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Starbucks Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Apr 20, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting the Interview 

58%
22%
7%

Interview Experience 

72%
19%
8%

Interview Difficulty 

1,063 candidate interviews
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2 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Barista - Starbucks Interview

Anonymous Employee
Tacoma, WA (US)

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Starbucks in August 2013.

Interview Details If you submit an online resume, you will most likely NEVER hear back from the hiring managers; your resume is literally one of hundreds, sometimes thousands for just a single store. If you know someone who works there, ask them to give you a recommendation. If you don't have a Starbucks network available, hand in your resume in person and ask for the store manager (as well as submitting an online application)

Interview Question – All the interview questions are behavioral-based, such as:
-Give me an example of a time when your employer gave you constructive criticism, and how you reacted.
-Give me an example of how you work well in a team.
Make sure to have very specific answers.
  Answer Question

Negotiation Details – You basically start out at minimum wage, then you get tips when your training is completed. After 3 months of working at least 20 hours/week, you are eligible for full benefits and stock options.

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11 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.   Answer Question

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.

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Starbucks-Barista Interview

Anonymous Employee
Denver, CO (US)

I applied in-person and the process took 5 days - interviewed at Starbucks in September 2010.

Interview Details Single one-on-one interview - focused on understanding my history, past work experience, desires for the new position, why seeking a new position - manager seemed genuinely interest in me and my background - very informal - took place at the store in a relaxed environment over a cup of coffee(of course!)

Interview Question – Most difficult question is identifying one's weakest traits   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Easy Interview

Barista Starbucks Interview

Anonymous Employee
Royal Oak, MI (US)

I applied in-person and the process took 4 days - interviewed at Starbucks in January 2014.

Interview Details Everything was behaivoral based questions

Interview Question – I was asked when I treated someone with respect even though the other had not   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – Not able to negotiate and they pay close to minimum wage.

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Store Manager Interview

Anonymous Employee

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

Interview Details Interview process took a while - I think I had 4 interviews before it was all said and done. 2 face to face, and 2 over the phone.

Interview Question – None of the questions were too difficult, but were all experientially-based. (situation, action, result, and interesting fact/comment/etc.)   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – Quite simple, as they offered me more than I wanted!

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Barista Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
Corona, CA (US)

I applied online and the process took 1+ week - interviewed at Starbucks in April 2014.

Interview Details Applied online, took about 1 1/2 weeks- 2 weeks to be called for a one on one interview.

Told a barista that I was there for an interview and was offered a free drink while I waited. Soon after, the interviewer came out, we shook hands she led me to a table. Questions were "how do you work in teams" "have you ever dealt with a difficult customer" "What is your availability" "are you willing to clean bathrooms" "What would you do if you had to miss work or were running late" "Can you comply with our dress code?" "why Starbucks". They also asked some questions about my volunteer experience (I have no work experience currently).

Interview overall was laid back. I felt I gave good answers to the interview questions however I'm not surprised that I wasn't called back, because I have no work experience.

Interview Question – Nothing difficult, just the questions listed above.   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Barista - Starbucks Interview

Anonymous Employee

Interviewed at Starbucks

Interview Details Very laid back but to-the-point. Very informed interviewing process. Background check. No drug testing required.

Interview Question – "Have you ever made a decision in a former place of employment that overrode your manager's authority?"   View Answer

Negotiation Details – Open. Very flexible.

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Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Very Easy Interview

Barista Interview

Anonymous Employee

I applied online and interviewed at Starbucks.

Interview Details customer service questions and how to deal difficult situations

Interview Question – tell me an experience about a customer you tried to resolve but couldnt   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Barista Interview

Anonymous Employee
Las Vegas, NV (US)

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Starbucks in March 2014.

Interview Details The Interview process consisted of two interviews; one with the store manager of the store I was applying at, and another interview with a manager from another store. The questions require situational answers following the STAR format; Situation, Task, Action, Result.

Interview Questions

  • Give me an example of a time when you treated a co-worker with fairness and respect, even though they had not treated you in a similar fashion.   Answer Question
  • Please provide an example of when you delivered great customer service?   Answer Question
  • Describe a time when you failed to reach a customers expectations:   Answer Question
  • Describe a time when you dealt with a difficult customer; Tell me about a time you received unexpected critical feedback about your performance. How did the feedback affect your performance?   Answer Question
  • Tell me about a difficult decision you had to make at work where you didn’t know the right answer or course of action.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – Didn't negotiate. Pay is standard + tips. Automatic raise within 3 months pending a positive rating.

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Very Easy Interview

Barista Interview

Anonymous Employee
El Paso, TX (US)

I applied online and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Starbucks in April 2014.

Interview Details I applied online and the next morning I got a call from the store manager. She left a message asking me to call back for a phone interview. I called back and was invited to come in the next evening for an in-person interview. When I arrived I was told the girl who was supposed to interview me wasn't able to that night and that I needed to return the following evening. I was given a free drink and asked a few questions informally (what is my experience, why Starbucks, etc.) and then left about 15 minutes later. The following evening I returned for my official interview and was there for about 35 minutes. She asked me VERY basic interview questions - describe yourself, what kind of experience do you have, why Starbucks, what would you do with an upset customer, what would you do if you couldn't get along with a coworker. Nothing out of the ordinary. I got a call back about a week later to get more information so they could do a background check and then another week later they called to offer me the job and have me come in to do some official paperwork stuff.

Negotiation Details – No negotiation. Offered me a rate of $7.60 an hour, told me tips average out to about another $1/hour. Also told me that after 6 months I will be reviewed by management and if all goes well they will raise it to $8/hour (so about $9/hour with tips).

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