Are you eagerly awaiting your interview at Peet’s Coffee and anxious about what questions they might ask? Preparation is the key to acing any job interview, especially one with a premium brand like Peet’s. You owe it to yourself to walk into that interview confident and ready to shine.
This blog post will be your secret weapon, providing the inside scoop on the most frequently asked questions at Peet’s interviews and suggested responses to impress your interviewer.
You’ve worked hard to land an interview at Peet’s, now it’s time to seal the deal. Picture yourself as a Peet’s barista, connecting with customers, mastering the craft of artisanal coffees and teas, and being part of a team that values quality, passion, and excellence. The only thing standing between you and that vision is a successful interview.
When your interview day arrives, you want to walk into that coffee shop bursting with enthusiasm, armed with thoughtful answers, and ready to show why you’re a natural fit for the Peet’s culture. This blog post will help get you there, with an inside look at what they’ll likely ask and advice tailored to the Peet’s experience.
You’re so close to joining the Peet’s family—now let’s get you ready to shine. Keep reading and prepare to ace that interview! Success and a bright future at Peet’s Coffee awaits.
Peet’s Coffee Company Information
It would serve you well to familiarize yourself with Peet’s Coffee before your interview. Gaining insight into some key facts about this company will enable you to handle any research-focused questions with confidence and convey your genuine interest in the role.
|Trade Name||Peet’s Coffee|
|Headquarters||Emeryville, California, United States|
|Menu||Hot Coffee, Hot Tea, Cold Coffee, Iced Tea, Artisinal Food|
|Signature Items||Black Tie, Cold Brew Fog, Pumpkin Latte, Big Bang|
|Core Values||Mastery, Passion, Authenticity, Community, Ownership, Growth|
|Competitors||Tim Hortons, Dunkin’, Starbucks, Scooter’s Coffee, 7 Brew, Caribou Coffee|
- Humble Origins: Alfred Peet, the founder of Peet’s Coffee, was born into a Dutch family that owned a coffee, tea, and spice company. Despite his family’s wish for him to pursue an academic career, Peet was drawn to the coffee industry.
- Trial by Fire: During WWII, Peet was imprisoned in a German labor camp. His resilience and hard work ethic during this difficult time would later become a defining characteristic of his career.
- Global Coffee Journey: After escaping the labor camp, Peet moved to Indonesia in 1948, where he learned about coffee in Java and Sumatra. He later spent time in New Zealand before finally settling down in Berkeley, California in 1955.
- The Origin of Quality Coffee: Alfred Peet, the Dutch founder of Peet’s Coffee, was disappointed by the poor quality of coffee in America. He started importing his own coffee beans and roasting them by hand, revolutionizing the coffee scene.
- Birth of Peet’s Coffee: In the 1960s, Peet opened his first coffee shop near UC Berkeley campus, attracting a unique customer base of hippies known as “Peetniks,” despite his personal desire for an orderly business.
- Pioneering the Specialty Coffee Industry: Peet’s Coffee, established in 1966 in California, served up a fresh and innovative concept to the American coffee consumer—dark-roasted coffee beans. This unique style sparked the American specialty coffee industry.
- Craft Coffee Revolution: Alfred Peet, also known as the man who “started the craft coffee revolution”, introduced the American public to the art of “cupping” coffee, evaluating it much like wine. This brought about a new era of coffee appreciation.
- Influencing Starbucks: The founders of Starbucks were heavily influenced by Peet’s Coffee. They worked for Alfred Peet and learned about sourcing and roasting coffee beans from him. When they opened their first Starbucks store, they began by selling Peet’s roasted beans.
- Starbucks Connection: Peet’s Coffee was once owned by Starbucks. Jerry Baldwin, a co-founder of Starbucks who learned about the coffee industry from Peet, bought Peet’s Coffee when it was up for sale.
- The Coffee Curmudgeon Supreme: Alfred Peet, known for his serious and professional demeanor, never married. His demanding work ethic led to the sale of his company in 1979, and he lived a quiet life in Berkeley until his death at age 87. Despite his gruff exterior, he was deeply respected in the coffee industry and maintained a close circle of friends.
- The Original Store: The first Peet’s Coffee location in Berkeley, California, is still operational and serves as a significant historical site for coffee lovers. It also features a museum with photographs and vintage coffee making equipment.
- Billion-Dollar Sale: Despite having a smaller footprint compared to Starbucks, Peet’s Coffee was sold to German company Joh. A. Benckiser for nearly $1 billion in 2012, highlighting its value in the coffee industry.
- Acquisition of Popular Brands: Peet’s Coffee expanded its brand portfolio by acquiring Mighty Leaf Tea in 2014 and two well-known indie coffee brands—Stumptown Coffee Roasters and Intelligentsia Coffee—in 2015.
- Farmers Assistance Program: Peet’s Coffee is deeply invested in the ethical sourcing of their coffee. They participate in direct trade and have a Farmer Assistance Program that supports smallholder farmers, promoting sustainable farming practices and fair compensation.
Peet’s Coffee Mission Statement
To offer the best coffees & teas in the world, without compromise.
Peet’s Coffee Interview Questions
In the spirit of getting to know you better, can you kindly tell us about yourself and your background?
The “tell me about yourself” question is a common opening question in interviews, and Peet’s Coffee is no exception. This opening query cunningly uncovers your background, experience, dreams, and how seamlessly you’d blend into their culture of quality and care.
To nail this question and score major brownie points, focus on your passion for the darkest roast, customer service superpowers, and future vision with the company. Share stories that convey how Peet’s Coffee is your ideal home where you’ll continue crafting latte art and career milestones.
In short, this question is a chance to express your enthusiasm for the job in a genuine, memorable way. For instance, you might say:
Why do you want to work for Peet’s Coffee?
When Peet’s Coffee asks why you want to join their team, they’re testing your passion for the craft. This is your chance to prove you speak their language—the language of perfectly balanced beans, aroma as an art form, and community built cup by cup.
Show them you get what they’re all about. Tell a story of your first Peet’s coffee experience, how you’ve watched them reinvent how people see coffee. Share how their partnerships with smallholder farmers and eco-friendly practices stir your soul. And for the love of coffee, be specific—name your favorite roast or holiday blend!
If the store was really busy and you were asked to complete an unfamiliar task, how would you handle that situation?
Listen up future Peet’s baristas, this question is your time to shine! The interviewer wants to see if you can think on your feet and roll with the punches when the store gets slammed. Show them you’re the type of person who stays cool as a cucumber under pressure and isn’t afraid to tackle unfamiliar territory. You’ve totally got this!
Take it from us, the key is to exude a confident yet humble attitude. When they ask how you’d handle an unfamiliar task during a rush, say something like:
See, confidence is key but so is acknowledging you still have more to learn. If you convey your natural ability to pick up new skills under pressure, your enthusiasm for challenges, and your dedication to collaboration and quality, you’ll prove you’re the perfect fit for Peet’s.
Where do you see yourself in 2-3 years? How would this role at Peet’s Coffee support your growth?
The dreaded “Where do you see yourself in 2-3 years?” question often sends candidates into a panic during interviews. But, this question is your chance to show your enthusiasm for the company and passion for growth. Peet’s Coffee wants baristas hungry for career development, so do your homework and craft an ambitious answer.
With the right preparation, you’ll be ready to provide an enthusiastic answer.
How do you manage stress and demanding workloads while maintaining a positive attitude?
As a candidate, this question allows you to demonstrate your ability to thrive in a fast-paced work environment. The interviewer wants to see that you can handle stress and demanding workloads with a positive attitude.
Some insider tips for answering: focus on practical strategies you implement to manage stress, maintain work-life balance, and stay motivated. Provide specific examples of times you’ve overcome stressful situations while keeping a positive attitude.
If I were a customer, how would you recommend one of our handcrafted beverages to me? Please sell me on one of our drinks.
This is your chance to prove you’ve got what it takes to join the Peet’s team. The key is passion, product knowledge, and the ability to turn coffee into an experience. Think stories, sensory details, and conveying the feeling of that first sweet sip. You’ve got the goods, now give em’ the goods!
The moment of truth is here. Take a deep breath and dive in.
What specifically attracts you to the opportunity to work for Peet’s Coffee as opposed to coffee shops like Starbucks?
This question is the interviewer’s way of determining if you are genuinely passionate about the company and role. Don’t panic! We’re here to give you the inside scoop on acing this question.
Peet’s wants passion – for quality, community, and innovation. Do your homework and show how their values fuel your love of coffee and people. Peet’s is about responsible business and meaningful connections, not commercialization like some green-aproned competitors.
Ready for a sample answer? Here goes:
Give an example of a time when you were under significant pressure at work. How did you handle the situation? What was the outcome?
Peet’s is looking for candidates who not only thrive under stress, but actually embrace it. They want to see that you have the grit, mental toughness, and ingenuity to resolve issues when the espresso machine is spewing steam and the line is out the door.
With the right story, you can show Peet’s you have the mental toughness and quick-thinking to not just survive but thrive in high-intensity environments.
Take a deep breath. You’ve got this.
What kind of work environment do you thrive in? What keeps you most engaged and motivated?
As a candidate, this question is your chance to show how pumped you are to work in Peet’s fast-paced, customer-loving environment. The interviewer wants to see that you’ll thrive in a place where teamwork and building relationships are everything.
To nail this, share how jazzed you get working side by side with colleagues and connecting with customers. Talk about how learning from fellow baristas, getting to know regulars, achieving team wins and keeping up with the rush would motivate you big time.
For instance, you could say:
Can you provide an example of a time you received exceptional customer service and a time you encountered poor customer service?
Peet’s wants someone who lives and breathes amazing customer experiences, so take a minute to think about what that means to you. As a customer, what creates that “wow” moment?
Now for the million-dollar answer. Say something like:
Think of a time you worked with a difficult coworker. What approach or strategies did you use to handle that situation in a constructive manner?
Have you ever dealt with a coworker who rubbed you the wrong way? We’ve all been there. The good news is, the Peet’s Coffee interviewer isn’t looking for a story about how you vanquished your office enemy. They want to see that you can handle difficult relationships in a mature, constructive manner.
When this question comes up, share an experience that highlights your ability to communicate effectively and find common ground. Show how you remained calm under pressure and approached the relationship with a cooperative attitude. Explain the specific strategies you used to turn a challenging situation into a productive one. Discuss how you leveraged open communication and compromise to resolve conflicts, rather than escalating tensions. Focus on the benefits to your team and company culture.
For instance, you could say:
Showing that you can turn lemons into lemonade and make the best of a less-than-ideal situation will speak volumes about your character, judgment, and potential as a leader. The ability to influence and improve relationships is a skill that will serve you well at Peet’s Coffee and beyond.
A customer approaches you with a complaint about their drink order being incorrect. What steps would you take to resolve the issue?
The interviewer wants to see that you truly understand the importance of world-class customer service. When an unhappy customer approaches you with a complaint, how will you turn their frown upside down?
Here is an example of how you could respond in the interview:
See, that wasn’t so scary! The key is to: stay calm and professional, take ownership of the mistake, resolve the issue however the customer prefers, then go above and beyond to turn their frown upside down.
Describe a time when you had to maintain a high level of efficiency or productivity under stressful conditions. What did you do to ensure you achieved your goals?
The purpose of this question is to assess your ability to stay productive under high-pressure situations. The interviewer wants to know that you can handle stress and still achieve your goals.
To answer this question, think of a specific time you had to juggle many tasks or responsibilities at once. Then, explain the systems and strategies you put in place to accomplish everything efficiently.
When the rush comes, you need to have a plan.
The Peet’s Coffee interviewer is trying to gauge your customer service skills and ability to think on your feet with this question.
The secret is doing your homework on Peet’s menu and crafting an authentic response that shows your passion for customer satisfaction.
With the right mindset, this question is an opportunity to shine.
If there was a long line of customers waiting and some were becoming upset, how would you handle that situation to provide the best experience?
At Peet’s Coffee, your ability to keep waiting customers happy during a rush is crucial. The interviewer wants to see that you can stay cool under pressure and deliver an amazing experience, no matter what.
In your answer, explain how you would address the long line of waiting customers in a helpful, solution-focused manner while also being empathetic to their frustration.
When the big moment comes, here’s how you would shine:
What makes you an effective team player? Tell me about a time when you had to work closely with teammates to overcome an obstacle or challenge.
This question is your chance to prove you’ve got the collaboration chops to join their ranks. Peet’s wants teammates who thrive bouncing ideas off each other and coming together to overcome challenges.
When this question comes up, get ready to dazzle them with how you crushed obstacles alongside your coworkers. Focus on motivation, commitment to shared goals, open communication, and quantifiable results.
The Peet’s interviewer wants to see how you tackle frustration and turn frowns into smiles. Have a story ready that shows you’re the person for this job. You’ll want to demonstrate that you remain calm under stress, take ownership of the situation, show empathy for the customer’s frustration, and work to resolve the issue.
With that in mind, here is an example:
Briefly describe Peet’s brand, culture, and values. What appeals most to you about them?
This question is your shot to show Peet’s you’re as passionate about their brand as you are about the perfect pour-over.
When the interviewer asks you to this question, they want to see that you’re obsessed with the details. They want to know you’ve been studying their company like a barista studies the precise art of latte macchiatos.
Take a deep dive into Peet’s website and socials. Look for the stories and initiatives that speak to your soul like the aromas from a freshly opened bag of beans. Because to rock this answer, you need examples – lots of them. You need to know Peet’s brand, values, and culture as intimately as you know the difference between a medium roast Sumatra and a dark roast French.
Then, serve it up like this:
Want to ace the “exceeding expectations” question in your Peet’s Coffee interview? Then show your inner barista spirit!
Peet’s is looking for candidates who don’t just meet the basic requirements of the job – they want to see your passion for crafting amazing customer experiences.
When this question comes up, have your story ready to brew. Think of a time you went above and beyond for one simple reason: you care.
This is your opportunity to dazzle them with your unbridled enthusiasm for all things coffee. But more than that, they want to see how you’ll channel that passion into crafting life-changing experiences for each and every customer.
Take a deep breath, channel your inner barista, and get ready to pour your heart out:
Tell me about a time you received constructive feedback that challenged you. How did you handle the feedback?
The purpose of this question is for the Peet’s Coffee interviewer to evaluate your ability to accept feedback and learn from your mistakes. They want to see if you can handle difficult conversations and use feedback to better yourself.
To nail this question, share a specific time you were given constructive criticism and how you reacted in a mature, professional way. Talk about the steps you took to understand the feedback, learn from your mistakes, and make real changes. Candidates who can see feedback as an opportunity for growth will stand out.
If money and other constraints were not a factor, what kind of work or activity do you find most meaningful or impactful?
When the interviewer asks what kind of work you find most meaningful, this is your chance to show your passion and creativity. Share what lights you up and gets you out of bed in the morning. Discuss the specific impact or outcomes, like empowering youth or solving a key problem. Explain why certain work or activities matter deeply to you.
Your authentic passion will shine through and show the interviewer what an energized, purpose-driven team member you would be.
The dreaded strengths and weaknesses question – it comes up in nearly every job interview and for good reason. The interviewer is trying to gauge your self-awareness and honesty.
For Peet’s, the key is framing your answer around customer experience. After all, Peet’s built its brand on quality and service.
Frame your strengths around service and quality to highlight why you’re a strong candidate. Your orientation to detail, ability to learn quickly, and passion for customer service would be strategic strengths to highlight.
For weaknesses, share one you’ve recognized and the steps you’re taking to improve. Discuss your “weakness” in a way that shows your dedication and creates a memorable, compelling narrative.
With the right preparation, this tough question can be an opportunity to stand out.
How available and flexible can you be to work a variety of shifts, including early mornings, evenings, weekends, and holidays?
Peet’s wants to find candidates who can thrive working a variety of shifts, especially early mornings, late nights, weekends, and holidays.
When this question comes up, don’t panic. Take a deep breath and give an enthusiastic response highlighting your ability to work whenever duty calls.
Say something like:
Do you have dependable transportation to get you to and from work on time every day?
Peet’s deeply values punctuality, so they want to know you’ll be a reliable and consistent employee. To convey that, focus on planning and responsibility in your answer. Say you have a spotless attendance record and the means to get to any shift on time, even if your normal route falls through.
To really seal the deal though, prove your point with a compelling example.
Questions to Ask the Interviewer in Peet’s Coffee Interview
When the moment comes for the interviewer to inquire whether you have any questions, they’re gauging more than just your curiosity. This is a chance for them to evaluate your excitement about the position and whether you’re capable of having a meaningful discussion.
It’s your opportunity to show how you’ve researched the company and role and demonstrate your curiosity and strategic thinking.
Having insightful and thoughtful questions ready will make a strong impression. You want to avoid generic questions and instead ask questions that show your passion for the work Peet’s does and your desire to grow with the company.
Think about what you’re most interested in learning and achieving in this role. Come equipped with a list of questions focused on topics like growth opportunities, company culture, training programs, challenging projects you might work on, company values, etc.
Here are some questions you could ask your Peet’s Coffee interviewer:
- What is your favorite part about working at Peet’s Coffee?
- What does career growth look like for this role?
- What kind of training or mentorship programs do you offer?
- What qualities make someone successful in this role?
- What are some of the challenges someone in this role would face?
- Where do you see the company heading in the next 3-5 years?
Go into your interview feeling fully prepared with a list of thoughtful and strategic questions. You have everything to gain in this interview, so relax and be your authentic self!
Peet’s Coffee Hiring Process
Peet’s Coffee’s hiring quick process is relatively quick, often taking 1-4 weeks from online application to a job offer for successful candidates.
To help prepare you for what to expect in their hiring process, here is an inside look at the step-by-step journey to getting hired at Peet’s Coffee.
To get started, head to Peet’s Coffee’s careers website or your favorite job site and search for open positions at Peet’s Coffee locations near you. Once you find some relevant openings, submit an online application for the role you’re interested in. The application allows Peet’s Coffee to screen for qualified candidates with relevant experience to meet the needs of the position.
If selected from the online applications, you’ll be invited to a short 15-30 minute phone interview with a recruiter or hiring manager. Use this opportunity to make a great first impression, discuss why you’re interested in and passionate about the work Peet’s Coffee does, and how you would be a great fit for their team.
Candidates who move forward from the phone interview will be invited to an in-person interview at the location they have applied to. In the in-person interview, you’ll meet with multiple people, such as the store manager, assistant store manager, and possibly district manager. The interview will focus on your relevant experience, skills, and availability and assess if you’ll fit well with Peet’s Coffee’s culture and values. Free coffee or drinks are often provided during the in-person interview.
Do your homework by becoming very familiar with Peet’s Coffee’s mission and brand, and be ready with examples of customer service excellence. The in-person interview is also a chance for you to ask questions about the role and company to make sure it’s the right fit for you.
If you’re selected as a final candidate, you’ll receive a job offer. The offer will summarize details like your compensation, start date, the location you’ll be working at, and your job duties and responsibilities.
Once you accept, you’ll go through an onboarding process at your location, which includes paperwork, product and brand training, job shadowing, and everything else to prepare you for your first official day as a Peet’s Coffee team member.
With passion, customer focus, and a commitment to quality and teamwork, you’ll have opportunities for growth within the company. Peet’s Coffee aims to promote from within, so start imagining the future career progression from entry-level roles like cashier to barista and beyond.
Peet’s Coffee Interview Tips
Go into your Peet’s Coffee interview with stories of providing amazing customer experiences, collaborating with teams, and adapting to changes on the fly. Peet’s wants to see that you’re a great culture fit, so be your authentic self – share your genuine enthusiasm for high-quality coffee and connecting with people. Ask questions about growth opportunities and company values to show your long-term interest.
What to Wear to Peet’s Coffee Interview
Choosing the right interview attire for Peet’s Coffee can start with emulating their everyday dress code.
The dress code at Peet’s Coffee is casual with some guidelines: employees wear an apron, non-logo, non-ripped clothing, and closed-toed shoes. Inappropriate, revealing clothing and visible undergarments are not allowed. Non-slip shoes and solid-color shirts are recommended. Tattoos are permitted, and some store-specific restrictions may apply.
For a team member or barista interview, opt for A simple but polished outfit like chinos and a button-down. The goal is neat, clean attire that shows you respect their environment yet fit right in.
Step it up just a notch for shift lead or store manager interviews. Choose business casual like trousers, a blouse, and dress flats. Your outfit signals competence without overdoing formality for their relaxed culture.
And when interviewing for corporate roles, eschew trendiness in favor of a conservative but stylish business suit. Focus on fit, stitching, and high-quality fabrics to demonstrate you understand expectations for professionalism in the office.
However you dress, own your outfit with confidence and make eye contact. Your preparation, qualifications, and passion will shine through and land you that dream job at Peet’s!
You now have the insights and knowledge to confidently prepare for an interview with Peet’s Coffee. Knowing the most common questions they ask and suggested compelling responses, you can walk into your interview feeling ready to showcase why you’re a great fit for their team.
Practice your answers, do some roleplaying with a friend, and review Peet’s company culture and values so you can speak knowledgeably about why you’re excited to potentially join them. Go in with a smile, exude positivity, and let your personality shine through.
However, the work doesn’t stop here. Even after you’ve completed what you hope was a successful first interview, keep applying to other related companies. Expand your search to other coffeehouse chains that are usually hiring, such as Starbucks, Dutch Bros, Tim Hortons, Dunkin’, Scooter’s Coffee, and Caribou Coffee. While Peet’s Coffee may end up being your dream job, having options will only strengthen your position. The more you put yourself out there, the more opportunities will arise.
With perseverance, the right role for you is out there waiting. You have so much to offer, so make sure others have a chance to see it. Keep applying, keep interviewing, and don’t get discouraged. Your perfect job may be just around the next corner, so get out there and find it! With hard work and persistence, you will succeed.