Interviewing Tips

The school's placement service is here to help you find your first bartending job. We will help you get in touch with establishments that are hiring bartenders, but YOU are the only one who can get YOU a job. Here are some suggestions to help you sell yourself to an employer.

Arrive at least 20 minutes early for your interview if an appointment time has been given to you. You need to fill out an application form before your interview, so be sure to have a pen or pencil with you. Managers want to see that you have come prepared. It's also a good idea to have your personal references and job history, complete with address and phone numbers, written on a piece of paper (resume) so you can transfer this information onto the establishments application quickly.

Go into every job interview with CONFIDENCE. Be positive! You have had excellent training and we know you can do the job. Convey this positive attitude to every possible employer. Use words like "dependable", "honest", "professional", "trustworthy", and "people-oriented". Talk to the managers as if they are your first time customers at the bar. This shows the managers that you will treat their customers with respect and confidence. Too many "experienced" bartenders are burned out with the bar business and have terrible customer service skills - perhaps you have been served by one of them!

Employers want to know what you can do for them. They are not there to do something for you. Don't go in with an attitude that says, "Where's my job?" Convince them that they need you!

Go alone to the interview. Employers do not want to see your friends or family so as to be distracted. It is also wise not to job hunt with other graduates. You want the interviewer to give you their full undivided attention.

Be flexible. Don't ask for ridiculous pay, special hours, vacations, etc. If you are overly choosy, you will never gain on the job experience. After you become a valued employee, you will probably be able to arrange the things you want. Work experience is quite valuable, even if you don't get as many hours as you want or have to drive quite a distance in the beginning. Average bartenders earn $5.00 to $7.00 per hour plus tips. Tips depend upon YOUR service and personality! Some managers THINK they know how much money in tips the bartenders are making in their bar but remember bartenders generally don't claim all their tips. Some bartenders also don't make very much in tips because their customer service skills are lacking and it shows in the EMPTY tip jar! Part time in the bar business is 16 to 28 hours (2-3 shifts) - Full time is 28 to 40 hours (4-5 shifts) - Shifts are anywhere from 6 to 10 hours. Work hours depend on the type of establishment: 7am-4pm, 10am-4pm, 4pm- 10pm, midnight or 2am. Bars are generally open 7 days a week and 365 days a year, so be prepared for any schedule. Managers are generally good about working around college and other work schedules but please do NOT emphasize ALL your problems on the initial interview. Many managers will probably be conducting 2nd and sometimes 3rd interviews. Hotels and large restaurant chains are notorious for this because there are several mangers in charge of hiring. BE PATIENT.

Avoid volunteering negative information during interviews. Employers may be discouraged from hiring you if you tell
them that you have no car, have sick children, need a week off for a wedding next month, etc. While we do not suggest that you lie about anything, it is not necessary to give them information like this if you are not asked.

Don't pre-judge. Many graduates have skipped interviews and simply driven on by when they see a place with a
mediocre appearance. Go inside! Talk to the manager! Avoid applying during happy hours, meals and times when entertainment is provided. Early morning and after lunch are good times when the manager will have time to talk to you. Our placement director will specify times and days that each manager has requested to interview graduates. Do not misjudge a business's capability of your making money based upon these slow inbetween hours.

Follow up your interview with a phone call if the manager seemed to be interested in you and perhaps mentioned what day they would be making a hiring decision. Managers are very busy people and usually are running behind schedule. Your phone call could clinch the job for you! It shows you have taken an interest in their establishment.

If you come across a manager who has not worked with our graduates and is skeptical of your qualifications, SELL YOURSELF! Tell them you are good at this and only need a chance to show it. Offer to work one day for tips only, so they lose no money if you are incapable. Confidence is convincing.

Keep going! Don't get discouraged if your first few interviews don't bring results. Every bar is different and requires a different type of person. With time and perseverance you will find the right place for you. The more interviews you have, the sooner it will happen.

Always apply in person so you can sell yourself. Managers are very busy people and do NOT want to be disturbed with phone calls, especially by people they do not even know. Only call IF we tell you to because the manager has requested you to call to set an appointment!

If only applying for a job with no interview scheduled, try to hand the application to a bar manager or personnel manager. A picture is worth a thousand words so be sure to present your application with a smile!

If job searching at places on your own, and the manager tells you they are not hiring, always ask if you may fill out an application. Someone may quit tomorrow. Also ask if they know of any other place that might need a good bartender. Many people in the beverage industry know others in the business and can often give you a lead.

Get in touch1-248-569-9105
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