Personality and character are two very different things. The interviewer is looking for more information on your traits vs. your values. Try to think about how your friends or coworkers would describe you. These traits should include buzzwords such as introverted, energetic, confident, friendly and positive.
"I would describe my personality as approachable, light-hearted, and positive. I always try to see the good in things. I believe that, if asked, my colleagues and supervisor would say the same about me."
"Here are some descriptive personality words: - Ambitious - Adventurous - Calm - Creative - Determined - Energetic - Flexible - Honest - Imaginative - Kind - Organized - Persuasive - Resourceful - Talkative"
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.
"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 critical, and I will delegate when necessary to alleviate some stress."
"Stress is part of any demanding job, and I embrace it to the fullest. I take good care of myself outside of work which helps me stay calm and focused in stressful situations. I am not afraid to ask for help when I am feeling stressed and I always return the favor."
A creative 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.
"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, reading helps inspire me for future projects."
"Outside of work I love to explore my creative side. I practice photography for fun and I enjoy capturing the beauty in ordinary things. As an avid reader, I try to read one new book per week. I also enjoy writing in my journal."
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 and your punctuality.
"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 both of those. Once I was late due to a terrible snow storm but I made sure to let my manager know in advance. I always try to be 10 minutes early for my shift."
"I cannot recall the exact number, but I think it was around three days total. All absences were excused and with advance notice to my manager."
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. Maybe you were once left in charge of a team while your supervisor had to step away temporarily. 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 prove 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.
"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."
"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 make sure that I lead at all times by being a good role model and showing enthusiasm for my work. I am open to new ideas and love to tackle a new project which, to me, embodies leadership."
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.
"Ideally, one year from now, I would love to see myself growing into a more prominent leadership role within your organization. I know that Peets Coffee and Tea encourages growth in their employees and that is very important to me in finding a company that I can work for long-term."
"One year from now, I would like to be supervising or managing a team of my own at Peets Coffee and Tea. I feel like my background in management will make this a possibility."
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. You want to be honest with yourself and your interviewer, even if that means admitting that you are not perfect.
"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 a nine because I always do my best to be as honest as possible and I recognize that I have some room for growth."
"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."
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. The interviewer wants to make sure that Peets Coffee and Tea would be a good working environment for you.
"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. I like that one of Peets Coffee and Tea values is being authentic to one another."
"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. I believe that transparency in the workplace is important."
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?
"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."
"Unfortunately this is a part of wearing your management hat. I recently had to terminate employment with someone who was under-performing. We coached the employee in question and worked with them on a performance improvement plan. It was a difficult decision but I ultimately had to do what was best for the company."
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.
"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. I always give myself extra time in the morning to make sure I make it in on time."
"I take public transit; however, I find it to be very reliable. I also use an app that tells me when the bus or train is coming so that I never miss it. 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 their own vehicles. Rest assured, I am reliable and will always come to work on time."
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. If available, refer back to the job posting and see if there is a range that the company is willing to offer. You will want to give a number that is within the range.
"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."
"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."
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 that would make you a great fit for a career with Peets Coffee and Tea.
"My favorite professor always said that I was very disciplined and attentive. He commended me on my ability to juggle my full time job and still do well in his class. This told me that he recognizes that I have good time management skills and that I am a hard worker."
"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."
Double checking and proofreading are essential to delivering quality work. Assure the interviewer that you are diligent when it comes to submitting good, clean, work.
"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."
"I try to, but in today's quick response age, I know that I send emails with typos on occasion. I am working on getting better at this by asking other people to review important letters or emails before sending them. I also make sure that I spend the time needed to deliver error-free reports and presentations."
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 Peets Coffee and Tea stands apart from the rest. Keep your answer positive and to the point.
"The culture at Peets Coffee and Tea is great for employees. You have a reputation for investing in your staff through continued education, career growth opportunities 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 Peets Coffee and Tea because I have been a customer for many years. I have always been a loyal customer because of the high-quality food and coffee, as well as the friendly atmosphere."
The coffee industry is fast paced and may require you to work outside of your comfort zone. 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?
"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. I consider each of these challenges as an opportunity for me to grow."
"Because I am new to my career, I have not had much experience with this. However, I am adaptable and always willing to take on a challenge. I will use all available resources and research possibilities to find out what I need to do and how to do it."
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.
"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 another 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 it also benefited the entire team."
"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. I consider myself to be a team player and I know how important it is to step up when needed."
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 flexibility in return. You want to be realistic and not misleading to your interviewer.
"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 and the morning shifts on any other days."
"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 overtime shifts and some holidays."
It is critical that you research Peets Coffee and Tea before your interview. Take note of their most popular products and any new, or seasonal, products that may have been released recently.
"From what I understand you offer espresso, brewed coffee and cold brew as well as loose leaf tea. Your specialty at Peets Coffee and Tea appears to be on hot and cold creations such as coffee and tea-based latte's. I am eager to try your new Coconut Cold Brew Fog this summer!"
"I am very familiar with your products! I am a dedicated customer and already know a good portion of the menu at Peets Coffee and Tea. My personal favorite is your cold brew, especially on a hot day. I am very excited to work here and try new beverages!"
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.
"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 correct 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 'here is your 10 dollars back from twenty?'. They will then say 'yes' - confirming that we are both on the same page. These methods help me to ensure that I am always giving back the correct change and that there are is no confusion between me and the customer."
" So far, I have not experienced an event like this; however, I do know that in cash transactions 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 bill."
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 Peets Coffee and Tea 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!
"Can you tell me more about your loss prevention efforts at Peets Coffee and Tea. I know every company is different and I am curious about the protocols that you have in place for reporting employee theft. At my current job, I have been formally trained on loss prevention and employee theft. Since becoming a Manager in my current role, I have dealt with one employee theft case which resulted in their termination. I have zero tolerance for theft in the workplace."
"I am sure that you have an internal policy for employee theft. I would make sure that I was familiar with the theft policy and let you know if I had any concerns immediately. I am a trustworthy person with a strong track record of honesty with my previous employers."
It's always a great idea to prepare questions prior to the interview. Start by reviewing the company's website and other online resources to ensure the questions you are asking are not mundane, or redundant. You want to show them that you care and took the time to research them. 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?' - 'What is your favorite part about working at Peets Coffee and Tea?' - 'What will be my biggest challenge starting out in the role?' - 'What do you think is the number one quality that a great Peets Coffee and Tea employee has?' - 'What is the company's primary goal for this position in the next 12 months?' - 'Is there any part of my resume that I can clarify for you?' - 'What do you see as the most significant change in the coffee industry over the past three years?' - "Is there any reason why you would not hire me?"
"Is there any reason why you would not hire me?"
"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?"
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. Remember that on-boarding new employees is a time-consuming and expensive task. Be sure to express your genuine interest in working for Peets Coffee and Tea for the long term!
"When I was on your career page the other day I noticed that you offer store level and corporate level opportunities for growth. I looked around a bit and thought that it would be cool to end up in a human resources position down the road. I think your culture at Peets Coffee and Tea is great and I would love to grow a strong career here."
"This position is perfect for my schedule as I will be in university for the next four years. After graduation, I am not sure where I will end up; however, I would love to dedicate these next few years to Peets Coffee and Tea. With a degree under my belt maybe I will be able to take on a new role at Peets Coffee and Tea."
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 are dedicated to helping them uphold the high standards at Peets Coffee and Tea.
"In my previous role, I was trained on-the-job in regards to food health and safety. I was tested regularly as well. I received good feedback from my supervisor. A few years ago I also completed my Food Safety Training Certificate from a local community college. I fully understand the importance of food safety and will uphold the strong standards at Peets Coffee and Tea, if hired."
"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! I am a quick learner."
The coffee industry is a competitive one, and the interviewer would like to know that you have put some thought into where Peets Coffee and Tea 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.
"I am a coffee lover and have visited Peets Coffee and Tea many times on my way to work! 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 of my favorite croissant or bran muffin. It must be because you are a busy store and your pastries sell out!"
"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. I know you currently have a Peetnik Rewards app, maybe you could add this function to the app?"
Prove 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 by referring to the Peets Coffee and Tea company website and job description. Keep your answer to the point, and positive.
"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 Peets Coffee and Tea."
"Here are some other skills a barista should have: - Outgoing personality - Active listening skills for order taking - Strong customer service skills - The desire to educate customers on products and promotions - Memorization and strong recall abilities - Ability to work well with a team of varying personalities - Interest in the coffee and tea industry - Good personal hygiene - Investment in health and safety protocols - Patience - Dispute resolution skills - Ability to do basic math at a quick pace"
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 if hired.
"I understand that Peets Coffee and Tea puts their primary focus on personable customer service and quality products. From what I have researched, the primary duties of this role will be engaging with customers daily and sharing my knowledge of all the products and promotions that Peets Coffee and Tea has to offer. Other responsibilities include promptly preparing beverages and ensuring that cleanliness is kept in the shop and keeping inventory levels accurate."
"I have read through the job posting feel that my primary duties will be to prepare quality beverages, engage with customers, and handle transactions accurately. Are there other expectations, in this role not outlined in the job posting?"
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 and restaurant industry for the past 3 years. My favorite role was as a with Company ABC because the culture was caring and the company encouraged use to never compromise on the quality of our services. I only left because I relocated to a different city. I am excited about the opportunity with Peets Coffee and Tea because the culture feels similar. I see a strong fit here."
"My favorite role was with Company XYZ as a barista. Although I enjoyed it, the time came for me to seek a position with better benefits and the potential to move into a management role. 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."
When answering this question, you always want to refer to what you can do for Peets Coffee and Tea. 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 am not surprised that you receive many applications every day, Peets Coffee and Tea is a great company. I am a stand-out candidate because I am passionate about delivering excellent customer service. I am also well versed in the coffee industry which will decrease my training time. I am a loyal employee, I come with strong references, and I can start immediately."
"I am a stand-out candidate because I take ownership in everything I do and I enjoy sharing my love of coffee with others. Also, I am bilingual and able to serve your customers in English and Spanish."
The interviewer is genuinely interested in your experience as a customer. If you have been a customer at Peets Coffee and Tea, 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 been here' will never be an acceptable answer.
"I am a regular customer at Peets Coffee and Tea because your location is convenient, your customer service outstanding, and your coffee is brewed to perfection."
"I have not frequented this Peets Coffee and Tea location often; however, the times that I have come here, I always leave feeling impressed and well taken care of. I really like the products that you serve."
Peet's Coffee & Tea, Inc. (Peet's) is a specialty coffee roaster and marketer of fresh roasted whole bean coffee and tea. The Company sells its coffee through multiple channels of distribution, including grocery stores, home delivery, office, restaurant and food service accounts and Company-owned and operated stores in six states. The Company operates its business through two segments: retail and specialty sales. As of January 3, 2010, the Company operated 192 retail stores in six states, through which the Company sells whole bean coffee, beverages and pastries, tea and other related items. Its stores are designed to facilitate the sale of fresh whole bean coffee and to encourage customer trial of its coffee through coffee beverages. Each store has a staff person at the bean counter to take orders and assist customers with questions on coffee origins and on home brewing.