As you know, we have a lot of competitors in this industry. Why do you want to work for Accelerando Coffee House?
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Researching the company is an essential step before your interview. Part of that research is going to include learning who the competitors are, and why Accelerando Coffee House stands apart from the rest. Keep your answer to the point, and positive.
"The culture at Accelerando Coffee House is very desirable. You have a reputation for investing in your staff through continued education and incentives which seems to keep your employees engaged. I am also very impressed with the online reviews that I have read. You have a great reputation!"
"I want to work for Accelerando Coffee House because I have been a patron for many years. I have always been a loyal customer because of the high-quality food and beverages, as well as the friendly atmosphere."
Have you ever come to Accelerando Coffee House as a customer? Tell me about your experience.
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The interviewer is genuinely interested in your experience as a customer. If you have been a customer at Accelerando Coffee House, speak openly and positively about your experience. If your experience was not a positive one be sure to handle that tactfully and with substantial discretion. It is important to note that you should always be a patron before applying/interviewing. 'I have never come here' will never be an acceptable answer.
"I am a regular customer at Accelerando Coffee House because your location is convenient, your customer service is always friendly, and your product is consistently fresh."
"I have not frequented this location often; however, the times that I have come here, I always leave impressed and well taken care of."
At Accelerando Coffee House we receive many applications on a daily basis. Why should we hire you?
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When answering this question, you always want to refer to what you can do for Accelerando Coffee House. This question is not about you and your needs/desires. What unique skills do you bring to the organization that other applicants may not?
"I understand that you receive many applications every day. I am a stand-out candidate because I have an impressive customer service record. Because I am well versed in the coffee industry, the time required to train me will be minimal. I am dedicated, come with strong references, and can start immediately."
"I am a stand out candidate because I offer an attitude that fits well with the customer-focused attitude at Accelerando Coffee House. Also, I am bilingual and able to help your customers in English and Spanish fluently."
Walk me through your industry related experience. Which role was your favorite, and why did you leave?
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This question is a loaded one because the interviewer is trying to understand the attitude you bring with you to work and why you would choose to leave a position that makes you happy. Take a few minutes to walk the interviewer through your resume.
"I have worked in the customer service / restaurant industry for the past 3 years. My favorite role was with Company ABC because the culture was friendly and collaborative. I only left because I relocated to a different city. I am excited about the opportunity with Accelerando Coffee House because the culture feels similar. I see a strong fit here."
"My favorite role was with Company XYZ and; although I enjoyed it, the time came for me to seek a position with a higher wage, and potential to become the manager. There was minimal growth opportunity there, so I chose to move forward in my career. We parted on great terms and the owner is still an employment reference of mine."
From your understanding of our job posting, what do you feel your primary duties will be with Accelerando Coffee House?
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The interviewer would like to know that you fully understand the duties associated with this position. Have you read and absorbed the job description? Do you have a clear understanding of the tasks outlined by the hiring manager during the interview? Assure the interviewer that you will exceed their expectations.
"I understand that Accelerando Coffee House puts their primary focus on personal customer service and quality products. From what I have researched, the primary duties of this role will be to represent Accelerando Coffee House proudly through excellent service. This responsibility includes preparing beverages correctly the first time, ensuring that cleanliness is kept in the shop and keeping inventory levels accurate."
"I have read through the job posting in details and feel that my primary duties will be to prepare beverages, greet the customers, and handle transactions accurately. Are there other expectations, in this role not outlined in the job posting?"
6. What characteristics do you feel a good barista will have? Display to the interviewer that you have what it takes to be a great barista! First, you should fully understand the requirements to be a barista. You can research the career path as well as refer to the Accelerando Coffee House website and job description. Keep your answer to the point, and positive. Here is an answer example: "I see in your job description that you are seeking someone who can multitask, be friendly, and is reliable. In addition to these requirements, I feel that a good barista will be willing to learn new beverages, work well as part of a team, and provide top notch customer service. I do not know everything about specialty drinks but from what I understand - you provide excellent training at Accelerando Coffee House." Here is an answer example: "Here are some other skills a barista should have:
- Outgoing personality
- Ability to do basic math at a quick pace
- Active listening skills for order taking
- Strong customer service skills
- The desire to be around groups of people all day
- Memorization and strong recall abilities
- Ability to work well with a team of varying personalities
- Interest in the coffee shop culture
- Interest in hygiene
- Investment in health and safety protocols
- Dispute resolution skills"7. At Accelerando Coffee House we want to be the best in the coffee industry. Where do you think we could improve? The coffee industry is a competitive one, and the interviewer would like to know that you have put some thought into where Accelerando Coffee House stands in comparison to their competitors. Perhaps you have a minor suggestion for improvement? It is excellent, to be honest; however, be sure to keep your answer light and end on a positive note. Here is an answer example: "I am a coffee addict and have visited Accelerando Coffee House many times! Your shop is truly one of my favorites. The only suggestion I would make is to increase your stock of breakfast pastries. Many times I will arrive around 10 AM, and you are sold out. It simply means that your product is great and sells out!" Here is an answer example: "I have seen a few local coffee shops use an app where customers can place their order ahead of time, even paying and tipping on the app, to avoid having to wait in line. I think it's a great idea for anyone in a hurry to get to work, or for someone with a large order. Something like that could be cool for Accelerando Coffee House to create at some point."8. At Accelerando Coffee House we have very high standards when it comes to food safety. Have you ever taken any food safety or hygiene related courses? Talk to the interviewer about any related training that you may have had, whether it be a formal or on-the-job experience. If your training is listed on your resume, take the time to re-review it briefly. Assure the interviewer that you have an interest in helping them to uphold the high standards at Accelerando Coffee House. Here is an answer example: "In my previous role, I was trained on-the-job in regards to food health and safety. I was tested regularly as well. A few years ago I also completed my Food Safety Training Certificate from our local community college. I fully understand the importance of food safety and will uphold the strong standards at Accelerando Coffee House, if hired." Here is an answer example: "This would be my first position within the restaurant industry so at this time I am not trained or certified in food safety. If you could provide me with some recommended courses, I would be happy to get a head start on my training!"9. At Accelerando Coffee House we offer many corporate growth opportunities to our star employees. Where do you see your career with Accelerando Coffee House taking you? The coffee industry is booming, competitive, and it isn't going anywhere! Talk to the interviewer about how you see your career growth in this industry. Onboarding new employees is a time-consuming and expensive task. Be sure to express your genuine interest in working for Accelerando Coffee House for the longer term! Here is an answer example: "When I was on your website the other day I noticed that you offer store level and corporate level opportunities. I poked around a bit and thought that it would be cool to end up in a human resources type of opportunity down the road. I think your culture at Accelerando Coffee House is great and I would love to grow a strong career here." Here is an answer example: "This position is perfect for my schedule as I attend University for the next four years. Past my University graduation, I am not sure where I will end up; however, I would love to dedicate these next few years to Accelerando Coffee House."10. Thank you for spending your time interviewing with Accelerando Coffee House. I realize I have asked you a lot of questions. Do you have any questions for me? It's always a great idea to have questions ready for the interviewer. Review the company website and other online resources to ensure the questions you are asking are not mundane, or redundant. The last thing an interviewer wants to hear is a list of items you could have found the answers to from merely watching a video on their company site!
Here are some sample questions:
- When would you like to have this position filled?
- How long has this role been vacant?
- Is this a replacement search or a newly created role?
- What is your favorite part about working here?
- What is the company's primary goal for this position in the next 12 months?
- Is there anything from my background and experience that I can clarify for you?
- What do you see as the most significant change in this industry over the past three years?
- Is there any reason why you would not hire me? Here is an answer example: Here is an answer example: "Thank you for asking! Yes, I do have a question for you. When we were speaking earlier about scheduling and my availability, I was wondering if your schedule stays the same from week to week or if you offer a range of shifts to all of your employees?"11. At Accelerando Coffee House we have had previous concerns with employee theft. How would you handle it if you caught an employee stealing? In a high-volume retail and customer service environment, it can be challenging to stay on top of inventory and cash. This question is a great time to ask the interviewer if Accelerando Coffee House has a loss prevention program and protocols in place for employee theft. If you have experience with inventory management, staff management, or employee termination - this is a great time to discuss! Here is an answer example: "If you could tell me more about your loss prevention efforts at Accelerando Coffee House that would be great. In my current position, we have protocols in place for reporting employee theft. Our Corporate office has formally trained me on loss prevention. Since becoming a Manager in my current role I have dealt with one employee theft case which resulted in their termination." Here is an answer example: "I am sure that you have an internal policy for employee theft so I can assure you that I would follow the required steps to report the theft. I am a trustworthy person with a strong track record of honesty with my previous employers."12. If a customer complained that you gave them incorrect change, what would you do? The interviewer would like to know that you have training in essential customer service and cash handling tasks. Most organizations will train you to confirm with the customer the bill amount they are handing you. Some businesses will also prepare their customer service representatives to leave the original cash amount visible to the customer until you complete the transaction. Assure the interviewer that you understand these loss prevention methods and that you can perform well in uncomfortable situations. Here is an answer example: "In my current position I have been trained to avoid this situation entirely by leaving the cash visible (out of the till and on the counter close to me) until I have provided the customer with their change. I will also confirm with the customer the bill type they have given me. For instance; if they hand me a $20 bill, I will say out loud 'from twenty?'. They will then say yes - confirming that we are both on the same page. These methods help me to avoid customer issues surrounding cash discrepancies." Here is an answer example: "I have not experienced an event like this; however, I do know that in cash based scenarios it is always best to leave the original bill outside of the till, visible to the customer, until the transaction is complete. This method also prevents employees from being scammed by fake customers demanding change for their $50 bill when, in fact, it was originally a $20."13. Are you familiar with the types of products that we serve at Accelerando Coffee House? It is critical that you research Accelerando Coffee House before your interview. Take note of their most popular products and any new, or seasonal, products that may have been released recently. Here is an answer example: "From what I understand you have all of the basics including light, medium and full-bodied coffee's. Your specialty at Accelerando Coffee House appears to be on hot and cold creations such as coffee and tea-based latte's. I am eager to try your new cold brew coffee this summer!" Here is an answer example: "I am familiar with your products! I am a dedicated customer and already know a good portion of the menu at Accelerando Coffee House. I am very excited to work here!"14. At Accelerando Coffee House we are open 7 days a week. We may schedule you for early mornings, evenings, weekends, and holidays. Are you able to offer flexibility in your schedule, or do you have restrictions? When you work in the customer service industry, you should expect to have different hours. If there are some restrictions on your schedule, this is the time to discuss with the interviewer. Be firm about your limitations but also offer some flex in return. Here is an answer example: "I am happy to work the majority of shifts; however, I do take morning classes on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. I am available to work the later shift on those days." Here is an answer example: "I have no restrictions on my schedule and am happy to be a team player by taking any shifts you need. I am also eager to work so I can take many overtime shifts and some holidays."15. Give me an example of a time when you went above and beyond. Display to the interviewer that you can do more than the bare minimum. Show that you can react when you see that your employer has a need that goes beyond your usual day-to-day expectations. Here is an answer example: "Last week I noticed that my manager had not completed the schedule for the following week. Some of the staff were complaining that they didn't have their work schedule yet. Rather than going to my manager with the complaint, I offered to take on some of her workload so that she would have the time to complete the schedule. We worked together for a couple of overtime hours that day and were able to catch her up on everything. It felt good to help but also benefited me by way of organization." Here is an answer example: "I often go above and beyond what is expected of me. Most recently, I agreed to cover for a co-worker who was on short-term medical leave. I worked 10 hour days for two weeks so that our shop did not suffer any setbacks."16. When have you been asked to perform a function or complete a task in which you had little or no experience in doing? Have you ever had to take on a task or a role that you felt was over your experience level? Talk to the interviewer about a time when you have dealt with this type of situation. What was the outcome, and what did you learn? Here is an answer example: "I am often asked to perform tasks outside of my wheelhouse. These tasks include customer dispute resolution and interviewing potential new employees. I am a diverse employee and am happy to take on additional functions." Here is an answer example: "Because I am new to my career, I have not had much experience with this. However, I am adaptable. I will use all available resources and research possibilities to find out what I need to do and how to do it."17. Where do you see yourself a year from now? It's impossible to know where you will be in years to come, but assure the interviewer that, given all possible circumstances, you could see yourself as a long-term fit for their position. Here is an answer example: "Ideally, one year from now, I would love to see myself growing into a more prominent leadership role within your organization. My career interests align very nicely with Accelerando Coffee House goals which help me to see a great long-term fit here." Here is an answer example: "One year from now, I would like to be supervising or managing a team of my own. I feel like I am progressing at a rate that will make this a possibility."18. How does this position with Accelerando Coffee House fit into your career goals? Is this particular position a good fit? Is it a step up in your career or - a stagnant move that you are just complacent with taking until something better comes along? Assure the interviewer that this position will be challenging for you, is a step up in responsibilities, and that it fits with your overall career goals. Here is an answer example: "My primary goal in my career, as a barista, is to eventually work my way into a position where I will train new staff. I feel that Accelerando Coffee House offers a strong path towards that goals and I am excited about what this position has to offer." Here is an answer example: "My primary career goal is to find a position where I can stay long term. Because Accelerando Coffee House has such a strong reputation for workplace culture, it fits perfectly with my desires for a long-term fit."19. Describe your leadership qualities. The interviewer would like to know what you consider to be strong leadership qualities. When describing leadership qualities, try to avoid general terms and give some unique ideas.
A great leader is someone who people naturally want to follow. They have exceptional interpersonal skills and the ability to build relationships with nearly any personality type. A respected leader will take ownership of their mistakes and will always lead their team by example. True leaders see the importance of motivating others and recognizing even the smallest achievements. With which of these qualities do you most identify? Here is an answer example: "I have taken a handful of workshops and courses to improve my leadership skills this year. My leadership qualities are best summed as dedicated, attentive, and motivating. I like to recognize my employees' small wins because that motivates them to continue achieving." Here is an answer example: "Here are some other leadership qualities:
- Passionate about success
- Ability to inspire others
- Strong focus
- Honesty and transparency
- Unwavering confidence
- Willingness to present new ideas
- Patience while training others
- Authentic, friendly, and approachable"20. Rate your communication skills from 1-10 with proper examples backing your given rating. On a scale of 1-10, how skilled are you in communication? Why did you choose that particular rating for yourself? Here is an answer example: "I rate my communication skills as a 9/10 as I will, on occasion, have times when I am not as clear as I would like to be. My supervisor and co-workers will attest to my clear and concise communication skills. Because I am an open leader, my team will let me know if I need to clarify anything." Here is an answer example: "I will rate myself an 8.5 because I consider myself a strong communicator. It is the foundation of all success in business. I am always striving to be a better communicator, so I leave the rest of the scale as an aspirational measure."21. How would you describe your personality? Personality and character are two very different things. The interviewer is looking for more information on your traits vs. your integrity. These traits should include buzzwords such as introverted, energetic, and confident. Here is an answer example: "I would describe my personality as approachable, light-hearted, and positive. I believe that, if asked, my colleagues and supervisor would say the same about me." Here is an answer example: "Here are some descriptive personality words:
- Talkative"22. Days can sometimes be stressful at Accelerando Coffee House. How do you handle stress on the job? Are you someone who can handle stress on the job? How do you manage the stressful times? Talk to the interviewer about your ability to control pressure in the workplace. Here is an answer example: "I handle stress very well, and when you call my references, they will attest to this fact. When I am under pressure on the job, I focus on the task at hand and make sure not to get distracted. Staying on deadline is very helpful, and I will delegate when necessary to alleviate some stress." Here is an answer example: "Stress is part of any demanding job, and I embrace it to the fullest. I take good care of myself and prioritize my workload to maintain a healthy balance in my stress levels."23. Outside of work, what type of creative activities do you like to pursue? A genuinely creative minded person will have outside activities aside from what's happening in the workplace. Tell the interviewer about the variety of ways in which you express your creativity. Here is an answer example: "Outside of work I like to attend dance classes and I also attend the odd paint and sip wine nights at a local wine shop. I also enjoy reading as a way of nurturing my creative side." Here is an answer example: "Outside of work I love to explore my creative side. I practice photography for fun and also hang out with friends. As an avid reader, I try to read one new book per week. I also explore writing."24. How many days were you absent from work last year? A part of being a diligent employee is to ensure that you are always on time and present when expected. It's great to even be 10 minutes early rather than just showing up right on the dot. Talk to the interviewer about your attendance. Here is an answer example: "I had zero unexcused absences last year. In total, I took 12 vacation days out of my 15 allotted days. I was sick just 2, and a note from my Doctor accompanied those. Once I was late due to a terrible snow storm, and I always try to be 10 minutes early for my shift." Here is an answer example: "I cannot recall the exact number, but I think it was around three days total. All absences were excused and with notice."25. At Accelerando Coffee House, we believe that everyone has leadership capabilities. Do you see yourself a leader? When have you led a team? Perhaps you have led a club at work, been a coach for a youth sports team, or were on the advisory board for a non-profit organization. You should always be prepared to show the interviewer that you have a natural ability to lead others. Whether you have led a group of 500 or a team of 2, you must display to the interviewer that you are capable of handling the responsibility that comes with being a leader and mentor.
Talk about your desire to be a leader. Share with the interviewer that you strive to be a role model for others. Explain that you jump at the opportunity to lead groups, encourage your counterparts, and be a face of the organization when challenges arise. Here is an answer example: "In my current position, I am the president of the social committee. I love that I have the opportunity to encourage employee engagement while being a positive influence on the workplace culture. I am a natural leader because I start with leading by example. As a leader, I make myself available to others who need mentor-ship, a bit of assistance in adjusting to their role, or just a listening ear when they've had a tough day. I am confident in my leadership abilities and look forward to joining your team in a leadership role." Here is an answer example: "I see myself as a leader. Not only have I managed a team in two prior roles, but also I believe that leadership does not always equate to management. I am sure to lead at all times by providing the best model, enthusiasm, and work-ethic of the organization. I am open to new ideas and love to tackle a new project which, to me, embodies leadership."26. List the top 3 skills that you have acquired in your last role, that will help you in this position with Accelerando Coffee House. You have likely gained many valuable skills in your career. Share with the interviewer which skills you value the most. Be sure to include capabilities that will potentially benefit this potential new employer. Here is an answer example: "In my last role, the top 3 skills that I acquired were customer service, stronger communication skills, and transaction handling." Here is an answer example: "Here is a list of hard and soft skills that you may have acquired along the way:
- Software or Hardware
- Computer Programs
- Listening Skills
- Feedback Acceptance / Providing Feedback
- Decision Making
- Diversity Awareness" Here is an answer example: " Here is an answer example: "27. On a scale from 1 to 10, how honest are you? Do you feel that you are a sincere person or do you have room for growth? This question could be a tricky one as nobody is always 100% honest. Answer to the best of your ability and back your reply by speaking about your ethics. Here is an answer example: "I would love to give myself a 10/10 for honesty but truthfully - nobody is 100% honest all of the time. I will give myself an nine because I always do my best to be as honest as possible." Here is an answer example: "I was brought up to be an honest individual, at all times, no matter the personal consequences. With that said, nobody is honest 100% of the time. For that reason, I would rate myself as a 9/10."28. What causes you to feel dissatisfied on the job? Everyone will have their particular triggers that cause them to feel dissatisfaction on the job. Talk to the interviewer about any factors that may deflate or discourage you in the workplace. Here is an answer example: "I can feel dissatisfaction on the job when I am not feeling heard or when there is not mutual respect among the team members. I work best in more harmonious situations where there is little drama or gossip." Here is an answer example: "I have felt dissatisfied on the job when I feel underpaid and overworked. I don't mind working hard at all, but I don't like to feel as though I'm being taken advantage of."29. Have you ever had to fire an employee? What were the reasons for their termination? Terminating an employee is never a task that people like to do. Talk to the interviewer about how you go about employee terminations. What does that conversation usually look like? Here is an answer example: "I have had to terminate employees in the past, yes. These terminations generally stemmed from missed targets or insubordination. I find it challenging to terminate employees because you do care about them and their well being. I have to remind myself that I did absolutely everything that I could to ensure their success but, I cannot carry the full weight." Here is an answer example: "Unfortunately this is a part of wearing your management hat. I recently had to separate employment with someone who was under-performing. We coached the employee in question, offered additional learning experiences and worked with them on a performance improvement plan. It was the right person in the wrong role, and we had to decide to move forward."30. At Accelerando Coffee House, we are looking for reliable employees who come to work on time. Do you have reliable transportation? Even if you're not expected to drive for the job, you will need to have some form of reliable transportation. If you take the bus or ride a bike, that works too! Share that you have the means to get to work consistently and on time. Here is an answer example: "I have reliable transportation. My vehicle is well maintained, and I am comfortable with the amount of travel required to get to your office every day." Here is an answer example: "I take public transit; however, I find it to be very reliable. I was late to work only once last year, and that was due to a snowstorm which stalled all of our employee's commute - including those with personal vehicles. Rest assured, I am reliable and will always come to work on time."31. What are your salary expectations? The best way to discuss your salary expectations is to use your current earnings as an example. Be open, and honest. Transparency is the best choice when salary based questions arise. Here is an answer example: "Currently, I earn a base salary of $25,000 per year plus a potential 20% annual bonus. Last year my earnings were $29,000, and I would like to stay in the same range or slightly higher." Here is an answer example: "I am currently making $12/hour with two bonus opportunities. I am looking for compensation that is aligned with the role and provides an opportunity for growth."32. How would your favorite teacher or professor describe you? Talking about yourself can be challenging, especially for your first interview. Your favorite teacher is someone who recognizes your hard work and your talents. They may be impressed with your writing and communication skills, how well you work in groups, and your enthusiasm. If you have spent any time one-on-one with your teacher and received feedback, share what you have learned from them. Talk about how they noticed your strengths and helped you to develop them. Your perseverance, kindness and hard working spirit are all great qualities to share in your interview. Here is an answer example: "My favorite professor always said that I was very disciplined and attentive. I took that as a great compliment because he was a very focused personality as well." Here is an answer example: "One of my professors gave me a huge compliment of asking me to research and edit his book after I graduated, as a contributor to his research project. So, not only does he think that I am a great writer, but he also trusts my project management skills, researching, and editing skills. He also knew this would be on top of my 9-to-5, so he knows that I can take on any task no matter what the obstacles may be."33. At Accelerando Coffee House, we value accuracy and a job well done. Do you always double check or proofread your work? Double checking and proofreading are essential parts of a job well done. Assure the interviewer that you are diligent when it comes to submitting good, clean, work. Here is an answer example: "Spelling and grammatical errors are a pet peeve of mine. I will triple check my work if there is time! I feel that it is essential to submit error-free work." Here is an answer example: "I try to, but in today's quick response age, I know that I send emails with typos on occasion. I concentrate very well on reports and presentations, and I do ask other people to review important letters or emails before sending them."
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