A bar interview can be a tricky interaction to navigate. On the one hand you want to appear fun and friendly, but you still need to convey an air of professionalism.
A bar is a unique atmosphere in that you may be working in a very casual environment where you’re expected to laugh, joke, and maybe even drink with your patrons.
Yet, the management still needs to know that you can be trusted with the serious stuff like money and monitoring people’s consumption. Luckily, with just a couple things in mind, you’ll nail your interview and get yourself a great gig!
In part one, we gave you some tips on how to write a good resume. Read on for some commonly made mistakes and how to avoid them.
Dressing Too Casually
Even if the bar where you want to work is a dive, you don’t want to show up in shorts and flip flops for the interview. Remember, you’re not dressing up to show you can fit in at the bar, you’re dressing up to pay respect to the management.
Now, that doesn’t mean you need to wear a three-piece suit. Aim for something around “business casual”. Of course, you can always show a bit more personality in bars than you can in say, a lawyer’s office.
Expecting the Job to Be a Given
A lot of times (perhaps most of the time) bar jobs are filled through word of mouth so unless you royally mess up during training, the job is probably yours. However, this isn’t always the case and you should never assume that the job is in the bag. Treat it as though you need to earn it and you’ll leave a much better impression.
Not Bringing a Resume to the Interview
If you need a job quick, a great tactic is to visit busy areas and go door to door with your resume. It’s a little tedious but you may catch the right person at the exact right time and land a gig. However, just walking in and asking ‘Are you hiring?’ is not enough.
Bring a damn resume!
No one is going to take you seriously if you don’t even do the minimum to show your interest. This goes for an interview as well, even if they’ve already seen it.
Bad-mouthing Your Last Job
We get it, restaurants can be hotbeds of conflict. And when a job is bad, it can be really bad. But, when an interviewer asks why you left your last gig, resist the urge to complain. Instead cite a neutral reason such as “I wanted a change of neighborhood” or “I prefer working in this type of establishment”.
I can’t even tell you how many bartenders I’ve met who were practically bragging in their interview and then come training time, couldn’t handle it. Maybe you’re great at some things, but there’s always more to learn and you’ll gain no fans by acting as though you could do a job in your sleep.
Allison DelVecchio, Contributor