the few professionals who can still work offline comfortably.
This is because this profession requires one-on-one interaction with customers. Also, if you have a genuine love for coffee, you can always interact with like-minded people, including customers, recommending new varieties, etc.
The annual salary aside, baristas also make a decent amount from tips. However, this usually depends on how busy the coffee shop is. If you work at a strategic location, chances are you’ll earn some decent amount from tips daily.
A barista’s workplace is fun and highly interactive. As mentioned above, most coffee shops are busier during morning hours. However, things begin to slow down towards the end of the day and pick up again in the evening.
Most coffee shops also close between 6 PM and 7 PM, but some may stay open for longer hours or 24 hours a day, depending on the location. Generally, working as a barista can be very rewarding: most students actually work as baristas while continuing their education. And if you’re a fan of coffee, most employers offer free coffee, among other related bonuses, for their employees.