These tips will help you succeed on your next bartending interview!

If you haven’t noticed, bartending is a super competitive field- in every aspect. Interviews are intimidating, there’s no doubt about it. However, there may be a few reasons why YOU are not snagging the job your heart so desires, though you swear up and down the employer loved you to pieces during the interview.

Check out these interview tips for a successful career in bartending:

Interview Tip #1: Resume or Writing Failures 

You may not be a professional journalist, but anyone truly interested in a position  knows you can’t walk into to an interview with typos, misspelled words, grammatical anomalies, over-use of “big” words, unclear handwriting, etc. on your resume and/or application.  As an interviewer, you’d be absolutely shocked by the frequency of such mistakes. Taking your time to write a professional resume for a professional position. Having it proof-read speaks miles about your dedication, ability, experience, demeanor and the likelihood of you being called back for a second interview.

Interview Tip #2: Lack of Writing Implement

About 30% of candidates  fail the most simple test of ineptitude: not bringing a pen to the interview. What’s worse, is that some people have the nerve to ask someone that works there for a pen to complete an application or other paperwork. By doing so,  you fail to adequately prepare for the opportunity of a job. This  ultimately leaves a bad first impression. Bring at least 2 functional pens to every interview. Some employers have refused to even speak to candidates that haven’t brought a pen.

Interview Tip #3: Appropriate Attire

This one can be a little tricky, particularly if you’re interviewing at multiple bars on the same day, in the same outfit. Best advice: do a little legwork beforeyou head in there. Perform a bit of reconnaissance the night before, noting what the staff are wearing. Do your best t to mimic the look, but be professional and polished. You want to portray yourself to the management as someone they can envision behind the bar. Needless to say, hair and makeup should also reflect the establishment’s vibe.When in doubt, guys can’t really go wrong with dark trousers, or plain dark jeans, a pressed button shirt, and dark shoes (never sneakers). Girls, if you have no clue what to wear, a mid-length snug skirt or dark jeans, snug, slightly revealing blouse and earth-tone wedges or low heals will suffice.

Interview Tip #4: Personality

You can’t be a quiet, shy person and be a bartender. Your job is not simply slinging drinks. You are the entertainment  the facilitator, the “inebriator,”  the problem solver, the fight referee, the porter, the joke machine, and the flare magician- at least while you’re punched in. If you can’t convey a clue about your personality traits during the interview, something attractive which uniquely distinguishes you from the other 20 candidates waiting to be interviewed, you come across as just “another candidate.” On the other hand, no one wants an over-the-top limelight person who never lets anyone else get a word in, edgewise. There is indeed a happy medium type of person who knows how to act and when. A barkeeper who manages to always know the proper level of engagement with varied customer personalities. It’s quite easy to ruin your chances of getting hired during an interview by simply never smiling or coming across as a depressing kind of person.

Interview Tip #5: Timing

Get to the interview 15 minutes before call time. The reason? Again, most interviews are heavily crowded. Don’t be surprised if you’re waiting 1 to 2 hours to be seen. If you’re number 20 and there have been 19 great candidates before you, your chances of getting a call-back are significantly reduced. I you make an early impression, things may sometimes be vastly different – to your advantage. Interviewing tired and frustrated is of no help to your mission objective. Similarly, showing up at 3:45 for a 2:00pm to 4:00pm call time, rarely results in a positive outcome.

Hopefully these interview tips will help to snag you your dream bartending job. Try out these interview tips and be sure to let us know the outcome !

If you have any questions about Bartending Tips & Tricks or wish to register for an upcoming class, please contact the Maryland Bartending Academy by calling 410-787-0020 or visit today!

Maryland Bartending Academy is not only Maryland’s oldest bartending school, but we also offer the most comprehensive curriculum around. We will have you ready for your new career in two weeks and then we will help you find bartender jobs around Maryland and DC! We have trained and placed thousands and thousands of bartenders into some of the busiest bars throughout not only Maryland and DC, but also the entire nation.

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