Starbucks Application: How To Work At Starbucks

By Chris Kolmar - Dec. 15, 2020

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No matter how you feel about coffee, you definitely know Starbucks. Their iconic green mermaid and signature drinks are in over 76 countries with over 30,000 locations – it’s hard to miss.

Whether you’re a coffee addict who stops by Starbucks every day or you just treat yourself to a drink every once in a while, you can find great job opportunities with the coffee giant. Starbucks is always looking to add people to its team across its retail, corporate, and manufacturing divisions.

No matter what your skill set or interests are, there’s a job for you at Starbucks. Consider applying to one of their corporate jobs and contributing to their drink list, pick their next location, or find a way to market their newest drink. There’s always something available on the corporate level, but if you’re not quite ready to make that jump, there are plenty of opportunities right at your local coffee house.

The most popular and widely available Starbucks jobs are ones in their retail stores. You can find plenty of opportunities for all skill sets, including entry-level positions, to get you started at your first job.

These jobs are especially popular because Starbucks has locations everywhere, so odds are there’s one near you. They’re also known for being relatively easy for first-time job seekers with few requirements to join the company, so many people start out as a barista.

The company even offers attractive perks, like help with college costs, to encourage young people to apply. It’s a great atmosphere whether you’re just starting or have a few years of experience under your belt.

While Starbucks is known for being a great place for a good first job, you still need to prep and have a resume that’s ready to wow. We’re going to give you a few tips to help you make a great first impression and snag that Starbucks job in no time. Whether you’re in it for the Pumpkin Spice Lattes or the great opportunities for growth, our guide can help get you hired.

Why Work at Starbucks?

You might have a few different reasons for wanting to work at Starbucks, from being around the delicious coffee all day to the great perks the company offers its employees. Starbucks does a lot to make its jobs competitive and keep you happy once you become a “partner” – their word for employees to show how much they value everyone who works for them.

Here are a few of the best perks that Starbucks offers its partners:

  • Health coverage. The company is known for its excellent healthcare plan for employees. There are multiple coverage levels so you can get your medical, dental, and vision covered.

    Job type you want
    Full Time
    Part Time
  • Stock and savings. Starbucks offers competitive 401(k) plans, including company match so that you can get saving for retirement early. They also offer stock options for partners if that interests you.

  • Paid time off. No matter what part of the company you work in, Starbucks offers paid vacation days, sick days, and personal days. On top of that, if you work one of their seven paid holidays you can earn even more.

  • Parental leave. If you have a baby while you work for Starbucks, the company will let you take time off for parental leave. You can even get special reimbursements for adoption, surrogacy, or other family affairs if you qualify for their program.

  • Education opportunities. Starbucks sometimes offers eligible partners opportunities to get their bachelor’s degree for free through online degree programs and other tuition programs.

  • Free coffee and tea. When you work for Starbucks, you can enjoy all of their products. Each week, partners can get a free pound of coffee or a box of tea.

  • Employee discount. If that’s not enough, partners get 30% off drinks, food, and merchandise in-stores.

  • Recognition programs. Get rewarded for your good work with Starbucks’ programs to highlight the outstanding contributions from all levels of the company.

  • Affiliate discounts. As a partner, you can enjoy discounts at Starbucks’ partner companies and get special rates on things like auto, home, or pet insurance.

  • Spotify subscription. Work for Starbucks and snag a free Spotify Premium subscription, including access to Starbucks’ iconic playlists.

Jobs You Can Work at Starbucks

Though you might immediately think of being a barista when you think of working at Starbucks, there are plenty of other opportunities in their retail stores. Here are some job positions that Starbucks typically has open in their stores:

  • Barista. This is the most general job Starbucks has available. As a barista, you’ll be responsible for making drinks, interacting with customers, and handling the daily tasks of working in a coffee shop.

  • Shift supervisor. If you have a bit more experience, either with Starbucks as a barista or from a previous job, you could apply for a shift supervisor position. They supervise the baristas and take on some extra leadership responsibilities to ensure that the baristas and the customers are having great experiences.

  • Shift manager. If you’re looking for some more responsibility, shift managers oversee daily operations and work with the store managers to make sure everything runs smoothly.

    Be sure to check if this role is available in your state before applying. As of this writing, only stores in Massachusetts have this opportunity.

  • Assistant store manager. This is a great opportunity to develop management and leadership skills. You’ll be responsible for helping the store manager run the daily operations in-store, lead teams of partners, and have a crucial role in driving sales.

  • Store manager. Store managers are in charge of all things relating to their specific store. They get to interact with customers, partners, and all kinds of business partners to make sure everything goes smoothly. They’re in charge of hiring, coaching, and leading the partner team, so management and leadership skills are a must-have.

  • District manager. As a district manager, you’d get to oversee multiple Starbucks stores in one area. You’re responsible for making sure they meet their goals and deliver sales results. There’s also a large focus on community outreach and making sure the Starbucks locations in the area are a force for good.

How to Get a Job at Starbucks

Landing a job at Starbucks isn’t the most challenging process you’ll go through, but you still need to be prepared. Doing a bit of research on the company, perfecting your resume, and having good interview answers ready is a good start.

Typically, applying for a job at Starbucks starts with taking a look at their careers page. Look around for jobs in your area and submit an online application. The interview process could then include an interview, or you could be asked to take the Virtual Job Tryout test, or both.

Finally, you should hear back from your interviewer or the hiring manager about whether you got the job or not.

We’ll give you a few more Starbucks-specific tips to help you get the job. Don’t forget to do some of your own research and make sure you’re familiar with the company and the job you’re applying for.

  • Update your resume. Make sure your resume is up-to-date and has all of your relevant work or school experience listed. Try to tailor your experience and skills to match the position you’re applying for.

    Even if you don’t have direct experience, finding ways to relate your employment history to this new position will make you stand out. For example, maybe you’ve never worked in customer service, but you had to work with alumni who donated to your school to plan an event, and you can relate those two experiences.

  • Prepare for the interview. You can do a little bit of research before your interview and get familiar with the questions that Starbucks recruiters tend to ask in interviews.

    Knowing what they’ll ask and having an idea of how you’ll respond will make you look well-prepared. Plus, it will give you some thoughtful answers to fall back on if you get nervous during the interview.

  • Get some questions ready. You always want to follow up with questions of your own in the interview. Do some research on Starbucks and find a few questions to ask, whether it’s about general company operations or the daily tasks of the job you applied for.

  • Get familiar with coffee. While you don’t have to be a coffee lover to work at Starbucks, it is their most famous product, so you should take some time to learn about how coffee beans become coffee and buff up your general knowledge.

    Feel free to look into teas, too, if you’re more of a tea person – as long as you learn about the company’s products, you’re good.

  • Find shared goals. To make your application and interview stand out, you should find ways to connect your personal values to the company’s goals.

    For example, Starbucks is committed to inclusion, providing equal opportunities to everyone, sustainable practices, community-building, and more. Find ways to connect your goals to the company’s values to show why you’re the best employee they can find.

  • Focus on your people skills. While it’s essential to know about coffee and the Starbucks menu, hiring managers actually look for people skills more than they look for barista experience.

    Since all baristas go through special training anyway, you can learn the skills you need to make great drinks, but the company can’t teach you how to use your people skills or other soft skills. Focus on the soft skills that you bring to the table, and don’t sweat your lack of barista experience.

  • Bring a resume. Don’t forget to print out a copy of your resume and bring it to the interview. Often the person who is interviewing you isn’t the one who saw your application or invited you in for an interview, so it’s good to have a copy on hand just in case.

  • Prep for the virtual test Sometimes, Starbucks will use its Virtual Job Tryout as a way to see if you’re a good fit for the job. Do a bit of research on the company, their menus, and the test before starting. It’s a quick and straightforward online task, but doing some prep will pay off.

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Chris Kolmar


Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

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