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How to Ace a Bartending Interview - an Ace Bartender's Tips

Updated on December 5, 2010

Bartending Interviews - A Step-by-Step Guide

This is the third 3rd installment in a 3 part series on how to ace a bartending interview and how to write great cover letters and resumes. Your bartending cover letter convinced them to look at your resume. Your bartending resume got you the interview. Now it is time to get the bartending job.

Step 1

Introduce yourself with confidence, look the person in the eye while administering a firm handshake. Thank them for their time and the opportunity to speak to them about a job.

During the interview try relax as much as you can and be yourself. You do not want to pretend to be someone you are not because both the interviewer and you will be disappointed after you get the job. Be yourself but accentuate your positive traits and skills. If you have done your homework you should have no problem relating your past experiences to the new job you are seeking.

Step 2

Be prepared to put your personality and knowledge on display. Bartenders are expected to have personality and you must show yours during the interview. Be prepared to toot your own horn and explain why you would be an asset, not just another employee, to their establishment. The goal of the interview is to show the interviewer that you are a great employee. Great employees are hard to find and managers will find a job for you when they perceive you this way.

Never give one word answers to questions. Be ready with stories, jokes and especially questions. Not every job interview will lend itself to telling a story or a joke. If you included a story in your cover letter be ready to expand upon it and add new details. Remember to come off friendly, inviting and professional. Put that positive personality on display.

Step 3

Always have questions ready for your interviewer. Sometimes an interviewer will ask you if you have any questions a few times during the interview, so be prepared to ask questions about the topic they have been talking about. Most interviewers will wait until the end of the interview to ask you if you have any questions. When this happens it is perfectly acceptable to have questions prepared and written out beforehand. If you can memorize the questions you want to ask, I recommend that approach. If you can’t, however, do not worry. Just write them down and refer to them during your chance to ask questions.

Here are some questions that you should ask during your interviews. Not all jobs are the same so these questions may need to be paraphrased and please feel free to come up with more. Not every question will be appropriate for all establishments so use common sense when deciding if you should ask a certain question. The following questions will make you appear professional and knowledgeable and will be an important asset in your getting the job you want. Use questions to bring up facts that have not already come up during the interview.

Do you have a lot of repeat customers?

What, if any, is your buyback policy?

How long has the establishment been in business?

Is there a lot of staff turnover?

What is your typical customer like?

What shifts are you looking to hire for?

Are they set shifts or do they change weekly?

What can I expect during training?

Do you have a house recipe book or should I make drinks the way I learned them?

All of the above questions will help you to stand out from the crowd. They will help you present yourself as knowledgeable and professional. Remember that you are interviewing the establishment also and ask these questions to get answers not just to appear smart. You will discover places that want to hire you but for whom you do not want to work. That’s o.k.

Always be polite when turning down a job and be honest if asked why. If a place is looking to hire for Saturday, Sunday and Monday night and you are unavailable on Sundays, let them know. If you really impress them they may be able to juggle a few shifts to accommodate you.

Step 4

After you have asked your questions be ready for a courteous good-bye. Always thank your interviewer for their time and express your desire to hear back from them. Ask the interviewer when a decision will be made about the job. If you haven’t heard back by then, call the interviewer to inquire about progress. Restaurants and bars are busy places that get very hectic. No two days are the same and often owners/managers will get distracted and attempt to get by shorthanded. BE PERSISTENT. Do not be annoying. Always be courteous and aware of their time.

We have now gone over the Bartending Cover Letter, the Bartending Resume, and the Bartending Interview. These are 3 essential elements in getting any bartending job.


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    • profile image

      LJ 6 years ago

      This is amazing. Thanks a lot !

    • profile image

      eddy b 6 years ago

      very good tips..... i have performed these steps everytime ive gone in for an interview and never been turned down ..... good chance its just e though ;)

    • profile image

      kendra 6 years ago

      Thanks these are great tips! I have an interview tomorrow and I'm a little nervous.

    • BarsAndBartending profile image

      BarsAndBartending 6 years ago

      Great series on Bar interviews. In an interview, you can never be too prepared. It's crucial to practise your introduction, questions and responses, dress appropriately, and your outro. Meanwhile staying calm and confident. That's no easy task! Good luck to anyone who is enthusiastically trying to break into the exciting industry of bartending.

    • hubconnie profile image

      hubconnie 7 years ago

      It's very much helpful.

    • profile image

      akshay lagad 8 years ago