Working in a cafe comes with great responsibility, along with a fantastic experience. Soon after you have submitted your resume and cover letter, you will most likely be called in for face-to-face interview questions. The wait can seem daunting at first – you will become nervous as you do not know what to expect when contacted.
Getting to know the types of questions you will be asked will calm your nerves as you get ready for the D-day. You should be aware that every interview is different. Naturally, you should brace yourself for the standard interview questions such as why you want to work in that establishment, and what your greatest strengths and weaknesses are.
However, you should also get ready to answer more questions based on the career path you are applying for. Lucky for you, we have rounded up the most common job interview questions for café workers and how you should respond to them for you to ace your interview.
Let’s Jump Right In.
Cafes do not just look for people to fill in a spot but rather someone who knows exactly what they want to do. Passion for the job is a plus if you’re going to make it in this line of business. Your potential employer will want to know more about your personal interests and whether or not you might have contradictory goals with the café. Some of the questions you might encounter are:
1. Why do You Want This Cafe Job?
This is a popular question you should expect whenever you are applying for any position, at any institution. Companies will want to know why you want that job, and you better have the right answers at your fingertips.
First, you should scout for a few key factors which will make that role fit for you. Elements such as your love for customer service, your passion for constant human interaction, and the satisfaction which comes with helping in solving a problem should work just fine.
Don’t forget to share some of the reasons why you love the company. Responses such as “I’ve always been passionate about innovation, and the opportunity to work with best. You are rated among the top cafes around, and so it will be an honor to work for you.”
Do not forget to portray yourself as a motivated, confident, and charismatic individual. Someone ready to commit to the cause of the company. Be cautious because replies such as ‘My friend said you have the best pay’ could have detrimental consequences.
2. What do you do When You’re Not Working?
Maintaining a healthy work/life is essential not only for food and beverage employees but also to all workers, regardless of the career path. When one is focused on customer service all the time, they can easily burn out.
Having other interests outside work will help you get recharged. The answers you will provide will enable the questioner to gauge your ability to maintain the busy life which comes with working in a cafe.
3. How Many Hours a Day are You Available to Work?
Be as honest as you can. If you are looking for either a full-time or part-time job, explain to them. If you are tied for time and might not provide services at any point of the week, ensure that you show how committed you are to compensate for that time.
Looking to hire teenagers at your establishment? Well, be sure to read “Learn How to Effectively Manage & Coach Teenage Employees” to know how to effectively manage them.
Customer Service Skills & Experience
Working in a café requires excellent customer service skills, as the lack of it might kill the company and keep it from good business. You should expect the interrogator to ask questions on your skills as well as past experiences. Some of the questions you might come across include.
1. How Would You Handle a Customer Who is Angry Because of a Mistake you made?
This is a trick question, and the answers you provide are enough to help the interviewers in knowing whether or not you are fit for the job. As you come up with a response to such a question, always state that you would:
- Put yourself in the customer’s shoe
- Listen to all the customer’s concerns
- Confirm the issue raised if you have had problems in understanding what the matter is
- Offer a sincere apology to the customer by admitting that you made a mistake (Never forget the famous adage that a customer is always right)
- Think of a solution to solve the problem fast and effectively
2. What Would You Do If Your Shift is Understaffed Yet You Have a Lengthening Line of Waiting Customers?
Within every growing cafe shop, there comes a time when the workers are understaffed, yet the number of customers doesn’t seem to reduce. You should have the necessary knowledge on how to manage customer service queues. Always mention that you will try to keep things moving, and will treat customer requests with urgency. You will expect fewer complaints if all the available employees are well-treated, and are genuinely seeing that you are trying to address the issue.
3. What is Your Favorite or Least Favorite Customer Service Experience?
This question helps the interviewers to understand what you see as excellent service. The answers you provide should clearly indicate that you know what hospitality means and how you handle your mistakes. Think of a story, and do not forget the critical relevant details.
Have college students working with you at your shop? Check out “3 Things You Should Know Before Hiring College Students” for helpful tips to hiring college students.
Stress & Problem Solving
Dealing with stress is a big part of being a café employee. The interviewer will want to know how you deal with stress, working under pressure, and how quick-witted you are. Some of the questions you may encounter include:
1. What is Your Ability to Work Under Pressure?
Give examples of the types of pressure you have encountered before and how you managed to solve it. Do not use an example of a situation where you created the pressure yourself, such as waiting too long before working on something. Talk of how you respect deadlines and how you go by all means to meet them.
2. How do You Deal With Conflicts Involving Your Co-workers?
This interview question seeks to find out whether you are a team player or not. Your maturity level is also put to the test here. How you would deal with stressful situations, how you hold yourself accountable during problems, and how you handle stress are a few other factors that are looked into. Be sure to also read “Tools For Tracking Employee Performance at Your Cafe” if you’re a cafe shop owner for tips to help you keep track of your staff.
3. How do You Maintain Focus When Performing Repetitive Tasks?
Repetitive tasks can drain someone’s focus, especially when you are tired. Highlight that you have a passion for the job so it might be a bit difficult to get bored performing the repetitive tasks. State that you will engage in friendly conversations with customers as you sort them out.
You may also work on some other tasks which may not have been directed to you such as organizing shelves, etc. This should, however, be done when you are not pressed for time and with the approval of your supervisor.
Have employees at your cafe that are underperforming? Well, be sure to read “How to Motivate an Employee Who’s Underperforming in Your Café” for tips on motivating your staff.
These tips will help you ace that interview questions and even prepare you for your new role. The research does not end there, get ready to answer any other questions which may be asked. All the best. Let us know in the comments below which position at the cafe you’re applying for.
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