Interview questions are essential for finding the right candidate for the position. While it has limitations, it’s still the best vetting process for understanding how a prospective employee might interact with the team. But, statistics show you only have 7 seconds to make a strong first impression. Therefore, it’s absolutely vital to be prepared for each interview.

Do you have an upcoming job interview for a manager at a coffee shop? In this article, I share provide you with more than 103 difficult coffee shop manager interview questions and answers to get you ready. Let’s get started. 

Coffee Shop Manager Interview Questions

  • What are the most important skills for a coffee shop manager?
  • What previous experience did you have in management?
  • Kindly tell me about yourself.
  • What is your go-to management style?
  • What do you think are some of the most essential skills for a coffee shop manager to have?
  • Do you have a familiarity with the health regulations with regards to coffee shops?
  • Have you experienced any big changes? How did you deal with it?
  • How would you handle an underperforming barista?
  • How would you handle complaints regarding poor customer service?
  • Are you willing to work odd hours?
  • What’s your favorite type of coffee?
  • Where do the best coffee beans come from?
  • What would you do if an item on the menu isn’t selling well?
  • How would you handle an employee who’s always late?
  • What do you hope to learn as a coffee shop manager?
  • If we hire you, what are your goals for the coffee shop?
  • How would you handle conflicts in the workplace?
  • Kindly tell us more about your previous work experience.
  • What makes a coffee shop manager competent?
  • How long do you plan on staying with (Coffee Shop Name).
  • What would you do if your stock is on its last day of shelf life?
  • Do you have any experience with menu development?
  • Can you provide an example when you had to deal with a difficult customer?
  • What was the most difficult part of your last job?
  • How would you respond if a staff member took a break during a hectic period?
  • Are you comfortable with assisting others with matters that were outside your responsibilities?
  • What skills would separate you from other potential managers?
  • How would you handle a situation wherein a staff member became angry at you?
  • Tell me about a time you made a mistake and how you were able to handle it.
  • How would you be able to deal with staff who refuse to follow instructions?
  • Do you have any active applications with other companies right now?
  • On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your stress management?
  • Can you tell us about a time when you persuaded staff members successfully with your idea?
  • How has working in your previous role changed you?
  • Do you think you’re the best candidate for this role? Why so?
  • What are your salary expectations as a coffee shop manager?
  • What is the one thing you love most about coffee?
  • What would you like to accomplish at the end of your career?
  • Can you tell us about your plans for the future?

Coffee Shop Assistant Manager Interview Questions

You could conduct a telephone interview for coffee shop managers.

Do you have an open role for assistant coffee shop manager? Here are some interview questions you can ask.

  • How would you deal with customer complaints, whether they were right or wrong?
  • What would you do if you had a disagreement with the manager?
  • How would you build rapport with other staff members?
  • Can you take me through the process of cleaning an espresso machine?
  • What makes you think you’re qualified for the job as an assistant manager?
  • How would you deal with a staff member who was disrespectful towards you?
  • If there’s a need to make an important decision, but the manager wasn’t around, what would you do?
  • What would you do if a certain employee was underperforming at work?
  • Why do you think a coffee shop needs an assistant manager?
  • Do you have any experience hiring personnel?
  • Imagine a hectic service. There are too many customers and your staff are struggling to attend to their needs. Because of this, customer service is starting to fall. How would you handle this particular situation?

You Might Like: 89+ (Positive & Negative) Performance Review Phrases for Customer Service 

  • Given you’re a barista. Why did you decide to take on the role of an assistant manager?
  • Do you have any experience handling a team?
  • How would you use the resources given to you to improve your job performance?
  • Kindly give me a run through on your previous working experience.
  • What would your main focus be as a manager if we decide to hire you?
  • Do you handle stress well? How were you able to manage it well?
  • Have you experienced any sort of conflict with your manager? If so, how were you able to handle it?
  • Tell us how you would respond to making a decision without much information.
  • Have you ever made a mistake as an assistant manager? Kindly tell us what happened.
  • How would you make serving coffee more efficient?
  • Are you okay with working long hours?
  • What is your leadership style and why did you choose that approach?
  • Do you have prior experience regarding sales monitoring, sales goal setting, and inventory tracking?
  • Please tell us about a time you showed excellent customer service.
  • Do you have what it takes to be an assistant manager? Why do you think so?
  • What do you think are the best qualities for an assistant manager to have?
  • In your opinion, what do you think should be done differently at our coffee shop?
  • How do you intend to alleviate conflicts in the workplace?
  • Do you have any prior experience with working and supervising a team?
  • How would you handle changes in the coffee shop?
  • What motivates you when it comes to routine work?
  • How would you deal with burnout? Either with yourself or with staff members?
  • What do you like to do in your free time?
  • In your opinion, what makes a coffee shop successful?

Cafe Manager Interview Questions

A barista makes a custom coffee.

  • Are you comfortable with working in the evenings and on weekends?
  • What do you think are the most important skills for a cafe manager?
  • If your employees are underperforming, how would you handle it?
  • Do you have any experience with food cost management?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a customer complaint.
  • How would you display your leadership qualities if we were to go to your cafe unannounced?
  • How often does a cafe update their menus? Why should cafes make improvements to their menus?
  • What do you think is the most important aspect of running a successful cafe?
  • Do you have any managerial certifications? If so, how have they helped you with your career?
  • Why should we pick you over other candidates?
  • Do you have experience working with point-of-sale systems? Kindly describe your experience.
  • Tell us what quality customer service means to you.
  • How do you take customer preferences into account when you’re planning the menu?
  • Can you tell us about your experience with inventory management?
  • Can you give me an example of a time when you had to deal with a stressful situation at work?
  • How would you handle a situation wherein an employee was behaving in a way that’s against company policies?

You Might Like: 115+ Performance Review Phrases for Personal Integrity (Positive & Negative)

  • What were your previous accomplishments in your previous role?
  • How would you deal with a staff member that left the counter area without cleaning?
  • What do you think is the best quality a good cafe manager should have?
  • What do you see yourself doing in your first month in the job if we hire you?
  • How are you when it comes to repetitive work?
  • How would your previous employers describe you as a manager?
  • What do you think is the difference between good and exceptionally great?
  • Can you tell us about a time when you went above and beyond in your previous role?
  • What motivates you to be the best at your job as of the moment?
  • How are you able to implement good customer service in your management practices?
  • What is the least rewarding work you have ever done? Why?
  • Do you consider yourself good when it comes to problem solving?
  • How long do you think it would take you to contribute to our coffee shop?
  • What would you do to motivate staff members to be better at their job?
  • How do you create a balance between your work and personal life?
  • What do you think are your greatest weaknesses when it comes to being a manager?
  • Which do you think is more important, being a good listener or a good communicator?
  • What does “think outside the box” mean to you?
  • Tell us about the time when you took on a major risk? How did it pan out?

Coffee Shop Manager Interview Questions and Answers

Making a specialty coffee.

Here are some questions and sample answers to interview questions.

Kindly tell us about yourself.

I am (your name) and I was born in (location). I have a degree in business management at (university or college) and I graduated on (date). During my time in college, I worked as a part-time barista at (coffee shop name). It’s there where I truly started to love coffee. It’s where I learned about customer service and the importance of it.

Also, I realized that I enjoyed working at cafes, not only for the coffee but also the diverse people I was fortunate to meet. After just a short time, I was promoted to supervisor at my previous job. This provided me with extra responsibilities and the opportunity to manage a team. However, I wanted to put what I learned in college to the test. Unfortunately, this coffee shop already had a good manager. That’s when I discovered your job post on (website). I would love to put my skills and knowledge to good use by helping your coffee shop become more competitive.

Intent of this question: Employers are mainly interested your experience as it pertains to the available role when asking this question. Don’t tell your entire life story when asked this question. Keep things short and concise. Make sure to connect the dots on why you decided to enter the coffee shop industry.

What is your management style?

I have a democratic management style. I am a firm believer that two heads are better than one. I do not want to think that just because I have a higher position in the workplace, does not mean others’ opinions or ideas don’t matter. I choose to approach situations with an open mind and listen to what my team members have to say. Having said that, I truly believe that a business’ success is determined by their employees. So, making staff feel that they have a voice matters.

Intent of this question: Employers want to understand what type of a manger you’ll be with this question. Are you going to be a micro manager? Can you be trusted to run this business?

What do you like most about coffee?

I love coffee. For me, it’s one of the best beverages available in today’s market. Plus, coffee isn’t just one size fits all when it comes to taste. There are a variety of coffee beans in the world; each providing different notes of flavor.

You Might Like: How Did You Deal with a Difficult Coworker? 21 Awesome Responses. 

Aside from that, there’s the obvious thing, which is that coffee can provide you with a quick energy boost to get you through the day. To top it all off, coffee, especially nowadays, is more than just a drink. It’s a way for people to connect with one another.

Intent of this question: This is an ice-breaker question. But it’s helpful to understand why you want to work in the coffee industry.

How would you deal with an unsatisfied customer?

Having worked in the coffee industry for a good number of years, I’ve had my fair share of unsatisfied customers. In my experience, fighting fire with fire is not how one should handle these situations. Instead, one should face these customers with patience and understanding.

Remaining to be polite is key. And, one should always do what’s best for the customer. However, when this customer starts disturbing other customers, I would give them their bill and send them out.

Intent of this question: Customer issues occasionally happen in a coffee shops. Incorrect orders or the wrong type of alt milk being to a drink is an invetiable complaint. The hiring manager wants to know how you’ll handle these situations.

Why do you want to work at our coffee shop?

I have been to your coffee shop prior to this interview. I really enjoyed my experience here. I love your coffee and the atmosphere. But most of all, I love your brand and what it aims to accomplish. For me, this is the perfect place for me to provide you with my skills and knowledge.

Intent of this question: The question is straightforward. The hiring manager wants to understand the reasons you applied for this role.

Tips on how to preparing for a coffee shop manager interview

Cheers to coffee with friends.

  • Confirm the interview details – Make sure that you know all the details, such as the place and time.
  • Arrive early – This is a must for all job interviews. If you arrive ahead of schedule, it demonstrates this is a priority for you.
  • Be professional – Most of the time, interviews for a coffee shop position happen inside the coffee shop itself. This makes it seem like a casual setting, but be sure to remain professional. Dress for success. 
  • Research potential questions – Coffee shop manager interviews are just like other job interviews. So, make sure to research questions relating to the position. Exactly what you’re doing right now!
  • Check yourself in the mirror – You don’t want food stuck in your teeth when applying for a role. Brush your teeth and conduct a quick check of yourself in the mirror before going into an interview to make sure you’re put together. 

If you follow the steps outlined in this article, you’ll be better prepared than 90% of the applicants to apply. Remember, this is a tight job market and employees like you are highly coveted by employers.