Things to Know About Starbucks for an Interview

Getting a job at Starbucks entails knowing more than just beans.

Getting a job at Starbucks entails knowing more than just beans.

No matter where you interview, you're more likely to make an impression on the interviewer if you demonstrate some knowledge about the company. In the case of Starbucks, there's plenty to learn. Fortunately, the information is at your fingertips, and with a little research, you'll be amply prepared to discuss community action, the Starbucks menu and anything else your interviewer might ask.

Situational Questions

According to postings at the Glassdoor career website, managers at Starbucks ask situational questions, often referred to as STAR questions. Expect to be asked about a particular situation you've dealt with at work, such as a time when you had to deal with a difficult customer. You'll tell what your goal was, which actions you took and what the results of those actions were. Be prepared to feel awkward as you discuss the time you accidentally dumped spaghetti in a customer's lap and offered to pay for her dry cleaning. Be honest, however, as everyone has such stories, and the interviewer is looking for the positive outcome you created from the experience.

Company Background

It's a good idea to know about the company's background before you walk into your interview. Starbucks managers, like managers everywhere, want to feel that you are interested in working for their company and not just any coffee shop that happens to be in the neighborhood. The company has been around since 1971, according to the company website, and its first store was in Seattle. Impress the interviewer by letting her know you know that the name of the company was inspired by Mr. Starbuck, the first mate in Herman Melville's novel, "Moby-Dick."

Values

Many interviewers ask, "Why should I hire you?" Your answer to this question should focus on your abilities as they relate to a company's values, according to a January 2013 "Forbes" article. Starbucks places a high value on ethical sourcing, environmental stewardship and community involvement. While you won't have any control over the company's coffee sources or environmental practices -- other than making sure to refrain from throwing your coffee cup out of your car window -- you can emphasize how your volunteer work in the community meshes with Starbucks' commitment to contribute one million volunteer hours to local communities each year. Letting the interviewer know about worthy projects you're interested in leading might give you a boost. Don't be shy about talking up your plan to put library boxes in public spaces or your ideas for a community food garden.

Products

You can be the most enthusiastic person in the world, but if you can't tell the difference between a caffè misto and a macchiato, you'll be unlikely to get the job. Starbucks has an extensive menu, and it's a good idea to give it a thorough going-over before your interview. Not only does each Starbucks have a wide variety of drinks and pastries, but it also has a considerable amount of merchandise. Be prepared to tell the interviewer how you'd sell a Varismo machine or a coffee press.

 

About the Author

Elise Wile has been a writer since 2003. Holding a master's degree in curriculum and Instruction, she has written training materials for three school districts. Her expertise includes mentoring, serving at-risk students and corporate training.

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