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How do you use your time on a slow shift?

Answer examples and advice for how to answer this interview question for a Bartending interview

The interviewer is looking to see if you plan to be on your cell phone in between customers or if you're willing to put in a bit of extra work. There is always something to do, even if it's just practicing your flaring technique. Stocking the bar, cutting limes, and planning the bar menu needs to happen before you're too busy with customers. When you've exhausted your options, take the time to learn new drinks, experiment with different garnishes and combinations. Use your time wisely! Show the bar manager that you are motivated and won't be caught sitting around on the job when there's work to do!

Basic answer example
"I rarely see a slow shift; however, when there is a lull I take that time to restock the bar garnishes, cut limes, and ensure the bar area is extra tidy."
Entry Level answer example
"I am not a fan of sitting still so if there is a lull in my day I always want to fill it with some extra cleaning, or any other needs that my coworkers may have. I understand that, as a bartender, there are always things I can be doing to help out the team or get ready for the next wave of customers."
Experienced answer example
"I am a big fan of cleanliness and being overprepared. For that reason, I will use any slower times to cut limes, restock the bar napkins, shine glasses, and wipe counters. If there is a newer bartender, I will help them practice some of their techniques or quiz them on cocktail recipes. There is always something to do."

View user-submitted Answers

How do you use your time on a slow shift?
The best topics that everyone can relate to are weather, daily activites or the music that is playing. But there are many more and I am very comfortable talking with pretty much anyone - I like to make people smile.
I like to make the customer feel comfortable, engage in conversation. Yes I consider myself pretty friendly.
My personality is always cheerful and welcoming, even when it's slow. I consider myself extremely friendly to all sorts.
I am friendly and talkative when I have the time.
Yes, I would make conversation with any customers at the bar.
I like to get to know my customers but I don't like to intrude on their personal space. I am very friendly and out going. I tend to make good connections with my customers and they always become repeat customers.
Able to listen and make conversation, yes very friendly.
Make sure they get the best service possible. I consider myself very friendly and I have a personality that can relate to anyone.
I am equally comfortable with slower periods as I am with busy times. During busy times its important to provide guests with efficient friendly service while maintaining an ambiance but you dont have much time to build repiore with your customers. Slow times allow you the opportunity to build the relationships that turn casual customers into regulars. One of my favorite parts of being a bartender is knowing my customers feel genuinely cared for.
I am really friendly. Will always ask them how their day was, try and keep a rapport with the customers to make them feel relaxed.
I am always interactive with people so I think that would come in handy at this job. I am very sociable and my main quaility would be I get along with pretty much everyone.
I am the same friendly and happy guy and always bring excellent customer service.
Slow times can prove to be more challenging than busy times. This is when you get to know your guests. I can remain friendly and engaged for long stretches of time.
Slow, or high volume, I am always friendly and gregarious with the guests. it is a intregal part of the job.
Very friendly and talkative.
I am very friendly. I also try to use this down time to clean. I feel that I am good with evenly distributing these tasks.
I am super friendly during slow times. I love to engage in conversations with my customers whenever I can.
I spend a little more time with each customer, and yes I am pretty friendly.
Definitely. Sometimes customers not only come in to drink but they come in for some company. I consider it part of the job and love engaging with everyone.
Oh yes, I am very good at starting and continuing conversations.
Yes I will talk to everybody.
My personality overall is talkative, energetic and engaging. I think utilizing that towards customers during slow times will only make them want to stay there longer and order more drinks. I consider myself very friendly.
Yes I just either have a conversation with them or clean up in between.
Overly friendly I enage with all my customers and make sure they come back on my shifts.
Yes, I can strike up a conversation with almost anyone.
Able to communicate more on a personal level. I consider myself friendly and easy to get along with.
If the customer wants to chat I don't mind while cleaning or prepping bar for later shifts. Yes I consider myself friendly.
I am while working of course.
Yes. I like to make people feel comfortable and break the ice. I like to get to know people and make them feel important and heard.
I chat with them and ask them questions so I can establish a repor with them and be able to banter when I am busy.
Chat if they want to Ye.
I consider myself to be just as friendly as I would be if my bar were full.
Very sociable and chatty.
I like to stay at the bar and clean while making small talk to anyone at the bar.
I usually take the time to get to know them ask them how their day is going and what their plans are for the weekend. I am more then open to any questions they have for me and I enjoy talking to people and it makes the time pass by.
Yes love to inter act with guest.
Yes and I like to talk a lot.
I always consider being friendly and make customer satisfaction.
Very friendly and very personable.
I am a very friendly, positive and outgoing person. I dont like negativity it brings the vibe down and I dont like that. I will be alot more attentive, I dont like it when people have to ask for things. I truly believe you should offer your clients any extra condiments before they ask you.
Love to converse and make customers laugh and enjoy there time with me. They love my personality and sense of humor not to mention beauty.
Organize and clean. The bar can get very sticky. And if I'm working a morning shift I will make sure the night staff is stocked for the night.
Gym, reading Internet surfing.
If you got time to lean you got time to clean. Also my work as a barista has got me anticipating needs, so often slow time is getting ready for the next rush, or getting caught up.
Usually cleaning. I have to find something to do.
Clean and stock and organize.
Asking others if they need help, I'm a team player. I could also check that everything is stocked, count inventory, chat with and try to up-sell customers to increase profits during a slow time.
Sanitizing and organizing. I am a very clean person.
Clean!! There is always something to be cleaned and a slow shift is the perfect time to do this. Also, slow shifts are a great way to really get to know the guests that come in to the bar.

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