We have talked about barista techniques and coffee equipment. We have answered the question how to get a barista job. Together we have learned to write a barista resume and barista cover letter. But we haven't yet touched the topic of personality in barista training.
Let us now ask experienced coffee shop owners, what qualities they are looking for in their baristas. For more information, visit Coffee Shop Startups – they help aspiring coffee shop owners to launch their businesses and we have talked to many of them regarding the employees, baristas and working environment.
Together with high quality coffee beans and professional coffee equipment, barista skills are the core of the success of any coffee shop. We believe that you possess all the qualities to enhance the quality of service of any café you are applying for. It’s worth, though, to revise what barista qualities are the most desired, according to veteran coffee shop owners.
When a coffee shop owner or human resources manager is asked “What kind of barista are you looking for”, they would usually answer: “We are looking for someone who is meticulous, eager to learn, can perform great customer service and work in a team. We’d rather hire someone without experience in coffee, than a barista who’s arrogant and thinks he knows more than anyone“.
All of us possess these qualities, but they are developed to a different extent. If you are not super talkative you can still perform very well as a barista and provide great customer service. If you don’t like conflicts or stressful situations, you have plenty of tools to avoid them. If you enjoy freedom, a barista job offers you plenty of ways to express your individuality.
Are you sociable?
A barista need to have great interpersonal skills, because a barista work requires non-stop interaction with people on a daily basis.
During your barista job interview you will be asked questions like “How did you get along with your customers at your previous work?” or “Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult customer”. Think in advance how to answer these questions, and be honest about your experience.
How flexible are you?
After you get a barista job, you will know that sometimes the job itself can be a lot of hassle: let’s say your colleague barista is sick and it means that this week you will have more shifts than you planned. If there’s a big line waiting to be served, you will need to prepare your drinks quickly, while staying friendly and also keeping an eye on the dirty dishes in the sink and messy tables in the café. You might also need to give orders to your teammates. Are you ready for that kind of job?
Attention to details is important
Even if you have a long line of customers, it doesn’t mean that you can allow yourself to forget about the grind adjustment or ground dosage. You have to provide the best customer service every time. You will be also required to meet health and safety requirements at your workplace in the coffee shop. A barista job requires balance.
Your prospective employer can see, how your attention to detail is revealed through your resume and cover letter. So make sure you write them without any typos and proofread it again and again.
Have you read through the rules and policies?
It’s important that you comply with the rules that your employer established for his business. For example, if it’s prohibited you can’t serve an unhappy customer a free drink. Ask your manager what you can do instead. As a rule, you will be asked to clean your espresso machine after your shift. Or you can’t bring your pet dog or hamster to work. And you can’t escape it!
If during your job interview you are asked a question about the work rules at your previous job, or which of the rules you disliked, be sure that this question is targeted at knowing how comfortable you are with rules and requirements.
You have to be a team player
Your team of barista is crucial to ensure efficient and quality service. You will rarely work on your own in a coffee shop, and during busy hours you will understand why. If you don’t think that you can work well in a team there are two options for you: you can ask for early morning or late night shift (both are a huge responsibility too), or you might want to consider another job. We believe, that coffee is a kind of business where your ego is not the key to success. It doesn’t mean that it undermines your personality, rather the arrogance is not accepted here.
If there are other traits we haven’t mentioned, feel free to comment and suggest your view on barista work!
Barista Training Academy is your premiere online barista training resource for learning how to be a barista, how to land a job as barista, and all the aspects of starting your career in retail coffee. For more information visit our blog.