A bartender’s career can certainly be fun and exciting, but it is also filled with plenty of responsibility—some of which could save lives. The following bartender interview questions and answers will prove to your interviewer that you are not only knowledgeable and fun, but that you have what it takes to do the job correctly at the same time.

Are You Familiar with Common Drink Recipes?

In order to become licensed or certified as a bartender, you only need to demonstrate your knowledge as it pertains to safety and the law. This means that you will not be required to mix actual drinks. As such, your interviewer will likely ask this question to determine your knowledge of ‘mixology’. If you took a mixology course as part of your training, be sure to mention this. If not, you should mention a brief list of your favorite drinks and perhaps a couple that are a bit more obscure, but be sure that you know how to make them perfectly. After answering this question, your interviewer may ask you how to mix the perfect Bloody Mary or Fuzzy Navel.

Can You Handle Belligerent Patrons Smartly and Safely?

As a bartender, there will likely come a time when you are forced to deal with someone who has had too much to drink and has become belligerent, irate or even seriously confused. Your answer to this question may resemble “If I was faced with an irate inebriated patron, I would first stop serving that individual. Next, I would attempt to resolve the problem at hand and ensure that the patron is able to get home safely without driving.” At this point, you may be asked for your next course of action if you are unsuccessful in calming the patron down. Of course, your answer should always involve contacting law enforcement officials, but only as a last resort and perhaps after notifying the business owner.

Do You Understand the Law in regard to Bartending?

Individual states create their own laws that relate to bartending and the sale or service of alcoholic beverages. It is important that you not only become certified as a bartender to prove your knowledge, but that you keep it in mind as you go about your daily duties. You should provide a quick recap to assure your interviewer that you are familiar with these laws. For example, you may say “I understand that due to state law, I am not allowed to serve alcoholic beverages after one in the morning. I am also not able to serve any patron who shows signs of being intoxicated, and I am to attempt to stop intoxicated patrons from driving home of their own accord.”

How Well Do You Handle Stress?

Restaurants, bars, pubs, taverns and other similar venues can become quite crowded in a very short period of time. In some cases, you may be the only bartender available to serve 100 or more people. You should provide an example of a time in which you were able to overcome such an obstacle, or perhaps any example that adequately proves your ability to handle work-related stress. List any methods you use to handle large crowds, techniques for fighting fatigue and even tricks for ensuring that no one is thirsty, despite the size of the crowd.
Your interviewer will likely ask these questions as well as others. In the end, your potential employer will want to make sure that you will obey the law, stay calm in situations that could quickly escalate, and handle yourself with the venue is incredibly busy. If so, you are just the employee the business needs.