Bartender Interview Questions

Bartenders can be found in bars and restaurants, at private and corporate events or even in hotel lounges. The job requires not only mixing drinks but also serving customers, taking orders and keeping the bar clean. When interviewing for a position as a bartender, you need to be familiar with the variety of situations you may encounter on the job.
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Example Interview Questions

In this article, we explore some common bartender interview questions and sample answers to help you be prepared for your next encounter.

What kind of drink do you recommend for a customer who is new to your bar?

It is the bartender's job is to recommend a drink that best suits the customer's taste. This answer demonstrates your experience in providing good customer service. However, you should not recommend a drink you do not enjoy serving. Show that you are flexible and willing to provide suggestions for your customers.

Example answer: "I always like to ask a customer about what they are looking for. Maybe they want to get the most bang for their buck or they want a drink to give them energy. I also listen to their suggestions, like a favorite drink or liquor they like. I can then use that information to make a recommendation based on their preferences and my own preferences."

What must you do as a bartender to ensure that your bar is profitable?

As an experienced bartender, you have probably helped a business owner increase revenue by suggesting changes to your bar. The interviewer wants to make sure you know how to run a profitable business. Demonstrate your experience in this area by sharing a specific example of a time when you helped a business owner improve their bottom line.

Example answer: "Last year I received an email from the owner of a bar asking me to help him improve his business. I sent him my market research on current trends and what his customers are looking for in a bar. I suggested he change the layout of his establishment to make it more inviting. I also recommended that he change his marketing approach to reach a younger demographic. He invested in these changes and quickly saw his revenue increase significantly."

What do you think is the most important quality a good bartender should have?

Bartending can be a fun job and you should convey your personal strengths that make you a good fit for this job. It is also a job where you will deal with a lot of customers, so you should be friendly and have good customer service experience.

Example answer: "A good bartender should be a quick learner, able to quickly adapt to any situation. He or she should also have a strong network of regulars because a bartender who is friendly with his or her regular customers will be able to get them to respond positively to different promotions."

What do you do when a customer orders a drink and you do not have all the ingredients?

This is a question designed to test your customer service skills. Bartenders might encounter some customers, known as "hardcore drinkers," who take their drink orders very seriously. You should answer this question by explaining that you would try to offer the customer a substitute drink or find a way to tell them why their usual drink isn't available.

Example answer: "I would try to find a substitute drink. I might also explain to the customer that their usual drink isn't available due to staff shortages or lack of ingredients. If they are particularly upset by this news, I will make sure to follow up with them after they've had a chance to readjust. I'll chat with them and maybe offer them some free drinks as an apology."

Is it OK to give free drinks to customers?

Bar staff, like many hospitality workers, are expected to give away free drinks to customers. The question is designed to test your values and morals. If you think bartenders should give away free drinks, say so, outlining why this is the case. However, if you believe bartenders should not give away drinks for free, then explain why you think that is the case.

Example answer: "I believe bartenders should give away free drinks. This is the norm in the hospitality industry. As a bartender, it is my responsibility to make customers feel welcomed and respected as paying guests. I believe the best way to achieve this is by giving away some free drinks. I don't do it as a way of selling more liquor. Rather, I do it to create a bar atmosphere that is comfortable and fun for our customers."

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