OysterLink Job Platform Launching Sept. 2024
The OysterLink Job Platform is Launching September 2024

Top 15 Barback Interview Questions & How To Answer Them

Table of Contents
FacebookLinkedInTwitterPinterestEmail

Even though the Barback role is an entry-level position, starting your career as a Barback is no easy task. That is why we created this guide: to help you start your career or find a perfect fit for your establishment.

We’ve assembled a list of the most common questions asked during a Barback interview and categorized them into questions about:

  • Skills and experience
  • Customer service
  • Behavioral/Situational

Keep reading to ace your Barback interview and find questions for applicants and interviewers with example answers.

1. Barback Interview Questions About Skills and Experience

Use this set of questions to assess the candidate’s ability to perform Barback duties while ensuring the uninterrupted operations of the bar.

An experienced Barback will demonstrate knowledge of bar operations, problem-solving skills and the ability to enhance the bar’s overall efficiency.

Can you describe your experience with stocking and replenishing bar supplies?

For employers: Look for a candidate that demonstrates experience in organizing and restocking inventory, ensuring all supplies are always available.

For applicants: Highlight your past experience with stocking bar supplies, including tasks like receiving deliveries, organizing the bar and restocking items like glassware, mixers and other bar essentials.

Example answer: I always make sure that the bar is fully stocked and properly set up. During busy shifts, I communicate with the Bartenders to make sure that they have everything they need to efficiently serve customers and uphold a high standard of customer service, without delays.

Are Barback salaries keeping up with living costs in your area?

How do you prioritize tasks and manage your time effectively during busy shifts?

For employers: Use this question to assess the candidate’s ability to prioritize tasks and ensure smooth operations of the bar. Look for an individual that demonstrates strong organizational skills and the ability to work under pressure.

For applicants: Describe your approach to prioritizing tasks and ensuring optimal bar functioning. Highlight your ability to multitask, anticipate bar needs and communicate with Bartenders and Waiters on potential bar deficiencies.

Example answer: I start by assessing the needs of the bar and taking care of any deficiencies that would make the bar operation inefficient. This means restocking low inventory items or cleaning dirty glasses.   I then prioritize tasks based on urgency. If an urgent situation prevented me or other workers from completing table setting, for example, then I would do that first and then focus on tasks that the guests can’t see immediately when they walk into the venue.

Have you ever assisted with the setup and breakdown of bar equipment and service areas?

For employers: Use this question to evaluate the candidate’s experience with setting up and breaking down bar equipment. Look for a candidate who demonstrates proficiency in assembling, disassembling and maintaining bar equipment and service areas.

For applicants: Discuss your experience with assisting in setup and breakdown of bar equipment. Be specific—talk about arranging glassware, setting up garnish stations and sanitizing work surfaces.

Example answer: Yes, I’ve had extensive experience assisting with the setup and breakdown of bar equipment and service areas. Before service begins, I ensure that all necessary equipment, such as ice bins, cocktail shakers, and condiment trays, is clean, organized, and ready for use. After service, I assist in breaking down the bar, cleaning equipment, and resetting the bar area for the next shift.

Describe your experience with maintaining cleanliness and sanitation standards in a bar environment.

For employers: Use this question to gauge the candidate’s ability to maintain a clean and sanitized bar. Look for a candidate who demonstrates attention to detail and has a proactive approach to cleanliness.

For applicants: Highlight specific examples on how you keep the bar clean, including how you perform tasks such as cleaning glassware, wiping down surfaces and sanitizing equipment.

Example answer: I understand the importance of maintaining cleanliness and sanitation standards to ensure a safe and hygienic environment for customers and staff. I take pride in keeping the bar area clean and organized, regularly wiping down surfaces, sanitizing equipment and emptying trash bins to prevent contamination and maintain a welcoming atmosphere.

How do you communicate and collaborate with Bartenders and other staff members to ensure efficient bar service?

For employers: Use this question to assess the candidate’s communication and collaboration skills. Look for a candidate that openly communicates and isn’t afraid to reach out to colleagues and foster cooperation.

For applicants: Highlight your ability to work in a team and support colleagues as needed.

Example answer: I make it a priority to make sure everyone is on the same page. I regularly communicate with Bartenders and other staff members on what needs to be done so that nothing slips through the cracks and we ensure optimal customer service.   Additionally, I am always open to feedback and suggestions from colleagues, making sure to improve myself and our operations whenever possible.

2. Barback Interview Questions About Customer Service

These questions are designed to evaluate the candidate’s ability to deliver exceptional customer service and contribute to a positive bar experience for patrons.

How do you greet and engage with customers when assisting them at the bar?

For employers: This question assesses the candidate’s ability to be welcoming to the guests and to greet them in a friendly manner.

For applicants: Describe how you engage with customers, emphasizing your ability to connect, provide a pleasant experience and encourage repeat guests.

Example answer: I am friendly and welcoming with guests. I greet them warmly with a smile and engage in a friendly conversation, should they wish to do so. I listen to them and try to enhance their experience at the bar.

How do you handle customer inquiries and requests efficiently and courteously?

For employers: Use this question to assess the candidate’s communication skills. Look for an individual who can courteously and promptly address customer inquiries and requests.

For applicants: Describe how you handle customer inquiries and requests. Emphasize your abilities to clearly communicate while offering personalized solutions and answers.

Example answer: I try to answer all customer requests and inquiries promptly, ensuring they don’t wait. I listen to their needs and clarify anything that is unclear. By maintaining a friendly and approachable demeanor, I aim to exceed customer expectations and contribute to their overall satisfaction.

How do you handle challenging or irate customers while maintaining professionalism and diffusing tense situations?

For employers: Use this question to gauge the candidate’s ability to handle difficult customer interactions. Look for a candidate that demonstrates empathy, professionalism and diplomacy to ensure a positive outcome to any customer interaction.

For applicants: Discuss how you handle difficult situations. Demonstrate skills such as empathy, active-listening and diplomacy.

Example answer: When I find myself in difficult situations, I prioritize remaining calm. I try to be professional and defuse the situation as quickly as possible. By listening to the customer, I try to validate their feelings and understand the issue.   In doing so, I can provide solutions or alternatives to ensure that guests’ concerns can be addressed promptly.

How do you assist Bartenders in preparing for service and ensure that they have everything they need to fulfill customer orders efficiently?

For employers: Look for a candidate who demonstrates initiative and teamwork by actively supporting Bartenders in their tasks.

For applicants: Demonstrate your ability to work closely with Bartenders to facilitate efficient service. Explain how you assist Bartenders in setting up the bar area before service begins, such as restocking supplies, preparing garnishes, and organizing glassware.

Example answer: Before service begins, I work closely with Bartenders to set up the bar area, restocking liquor bottles, syrups, and mixers, and ensuring that garnishes are prepared and readily available. During service, I proactively monitor inventory levels and anticipate Bartenders’ needs, such as fetching fresh ice or replenishing garnishes.

How do you handle customer feedback and ensure continuous improvement in service quality?

For employers: Use this question to gauge the candidate’s ability to handle customer feedback. Look for a candidate that demonstrates openness to feedback and has a proactive attitude about incorporating beneficial changes.

For applicants: Discuss how you handle customer feedback and how you incorporate it moving forward.

Example answer: I actively encourage customers to provide constructive and positive comments. I try to be attentive to their needs and concerns and to implement changes as soon as possible to ensure optimal customer service.   Additionally, I speak with colleagues and management to implement changes on a higher level, when such a comment or suggestion arrives. This way we ensure that our standard not only meets but also exceeds customer expectations.

3. Situational/Behavioral Barback Interview Questions

Use these questions to assess the candidate’s ability to handle unforeseeable situations they may encounter in a Barback role.

Evaluate the candidate’s problem-solving skills, adaptability and ability to courteously and promptly resolve issues without customer service declining.

How would you prioritize tasks when faced with multiple responsibilities and time constraints during a busy shift?

For employers: Assess the candidate’s adaptability in busy shifts. Look for an individual who demonstrates good prioritization skills and the ability to maintain productivity in a busy setting.  Look for a candidate who demonstrates strong organizational skills, the ability to prioritize effectively and maintain productivity under pressure to ensure smooth operations during busy shifts.

For applicants: Describe your prioritization process. Emphasize efficiency, flexibility and how you stay focused during busy periods.

Example answer: I prioritize tasks based on urgency and impact on customer service. I assess the immediate needs of the bar and try to get everything a Bartender may need ready.   I restock supplies, ensure there are enough clean glasses and take out the trash before helping the Bartender with drink preparation. This ensures prompt and efficient service, helping customers stay happy even during peak business hours.

Should establishments provide bonuses or shared profits with employees?

How do you handle situations where equipment or supplies are unavailable or malfunctioning, impacting service delivery?

For employers: Assess the candidate’s ability to maintain composure and high degree of customer service even when things go wrong. Look for an individual that demonstrates resourcefulness, problem-solving skills and an ability to adapt quickly to unexpected situations.

For applicants: Describe how you handle equipment and supply issues. Emphasize proactive problem-solving and communication to minimize disruptions and maintain service quality.

Example answer: In situations where equipment or supplies are unavailable or malfunctioning, I remain calm and focused on finding solutions to minimize disruptions and maintain service quality.   I quickly communicate the issue to my colleagues or management and try to find the quickest solution to return to the uninterrupted bar operations while ensuring customer satisfaction.

How do you handle transporting and storing kegs, bottles, and other beverage containers to ensure they remain secure and accessible?

For employers: This question assesses the candidate’s experience and approach to handling and storing beverage containers safely and efficiently. Look for a candidate who demonstrates knowledge of proper handling procedures, including securing containers to prevent breakage and ensuring accessibility for quick retrieval.

For applicants: Focus on your ability to prioritize safety and organization while handling beverage containers. Highlight skills such as attention to detail, physical strength for lifting and moving heavy items and proficiency in maintaining cleanliness and orderliness in storage areas.

Example answer: I’ve implemented careful handling procedures to transport and store kegs, bottles, and other beverage containers securely. When transporting kegs, I ensure they are properly secured to prevent rolling or shifting during transit, minimizing the risk of damage or breakage. In storage areas, I organize containers systematically, prioritizing accessibility and labeling to facilitate quick retrieval during busy periods.

How do you contribute to a positive team dynamic and foster a collaborative work environment with your colleagues?

For employers: Look for a candidate that demonstrates strong interpersonal skills, teamwork and the ability to promote a positive team culture to enhance morale and productivity.

For applicants: Describe how you contribute to a positive work environment. Emphasize communication and cooperation with other team members.

Example answer: I try to actively contribute to fostering a positive work environment. I openly communicate with colleagues and offer assistance where needed. I also ask for help when I need it and appreciate and recognize the help from my colleagues.   I believe this fosters a positive work environment grounded in mutual respect. Additionally, by making sure that everyone feels valued, I believe we manage to improve customer service.

How do you handle situations where customers become intoxicated or disruptive, ensuring their safety and maintaining a positive atmosphere in the bar?

For employers: Look for a candidate who demonstrates the ability to handle challenging situations with tact and professionalism while prioritizing customer safety and maintaining a welcoming environment for all patrons.

For applicants: Describe your approach to managing intoxicated or disruptive customers, emphasizing proactive measures, effective communication and collaboration with security or management to address issues promptly and securely.

Example answer: When encountering intoxicated or disruptive customers, my priority is to ensure their safety and maintain a positive atmosphere in the bar for all patrons. I approach the situation calmly and respectfully; engaging with the customer to assess their condition and address any concerns or issues they may have.   If necessary, I discreetly involve security or management to intervene and assist with escorting the individual out of the bar. I try to minimize disruptions as much as possible and to uphold the bar’s reputation as a safe and welcoming establishment.

FacebookLinkedInTwitterPinterestEmail

How To Prepare for a Barback Interview

Prepare for a Barback interview by focusing on essential aspects both as a candidate and an interviewer.

As a candidate:

  • Familiarize yourself with the establishment for which you are applying. Understand the bar’s layout and setup. Research service standards and drinks that are offered to demonstrate interest in the position.
  • Discuss your previous Barback experience and elaborate on strategies you used to maintain bar efficiency. Prepare answers to the common questions such as your experience with keeping the bar clean and ensuring a high standard of customer service.
  • Showcase your willingness to learn and grow in the role. Express your enthusiasm for the opportunity to contribute to the bar’s success and your eagerness to support the team in delivering exceptional service.

As an interviewer:

  • Look for a candidate who demonstrates a strong work ethic, reliability, and a proactive attitude towards supporting the bar operations. Inquire about their previous experience in similar roles and their ability to handle the physical demands of the job.
  • Go over the job description and match it against the resumes you received. Look for a candidate whose prior experience matches what you’re looking for in the barback role.
  • Evaluate the candidate’s communication skills and teamwork abilities. Pose scenarios that test their ability to coordinate with Bartenders, Servers and other team members during busy shifts or when addressing customer needs.

How To Become a Barback?

Given that Barback is an entry-level position, there are no special requirements you need to become one.

However, candidates who have a high-school diploma or an equivalent might have an advantage over candidates without basic literacy, mathematical and communication skills.

Age Requirements for Barbacks

While there is a modicum of flexibility when it comes to educational requirements to become a Barback, age requirements are non-negotiable.

In most states, 18 is the minimum age to serve alcohol.  Considering that, sometimes, serving alcohol falls under the Barback’s job responsibilities, most bars, restaurants and establishments adhere to state-specific laws.

Are Barbacks Paid Well?

According to the most recent data averaged from Glassdoor, Salary.com and ZipRecruiter, the annual median salary for a Barback in the United States is $28,506.

Barbacks sometimes also share tips with Bartenders and other members of the staff, boosting their income.

See the breakdown of average Barback salaries across states below:

Annual Mean Wage of Barbacks by State

[Calculated using Salary.com, Talent.com, Zippia, Glassdoor and Ziprecruiter data]

This map is interactive. Hover your mouse over different parts of the map to see detailed data. 

Career Advice

Restaurant Salaries & Job Opportunities

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.