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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.
Question 1 of 31
How do you expect to make a difference at Starbucks?
View Answer
How to Answer
The interviewer wants to hear that you are passionate about working at Starbucks and have thought about how you can make a positive impact while working there.

Think about what kind of impact you could make. Possible things that might come to mind are:

- Creating a favorable environment for customers by smiling, asking them how their day is going, and providing them with excellent service.
- Building business relationships with your co-workers, so everyone looks forward to coming to work each day.
- By giving people energy to make it through a challenging day.

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

Think about what kind of impact you could make. Possible things that might come to mind are:

- Creating a favorable environment for customers by smiling, asking them how their day is going, and providing them with excellent service.
- Building business relationships with your co-workers, so everyone looks forward to coming to work each day.
- By giving people energy to make it through a challenging day.

Whatever comes to mind that you are passionate about, share it with the interviewer!

Rachelle's Answer
"I plan to make a difference at Starbucks by always being a friendly face to your customers, and encouraging teamwork during every shift. Also, I am excellent when it comes to upselling, so I am confident that hiring me will increase sales as well."
2.
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."
3.
What is your favorite item at Starbucks?
This one should be easy! Does the thought of a Java Chip Frappuccino make you drool? Does an Iced Mocha make your mouth water? Or, does the idea of a Venti Dark Roast with cream and sugar get you excited? Be prepared to excitedly share what makes your heart pitter-patter on that Starbucks menu! You can ask the interviewer this question in return to starting up a more casual conversation.

Rachelle's Answer
"There are so many favorites, it's hard to choose! My favorite breakfast at the moment is the new Eggs Sous Vide bites along with a Venti Americano. Yum! What is your all-time favorite menu item?"
4.
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."
5.
How would you handle a rude customer?
Begin by telling the interviewer that thankfully the majority of customers are pleasant to work with, and the rude customer situations are typically few and far between. Next, say to the interviewer that you understand customer service means always having a smile on your face, cheerful attitude, and pleasant demeanor. Tell the interviewer that you would continue positively interacting with the customer even when they were challenging. Share that you never know what type of day that customer has had, and you smiling and being pleasant might be just what they need to help them turn their day around!

Rachelle's Answer
"Thankfully insulting customers are not an everyday experience in my current place of work. When I do face a rude customer, I kill them with kindness! If I am still smiling, cheerful, and maintain a positive attitude, I will be sure to throw anyone unkind, off of their game!"
6.
Tell me about your experience working in the food industry.
The interviewer wants to learn more about your background and experience.

If you don't have any experience, it's okay! Tell the interviewer that you do not have any experience in the industry, and you look forward to making the transition and learning everything there is to know!

If you have experience, start off by giving the interviewer a high-level overview of your experience by sharing where you have worked, your job title, and how long you were employed there. Add a sentence or two about what your job duties were in each role as well. Be sure to mention that you really enjoy this industry, and you look forward to continuing to work in food industry roles.

Rachelle's Answer
"I have worked in the food industry, with Company ABC, for the past two years. I have formal training in food safety and other health-related certifications. This role was highly customer facing which I feel has equipped me for this role with Starbucks."
7.
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."
8.
In your opinion, what makes a great company?
Think about a few of your favorite businesses to visit. What makes these places so great? List 1-2 things that you think make a company great.

Some common answers might include:

- Having excellent employees
- Giving back to the community
- Providing a positive experience for customers
- Understanding that it is not all about the money
- Focusing on improving people's lives
- Having outstanding leadership

Rachelle's Answer
"In my opinion, Starbucks is such a great company because you are transparent in your business interactions, have carved out a recognizable space for yourselves in a busy coffee business environment, and have also built a brand that stands on trust. The Starbucks mission is to inspire and nurture the human spirit--one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time. That's a pretty exciting mission to be a part of."
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.
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."
11.
Name your three best qualities.
Think about the traits for which people have repeatedly commended you. What are the typical qualities that you have received praise for at work, in school, or within your family? These things make great examples! Just share your three qualities, and tell the interviewer that other people have said they like these qualities in you. Some examples might include your joyful attitude, your kindhearted spirit, your ability to help others, your knack for striking up a conversation, or your patience.

Rachelle's Answer
"I believe that my top three qualities are my willingness to lend a hand, my ability to see the positive side in most situations, and the fact that I am responsible and reliable. These are all qualities that align with your needs here at Starbucks."
12.
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."
13.
Tell me about a time when you did not have enough time to complete all assigned tasks. How did you prioritize?
Start off by telling the interviewer that you are typically an organized person and achieve everything on time. Share how you usually organize your work. You might share that you keep a to-do list of all the objectives that you must complete, keep your electronic calendar up-to-date and that you spend 5-10 minutes at the beginning of your day reviewing your schedule for the day as well as prioritizing your to-do list for that day. Next, share a time when you failed to get an assigned task done on time due to something outside of your control. Perhaps you were sick, an emergency arose, or someone else called in sick for the day changing your priorities. Share how you prioritized your time with the goal of achieving the deadline, and share why you were not able to reach it on time. Finally, be sure to wrap it up by reiterating that you are usually a deadline driven person, and you almost always complete everything on time.

Rachelle's Answer
"I am always diligent when it comes to deadlines. However, once I remember having an abnormally large order from a big table when I was working in a restaurant. I was a little stressed about making sure it was perfect, that my delivery was a bit slower than normal. I can better handle larger volumes now that I am more experienced."
14.
What would you do to help the community if you could do anything you wanted?
The interviewer wants to learn more about who you are as a person. Starbucks dramatically values serving their communities, and they want to hear that you think about how to make your community an even more significant place! Discuss your areas of interest and passion by sharing how you would help the community. Perhaps you are passionate about elementary education, and you would implement a program to assist at-risk youth. Maybe you would start an outreach program, so every senior in the nursing home had someone visiting them at least two times per week. You might focus on the homeless, single moms, teen pregnancy, recognizing the local police force or medical professionals, or teaching English to non-native speakers. Maybe you would help create a tourism revenue in your area by opening a waterpark or theme park. Whatever your passionate area of focus is, now is the time to share it!

Rachelle's Answer
"I currently volunteer a the local animal shelter and would love to do more to help animals who are mistreated, and abandoned. I have always had a huge heart for animals and truly appreciate that Starbucks implements animal welfare-friendly practices."
15.
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."
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