Going for any kind of job interview is daunting. But, the best thing you can do is be prepared. When you go for a bartender interview, you'll be expected to show off your skills and answer interview questions. Don't panic, we're here to help. These are the most common bartender interview questions, along with example answers to help you think of the best responses.
1. What responsibilities do you think bartending involves?
Bartender jobs are popular. Some people want to become bartenders as a temporary or part time job because they think it's easy and don't realise what is really involved. Your interviewer will want to see if you actually know what bartending involves.
Example answer: A bartender serves drinks from behind the bar. They're responsible for serving customers, talking to customers, keeping the bar safe and tidy, and assisting other bar and serving staff. Bartenders are expected to be multi-taskers.
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2. Do you have flexibility to work evenings and weekends?
Bartenders are expected to work any day of the week. So, when you're asked this question, it's important that you show your flexibility and willingness to work any shifts.
Along with weekends and evenings, you'll be expected to work on holidays, like Christmas and New Years' Eve so be prepared.
Example Answer: Yes, I'm free to work any time. When do you notify staff on what shifts they have to work? (There's nothing wrong with asking this, your employer should give you advance notice on your monthly rota.)
3. Have you got previous experience working as a bartender?
There will be some employers who will want to hire bar staff with some experience. If you're applying for your first bartending job, it's worthwhile to do some research. This can be done online, and if you have any friends who are bartenders, ask them for some tips.
Example Answer: Yes, I worked as a part-time bartender while I attended university. I really enjoyed the role and learnt a lot.
4. Imagine a drunk customer has come to the bar asking to order another drink, but you think they're too drunk, what would you do next?
As a bartender, you can get into serious trouble if you serve someone who is intoxicated. If a drunk customer leaves the pub and is involved in an accident, you can be held responsible if you were the one who served them.
When facing bartender interview questions like this, you need a careful and thoughtful answer to show the interviewer the importance of stopping drunk people from drinking more.
Example Answer: I would always try to stop a customer getting too drunk in the first place but if a drunk customer has just come in, I would try to offer them a non-alcoholic alternative. But if they're adamant they want more alcohol, I would politely tell them I cannot serve them and inform my manager if I need assistance. I would also tell my colleagues, just in case the customer tries to approach them instead.
5. How would you react if you think a person is underaged and using a fake ID?
Don't be surprised if your interviewer throws in some difficult questions. They want to know how you will react in certain situations. In this case, you're responsible for making sure everyone is legally allowed to drink.
Example Answer: In the past, I've always asked for my manager if I think the ID is fake. As some customers can become verbally abusive when it comes to ID, it helps having the support of a manager before deciding whether or not to serve the customer.
6. A wine glass falls on the floor and smashes. What do you do next?
Being a bartender can be a hazardous occupation. You're working with glass and floors can get slippery from spilt drinks. It's important you pay attention and remove any hazards before they cause an injury.
Example Answer: I would ask customers to stand back and I would either stand next to the broken glass while a colleague gets a brush and bucket, or I would ask my colleague to guard the area while I went. The glass would be tidied up and disposed of properly. If the floor needs to be mopped, I would make sure a yellow warning sign is left out to warn customers.
7. What type of seasonal drinks would you recommend during the Christmas holidays?
Just like the chefs in the kitchen, bartenders are expected to have a creative flair. For seasonal holidays, you'll probably be asked to make something special.
Example Answer: For Christmas, I would make something festive and heart-warming. Eggnog cocktails are popular and I think we should offer mulled wine. Especially on cold days, customers appreciate warm mulled wine and a mince pie.
8. Have you completed any bartender training?
This is a common bartender interview question because bartending is a popular profession. Your interviewer will want to see you have the appropriate training and skills.
Example Answer: I haven't gone to any schools but when I went travelling abroad last year, I worked in over ten different bars across Australia and New Zealand. I worked with many different bartenders and this opportunity gave me the chance to learn different techniques and skills.
9. What's your favourite drink to make?
This is where many bartenders trip in an interview. They like to show off by saying the most complicated cocktail is their favourite to make. The problem with this is, the interviewer could ask you to make it (which can be embarrassing if you can't actually make it) or you could be chosen to always make that drink in future. They want to see your creative flair but be honest.
Example Answer: My favourite drink to make would be the mojito, because even though it's a basic recipe, it's easy to get wrong. It requires concentration to get right and there are so many types of mojito, it's a fun drink to make.
10. What do you enjoy about bartending?
This is a popular interview question because it gives your interviewer the chance to get an honest insight into what you like about the profession.
Example Answer: I enjoy working as a bartender because it gives me the opportunity to socialise with different types of people. As a bartender, I understand the importance of being a good host and serving guests while they're waiting to be seated.
Other ways to prepare for your bartender interview
- Practice making cocktails: Don't be surprised if your interviewer wants you to show off your skills.
- Make sure you know how to make the popular drinks: from pouring the perfect pint to making a wine spritzer, your knowledge needs to be up-to-scratch.
- Dress smartly for the interview: there's nothing wrong with wearing a bartender uniform to show you're ready for the job.
- Wear the best shoes for work: see these work shoes for bar staff.
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Want to DOWNLOAD these bartender interview questions as a PDF?
Prepare for the interview by downloading a copy of the above interview questions. Revise on your smartphone or print off a copy. Good luck with the interview!