Interview tips for bar staff jobs

Looking for bar staff jobs? Bar work is a great way to earn some casual cash, but competition can be stiff. Bag that bar job by following these easy tips...

The manager wants someone who is friendly, sociable and easy to have a chat with. Stay relaxed – the chances are that the interview will be quite casual. Turn the interview into a conversation by asking questions as you go along. For example:

Manager: ‘Do you have experience in cocktail making?’

You: ‘No, not professionally anyway! I worked at a sports bar so most of the customers had beer. But I’ve always been keen on drink presentation, like garnishing and the type of glass used, and I’d love to learn some cocktail recipes. Does the bar serve many?’

Manager: ‘On Friday night we tend to get a lot of cocktail orders....’

That way you’ll prove that you have good social skills and you’ll come across as enthusiastic about the role. It’s always a bonus if you can get the manager talking about the business, and you can use the information to help with other questions. For example:

Manager: ‘Are you a team player?’

You: ‘Absolutely. You mentioned that the bar gets particularly busy on a Friday night. In situations like that it’s important that the team works efficiently. The best way to do that is to communicate and make sure that everyone knows what they’re supposed to be doing. I could handle the cocktails while the other barman keeps on top of other drink orders. One of the waiters could be on drink orders duty and another could run the drinks. An example of a time I worked well in a team is when...’

Relating your skills to the business’ needs is a sure-fire way to impress. Don’t worry if you haven’t got any bar experience – a bit of common sense goes a long way in the bar trade. Highlight any customer service and money handling experience that you might have, stress that you love dealing with people and explain that you work well under pressure.

A final important factor is flexibility. The manager will understand that you might be studying or have other commitments, but it’s important that you’ll be flexible within reason. Functions can crop up at the last minute, staff might phone in sick, you may be needed to help out in the kitchen or on the floor, or it could be too busy for you to finish your shift on time. If you demonstrate that you’ll work hard and help out when needed, you’ll bag the job.


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