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Looking for work in an Australian bar or cafe? Here’s how you can prepare

Looking for work in an Australian bar or cafe? Here’s how you can prepare

Programme B
Published by Programme B

For many young people with little or no experience at all finding a job in a bar or cafe is a great solution, at least temporarily, until you figure out what you want to do with your life. Here are a few tricks to help you get that job.

First impression matters

When you prepare for a job interview pay special attention to the clothes you’re going to wear. Now, restaurants and cafes are not exactly a business suit sort of place, but that doesn’t mean you can show up in the pair of jeans you’ve been wearing for the past week and a wrinkled T-shirt. The idea is to dress casual, but neat. For the HR agent, the guy walking into the room is the guy that will be out there with the clients and they want you to look decent, and, most important, clean. Make sure your hair is not a mess and your fingernails are trimmed and look impeccable. 

Do your research

Whether you’re seeking employment at a bar or cafe, you need to show that you know what it’s all about, even if you don’t. Scout the place beforehand and see what they serve. Chances are you’ve been in a cafe many times before, but an employer will probably want to check if you know the difference between a cappuccino and a latte. Learn how they are prepared and read about barista tricks. The same goes for mixing drinks.

Be honest, but don’t tell them everything

Business owners know that many young people think of working in a bar as a stop-gap measure until they go to college or find a better job. However, it’s not a great idea to walk into their offices and say from the very beginning you’re only planning on working there for a couple of months. Whatever plans you have, keep them to yourself and present yourself as a decent young man or woman looking for a job.

On the other hand, don’t lie about your work experience as they’ll discover you’ve been lying on your first day on the job. Better show them you don’t have much experience, but you’re eager you learn and you already know by heart all the products they’re selling.

Be prepared for a background check

The management will want to know about your background and probably ask you to undergo a police check. It’s not personal, but they need to make sure the future employee doesn’t have a drinking problem or violent behavior. It would be wise to get that background check yourself, by using an online agency that is accredited by the Australian federal government to process criminal history checks. You can actually get a national criminal history check online by visiting this link. It’s fairly straightforward and takes around 15 minutes to input your data and upload a photo and you get a certificate back generally within 24 hours.

This is a good idea especially if you have some old offense on your criminal record. If it’s something that happened many years before chances are it won’t ever appear on your police check as less serious offenses get erased from your record under the Spent Convictions scheme. If you’re unsure about your situation it’s worth having the background check done before you go in for an interview. 

In case there is something on your record, be forthright about it and explain that was a stupid mistake and you’ve learned your lesson. They will appreciate the honesty and you might still get the job.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels

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