Congratulations on getting your interview with Starbucks! In this article we look at some of the common Starbucks interview questions, why they are being asked, and provide example answers.
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How to Answer Starbucks Interview Questions
Throughout your interview, try and give your answers in Starbucks language. What do we mean by that?
Take a good look around the Starbucks website to understand what the company is all about. Understand the company vision and values, and make your answers align to these.
Make sure you have fully read the job description and understand exactly what Starbucks are looking for in this role. Take note of the language they use regularly, such as references to good customer service or their company culture.
Then as you answer each of the questions asked of you, include examples that line up with these requirements.
1. What do you know about Starbucks?
This question is asked to make sure you have done your homework on the company, and understand what they are all about.
You can find all the information you need on the About Us page on the Starbucks website.
“Starbucks was founded in 1971 and aims to do two things: 1) Share great coffee with friends; and 2) Help make the world a little bit better.
It’s mission is: To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.
Starbucks now has over 32,000 stores in 80 countries across the world, and continues to deliver excellent coffee as well as building connections.”
2. Why do you want to work at Starbucks?
Your interviewer is trying to understand if you really want to work for Starbucks, and you’re not just looking for any old job.
Again, using information about the company Mission and Values from the About Us section on the Starbucks website you can align your answer nicely.
“I really want to work for a company that treats people with respect, and is more about building connections that simple commercial transactions.
I know that Starbucks values the connections it creates between people, and this aligns with my personality and career goals.”
3. How would you handle a rude customer?
This question is being asked to see how you would respond in a tricky situation. Your interview will looking to assess whether or not you can keep your cool in the face of a rude customer, and arrive at a positive outcome.
“First of all, I would make sure I remain calm and polite when faced with a rude or angry customer.
I would ask questions to understand their frustration, and show empathy with their situation. Once I understand the problem, I would offer a solution to fix it, and check with the customer if that would make them happy.
If not, I would ask what they would like to see instead, and try to provide the relevant solution.”
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4. What’s your favorite drink at Starbucks?
Sounds like a strangely simple question! But actually, your interviewer is testing your product knowledge.
They want to hear that you are familiar with the products on offer, not just that you like having a latte in the morning!
“Ooh, good question! My go-to drink is a simple black Americano. But occasionally I enjoy treating myself to an indulgent caramel frappuccino.
On a particularly hot day I love a double-shot iced coffe – the perfect combination of caffeine and refreshment.
I also like to add an all-day breakfast wrap to my order – delicious!”
5. What would you do if a customer claimed they have been given the wrong drink, but you’re sure they have been given the right one?
This question is trying to gauge your response to a potentially awkward situation. Make sure you are clear on prioritizing customer satisfaction in your answer.
“In order to prevent this situation occurring, I would double the customer’s order when taking it. I would play back to them what they have asked for before asking them to pay, and get their confirmation that it’s correct.
But if the situation did arise, I would ask the customer what they wanted instead, and look to replace it for them. I think reaching customer satisfaction is more important than wasting a single drink. After all, we’re looking to make connections with customers.”
6. How would you handle a situation where a customer wants a product but we have run out?
Another question here to see how you would handle a situation that could lead to a frustrated customer.
It’s important to show how you would empathize with the customer, and offer an alternative that can still make them happy.
“I’m really sorry, but we’re out of the mango and passion fruit smoothie at the moment. Which is a shame, because it’s one of my favorites too!
I can recommend the banana, raspberry and blueberry smoothie instead. It’s equally tasty, and just as refreshing.”
7. If you saw a colleague being rude to a customer, how would you respond?
The interviewer wants to know how you would defuse this type of situation. And also, what you would do if it was a recurring theme.
“If I saw a colleague being rude to a customer, I would offer to help and suggest I can serve the customer instead. Coming in independently to the situation, I could deal with the issue less emotionally than my colleague.
I would apologize to the customer for any offence caused, and make sure they leave satisfied. Then I would speak with my colleague to understand what had happened. If there is an underlying problem, I would offer to help resolve it.
If it became a recurring problem, I would have to report this to my manager in a delicate manner. The aim would be to support my colleague and help them find a better way to interact with customers.”
8. Can you give an example of when you have provided excellent customer service?
The interview wants to know that you have previously delivered good customer service. Talk about a specific example that led to a good customer outcome.
Be specific about the situation – the company, the place, the situation. Then explain what you did exactly, and what the outcome was.
“In my last job working at a restaurant, a customer told me in secret that is was her husband’s birthday, but he doesn’t like a fuss.
So when they had finished their main course, I brought a small cake with ‘Happy Birthday’ written on it to him.
Normally, we add sparklers and sing Happy Birthday when we do that, but this time I just discretely slipped the cake in front of him and wished him Happy Birthday.
When they left, they both said they really appreciated the sensitive gesture.”
9. If you were the only person serving customers, and the line became really long, what would you do?
This question is designed to see if you focus on customers and service first.
“If I saw a line building and I was the only one serving, I would ask one of my colleagues to come and support serving customers.
I think dealing with front of house customers is more important then something like re-stocking which can be done when it’s quiet.
If there was no-one available to help serve with me, I would apologize to each customer when it became their turn for the delay. I would also thank them for their patience, and make pleasant conversation to lighten their mood.”
10. If you realized after serving a customer that you had given them the wrong drink, but they didn’t say anything, what would you do?
This question is asked to see if you would be pro-active in solving an issue. Or if you would look to ‘get away with it’.
Obviously, the right answer is say that you would fix the issue!
“I would ask the customer if everything is OK with their order. If they said “yes”, I would double check in case they were just being polite.
If they told me that their order was wrong, or something was wrong with their drink, then I would offer to correct or replace it for them, free of charge.”
Starbucks Interview Questions: Conclusion
These are some common Starbucks interview questions, with sample answers. By using this information, you are now better equipped for your Starbucks interview.
Best of luck!