Bartender qualifications to look for
Bartenders not only mix, garnish and serve beverages in your establishment, but they are typically the liveliest employees your customers interact with. Depending on the types of drinks you serve, your bartenders may need to be masters at crafting cocktails or simply perfected the art of the perfect pour.
Your top hire may not have a bartending school background, but they should typically have restaurant or bar experience and alcohol safety training.
Keep an eye out for candidates who have:
- Excellent social skills
- Pleasant personality
- Ability to work in a fast-paced environment
- Reliable and patient
Top tip: Hire candidates willing to grow by making sure their personal career goals align with your company's mission.
Bartender interview questions
- Why did you become a bartender?
- Have you been to our establishment before? If so, how would you describe our customers?
- Describe any training or experience you have in bartending. For how long have you been in the business and what type of work have you done?
- What alcohol safety training have you had?
- What type of environment do you typically work in?
- Do you have a personal favorite cocktail to make?
- What makes a cocktail high quality?
- Walk me through how to make an old-fashioned.
- Do you know how to recommend wine pairings with food?
- If someone wanted a dessert drink, what would you recommend?
- How do you recognize a fake ID? What do you do when it happens?
- What are some signs you need to cut off a patron? How do you handle the situation?
- How do you handle running late to work?
- What do you do when business is slow?
- How do you turn things around with customers having a negative experience?
- How do you handle multiple orders at once?
- How do you resolve issues with an unhappy customer?
- How do you handle coworkers who aren’t keeping up?
- What are the characteristics of excellent customer service?
- What are some ways you make customers feel important?
- What’s your approach to upselling? Give me some examples.
- A customer sends their drink back. What do you do?