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Starbucks Assistant Manager Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Jun 23, 2014
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Accepted Offer

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Difficult Interview

Assistant Manager Interview

Assistant Manager
Los Angeles, CA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Starbucks in March 2014.

Interview Details – I submitted an application online. Received a call from a recruiter about a week later for an initial phone screen. During this brief 15 minute conversation, I was asked about my current responsibilities at my job and how it relates to the ASM position, and how my education (BA in Business) has prepared me for the role. Of course, you will also be asked "Why Starbucks?". It's good to answer that question with a story of a great experience you've had at Starbucks and why that has shown you that you want to be a part of the culture. Be prepared to answer what the highlights of your career have been so far, and if you have experience with profit and loss statements (trust me, they will ask this). If you have no P&L experience, be up front about that, but tell them about what financial documents you do have access to (I have no P&L responsibility in my current role, but I have access to sales numbers and guest survey scores. I also mentioned that I took three accounting classes in college and am very familiar with P&Ls as a result). It was all informal, not technically an interview, but you do need to make a good impression to get asked for the real phone interview.

The next step is a more in depth phone interview, about 45 mins, with the same recruiter. All behavioral questions, STAR format. They will go over the "hows" of your resume more than the "whats". Be prepared with specific examples. Feel free to use names of co workers to help make your stories more real and personal. The questions I was asked:

-Tell me about a time when you had an uncooperative coworker or a coworker you didn't get along with. What was the situation, why were they uncooperative, what was the result?
-Tell me about a time you had to plan out a project. What was your role, etc.
-Tell me about a time you had to have a tough conversation with someone at work.
-Tell me about a time you had to bring a co-workers performance up.

They will ask probing questions about additional actions you took, why you think coworkers were acting in a particular way, etc. Make sure you're able to get as specific as possible about these situations and your actions in them. I passed and was immediately asked for possible dates for a final interview.

The next interview is in-person with two District Managers at a local Starbucks. It will take place on the floor within earshot of customers, so be prepared to that. Be sure to accept the offer of a free drink, because you want to show that you love coffee. Obviously, don't ask for a caramel Frappucino or something ridiculous. I kept it simple and got a Venti Pike Place blend.

The two DMs will probably both have an interview packet, but it will be mostly one asking the questions and one writing your answers (for me it was a little bit of both). These questions are largely the same as the phone interview questions. My questions were:

-Tell me about a time when you had a communication breakdown with a co worker or with your team.
-Tell me about a time you had to have a tough conversation with a co worker (exact question from the phone interview)
-What are your strengths? Give an example of a time you displayed this.
-What are your weaknesses? What are you doing to work on this?
-What are you doing for your personal and professional development?
-Tell me about a time when you didn't have all the answers or didn't know what to do next (this may be the most important question, because they told me they usually never get good answers to this. Luckily, mine was high scope and relevant)
-Tell me about a time when you had to plan out a project. (Same as phone interview question. Make sure you give a high scope answer)

They'll ask you if you have any questions and if you have anything to add. Ask about community projects at Starbucks and how you can get involved, how much autonomy ASMs have to make decisions, why the DMs themselves chose Starbucks, etc.

I interviewed on a Friday and got the offer Monday afternoon. I'm incredibly excited for this opportunity. I want to make sure everyone can prepare for these interviews as well as I did, so I wanted to make this as detailed as possible.

Interview Question – "Tell me about a time you didn't have all the answers" and "Tell me about a time when you had to plan out a project". Make sure these answers are very high scope and show critical thinking, talent management, inspiration, etc.   View Answer

Negotiation Details – Minimal negotiation room. I was hired at one of the highest pay grades for ASMs at 37k because of my experience and my BA in Business. The benefits are excellent and are really what sets Starbucks apart. I accepted this offer over a potential $43k offer from a different company because of the culture and benefits here.

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No Offer

Negative Experience

Average Interview

Assistant Manager Interview

Assistant Manager
San Leandro, CA

I applied online - interviewed at Starbucks in June 2014.

Interview Details – I was so excited to interview for this position because Starbucks is a company that will mentor you and promote growth. The interview wasn't too difficult, a lot of behavior based questions. In the interview I was positive, enthusiastic and excited to finally find a company that values employees and start a career. They basically told me that I was a risky candidate because they thought that I didn't know enough about the job and that it wasn't truly where I wanted to be. I was stunned. I was nothing but positive and excited about the opportunity. I am so very disappointed with Starbucks right now. I have idolized this company since I wrote a paper about them in college and it's pretty disappointing to have them tell me that it's not where I want to be since it truly was where I wanted to be. Good luck to other interviewers because they make it pretty hard to work at a coffee shop, even with a degree in business management.

Interview Question – Have you ever had to make a decision where you didn't know all the facts?   Answer Question

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No Offer

Negative Experience

Very Easy Interview

Assistant Manager Interview

Assistant Manager
Los Angeles, CA

The process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Starbucks in June 2014.

Interview Details – Received a call from the recruiter. Asked about past job experiences and then sent an email to set up another phone interview the following week. Had the second phone interview with the pretty much the same questions as the first phone interview. Then I was told that they interview in a biweekly process so he would be in contact with me in the future to set up the next set.

Interview Question – Tell me about a time you had a difficult customer?   Answer Question

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2 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Assistant Manager Interview

Assistant Manager

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Starbucks in May 2013.

Interview Details – I was initially sent an email by a recruiter of Starbucks (LinkdIn). I contacted her back via phone, she was a very pleasant and inviting. She told me to apply online and give her a call back once completed. After which, I had a lengthy phone interview with her. Going over my past work experiences and education. She asked behavioral questions as well as result oriented questions. By the end of the call she invited me to meet with the District Managers for a panel interview the following week. I also asked the recruiter based on our interview would there be any tips or pointers she could pass on. One being to use numbers in describing results i.e sales trends,customer counts and percentage fluctuations. Another to make it a point to mention my volunteer work since Starbucks is heavenly involved with the communities (I already had it on my resume). My panel interview went EXTREMELY well! I was met by two district managers one being the one I would report to. I was offered a drink of my choosing. As I stood in line with the DM I made small talk she informed me of a story about something her kids did yesterday I mentioned how nice the weather was etc. When we sat down for the beginning of the interview we had a coffee talk to start off (When you taste coffee and describe the components of the brew). All of the questions were behavioral i.e tell me about a time ... As I told the stories of each situation I engaged both with eye contact back and forth, smiled, made sure my voice wasn't monotone. I made the interview extremely conversational by doing simple gestures. Also I found times when they would make a small joke and was able to play off of that. For instance after I gave a time when I used my personality to rub off on my team to sing after every whole bean sale one dm joked that he didnt have that fun bone and pointed to his forearm I came back and said its actually right here pointing to my shoulder. Once they completed their packet of questions I asked my follow up questions and we ended of with the best overall feeling on all parties involved they informed me that they were interviewing more and that my recruiter would be in-touch either way. Three hours later my recruiter called me to continue on with the next step (background check) So I interviewed Thursday and on Monday I received my offer letter. I start in 2 weeks. I now work for the company in which I feel i will retire from

Interview Question – Just be sure to have a story. The problem, your response, and the result. The more detailed the better.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – My recruiter told me the offer, asked if that was fair. Which it was! But, I had the option of negotiation.

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2 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Assistant Manager Interview

Assistant Manager
Ann Arbor, MI

I applied through other source and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Starbucks in July 2009.

Interview Details – Phone screen and then group interview by HR staff and store managers

Interview Question – As a General Manager with no authority keeping you on task how do you educate and motivate yourself?   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – After interview received a call within one week with a job offer

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1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Assistant Manager Interview

Assistant Manager
Washington, DC

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Starbucks in March 2012.

Interview Details – I applied online and a recruiter call in three days. the recruiter was great and well knowledge. we did a phone interview the next day. make sire you look up behavioral questions before interviewing. after phone interview was told he was very impress with my answer and wanted to set up a interview with the dm. two days later called back and set up a interview.two dm was present, one ask questions and one wrote ur answer. also offer me a cup of coffee. the store was very busy, but the staff was excellent. the interview last for a hour and they told me thr recruiter will be back in touch with me. the recruiter call to say they have very positive thing from the interview and wanted to proceed with a background check.background check came back in a week and they me made me a offer and i accepted. truly a great company to work for. they really care about the people working for them. top quality company.

Interview Questions

  • what was a time you was not able to meet customers demand   Answer Question
  • Describe the time when you have made changes that reflect postive results   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – You would have to look at your particular market, that will decide ur pay, i gave them amount and they offer me more.

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No Offer

Negative Experience

Very Easy Interview

Assistant Manager Interview

Assistant Manager
San Antonio, TX

I applied in-person and the process took 5 days - interviewed at Starbucks in September 2010.

Interview Details – A Leon Springs, TX store manager went to work for a day at a different store but also to conduct a scheduled interview with me for a sales-asst. management position. This was for a second interview. I was kept waiting for almost an hour while she serviced customers who were trickling in and found this very strange because there were more than enough employees to assist all the folks who had come through the door. There wasn't any communication or acknowledgement from this manager while I sat there for about an hour. Finally, I politely inquired about the situation but at that juncture I no longer wanted to work for Starbucks. It was insulting and inconsiderate, obviously. I knew that if this is how a prospective employee is treated it would only be worse if I was hired. Subsequently, I attempted to communicate my experience to the company but, at both times I had tried doing this, their website was having technical problems. Odd, because I had waited months between my two attempts. Their online link for submitting feedback, comments and to contact the company was not working properly. I lost interest.

Interview Question – No interview questions even remotely qualified as difficult or unexpected.   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Very Easy Interview

Assistant Manager Interview

Assistant Manager
Riverside, CA

I applied online and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Starbucks in February 2011.

Interview Details – Applied online, received a call from HR about an hour later, had a phone interview. Was scheduled for a 1 on 1 interview the next day in person. Received a job offer the next day. Took them over a month to get me started.

Interview Questions

  • Tell me a time that you went above and beyond your normal job duties to help a customer.   Answer Question
  • Explain how you've taken an under performing associate and worked with them to bring up their performance.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – No negotiation, they pay you what they believe you're worth.

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Assistant Manager Interview

Assistant Manager
Austin, TX

I applied in-person and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Starbucks in December 2010.

Interview Details – They are looking for positive energy and an ability to be personable and problem solve. Other qualities would include the ability to maintain composure, a love for coffee culture, and the ability to understand and act upon numbers typically seen in a P&L Statement.

Interview Questions

  • Tell me about a time when you had to make a difficult decision without having all of the answers. (What did you do? What was the outcome?)   Answer Question
  • Tell me about what you are doing currently to develop yourself personally and professionally.   Answer Question

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1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Negative Experience

Difficult Interview

Assistant Manager Interview

Assistant Manager
Tempe, AZ

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 6 months - interviewed at Starbucks in February 2010.

Interview Details – Process was very long and drawn out, there were three interviews with me...

First interview was more of an in-person screening with the store manager... the second interview was the same thing just with the district manager, the third interview was an in-person interview with two other DMs...

The questions were all "tell me about a time when (such and such) happened to you"... The grading scale for each answer is based on SARI... S= Situation, A= Action Taken, R= Result, I= Something Interesting that you learned or may have resulted after the event took place...

Not much constructive or usable feedback was given afterwards other than whether or not you stuck to the SARI method, they didn't focus on my knowledge, accomplishments, abilities, education or career goals, all interviews were very much focused on if you could tell the story of the event they ask in the order of the SARI method... No warning was given to me about SARI prior to the interviews...

Interview Questions

  • What does operational excellence mean to you?   Answer Question
  • Tell me about a time you didn't coach in the moment. Why did you wait? What was the outcome?   Answer Question
  • Tell me about a time when you received unsolicited feedback from your manager? What actions did you take after the conversation?   Answer Question
  • Tell me about a time you didn't follow procedure or decided to break a rule. What made you decide to do this? What was the outcome?   Answer Question
  • Tell me about a time you were put in a awkward position. Why was it awkward? What actions did you take? What was the outcome?   Answer Question

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