Learn How to Ace a Bartender Job Interview

Cocktail Making
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If you're a bartender looking for work, ace your job interview by preparing answers to these common interview questions. Readying yourself for a job interview ahead of time will make you seem calm, poised and confident when you meet your potential employer. It will also give you the edge over the competition.

Discernment and Judgment

Being a bartender requires discernment. In fact, your judgment can potentially save lives.

As a result, potential employers often ask bartenders whether they're capable of assessing if someone has had too much to drink. No bar or restaurant wants to be on the hook for patrons who leave their establishment and drink and drive or do something equally as dangerous because they were intoxicated.

Bartenders must also handle conflict, such as customers who've had too much to drink and behave rudely or obscenely as a result. There's not necessarily one right answer to these sorts of questions, but your prospective employer would like to know if you have a plan for these all too common scenarios.

Multitasking in a Chaotic Environment  

Working as a bartender may be tough not only because of rowdy customers but also because of the sheer stress of handling multiple orders in a crowded and loud environment. Accordingly, employers will want you to describe the most stressful work environment you have experienced.

How did you handle the situation?

Moreover, if the bar is extremely crowded and busy, how would you decide in which order you tend to customers? Employers will also want to know if you can do more than serving drinks. For example, do you have any experience serving food? Would you be comfortable taking food orders at the bar?

Bartenders need to have good memories, so expect to be asked about yours. How strong is your memory? Have you ever had to memorize a long list of items before?

Being a bartender often requires teamwork. Given this, employers might want to you to describe a time in which you had to work with your coworkers to solve a problem. How did working with others help solve the problem?

Leadership Skills and Previous Experiences

Effective bartenders have a number of skills. They'll often need to make drink recommendations to customers who don't know what they should drink that night, especially if the bar is out of their normal go-to. With that in mind, you'll need to be a good pitchman. Employers might want to know how you would describe your skills as a salesperson as a result.

They'll also want to know about your previous experiences in bars. For instance, what types of bars do you enjoy frequenting on weekends? Do you like to spend time in large or small groups of friends? And in addition to your experience as a bartender, have you ever worked with or trained a barback? How would you feel about training one?

General Job Interview Questions

Don't prep for your interview only by prepping answers to job-specific interview questions.

That's because you will also be asked more general questions about your employment history, education, strengths, weaknesses, achievements, goals, and plans. Given this, it makes sense to review the most common interview questions and examples of answers.