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19 Bartender Interview Questions (And How to Answer Them)

An interview is often your only chance to make a great first impression for a new role, so it’s important you prepare for it. When preparing for your bartender interview, you need to be ready to answer the questions you'll be asked. To help you prepare, here are the most common bartender interview questions and example answers to help you with your response.


  1. What Responsibilities Do You Think a Bartender Has?


Bartender jobs are popular. For many, it can lead to an exciting career, so if an interviewer asks you this question, they’ll want to see if you know what the role involves. 


Example Answer

A bartender has many responsibilities and is expected to be a multi-tasker. Not only do they serve drinks, but they’re also responsible for serving and talking to customers, keeping the bar clean, handling cash and card payments and assisting other team members. 


  1. Do You Have the Flexibility to Work Evenings and Weekends?

Bars and restaurants are open every day, which means a person with flexible time is ideal for the job. So, you must show your flexibility and willingness to work any shifts when you’re asked this question.


During festive seasons, bars and restaurants are busier, so you may be expected to work on holidays, like Christmas and New Year’s Eve.


Example Answer

Yes, I'm free to work at any time. 


(You could also ask the interviewer when they notify staff of the shifts they have to work at this point. There's nothing wrong with asking this. Your employer should give you advance notice on your monthly rota.)



  1. Do You Have Previous Experience Working as a Bartender?


Some employers will want to hire bar staff with some previous experience. Others will be happy to train new staff. If you're applying for your first bartending job, it's best practice to do some research online.


Example Answers

  • Yes, I worked as a part-time bartender while I attended university. I loved the role and learned a lot.
  • I've never worked as a bartender before, however, I have done a lot of research online and I’m eager to work in this industry.


  1. Have You Completed Any Bartender Training?


As bartending is a popular career, this is a common question. Your interviewer will want to see if you have the appropriate training and skills for the job if they aren't willing to train people new to the role. 


Example Answers

  • I haven't attended any bartending schools, but I worked in different bars when I lived abroad for a year. I worked with lots of experienced bartenders and this opportunity allowed me to learn different techniques and skills.
  • I've attended several bartending training courses and I'm excited to start my career.


  1. Imagine a Wine Glass Falls on the Floor and Smashes - What Do You Do Next?


As a bartender, you’ll come across various potential hazards. Everything from smashed glasses to slippery floors from spilt drinks can occur, which is why you must pay attention and remove any hazards before they cause possible injuries. The interviewer will want to know you understand this.


Example Answer

In this situation, I'd ask customers to move away from the glass and either stand next to the hazard while a colleague gets a brush and bucket or ask my colleague to guard the area while I get what I need to clean the mess.


The glass would be tidied up and disposed of correctly. If the floor needs to be mopped, I'd make sure to leave a yellow warning sign to warn customers and mop the floor.


  1. What Type of Seasonal Drinks Would You Recommend?


Just like the chefs in the kitchen, bartenders are expected to have a creative flair. For seasonal holidays, you'll probably be asked to make something special. 


Example Answer

For Christmas, I'd create something festive and delicious. Mulled wine is always a popular beverage during this festive season, especially on cold days. I like to make mulled wine cocktails which can be served hot or cold. 


  1. What's Your Favourite Drink to Make?


If you’re asked this question, don’t simply go for the most complicated cocktail. It’s best to be honest with the interviewer while showing your creativity. Your favourite drink should be the one you’re comfortable making as they may ask you to make it during the interview or in the future.


Example Answer

My favourite drink to make is a Mojito because it’s a classic, but there are so many variations so it never gets boring to make.


  1. What Do You Enjoy Most About Being a Bartender?


This is a popular interview question as it gives your interviewer the chance to get an honest insight into what you like about the profession.


Example Answer

It allows me to interact with different types of people. As a bartender, I understand the importance of being a good host and providing excellent customer service.


  1. How Would You Keep Yourself Busy During a Slow Night?


As well as busy times, there will be some quieter shifts too. It’s important to show the interviewer you can work on your own initiative. 


Example Answer

Quieter times during a shift are the ideal time to clean or organise the bar ready for the next shift. I might not have time to do these things when busy, so a slow shift is the perfect opportunity. 


  1. A Customer Sends Their Drink Back - How Would You Handle It?


There are various reasons why this may happen, but when presented with this situation, you need to handle it professionally.


Example Answer

I'd politely ask the customer why they're sending their drink back, try my best to understand their complaint and handle it accordingly. By understanding what the problem is with the drink, I can better address the issue.


  1. How Would You Prepare for a Long Shift on Your Feet?


One thing that contributes to bartender success in a major way (and is often forgotten about) is knowing how you can stay safe and comfortable at work.


Example Answer

I know I’ll be on my feet for long periods, so I need the correct bar shoes to get me through my shift. They should be water-resistant and non-slip, so my feet can remain dry and comfortable. When I do get a break, I’ll make sure I’m hydrated. This will mean I’m refreshed and ready to continue with the rest of the shift. 



  1. You’re Given a Complicated Drinks Order and You Forget - What’s Your Next Step?


As a bartender, you’ll often be faced with long, complicated orders - sometimes a customer may even ask for a drink you’ve never heard of. The interviewer will want to know how you handle this kind of scenario. 


Example Answer

I wouldn’t panic. Rather than trying to remember everything, I'd make what I did remember and go and ask the customer again. This time, I’ll write it down so I’ll definitely remember and won’t need to ask again.


  1. Several Customers Are Demanding Your Attention - What’s the Best Way to Handle This?


Bars are busy places, so you may find you’re faced with multiple customers asking for your attention all at once. 


Example Answer

I'd take a deep breath and smile at the customers to let them know I’m aware and will be over soon to take their order. I'd finish the order I’m making and move to the next but make sure I’m not rushing.


  1. Are You Good at Working in a Team?


You might not be in a management role but bartenders are expected to work together. This is a vital skill to have because as your career develops, you could become a manager where you need to motivate a team behind a bar.


Example Answer

I always want to work well with my team as I know that increases efficiency while improving our overall service and speed. We rely on each other to deliver a fantastic experience for customers, so sharing the workload and getting to know each other is essential.


  1. How Do You Communicate With Customers?


A significant part of succeeding as a bartender is knowing how to handle each type of customer, as it’s never a one-size-fits-all approach.


Example Answer

I'd ask about their exciting plans that night, what they did at the weekend or the trouble they’re planning on getting into in a light-hearted way. I'd keep the conversation fun so the conversation is natural.


Although communicating with customers is important to develop my career, I'll look to find the right balance between showing enough attention so they don’t feel neglected and not too much that they're annoyed.


  1. How Would You Handle a Customer Who You Believe To Be Underage or Using a Fake ID?

No bar wants to face the hassles of being fined for serving underage people, so this is an important question for the interviewer. They need to know you understand how important it is that all customers who are served are the legal age. 


Example Answer

I'd ask to see the person’s ID. If I was still unsure whether or not the person is of legal drinking age, I'd speak to my manager and ask for their advice and guidance.




  1. Why Do You Want to Work Here?

This question is your opportunity to show you’ve researched the establishment and express your genuine interest in working with them. An interviewer wants to know you’re not simply interested in any job, but the role they’re advertising for in particular. 


Example Answer

Your establishment is the type I'd enjoy visiting as a customer. It has an inviting atmosphere and high-quality food and drinks. I’ve heard great things about this place and I’d feel proud to work here. 


  1. What Is Your Greatest Strength as a Bartender?

This is your opportunity to show off your talents and express how you’ll be a valuable asset to the team.


Example Answer

I have great memory skills and I feel this gives me the ability to remember complex drinks orders while also managing multiple tasks to a high standard. I’m also great at remembering customers’ names, so I can offer a welcoming, personal service. 


  1. What Is One of Your Weaknesses as a Bartender?

Everyone has a weakness, so although you have one, it’s important to show you’re willing and hoping to improve on it. 


Example Answer

I’m still learning how to make complex cocktails. Although I’ve been learning from coworkers, I still have more learning to do but soon I’ll be able to do more than just the regular cocktails and create more unique drinks. 


Ready to take your bartending to the next level? Take a look at our download below to get some great tips and tricks.


Up Your Bartender Game

Whether you’re a pro behind the bar or just starting out, our 5 Steps to Bartender Success guide will help you to not only deliver great customer service but also help you to get the most out of your role. To download, simply click the button below.

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