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Dunn Bros 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 Dunn Bros Coffee customer complained that you gave them incorrect change, what would you do?

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Dunn Bros Coffee Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    If a Dunn Bros 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 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."

      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.

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

      The Dunn Bros Coffee interviewer is checking for a couple of things here. First, how self aware are you? And second, how do you value good communication. Take this opportunity to give an objective description of your skills and how they mesh with company values.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "My current supervisor and co-workers will attest to my clear and concise communication skills. Because I am an open leader, my team also lets me know if I need to clarify anything. Based on this feedback from my current co-workers, I would rate my communication skills as an 8 out of 10. I'm definitely strong in this area, but still have room for improvement as I continue to grow as a leader and become more familiar with the Dunn Bros Coffee communication values. "

      Michelle's Answer #2

      "I will rate myself an 8.5 because I believe in being clear, direct and up front with my co-workers. It is the foundation of all success in business. I am always striving to be a better communicator - to always be clear but kind - so I leave the rest of the scale as an aspirational measure."

  3. 3.

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

      The coffee industry is a competitive one, and the interviewer would like to know that you have put some thought into where Dunn Bros Coffee stands in comparison to its competitors. Perhaps you have a minor suggestion for improvement? Be sure to keep your answer light and end on a positive note.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I am a real coffee fanatic and have visited Dunn Bros Coffee many times! Your shop is truly one of my favorites, and you're doing a lot of things right. The only suggestion I would make is to keep differentiating yourself in the quirky, unique way that defines Dunn Bros. Sometimes, as a company grows larger, it can lose its roots and blend in more with its corporate competition. Continuing to solidify your place in customers' minds through more than great coffee - like your community initiatives and commitment to small-batch roasting - can help you continue to stand out from the competition."

      Michelle's Answer #2

      "You do so many things right that it's hard to find room for improvement, but I understand the need for continuing to evolve in the marketplace. 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 might be worth testing for Dunn Bros Coffee at some point."

  4. 4.

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

      This question could be a tricky one since nobody is always 100% honest. Answer to the best of your ability and back your reply by speaking about both your ethics and those of the company.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I fully understand the importance of being able to depend on the honesty of your employees. I would put myself at a 9 on this scale, and I'd emphasize that my goal would always be to act in the best interests of Dunn Bros Coffee, which includes personifying the kind of integrity and honesty that are part of your service-focused culture."

      Michelle's Answer #2

      "I wish I could give myself a 10, but I fear that's impossible for anyone! However, honesty is something that was always stressed in my home growing up, and a personal value I try very hard to embody. I'm fully committed to embracing the value that Dunn Bros Coffee places on honesty and will encourage honesty and integrity in my team members as well. For those reasons, I would rate myself as a 9 out of 10."

  5. 5.

    We try to make sure all of our hires are good personality fits for Dunn Bros Coffee. 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. Be sure to point out how your personality is a good fit for the Dunn Bros Coffee culture.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "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. I try to cultivate the kind of personality that makes customers feel at ease and comfortable so that they want to come back and spend time in my store."

  6. 6.

    At Dunn Bros Coffee, we are committed to competitive compensation and benefits. 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.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "Currently, I earn a base salary of $45,000 per year plus a potential 20% annual bonus. Last year my earnings were $52,000, and I would like to stay in the same range or gain a slight increase. According to my research, this seems consistent with the market and this particular position."

      Michelle's Answer #2

      "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."

  7. 7.

    At Dunn Bros 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 Dunn Bros Coffee 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!

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "If you could tell me more about your loss prevention efforts at Dunn Bros 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 Dunn Bros 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."

  8. 8.

    At Dunn Bros 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."

  9. 9.

    How does this position with Dunn Bros Coffee 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.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "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 Dunn Bros Coffee offers a strong path toward that goal, and I am excited about what this position has to offer. I am especially excited about Dunn Bros' commitment to employee development."

      Michelle's Answer #2

      "My primary career goal is to find a position where I can stay long term. Because Dunn Bros Coffee has such a strong reputation for workplace culture and employee empowerment, it fits very nicely with my desires for a long-term fit. I look forward to what I can learn and accomplish here."

  10. 10.

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

      A part of being a diligent employee is ensuring 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.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "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 snow storm, and I always try to be 10 minutes early for my shift."

      Michelle's Answer #2

      "I'd have to confirm the exact number, but I believe I took no more than three days total. All absences were excused and with notice, and were approved by my supervisor in advance."

  11. 11.

    If Dunn Bros Coffee called your favorite teacher or professor, how would he/she 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. 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.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "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. Overall, I believe that the focus and attention to detail I showed in that classroom experience have translated well into the workplace."

      Michelle's Answer #2

      "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 strong writer, but he also trusts my project management skills, plus research 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."

  12. 12.

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

      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 Dunn Bros Coffee.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "In my last role, the top 3 skills that I acquired were customer service, stronger communication skills, and transaction handling. These were all new to me when I started, but with consistent practice and encouragement from my supervisor, my expertise and confidence grew. I believe these skills will be especially valuable for this position at Dunn Bros Coffee."

      Michelle's Answer #2

      "My current role is my first leading a team. Through that experience, I've learned a lot about active listening, negotiation and conflict management. Those were new skills for me, and sometimes uncomfortable to learn, but I believe that makes me a much stronger leader and positions me well to join Dunn Bros Coffee at this level."

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  13. 13.

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

      The Dunn Bros Coffee interviewer would like to know what you consider to be strong leadership qualities, along with how you exemplify those. When describing leadership qualities, try to avoid general terms and give some unique ideas and examples where possible.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "Leadership is important to me, as it is to Dunn Bros Coffee. I have taken a few workshops and courses to improve my leadership skills this year because I want to continue to improve and be ready for more advanced leadership roles. My leadership qualities are best described as dedicated, attentive and motivating. I like to recognize my employees' small wins because that motivates them to continue achieving."

      Michelle's Answer #2

      "I believe strong leaders are passionate about success - both theirs and others'. I like to think I have the ability to inspire others and that I act with honesty and transparency. I've been told that I have great patience when training others, and I try to be authentic, friendly and approachable so that others will want to follow me."

  14. 14.

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

      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.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "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 Dunn Bros Coffee goals, which helps me to see a great long-term fit here."

      Michelle's Answer #2

      "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, and I love the commitment that Dunn Bros Coffee has to empowering its own team members."

  15. 15.

    At Dunn Bros Coffee, 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.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I do 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."

      Michelle's Answer #2

      "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 employees' commutes - including those with personal vehicles. Rest assured, I am reliable and will always come to work on time."

  16. 16.

    At Dunn Bros 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.

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  17. 17.

    Days can sometimes be stressful at Dunn Bros Coffee. How do you handle stress on the job?

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  18. 18.

    Outside of work, what type of creative activities do you like to pursue? At Dunn Bros 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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  19. 19.

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

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  20. 20.

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

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  21. 21.

    At Dunn Bros 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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  22. 22.

    At Dunn Bros Coffee, we value accuracy and a job well done. How do you double check or proofread your work?

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  23. 23.

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

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  24. 24.

    We value industrious employees who can solve problems and get up-to-speed quickly at Dunn Bros Coffee. When have you been asked to perform a function or complete a task in which you had little or no experience in doing?

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  25. 25.

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

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  26. 26.

    Thank you for spending your time interviewing with Dunn Bros Coffee. I realize I have asked you a lot of questions. Do you have any questions for me?

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  27. 27.

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

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  28. 28.

    At Dunn Bros Coffee we have very high standards when it comes to food safety. Have you ever taken any food safety or hygiene related courses?

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  29. 29.

    What characteristics do you feel a good Dunn Bros Coffee barista will have?

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  30. 30.

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

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  31. 31.

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

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  32. 32.

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

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  33. 33.

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

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