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The Starbucks Interview – How To Ace It

January 24th, 2011 · 2 Comments

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No… this isn’t a post about how to get a barrista job at Starbucks. It’s about how to do well at a job interview, held in a Starbucks. Let me explain.

I was in a Starbucks last week and saw two people at a table with papers strewn about in the midst of some business-like conversation. Watching closer, I saw one person hand the other what clearly was a resume.

It occurred to me that I was witnessing a job interview! And then it occurred to me that this was not the first time I had seen such a thing at Starbucks.

Starbucks has done a very good job of becoming our third place, and lots and lots of business goes down there. It’s not just people typing away on Macbooks either. How often do you see what are clearly business meetings going down over a latte? All the time.

I’m willing to bet that Starbucks interviews have become common. If it’s an informal sounding out, or if for whatever reason, the hiring manager doesn’t want to meet in the real office (maybe the company doesn’t have an office … or you’re meeting out of town) I can see the advantages.

So what do you do if you’re facing a Starbucks interview? 9 tips for acing the interview after the jump…

  • Consider getting there first. Think about it: how often do you get to choose the location of your interview? If you get there first you can nail down the best table or at least set up the environment in a way that helps you feel most comfortable or confident.
  • Come prepared. Make sure you have your paperwork (resume) and any other tools you might need (laptop? portfolio?) along with you an organized.
  • Dress appropriately. Ok, it’s not an office. It’s a Starbucks. But I’d still recommend dressing for the occasion: this is an interview, after all.
  • Offer to buy coffe, but don’t insist. Throw it out there like a polite gesture. But if they insist on buying coffee for you, gracefully accept. They are interviewing you, after all, so it’s sort of on them. If they’re not getting coffee, you probably should abstain as well.
  • Don’t order anything extravagant. We don’t want whipped cream on your upper lip without your knowledge.
  • Concentrate on the interview, not the food/drink. This is business. It’s not a meal. Concentrate on the event at hand. You can eat later. To that end…
  • Don’t use the coffee as a nervous prop. If you find yourself sipping every 30 seconds, make yourself sit on your hands. Being nervous in an interview is natural. Being fidgety is not.
  • Remember, coffee can give you bad breath. Consider your mint/gum options.
  • When the interview is over, leave. Try to leave first. Don’t hang around the Starbucks. It would just be awkward. And for all you know, there are more interviews after yours. In a real job interview, in an office, you shake hands and walk out the door. Do the same in this case.

Related posts:

  1. List of Starbucks Closings
  2. Starbucks Wifi Shakeup
  3. What To Wear To A Job Interview
  4. Should I Hide My Tattoos For A Job Interview?
  5. The Virtual Job Interview – Job Interviews Via Skype
  6. Ask Brian- How Do I Know If I Aced the Interview?

Tags: Interviewing

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  • Lisa

    I would add that if they don’t order coffee (or something, not necessarily coffee), that perhaps you should think twice about working for them.  They’re using Starbucks’ resources, even if it’s just table space, without thought of compensation or whether it’s right.