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Starbucks Interview
Questions

31 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns
Updated June 5th, 2019 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Job Interviews     Companies     Food     Coffee Shop    

Question 1 of 31

How well do you handle customer complaints?

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Answer Examples

1.

How well do you handle customer complaints?

Addressing customer complaints is an essential part of customer service, and the interviewer wants to hear that you are okay talking through a customer's complaint. Start off by telling the interviewer that you do not mind addressing customer complaints, and you recognize that most customers have good intentions when coming forth with a complaint.

Tell the interviewer that you take time to listen to everything the customer has to say first to ensure you truly understand what they are upset about. Next, share that you make eye contact with the customer and sincerely apologize to them. Finally, be sure to mention that you offer to correct any mistakes that were made or take the appropriate action to rectify the situation such as creating a new beverage for a customer who tried something new today and didn't care for it.

Rachelle's Answer

"I have some training in dispute resolution, from my previous retail job. I know that Starbucks works double-time to make customers happy and I am confident in my ability to carry that torch. If a customer is unhappy, I will be attentive, apologize, and offer to fix the situation in a way that abides by the Starbucks policies."

2.

How would your references describe you?

The interviewer wants to hear that your references will positively describe you. Think about the positive things your references have said about you in the past. Your example could be from a formal employee review or even comments in passing. These concrete examples will be sure to impress the interviewer!

Rachelle's Answer

"I have provided you with three solid references. I believe they will all describe me as a hard worker who enjoys being at work, staying productive, and helping others. I have had excellent performance reviews which I can share with you also."

3.

What do you know about Starbucks?

With any job interview, it is crucial to understand the organization to which you are applying. Before your meeting, review the Starbucks' website to learn critical information such as current seasonal promotions and ongoing events. Watch the videos on their website, and take note of the information on their Working at Starbucks page. Be sure to mention that you know Starbucks is an advocate for diversity and inclusion, and they strive for their organization to be a part of something bigger than themselves. Tell the interviewer that you know Starbucks sells not only coffee, but other things such as pastries, breakfast sandwiches, oatmeal, wraps, and those yummy desserts!

Rachelle's Answer

"I know that Starbucks has a solid reputation for community involvement, and takes a strong stance when it comes to diversity and inclusion. Since the 1970's, Starbucks has been a community staple, and now a global giant. Your products keep getting better, and your menu vaster. I am so excited about the idea of working with such an established organization that is concerned regarding ethical sourcing."

4.

How can I trust you not to steal?

This one should be easy! Share with the interviewer that you had never stolen before and had a proven work record with an excellent reputation. Be sure to mention that you respect others and that you wouldn't take from them.

The interviewer would like to know about a time when you have shown high levels of integrity on the job. Integrity is best displayed through honesty and consistent moral values. Talk to the interviewer about the ways that you show your integrity in the workplace.

Rachelle's Answer

"In my last position, I was responsible for the cash deposit on a daily basis. There was never a discrepancy, in the four years that I worked there. I best show my integrity by being a consistently reliable employee."

5.

What are some of your weaknesses?

We all have things we can improve on, so do not be afraid to share them. The interviewer will likely take note of these things and may even provide you with additional training in these areas to help you excel. The interviewer wants to hear that your weaknesses are not critical to your success at Starbucks.

Think of a couple of things you could improve upon that are not necessary for the job, and openly share them with the interviewer.

Perhaps you are watching TED talks to gain skills in a particular area, reading the latest-and-greatest book on the subject, or maybe you are taking a seminar at a nearby community center. We are all human with our weaknesses, so don't be afraid to share yours!

Rachelle's Answer

"Everyone has weaknesses. I tend to be too nice sometimes. When my coworkers are not meeting expectations, I tend to jump in to fix the situation. I have to remind myself to not take on to much work and focus more on delivering the best work that I can. Those who are slacking will eventually be weeded out."

6.

Describe to me your last manager. What did you like and dislike about their leadership style?

The interviewer wants to hear that you only speak positively about your past manager. Think about the things that you enjoyed about this person and their leadership style. Start off by telling the interviewer some things that you liked about their style. You might talk about how they had regular team huddles to provide ongoing communication about process changes or upcoming events. You might share how they regularly had fun activities going on to keep the team engaged. Keep the focus on the positive things.

Rachelle's Answer

"My most recent manager cared a lot about the success of the company. For that reason, she always ensured that we were properly trained and up to date on new happenings within the company. She was sometimes late for work which was a bit frustrating but that aside, she was a great manager."

7.

What would you do if a coworker asked you to help them steal?

Starbucks employs over 200,000 employees worldwide which means they have seen their share of unethical employee behavior. The interviewer would like to know how you would react if put in an awkward, or potentially harmful situation like being asked by a co-worker to steal with them. Theft can occur in many ways in the workplace and is not necessarily reserved to blatantly taking a product. Ensure that you are aware of the different ways a co-worker may try to pass stealing off as 'no big deal.'

- Timecard fabrication, also known as 'buddy punching' where you punch in for a coworker who is not present
- 'Borrowing' money from the cash register
- Taking items from the lost and found
- Stealing data or documents containing trade secrets
- Taking expensive office supplies like ink, or adding personal items to supply orders

Of course, you already know how to answer this question! Express that you would never engage in this type of behavior and discuss how you would go about reporting this type of situation. If this has happened to you in the past, you can talk about the case.

Rachelle's Answer

"Stealing is wrong, no matter which way you slice it. I have zero tolerance for unethical behavior and would report the situation immediately."

8.

Why should we hire you?

Interviewers want to hear about that one unique skill that sets you apart from the other candidates applying for this job. Think of your answer as your 'elevator pitch' or your qualifying statement. If you can't think of ways that you are unique, ask a few friends or family members what they feel sets you apart from other people. Their observations may help you understand how you are perceived.

Perhaps you already know what sets you apart! This skill could include any industry accolades, exceptional achievements, additional industry related training, a second language, or how involved you are in the community. Don't be afraid to brag about yourself a bit. In an interview, you are your most influential advocate.

Rachelle's Answer

"You should hire me because I'm qualified and passionate about your cause. I am excited about the idea of delivering value to Starbucks, and will hustle for the opportunity to go above and beyond for your customers."

9.

Would you like to be a manager at Starbucks?

If you aspire to be a manager at Starbucks, that's great! If not, that is okay too. Share with the interviewer what you want to do at Starbucks. If you hope to be a manager someday, tell the interviewer that you look forward to becoming a manager eventually, and you understand it may take several years to achieve these level within the company.

The interviewer would like to know that you feel ready for the responsibility that comes with being a manager. Discuss with the interviewer all of the things you have done to prepare you for this particular opportunity.

Rachelle's Answer

"I have spent the past eight months reading leadership books and have taken two leadership workshops in that time frame. I have never felt more ready to take on the responsibility of leading a team."

10.

Would you say you are a sociable person?

Starbucks is best known for their friendly atmosphere! The interviewer wants to hear that you are comfortable conversing with other people. As a customer service person, you are a sociable person. Explain to the interviewer that you enjoy getting to know your co-workers, work hard to build relationships with your regular customers through simple interactions, and look forward coming to work each day in customer service. You might work best in a large group setting, or one-on-one interactions might be your thing. Either way, express how you are a sociable person.

Rachelle's Answer

"Yes, I am most certainly a sociable person. I can quickly get to know people and can make meaningful conversation with nearly any type of person. If given the opportunity to work at Starbucks, you can be assured that I would be a sociable team member."

11.

Have you ever helped someone else achieve their goal or helped to better themselves, if so, how?

Think about the times you have helped a friend achieve their goal. You may have run a few miles with them each day in preparation for a 10k. You might have stayed up late at night reviewing flashcards for a big test with your best friend. Or, maybe you watched a family members' child for a couple of days to allow the parents to work on their goal of opening a new business. These types of scenarios work great to answer this question. If you have a specific work-related example, even better. Just tell the interviewer an overview of your situation, and share how thankful the individual was for your contribution.

Rachelle's Answer

"I recently helped one of our newest employees when I noticed she was falling behind a bit after the new-hire training was complete. After speaking with her, I learned that this was her very first job and she did not understand a lot of the nuances associated with our work-flow. I took her under my wing for her first 30 days or so, and she flourished!"

12.

How often are you late for your responsibilities, such as school or work?

Your only answer should be, 'Never!' The interviewer needs to know that they can count on you to be at work at your assigned time every day. Tell the interviewer that you are a punctual person, and you are always a couple of minutes early when arriving at work. Be sure to mention that you plan for traffic, and if you live somewhere with snow, be sure to say that you watch the weather ensuring you leave enough time to clean off your car and drive a little more cautiously when necessary. If you have children, be sure to mention that you have backup plans in place for childcare should something fall through with your typical plans. Lastly, back your answer with a solid example or stats from your previous role.

Rachelle's Answer

"In the three years that I worked for my previous employer, I was late just once, due to a small car accident on my way to work! I called my boss to fill her in on the situation immediately. I take every precaution possible to ensure I am on time, and present, when expected."

13.

Tell me about a time when you went above and beyond for customer service?

Talking about a time when you calmed an upset customer can be an excellent example for this question. Explain how you listened to every word the customer had to say. Next, describe how you apologized to the customer with a calm voice and sincere heart. Finally, be sure to tell the interviewer what solution you offered the customer. Perhaps you did not charge them for a meal if it was in a restaurant. Maybe you suggested a new dish for them to try. Be sure to close with how happy the customer was when they left!

Or, you may approach the question with something you have done during the ordinary course of the day to go above and beyond for your customers. For example, if you work at a grocery store, you might share that you walk the customers out to their car when customer levels allow and assist them with loading the groceries in their vehicle.

Rachelle's Answer

"I understand that Starbucks puts a lot of effort into their customer experience and I plan to respect that every step of the way. One way I recently went above and beyond for customer service was when I worked at ABC Restaurant. I had a repeat customer who would come in by himself every day, at the same time, and order the same menu item. I quickly learned his pattern and would have his order ready for him when he arrived. I got to know him and would ask him about his day. It was nice to have a connection with him that went beyond the typical quick service in a casual restaurant."

14.

Why should we not hire you?

The interviewer is hoping to hear that there is no reason not to hire you! Just tell the interviewer that you would be a great employee, and confidently share that there is no reason not to hire you! You might wrap it up by sharing that you are customer focused, have a proven employment record, and you love Starbucks!

Rachelle's Answer

"I do not see any reason not to hire me! I know how to upsell, deliver excellent customer service, and have been taking the time to learn more about customer dispute resolution as well."

15.

Describe a time when you disliked company rules in your last job?

The interviewer wants to hear that you are not a rule breaker, and you support the rules the company has put into place. Start off by telling the interviewer that you follow all of the company rules and are supportive of the leadership decisions the company makes regarding regulations. After all, there had to be some logic to their professional decision! Next, think of an 'outside the box' rule your current or previous employer had established. Show the interviewer that you respect decisions regardless of how well you agree.

Rachelle's Answer

"I did not like my previous company's return policy. I felt that it was too stringent and I see the value in being more flexible with your valued customers. I stood by the policy, regardless, but did request a couple of times to present some ideas for change."

More Interview Q&As
Explore expert tips and resources to be more confident in your next interview.
Behavioral
Common
Phone
Tough
Leadership
All Interview Topics
All Career Q&As
Suggested Career
Interview Q&As
Continue practicing by visiting these similar question sets
Barista
Waiter and Waitress
Manager
Assistant Manager
Customer Service
Marketing
31 Starbucks Interview Questions
Win your next job by practicing from our question bank. We have thousands of questions and answers created by interview experts.

Interview Questions

  1. How well do you handle customer complaints?
  2. How would your references describe you?
  3. What do you know about Starbucks?
  4. How can I trust you not to steal?
  5. What are some of your weaknesses?
  6. Describe to me your last manager. What did you like and dislike about their leadership style?
  7. What would you do if a coworker asked you to help them steal?
  8. Why should we hire you?
  9. Would you like to be a manager at Starbucks?
  10. Would you say you are a sociable person?
  11. Have you ever helped someone else achieve their goal or helped to better themselves, if so, how?
  12. How often are you late for your responsibilities, such as school or work?
  13. Tell me about a time when you went above and beyond for customer service?
  14. Why should we not hire you?
  15. Describe a time when you disliked company rules in your last job?
  16. How do you expect to make a difference at Starbucks?
  17. What is your favorite item at Starbucks?
  18. How would you handle a rude customer?
  19. Tell me about your experience working in the food industry.
  20. In your opinion, what makes a great company?
  21. Name your three best qualities.
  22. Tell me about a time when you did not have enough time to complete all assigned tasks. How did you prioritize?
  23. What would you do to help the community if you could do anything you wanted?
  24. What is your best personal trait?
  25. How often do you give an A plus effort while working?
  26. Why do you think you will like working at Starbucks?
  27. When was the last time you contributed to a team effort and what was your role?
  28. Where do you see yourself in five years?
  29. Tell me about a time when you had to be a leader. How was the outcome?
  30. Do you prefer working in a team environment or alone?
  31. How would you deal with an angry customer while you were busy completing tasks?
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