Bar Interview Tips
What to do Before the Interview
Before the Bar Interview. So you’re eager to find a bar job but do you know what to do before even handing out any resumes? You go research the bars you’re interested in working at beforehand. Find out information like which nights are busy, what their current staff are like (are they competent and sociable?) and then think about how you could do the job better.
In the bar industry, who you know plays a big role. Talk to some of the employees and meet the manager or owner in person. Introduce yourself confidently, make eye contact with people and shake hands firmly. And always thank people for their time.
While there, note what the staff are wearing and the positive and negative qualities about how they are conducting themselves. You always want to aim higher. Pay attention to how they greet customers, make drinks, and whether or not they are engaging and conversational.
Are they slow or fast? Do they smile often? Remember, if you smile, people will want to come and talk with you. And if you’re working the bar, they’ll want to order their drinks from you, increasing your tips.
If you have little to no experience, this can be a good opportunity to note what related skills you do have. Perhaps you served at a charity dinner once or greeted people at a wedding. Maybe you have experience handling money – figuring out bills quickly from when you sold lemonade from your driveway.
Most importantly, figure out why it is you want to work there – this is guaranteed to be an interview question. You’re trying to find out as much as you possibly can before the interview.
Once you have collected all this information, it’s time to go and hand out your resume to all the bars, restaurants or clubs where you think you’d make a good fit. Now you’ll want to sit by your phone and practise for the upcoming job interviews.
Practise some Interview Questions before the interview with a friend or in the mirror so you know how you’re going to respond. During an interview, the interviewer will likely ask you for a description of yourself. What they are expecting is a brief rendition of your qualities and goals. Remember, stick to the important stuff and don’t babble as it will appear that you are nervous and unsure of yourself or maybe even lying.
Prepare stories about good and bad customer experiences. Keep in mind what your strengths and weaknesses are. You can use your first job or a family story as an example of times you’ve failed and how you got through them, learned from them and eventually succeeded.
Nervous the day of the interview? Loosen up before the interview by practising how to mix a few common drinks – the interviewer may ask you to mix one up. If they do ask you to make a cocktail and you’re feeling confident, make them your favourite kind of martini, or a bloody mary – something that shows you know what you’re doing.
Having trouble remembering all the different cocktails? You can download our FREE Bartender Cheat Sheet below.
And now the call comes. The one that says you have a bar interview at such and such a time. Now that you’re all prepared, its time to ace that interview. Remember to be confident, relax and let your personality shine. Check out What to Wear to your Bartender Interview and What to Expect During the Interview. Remember, you can never be too prepared.
If you’re looking for tips on how to do well in your bar interview, chances are you’ll also want to take a look at our How to Become a Bartender series.