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Starbucks Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Aug 19, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting an Interview  

61%
20%
7%

Interview Experience  

72%
18%
9%

Interview Difficulty  

Average Difficulty
1,239 candidate interviews
Relevance Date Difficulty
in
52 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Assistant Manager Interview

Assistant Manager
Los Angeles, CA (US)

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Starbucks in March 2014.

Interview Details I submitted an application online. Received a call from a recruiter about a week later for an initial phone screen. During this brief 15 minute conversation, I was asked about my current responsibilities at my job and how it relates to the ASM position, and how my education (BA in Business) has prepared me for the role. Of course, you will also be asked "Why Starbucks?". It's good to answer that question with a story of a great experience you've had at Starbucks and why that has shown you that you want to be a part of the culture. Be prepared to answer what the highlights of your career have been so far, and if you have experience with profit and loss statements (trust me, they will ask this). If you have no P&L experience, be up front about that, but tell them about what financial documents you do have access to (I have no P&L responsibility in my current role, but I have access to sales numbers and guest survey scores. I also mentioned that I took three accounting classes in college and am very familiar with P&Ls as a result). It was all informal, not technically an interview, but you do need to make a good impression to get asked for the real phone interview.

The next step is a more in depth phone interview, about 45 mins, with the same recruiter. All behavioral questions, STAR format. They will go over the "hows" of your resume more than the "whats". Be prepared with specific examples. Feel free to use names of co workers to help make your stories more real and personal. The questions I was asked:

-Tell me about a time when you had an uncooperative coworker or a coworker you didn't get along with. What was the situation, why were they uncooperative, what was the result?
-Tell me about a time you had to plan out a project. What was your role, etc.
-Tell me about a time you had to have a tough conversation with someone at work.
-Tell me about a time you had to bring a co-workers performance up.

They will ask probing questions about additional actions you took, why you think coworkers were acting in a particular way, etc. Make sure you're able to get as specific as possible about these situations and your actions in them. I passed and was immediately asked for possible dates for a final interview.

The next interview is in-person with two District Managers at a local Starbucks. It will take place on the floor within earshot of customers, so be prepared to that. Be sure to accept the offer of a free drink, because you want to show that you love coffee. Obviously, don't ask for a caramel Frappucino or something ridiculous. I kept it simple and got a Venti Pike Place blend.

The two DMs will probably both have an interview packet, but it will be mostly one asking the questions and one writing your answers (for me it was a little bit of both). These questions are largely the same as the phone interview questions. My questions were:

-Tell me about a time when you had a communication breakdown with a co worker or with your team.
-Tell me about a time you had to have a tough conversation with a co worker (exact question from the phone interview)
-What are your strengths? Give an example of a time you displayed this.
-What are your weaknesses? What are you doing to work on this?
-What are you doing for your personal and professional development?
-Tell me about a time when you didn't have all the answers or didn't know what to do next (this may be the most important question, because they told me they usually never get good answers to this. Luckily, mine was high scope and relevant)
-Tell me about a time when you had to plan out a project. (Same as phone interview question. Make sure you give a high scope answer)

They'll ask you if you have any questions and if you have anything to add. Ask about community projects at Starbucks and how you can get involved, how much autonomy ASMs have to make decisions, why the DMs themselves chose Starbucks, etc.

I interviewed on a Friday and got the offer Monday afternoon. I'm incredibly excited for this opportunity. I want to make sure everyone can prepare for these interviews as well as I did, so I wanted to make this as detailed as possible.

Interview Question – "Tell me about a time you didn't have all the answers" and "Tell me about a time when you had to plan out a project". Make sure these answers are very high scope and show critical thinking, talent management, inspiration, etc.   View Answer

Negotiation Details – Minimal negotiation room. I was hired at one of the highest pay grades for ASMs at 37k because of my experience and my BA in Business. The benefits are excellent and are really what sets Starbucks apart. I accepted this offer over a potential $43k offer from a different company because of the culture and benefits here.


3 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Barista Interview

Barista

I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Starbucks.

Interview Details Wear what you've seen Starbucks baristas wear to your interview. If you can't comply with the dress code (no tattoos visible/more than two piercings on each ear), don't apply. Be extremely quirky, but educated. Starbucks likes people with high energy.

Interview Question – How long do you plan to stay with Starbucks?   Answer Question


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Barista Interview

Barista

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Starbucks.

Interview Details A friend of mine was hired at my Starbucks and let me know that the store manager needed to hire around 12 baristas to replace those that were going to leave to open a new store. I applied on August 1st, and my friend told me that the manager would check the following monday. About a week passed and I still received no phone call so I called the store, and it turns out that the manager was going to call me that same day because she had just finished reviewing my application. She did a mini phone interview where she asked me why I wanted to work at Starbucks and we set up an interview for the following wednesday. When I got to the store, I told the barista about my interview with the manager, and after coming from the back to let the manager know, he asked if I wanted something to drink while I waited. TAKE THE DRINK! My manager actually used it for the interview. The manager had a packet of questions to ask me (which probably don't differ too much from other Starbucks locations) and it was a bit longer than I was expecting. They were pretty much all situational questions (Ex: name a time when you had to complete a project in a short amount of time). She also asked me about what I was drinking, and how I would sell it to a customer (I would recommend looking at the Starbucks menu beforehand and learning how your favorite drink is made). After the interview she asked if I had any questions, and I learned that I would be making $8.25 an hour, plus tips (which she said was on average about $1.30 an hour). She told me that the training would be intense, and that since I would be working in a drive-thru location, the hours are a little longer. She told me that she had very little positions left, but that she was very impressed by me and that I would make a great addition to the Starbucks family. I also had to give her my date of birth so that she could authorize the background check that is required of all prospective employees. About a week after the interview is when I got the call letting me know that I got the job.

Interview Question – Why do you want to work at Starbucks?
How would you handle a dissatisfied customer?
What do you do for fun?
  Answer Question

Negotiation Details – After reading on Glassdoor that the average barista salary was $8.50-$9.00 an hour, I tried to negotiate my salary a little bit. I was very nervous about the negotiation because this is my first retail job, but the manager was very nice about it, asked me how much I wanted, and explained to me that the salary she offered me was pretty much the starting salary for every Starbucks barista in the area, and that only the baristas that have to pay for parking (like in garages or meters) are payed a little more to compensate. Either way, I don't regret asking and I recommend that everyone try to negotiate their salary!


10 people found this helpful

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Barista Interview

Barista

Interviewed at Starbucks

Interview Details I had experience in coffee shops, learned the dress code, shirts with collars.....bought the book on CD, listen to it over and over, applied for the job, I had no tattoos, the assistant manager, had tattoos from her finger to her elbow! I no longer go to Starbucks.

Interview Question – Availability is the biggest issue. I said I was avail, 24 X7, including holidays, and I wouldbe happy to work any shift. I did not get a call back......they are looking for reasons NOT to hire you.   View Answers (2)


Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Barista Interview

Barista

Interviewed at Starbucks

Interview Details Interviewed with the asst. store manager. They have pre-made interview question cards, so they just grab those and flick through them and ask you questions. Look on the internet for standard interview questions and they are those. Stuff like "tell me about a time where you went above any beyond..." that kind of thing. Pretty easy, they just want to make sure you're nice, not a moron can think and won't blow up on a customer who's venti triple latte has too much foam on it lol.

Interview Question – Stuff like "tell me about a time where you went above any beyond..." that kind of thing.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – None.


Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Very Easy Interview

Barista, Shift Supervisor Interview

Barista, Shift Supervisor

I applied through an employee referral and the process took a day - interviewed at Starbucks in November 2010.

Interview Details The interview was short and ridiculous. I was asked questions that didn't even pertain to previous employment or the job i was applying for. The manager was not very intelligent.And after working for her I wanted to quit the next week.

Interview Question – How long have you known the District Manager.   Answer Question


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Barista, Shift Supervisor Interview

Barista, Shift Supervisor

I applied online and the process took 2 days - interviewed at Starbucks in May 2014.

Interview Details I should first say that I applied originally as a barista, knowing I wanted the job and its benefits because the following year I'd be going to college. The idea of having a secure job in whatever city or state I planned on attending a school in was very important to me.

The interview process was relatively simple. I walked in, dress (much to my dismay now) in black dress pants, a white blouse and a green cardigan. I was told to "dress in their uniform" so they'll know what you look like in it."

I was offered a drink, and decided to get a mocha frappuccino, with an extra shot of mocha. Instead I got an extra shot of espresso and was awake for the rest of the day.

The manager that interviewed me had been with the company for years, and the first couple questions she asked me were to make me feel comfortable. She talked about herself, her family, and her day.

Then the interview began and it was standard questions at first. "Was this my first job?" "Why was I interested in working for Starbucks?" "Did I have any job experience?" "What drew my specifically to that store?"

The scenario questions were the more difficult part of the interview for me, prepare yourself for questions about a time you had to enforce the rules, when you had to deal with unruly people, what you would do under stress, if something was blamed on you.

The most important tip I can give anyone is to be yourself. Pretend you're talking to your friend's mom, answer the questions carefully, but also weave the parts of your personality into them. Try to get them to laugh, and smile. Create that relationship.

I hadn't even realized I'd gotten the job until the manager started to ask what my availability was and if I needed a work permit.



The supervisor interview wasn't much different, to be honest. I answered mostly scenario questions, but most of them revolved around what I would do if something happened while I was in charge. Answer those honestly as well. I started my interview to be a shift expressing my concern over my age, I was barely eighteen, and having the weight of the store was daunting. The manager interviewing me (she was not the same manager who interviewed me before, since there needs to be an outside, unbiased opinion on whether you're a candidate or not) was understanding and even appreciated my worry. She helped me work through that problem.



TIPS:

- refer back to authority. "I'd call my manager, or someone with experience."

- create the relationship. The manager is looking for someone to fit in with the store, vibe with them.

- keep an eye on the baristas working. They pay attention and their opinions matter.

- appear calm and collected, order a cappuccino, drink it occasionally.

- the word "need" is so much more powerful than the word "want." It implies necessity, and that you take this seriously.

- SMILE! Chat with the baristas while you wait. I did, and they were wonderful people who made me laugh and helped me feel more at home.

Interview Questions

  • What was a time when you were put under stress? How did you cope with it?   View Answer
  • Do you think you Starbucks is a good fit for you?   View Answer

Negotiation Details – Take your barista pay, it won't be much, and eventually it won't feel worth it. But they won't hire someone who finagles the price.


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Barista Interview

Barista
Ormond Beach, FL (US)

I applied online and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Starbucks.

Interview Details I applied online and was called the next day. I then went to the interview a couple days later and had a very nice and laid back talk with the manager. I was called a few days later and was hired.

Interview Questions


2 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Barista Interview

Barista

I applied online - interviewed at Starbucks in July 2014.

Interview Details I submitted an application online via their website to a couple of stores in my area. I called each store to check the status of my application. In two of the stores the hiring manager was never in when I called so I left my name and gave them a chance to call me back. One of the hiring managers finally called me. She did a mini interview over the phone asking about why I want to work for the company, my availability, and was ok with me being a college student. She scheduled the in person interview. I interviewed with her and another manager. They were both very nice which calmed my nerves a bit. They asked 5 STARS format question straight from a packet. The first was tell me about a time when a customer was unsatisfied with you, tell me about a situation when a coworker wasn't following policy, they wanted to know about a situation where I worked with a coworker that was unfriendly or disrespectful, a time where I had to Upsell, and a time where I received constructive criticism when I didn't know I was being criticized. I had previous experience as a barista and I made sure I threw in names of drinks and common incidences that could happen at Starbucks because they're looking for detailed answers. Overall, it was a very easy interview. I received a call back in about one hour extending an offer to work for them. The whole process took about a week and a half.

Interview Question – No difficult questions   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – No pay negotiation


1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Barista - Starbucks Interview

Barista - Starbucks

I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Starbucks.

Interview Details Short, simple, and straight to the point. Starbucks does not drug test, they only do a background check. Just be yourself and try to smile. They're looking for folks who want to grow with the company. They're not looking for individuals looking for a quick buck.

Negotiation Details – Negotiate pay.

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