Top 20 Barista Interview Questions & Answers in 2024

Editorial Team

Barista Interview Questions & Answers

In this article, we will be sharing some of the questions with answers that you might be asked in your interview as a Barista.

1. Why Are You Interested In This Role?

I have been in the hospitality industry for 2 years now and I am academically trained for such a role. I applied for this position because I was looking for a challenging position that could further polish my skills in the role.

2. What Are The Roles Of A Barista?

The few responsibilities of a Barista include:

  • Greeting walk-in customers and providing them knowledge about the menu and responding to their queries,
  • Order taking and Bill Generation,
  • Food preparation including tea and coffee and serving in the right manner to the all customers,
  • Displaying Food items on the front counter,
  • Operating brewing machines for tea and coffee,
  • Cleaning the machines and utensils to make sure health and quality standards are being met and
  • Inventory management for all stock that is being used at the café.

3. What Are The Qualities That A Barista Needs To Be Successful?

Being able to serve the food with proper preparation is the key quality required in this role. The barista should be physically fit as this job requires long working hours while standing and lifting items of different weights throughout the day. Under soft skills, the barista needs to be customer friendly and easy to approach so that customers can inquire about the menu easily.

4. What Major Challenges Did You Face During Your Last Role? How Did You Manage Them?

One of the biggest challenges I faced in my early days was an angry customer. I was new at the job and was learning about operating machines and equipment around the station. The customer lost their temper on a matter of crushed ice in cold coffee. I remained my calm temper and did not argue back. I learned in my career that Customer is always right and I should try my best to improve my service.

5. Describe Your Daily Routine As A Barista?

I start my shift around 10 in the morning. I arrive at my workplace around 9 to make sure that I have ample time before the first customer walks in. I change into my uniform and make sure it’s clean and well pressed. I start the equipment so that It can start heating the fluids meanwhile I clear the counter. I open the cash register to ensure that I have ample change in the cash to deal with customers. If there is any cash requirement, I inform the concerned person to arrange the cash for the till. I display the freshly baked items on the display and label them as per need. When the customers start arriving, I serve them with the right order. I generate bills as the customer orders and collect their payments via cash or card payment. Before signing off, I would make sure to clean all the equipment so that the next shift can start easily after I sign off or it’s easier for me for the next day as well.  

6. Describe Briefly About Your Experience?

I started working as a crew member at Dunkin Donuts in 2018 after I graduated from Culinary College. My role was to greet the walk-in customers and offered them a menu and explained the daily specials. I noted the order and entered the order into POS and generated their bill. At the back end, I was involved in preparing coffee and tea. Apart from this, I was also responsible for keeping the counters and tables clean all the time and adding fresh table accessories throughout the shift. I started working as Barista Server in 2019 in a coffee house where I was responsible for order preparation efficiently. I also handled the cash register and was in charge of restocking inventory to ensure smooth operation at the coffee house.

7. What Kind Of Strategies And Mindset Are Required For This Role?

To perform well in this role, one should focus on paying attention to detail to improve efficiency in serving the customer. The better performance in this role, one should focus on customer satisfaction because it’s the goal. I have learned that you need to constantly improve yourself with new techniques and ideas to increase customer retention and enjoy returning customers daily.

8. What Is The Biggest Challenge You Foresee In This Job?

The biggest challenge that I foresee is the decline of physical health in the role. I have seen many people in this field who do not get ample time to rest and suffer from health problems that actually affect their performance at work. I keep an eye on my physical strength because this role requires a lot of stamina and strength to stand for a longer time period, especially on busy days.

9. How Do You Stay Motivated At Work?

My motivation is returning customers and how they remember my service. I am friendly in nature and serve customers with a smile on my face always. To be able to make someone’s day better with a nice cup of coffee keeps me motivated. I learn new things from the internet and try them like I would serve a kid with a unicorn shape on their shake and make a smiley on someone’s coffee.

10. Describe A Time You Failed In This Role And The Lesson You Learned?

As I mentioned earlier, I have served angry and rude customers at the start of my career which affected me and I even thought of changing my position. I would take it personally and it would later affect my performance at work. I once responded back to an angry customer and things got escalated. My supervisor taught me to stay calm and offer a free cupcake if things are getting escalated due to my temper. I learned to remain positive and calm with any criticism and feedback coming my way.

11. Why Do You Feel You Are Qualified For This Role?

I have been in this field for 2 years now and I have experienced the best and good of this industry that has developed key skills in me that will surely help the company. You are looking for almost the same skills and experience as advertised in the job ad. You can also refer to recommendations from my previous employer.

12. Share With Us Your Greatest Achievement

At Dunkin Donuts, I was awarded employee of the month thrice in 2 years. I was also referred to a new branch opening in a nearby town to train the new staff over there. In the customer survey, I was always given a 5-star rating in terms of service and knowledge regarding the menu.

13. Can You Work Under Pressure At Work?

Busy days like weekends or a few shifts mean a lot of customers. I make sure that I am fully prepared for the day so that I don’t fall under pressure. Being on the front seat of the customer service, I warmly welcome the customer. I have developed multitasking and can easily perform at a good speed.

14. Are You A Team Player?

Yes, at any customer service-related job- everyone needs to be a team player to serve right! You need to assist your coworkers during peak hours and be assisted as well. I believe in the power of a team working together for a common goal.

15. A Customer Has A Complaint. How Would You Deal With It?

Patiently listen to the customer and make sure that the customer feels important, even though a few complaints cannot be entertained due to limitations. My duty is to ensure customer satisfaction and inform them that it will be catered. In customer service, never take criticism or negative feedback to your heart because it is going to ruin your own day and lower your morale for work. If I have to deal with any such customer, I acknowledge their complaint in a professional manner and listen to their side completely before passing any comments.

16. To Ensure Good Customer Service, What Are The Key Areas?

For the food service industry, there are a few common areas that can help in better customer service. In my opinion, it includes:

  • Efficient and competent staff who is trained,
  • Valuing the customer,
  • Quick service to the customer,
  • Friendly behavior of the staff,
  • Good ambiance for a customer to enjoy food,
  • Knowledge of menu and process to guide any customer,
  • Smooth billing operation and
  • Problem-solving skills.

17. What Are The Essential Hygiene Regulations?

Any food service should follow the regulations provided by the government. I am aware of the following in this role:

  • Hand washing and sanitization facilities before touching the food ingredients,
  • Well installed ventilation system,
  • Pest controlling,
  • Café to be designed and constructed as per the regulations,
  • Proper maintenance of the building to ensure the safety of the workers and the customers,
  • Proper disposal of food waste and
  • Well-managed drain plan to ensure hygiene in the kitchen.

18. How Did Covid19 Hit The Food Service Industry?

The cities went into complete lockdown and even though few businesses remained open but we had zero walk-in customers due to uncertainty regarding the health issue. Many food businesses suffered major losses and staff members were fired due to zero revenue. COVID19 hit the world badly and changed the way of a normal lifestyle. Thankfully vaccines were introduced and WHO shared protocols to be followed. We were tested regularly at the start and end of the shift to ensure the safety of everyone. Soon, we were vaccinated and life became a bit normal.

19. What Is Your Approach When You Are Short On Staff On A Busy Day?

First, do not panic because it will transfer to others and everything will be affected. A lot can be achieved if teams come together and work efficiently. Duties can be divided and customers can still be served a perfect cup of coffee. My go-to approach for such days is to remain calm even though I will be panicking inside.

20. Which Machines Are Used In Serving A Different But Good Type Of Coffee?

There are many machines that are used in any coffee house. It’s all about technique and machinery that serves a good cup of coffee. I have knowledge regarding the operation and usage of

  • The espresso machine is fully equipped to brew coffee with pressurized high-temperature water through the grounded coffee. The combination of temperature and pressure produces thick coffee i.e. espresso.
  • A coffee grinder lets you enjoy the freshness of the coffee. The blades cut coffee beans into uniform grounded size that adds extra taste and aroma to the coffee.
  • Brewing Machines are available in different varieties including automatic and pour-over machines. They are commonly used in coffee houses.
  • Espresso Tamper is small in size but has a great advantage as it compresses the beans before putting into for brewing. They are commonly made of metal with handheld handles.
  • Coffee Roaster is a choice of the café as you can also find roasted beans from the market. Few coffee houses want roasting to be done in-house as you have better control over the taste and quality.
  • Granita Machine helps in supplying ice coffee or tea at convenience.
  • Blenders with sound shields are key requirements if you don’t want the ambiance to be disturbed. Remember to add sharp blades for high-speed service.

21. What Are Common Types Of Coffee Served These Days?

  • Ristretto: It’s a 50-50 ratio combination of water and an espresso shot.
  • Espresso and double espresso: One of the basic coffee types and the most popular one.
  • Americano: It is a combination of espresso shot and hot water.
  • Irish coffee is a combination of coffee, whiskey, and sugar with cream.
  • Cappuccino is a combination of espresso, steamed milk, and foam.

22. What Is The Difference Between Espresso And Black Coffee?

This is a common confusion with our customers these days. Basically, the ingredients are the same i.e. hot water and beans. The difference is the method of preparation. Espresso is prepared from ground dark beans that are put into machinery and pressurized hot water is run through them in one go. This creates a creamy texture. Black Coffee on the other hand is pouring hot water on the coffee bean.

23. What Are The Key Components Of Making A Perfect Cup Of Coffee?

I always say that a cup of coffee can make your day or ruin your day if it doesn’t taste right. To serve a nice cup of coffee to your customer, it’s a combination of the right water, the right temperature, and your attention to detail. The focus of a barista is important in preparation. I have tried several already roasted beans but I have come to the conclusion that in-house roasting is always better. Sometimes beans become stale and cannot be used. To check this, keep an eye on the bubble foam that is created on the top of the cup. If there is no foam on the top then it means the beans are stale.

24. What Is The Correct Method Of Using The French Press?

To make a good cup of coffee from the French press, you need grounded coffee, kettle, tablespoon, and French press of course! The most commonly used ratio is 2:6 which means 2 tbsp. of coffee against 6 ounces of water. One can opt for finely roasted coffee or a coarser grind depending on the mood. While grinding, make sure that your machine is clean and does not have any smell or particles from previous use. Water is for the last touch as you need to ensure the temperature. Use a filter to pour boiling water and leave it for at least 30 seconds before you add coffee to the press. Add the coffee and don’t cover the brewer. Wait for the next 30 seconds before your stir it gently. For brewing, give it a time for almost two to three minutes at least. Now push the filter to the bottom and pour a perfect cup of coffee.

25. What Is The Method Of Cleaning An Espresso Machine?

To clean the machine, I would use a soft rag and brush of different sizes to thoroughly clean the machine. I also use cleaning tablets that are especially designed for espresso machines and are easier for internal parts instead of opening the machine piece by piece. Many coffee houses use backflush method to clean the commercial machinery and it is recommended for weekly use. The inside filter can be cleared by opening a single screw. With help of a rag, you can easily clear the oil and coffee pieces.  Put the screw back and it’s good to go!


In this article, we have listed basic and technical interview questions that are required for the position of Barista. Be confident about your skill and experience and don’t forget to smile. We wish you all the best in acing your interview. Let us know in the comments below what questions you got asked in your first round of interviews.