Many young Australians are attracted by the idea of becoming a barista and why shouldn’t they? It’s a fun job, or at least that’s how it seems when you’re on the other side of the counter, you make good money and in many cases, you get a flexible schedule. However, as a cafe owner you want to hire only the best. When you receive dozens of applications for a job opening how do you select the best candidate?
Here are a few tips that will help you pick the right person for the job.
What questions to ask at the job interview?
Probably the first question you should ask the eager candidate in front of you is whether they love coffee or not. This is fundamental in this job. You cannot be a barista, let alone a good one, if you yourself don’t like coffee and don’t drink it.
Many candidates will probably figure out the right answer to this question, but you can follow up with an in-depth discussion on various types of coffee. This kind of talk will quickly reveal if the candidate is a coffee-enthusiast and you can find out what they know about the various coffee specialties you offer in your cafe.
Don’t be afraid to ask specific questions about the subtle differences between a latte and a white-flat, talk about the various types of milk, etc.
Finally, you should ask about their work experience. You can always hire someone willing to learn on the job but it takes a minimum of three months experience to become at least a decent barista.
Are soft skills important?
You bet they are. A nice outgoing barista will make your customers want to come back to your cafe because they had a fun experience the other night.
At the same time, customers can be very picky and have very specific tastes. A good barista is someone who pays attention to details and delivers the coffee exactly as it was ordered. If a customer is unhappy about the coffee the barista needs to hear them out with a smile on his face and make sure the customer gets what he wants.
When you talk to the candidate, try to assess their soft skills and ask them how they would behave in a certain situation.
Should you ask for a background check?
Baristas come and go, but you should always be on the lookout for people with a love for coffee and this type of job. Try to treat each employee as someone who will stick around for more than a few months.
Since we’re talking about a potential long-term employee you should ask the candidates if they are willing to submit a police check. If they’re not they probably have something to hide and you’re better off without them.
Also, explain to the job applicant they don’t have to do anything. You’ll do everything by using an online criminal background check agency. It sounds cool and the candidate won’t have anything to object if all that’s required of them is to give you their identity information and a photo. Online agencies send results back via email in a couple of days. By the end of the week you can have a new barista and be certain it’s not a thief or some other type of criminal.