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Costa Coffee Interview
Questions

33 Questions and Answers by
| Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.

Question 1 of 33

If a Costa Coffee customer complained that you gave them incorrect change, what would you do?

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Costa Coffee Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    If a Costa Coffee 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. Assure the interviewer that you understand these loss prevention methods and that you can perform well in uncomfortable situations.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "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 his/her 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."

      Michelle's Answer #2

      "I feel fortunate that 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."

  2. 2.

    At Costa Coffee 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 formal or on-the-job experience. If your training is listed on your resume, take the time to review it briefly. Assure the interviewer that you have an interest in helping them uphold the high standards at Costa Coffee.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "In my previous role, I underwent significant on-the-job training in regard 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 Cost Coffee, if hired."

      Michelle's Answer #2

      "This would be my first position within the restaurant industry so at this time I am not trained or certified in food safety. However, I take the quality standards and commitment to food safety at Costa Coffee very seriously. If there are particular valuable and/or recommended courses, I would be happy to get a head start on my training as soon as possible!"

  3. 3.

    What characteristics do you feel a good Costa Coffeebarista 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 Costa Coffee website and job description. Keep your answer to the point, and positive.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I see in your job description that you are seeking someone who, above all, is reliable, and who can multitask and build good relationships with customers. In addition, 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. Also, since your baristas are in many ways the face of your company, they should embrace the commitment to service and the desire to give back to the community that are such a strong part of the Costa Coffee story."

      Michelle's Answer #2

      "Baristas are such an important part of the whole coffee shop experience and play a huge role in cultivating customer loyalty. I believe an outstanding barista should have several key qualities: They should be outgoing, but also able to listen actively and effectively; they should have a great memory for matching customers with their favorite treats; they should be willing to experiment with new flavor combinations; and, maybe most of all, they should enjoy being around people and making them happy."

  4. 4.

    At Costa Coffee, we value accuracy and a job well done. How do you 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.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "Spelling and grammatical errors are a pet peeve of mine. I triple check my work if at all possible! In addition, I try to print out important documents for editing rather than reading them on-screen. When time allows, I try also to read through a document backwards so that I'm not missing any typos. I feel that it is essential to submit error-free work."

      Michelle's Answer #2

      "This kind of accuracy is important to me as well - it's my professional reputation that is shaped every time I submit something in writing. I concentrate especially on formal reports and presentations, and I do ask other people to review important letters or emails before sending them."

  5. 5.

    Days can sometimes be stressful at Costa Coffee. 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.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I handle stress very well, and when you call my references, I believe 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 stress where I can."

      Michelle's Answer #2

      "Stress is part of any fast-paced job, and I embrace it to the fullest. Sometimes the demands of a bustling coffee shop are actually energizing to me. I try to make sure I'm well prepared for the day's challenges and then let myself live in the moment from there, handling each complication as it comes. I also take good care of my physical health and prioritize my workload to maintain a healthy balance in my stress levels."

  6. 6.

    At Costa Coffee, we want our team members to be engaged and invested in our success. What causes you to feel dissatisfied on the job?

      Everyone will have 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, along with how you might overcome them.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I have felt dissatisfaction on the job when I am not feeling heard or when there is a lack of respect among team members. I work best in more harmonious situations where there is little drama or gossip, and where people are aligned behind common goals. From what I've researched about Costa Coffee, I believe you have the kind of culture that will allow me to thrive."

      Michelle's Answer #2

      "I have felt dissatisfied on the job when I feel that I am undervalued as someone who has good ideas and can improve the customer experience. Some employers don't necessarily value the thoughts and experience of front-line employees or empower them to solve problems to the benefit of customers. I'm very pleased with what I've learned about Costa Coffee's culture of empowering employees, and I believe that will help me be engaged and successful here."

  7. 7.

    At Costa Coffee 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.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "That's a great question, and I'm glad you brought it up. My goal is to be as flexible as I possibly can. I am happy to work the majority of shifts; however, I do take morning classes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, but I am available to work the later shift on those days."

      Michelle's Answer #2

      "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 you can count on me to take overtime shifts and some holidays as needed."

  8. 8.

    At Costa Coffee 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 Costa Coffee has a loss prevention program and protocols in place to prevent and deal with employee theft. If you have experience with inventory management, staff management, or employee termination - this is a great time to discuss!

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "If you could tell me more about your loss prevention efforts at Costa Coffee, I would love to hear it. 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 termination."

      Michelle's Answer #2

      "First I would make sure to familiarize myself with all Costa Coffee internal policies for employee theft, so I can assure you that I would follow required steps to report the theft in accordance with company protocol. I would also make sure to connect with my supervisor immediately if I had any reason to suspect employee theft."

  9. 9.

    Have you ever come to Costa Coffee as a customer? Tell me about your experience.

      The interviewer is genuinely interested in your experience as a customer. If you have been a customer at Costa Coffee, 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.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I am a regular customer at Costa. Coffee because your location is convenient, your customer service is always friendly, and your product is consistently fresh. As a customer, I can attest to the fact that the company consistently lives its values of a warm, inviting experience, full of community spirit."

      Michelle's Answer #2

      "I have not frequented this location often; however, the times that I have come here, I always leave impressed and well taken care of. I'm able to get what I need quickly, the quality is good, and I've enjoyed my interactions with friendly employees. I can understand why you're the U.K.'s favorite coffee shop."

  10. 10.

    Walk me through your coffee or other retail industry-related experience. Which role was your favorite, and why did you leave?

      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. Be specific, and be positive about past experiences.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "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, energetic and collaborative. I left because I relocated to a different city. I am excited about the opportunity with Costa Coffee because the culture feels similar. I see a strong fit here."

      Michelle's Answer #2

      "My favorite role was with Company XYZ because it encouraged and empowered its employees, and although I enjoyed it, the time came for me to seek a position with a higher wage and potential for professional growth. 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 a mentor and an employment reference of mine."

  11. 11.

    From your understanding of our job posting, what do you feel your primary duties will be with Costa Coffee?

      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 the company's expectations.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I understand that Costa Coffee places its primary focus on community, flexibility, teamwork and artisanal creativity. From what I've researched, the primary duties of this role will be to represent Costa Coffee proudly through excellent customer service, and to create opportunities to delight our customers. Crafting great coffee is only part of the job. It's about working together, creating feelings that linger, memories that last and experiences that customers want to enjoy again and again."

      Michelle's Answer #2

      "I have read through the job posting in detail and feel that my primary duties will be to prepare beverages, develop positive relationships with customers, and handle transactions accurately. My expectation is also that I'm charged with advancing the Costa Coffee vision of creating a warm and welcoming environment that's an important part of the community it serves. My hope is that there are also opportunities to share ideas and look for opportunity to innovate in pursuit of continuously improving the customer experience."

  12. 12.

    Thank you for spending your time interviewing with Costa Coffee. 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!

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "- Is this a replacement search or a newly created role?
      - What is your favorite part about working for Costa Coffee?
      - What is the company's primary goal for this position in the next 12 months and how will you know if the new person is successful?
      - What do you see as the most significant change in this industry over the past three years, and what do you see coming ahead?"

      Michelle's Answer #2

      "Thank you for asking! Yes, I do have a question for you. When we were speaking earlier about the Costa Coffee scheduling system, 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?"

  13. 13.

    Are you familiar with the types of products that we serve at Costa Coffee?

      It is critical that you research Costa Coffee before your interview. Take note of their most popular products and any new, or seasonal, products that may have been released recently.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I feel very familiar with your products. I love that you have all of the basics, including light, medium and full-bodied coffees. Your Flat White is my personal favorite, though I also love your Cortado. I am eager to try your new cold brew coffee this summer, too!"

      Michelle's Answer #2

      "I am very familiar with your products! I am a dedicated customer and have already sampled a good portion of the menu at Costa Coffee. I also love when the barista at my favorite Costa Coffee shop makes something special just for me. I am very excited to work here, and I look forward to delighting my own customers that way!"

  14. 14.

    At Costa Coffee, we believe in empowering our employees. Tell me about a time when you went above and beyond in the best interests of your company.

      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.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "Last week I noticed that my manager had not completed the schedule for the following week. Some of the staff were starting to share that they didn't have their work schedules yet, and that was presenting a challenge. Rather than going to my manager with a complaint, I offered to take on some of her workload so that she would have 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."

      Michelle's Answer #2

      "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 didn't suffer any setbacks."

  15. 15.

    We value industrious employees who can solve problems and get up-to-speed quickly at Costa Coffee. 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? Be as specific as possible.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I am often asked to perform tasks outside of my wheelhouse. I believe that if we don't take on more than we feel prepared for, then we'll never learn. I've stretched in my current role to take on customer dispute resolution, which was difficult for me at first, since I'm naturally conflict-averse. But with good training and encouragement from my supervisor, I've been able to help find solutions for our customers in uncomfortable situations."

      Michelle's Answer #2

      "Because I am new to my career, it seems like almost everything is above my experience level! However, I am adaptable, and I know that learning new things is key for being successful. When I feel overwhelmed, I try to use all available resources and research possibilities to find out what I need to do and how to do it. I'm also a big believer in asking lots of questions."

  16. 16.

    If Costa Coffee called your favorite teacher or professor, how would he/she describe you?

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  17. 17.

    At Costa Coffee, we are looking for reliable employees who come to work on time. Do you have reliable transportation?

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  18. 18.

    Where do you see yourself a year from now? How does this position at Costa Coffee support that vision?

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  19. 19.

    Having the right number of employees present to guide the customer experience is important at Costa Coffee. How many days were you absent from work last year?

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  20. 20.

    We are always looking for tomorrow's leaders at Costa Coffee. Tell us a little about your leadership qualities.

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  21. 21.

    List the top 3 skills that you have acquired in your last role that will help you in this position with Costa Coffee.

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  22. 22.

    How does this position with Costa Coffee fit into your career goals?

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  23. 23.

    We greatly value open communication at Costa Coffee. Please rate your communication skills from 1-10 and tell us why you chose that particular rating.

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  24. 24.

    We try to make sure all of our hires are good personality fits for Costa Coffee. How would you describe your personality?

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  25. 25.

    Outside of work, what type of creative activities do you like to pursue? At Costa Coffee, we view our employees holistically and understand it's important for them to be passionate about things outside of work.

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  26. 26.

    At Costa Coffee, we believe that everyone has leadership capabilities. Do you see yourself a leader? When have you led a team?

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  27. 27.

    At Costa Coffee, we rely on the integrity of our employees. On a scale from 1 to 10, how honest are you?

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  28. 28.

    At Costa Coffee, we take having the right team members very seriously. Have you ever had to fire an employee? What were the reasons for their termination?

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  29. 29.

    At Costa Coffee, we are committed to competitive compensation and benefits. What are your salary expectations?

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  30. 30.

    As you know, we have a lot of competitors in this industry. Why do you want to work for Costa Coffee?

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  31. 31.

    At Costa Coffee we offer many corporate growth opportunities to our star employees. Where do you see your career with Costa Coffee taking you?

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  32. 32.

    At Costa Coffee we want to be the best in the coffee industry. What can we do to stay competitive?

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  33. 33.

    At Costa Coffee we receive many applications on a daily basis. Why should we hire you?

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