How to Get a Job at Starbucks

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Everything You Need to Know to Land a Job at Starbucks

“By bringing people together over coffee, Starbucks has become one of the world’s best-known and best-loved companies,” the company writes in its Glassdoor profile. But it’s not just one of the world’s most beloved brands—it’s also a dream company for many job seekers. Glassdoor users share that the company truly cares for its employees and offers up impressive perks, and its CEO enjoys a 76 percent approval rating, higher than the average 69 percent other CEOs enjoy.  

That said, it’s not necessarily easy to land a job here. In fact, it’s been reported that “getting a job at Starbucks is staggeringly difficult.” In 2014, a spokesperson for the company shared that they had received a whopping 4 million applications for its retail jobs—and only hired 50,000 people.  

But that’s why we’ve created this guide—so that you can learn everything there is to know about getting a job at Starbucks, then put that knowledge to good use when you apply for an open job

Applying to a Job at Starbucks

Starbucks posts its open positions on its Glassdoor profile—and you can search by position, area, and the date a job was posted. When you find a job for which you’d like to apply, you can simply click the “Apply Now” button on the job listing page, and you’ll be taken to Starbucks’ website.

Starbucks says you’re welcome to apply for multiple jobs at once. And once Starbucks has received your application, it will send you an email confirming its receipt. 

When you’ll hear from a Starbucks’ representative depends upon the position for which you have applied. “Our recruiters and store managers review job applicants for each opening and reach out to those who appear to be a strong match with the position,” the Starbucks’ website explains. If the company decides not to interview you, it will also let you know via an email notification. 

Browse Open Jobs at Starbucks

Resume & Cover Letter Tips for Starbucks

When it comes to your resume, Starbucks wants to see a clear objective or professional summary that shares the skills you possess that will serve you well in the role for which you’re applying. To keep your object clear, you should keep it concise. Your objective or professional summary should only be a few sentences, max—so make them count by including the most important info.

In your resume’s experience section, the company says you can go back as far as 10 years—as long as the information you share includes relevant experience. In fact, relevancy is crucial for any resume, Michelle Aikman, NCRW, co-founder and director of adventure learning at Cerno, told Glassdoor. And in your cover letter, the company encourages you to “highlight how you've added value in your previous roles.” The best way to do that is to quantify your impact with any numbers that show the impact you had on the company or the business’ bottom line. If you’re applying for a retail job at Starbucks, it would be smart to show how you increased sales at a previous job—or how you increased customer satisfaction, if you have the numbers to prove it. 

Before you send off these crucial documents, be sure to carefully re-read the job description and make sure you’ve shown how your experience meets the requirements of the job. It’s also smart to sprinkle keywords used in the job description into your resume. Keywords can be placed in the objective, professional experience, and skills sections. Just make sure to use a variety of keywords, rather than repeating the same words over and over again throughout the document.

Resume & Cover Letter Tips for Starbucks

Talking to a Starbucks Recruiter

You may speak with a Starbucks recruiter before a hiring manager—and if so, it’s important to prepare for that interview the same way you would with a potential boss. Starbucks recommends you start by reading the company’s mission and values. As Starbucks shares on its Glassdoor profile, its mission “is to inspire and nurture the human spirit—one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.” But its values go far beyond coffee. “Working at Starbucks is a lot like working with your friends,” the company shares on Glassdoor. “When you work here, you’re not an ‘employee’—we call ourselves ‘partners’ because we believe in shared common goals and mutual success. We’re dedicated to serving ethically sourced coffee, caring for the environment and giving back to the communities where we do business.” And these are great talking points. 

The company also suggests you read up on the latest Starbucks news, which you can find here. By showing you’re engaged in Starbucks’ latest efforts, you may be able to impress a recruiter. 

Starbucks Interview Questions

Depending on the role for which you apply, you can expect a bevy of interview questions from the common—think: do you have experience in customer service?—to the uncommon, such as “what was a time when you received exceptional customer service outside of a Starbucks?” as one Glassdoor user reports. Here are a sampling of questions you might be asked in an interview:

  1. What is a time that you went above and beyond for a customer?
  2. Tell me about a time you implemented an innovative idea at a previous workplace.
  3. What was a big challenge at your former employer, and how did you handle it?
  4. Tell me about a time you worked with a team and demonstrated leadership.
  5. How do you handle stress?

Because Starbucks has such a strong mission and seeks employees who value it, you may also be asked questions to determine whether you’ll fit within the company culture. Many Glassdoor users report being asked, “why do you want to work at Starbucks?” while another reports being asked, “how would you deal with a co-worker talking behind your back?” during an initial interview. 

Starbucks Skills Tests & Assessments

Many Glassdoor users report taking a “Virtual Job Tryout” as part of their Starbucks’ interview process. As one Glassdoor user describes, “The first step was to complete the application online followed by a Virtual Job Tryout involving employee and customer situations, a timed analysis of an actual P&L statement with multiple choice responses, followed by a 100+ question test that analyzes again how you would most likely handle situations or how you would feel.” 

In 2014, then-retail recruiting manager Melissa Lang described the Virtual Job Tryout as “a list of scenarios you might encounter in a job such as store manager or district manager. It's all done online, and it gives us a sense of how you would do the job.” 

Learn More About Jobs at Starbucks

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