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Working At Starbucks – What You Should Know

By: Kaylyn McKenna
Jan 17, 2021 • 6 min read

Working At Starbucks – What You Should Know

If you are looking for a job right now and wondering whether a Starbucks’ position is right for you or how to apply to the popular coffee chain, we are here to help!

Starbucks Coffee building during daytime

What Do Starbucks Employees Do

If you’ve been to Starbucks, which we know you probably have since the coffee giant has cafes all across America and internationally, then you’ve seen the hard-working Starbucks baristas in action. Starbucks workers take coffee orders, heat up food items, and craft coffee and tea beverages while delivering cheerful and efficient service to customers.

Starbucks has the following job titles at the retail store level that you can apply for:


Starbucks describes Baristas as the face of their company. As a Barista, you will greet customers, take drink orders, craft beverages, and create a positive atmosphere for customers. In some locations, you may also work the drive-thru. Many Starbucks partners start as Baristas and then grow into leadership roles. Starbucks likes to hire Baristas with initiative and leadership interest, and potential.

Shift Supervisor

This is the next step up the chain and a great opportunity to build up your leadership skills and experience. Shift Supervisors are in charge of ensuring that both partners and customers have a positive experience and that everything runs smoothly in the store. They lead the Barista team and have the opportunity to make decisions that impact the store.

Shift Managers

You will only see this position listed while applying to a Massachusetts Starbucks store location. Shift Managers lead their shift teams while working with the Store Manager to create store plans, coach staff, and hit store targets and goals.

Assistant Store Manager 

This role prepares leaders to run their own store. They oversee store operations, lead and develop the store team, and drive business results to positively contribute to the store’s success.

Store Manager

Store Managers run their stores. They operate as business owners making decisions, managing store operations, and providing leadership to the store team. They hire, train, develop their own teams, and strive to create the best experience for staff and customers. Store Managers are always looking for ways to improve, innovate, and drive results for their stores.

man wearing black sweatshirt

Perks of Working at Starbucks

Working at Starbucks comes with some amazing benefits! If you’re considering becoming a Starbucks Partner (their employees are called partners!), then these awesome perks might help convince you:

  •     Free Coffee! – Starbucks Partners get free coffee and food during shifts. They also get to take home a free pound of coffee or box of tea every week. Partners also get 30% off Starbucks merchandise and any food or coffee outside their free weekly bag and shift items.
  •     Flexible Scheduling – Starbucks is a great job for students, parents, or others seeking a flexible work schedule. Early morning, afternoon, evening, and weekend shifts are available so that you can balance a part-time job at Starbucks and other responsibilities.
  •     Health Insurance Benefits – even for part-timers! – While most employers only extend healthcare coverage to full-time staff, Starbucks offers health insurance options to any employees averaging 20 hours or more per week.
  •     Free College at ASU Online – Starbucks Partners Receive 100%
  •     A Complimentary Spotify Premium Subscription
  •     Caring Unites Partners (CUP) Fund – A fund designated to provide emergency assistance to partners that experience a death in the family, serious illness, a natural disaster, or other extreme circumstances that create financial crisis.

working at starbucks

How to Apply at Starbucks

Starbucks accepts job applications online here. 

Feel free to apply to multiple locations and positions. Most employees start out as Baristas. Starbucks often likes to develop talent and promote from within for Shift Leads and Manager positions. No experience is required to be a Barista, though customer service experience and a love of coffee are helpful. Starbucks does provide comprehensive on-the-job training, so it’s okay if applicants don’t know how to make a latte or a macchiato already.

Remember that Starbucks receives a large number of applications, largely due to the popularity of their brand and the generous benefits offered to employees, so ensure that you are putting effort into your application and not rushing. Fill out all sections fully and provide well thought out answers to any additional questions asked. They are looking for people that are innovative, passionate, and excited to serve their community.

The application also includes a Virtual Job Tryout in which applicants explore and respond to customer and coworker scenarios similar to those you might encounter while working at Starbucks.

working at starbucks

Preparing for the Interview

The interview is your opportunity to stand out from other potential Starbucks partners. Be sure to demonstrate enthusiasm and go in with a clear reasoning for why you want to work at Starbucks specifically. Often interviewees will focus on the benefits discussed above, like the flexibility and job perks, but ensure that you also show enthusiasm for serving customers, being part of a team, and learning new skills. Take some time to read up on Starbucks as a company (you should be researching the company before any interview!).

Be sure to arrive early and dress professionally.

Glassdoor users report being asked the below questions during interviews for Starbucks retail jobs:

  •     Why do you want to work at Starbucks?
  •     What is a time that you went above and beyond for a customer?
  •     Tell me about a time you implemented an innovative idea at a previous workplace.
  •     What was a big challenge at your former employer, and how did you handle it?
  •     Tell me about a time you worked with a team and demonstrated leadership.
  •     How do you handle stress?
  •     Tell me about a time that you received excellent customer service.

working at starbucks

You can practice these common Starbucks interview questions before the interview. We also have resources on our blog to help you answer other common job interview questions! Check out this list of 50 Common Interview Questions and Answers.

Are you interested in working at Starbucks? If you try any of these tips as you apply, connect with us on social media and let us know!

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