Hipster Advice on How to Go About Getting a Job at Starbucks So You Can Look Cool

Now that you’re standing in line at Starbucks to apply, it’s important to remember what kind of outfit will make you look good.

First things first: how are your glasses? Are they big enough and trendy enough to give off the “I wish I could see all of the different kinds of coffee beans” vibe, or do they not fit right on your face and feel like a burden? Make sure you don’t have any fingerprints smudged on the lenses of your glasses. You don’t want the interviewer thinking that you didn’t take the time to clean them off because you were too busy reading The New York Times on your phone.

You’ve probably seen those pictures people post on Instagram with their latte in one hand and a MacBook in the other. That’s something we all aspire to, but today is not about that life– today is about getting this job at Starbucks. You’ll be interviewing for barista positions, so wear something comfortable but also something that shows that you’d be willing to get a little dirty if an espresso machine needed cleaning. Sure, maybe it wouldn’t hurt to show up wearing flannel and skinny jeans– just make sure black jeans are clean and free of holes (and rip marks). Finally, remember that headbands are still cool these days– just make sure yours is straight and isn’t too ostentatious. No beads or feathers!

Get your friend to apply for you so you don’t seem “too into it”

Next time you’re in the hiring office, go with someone else. The best person to accompany you is a friend who has had jobs before and isn’t interested in applying. Make sure they understand that they are not to reveal themselves as anything but an enthusiastic applicant, even if their name is Joe Smith and yours is Han Solo. If it’s late at night or otherwise creepy out, a female escort would probably be safest, but this trick only works if they’re totally committed to letting your name be the one on file at Starbucks. Not everyone will want to do this for you, so don’t try to force it—it’s better that you feel safe than achieve your goal of looking cool by working there.

Don’t forget to dress up! Having your friend there already makes you look more impressive than the average applicant, because hey—you have friends! But when it comes time for the interview itself, make sure you look like you didn’t just roll out of bed from a 12-year nap after living alone with seven cats in a house full of dirty laundry (or however it is that most people sleep). You should bring some water and something with electrolytes just in case it’s an especially long day where all your social interactions are happening with someone else doing your talking for you.

Go in demanding health insurance and an IRA

Demand health insurance and an IRA from the get-go. While you won’t be making much money, you’ll be working in a fast-paced environment that will qualify you for some pretty sweet benefits. Don’t accept anything less than what the company offers their regular baristas (no lower pay grade, no “trainee” status). If they push back or try to tell you that you aren’t eligible for said benefits, demand to see documentation and walk out. Remember: your time is valuable too!

You don’t need to take my word for it! Just check out this invisible chart I made showing how much money my buddy Mike makes at Starbucks. As you can see, he earns $12 per hour while everyone else only gets paid $7 per hour. Additionally, as his job is considered “essential work,” he can also claim an extra $3 per hour during the pandemic—even though COVID hasn’t affected his store in any way!

You will not believe all of the interesting people Mike runs into at Starbucks every day! One time he was making a white chocolate mocha when a man came up to him and told him about the time he had a white chocolate mocha back in 1983 while eating a Crème Brûlée Pop-Tart®. They ended up chatting for so long that Mike forgot about his customer’s drink—and she didn’t even complain. He’s also met many people who are just as passionate about coffee as he is but with better tattoos! What fun!

Refuse to shave until they hire you.

Okay. We’re not going to tell you what to do here, but shaving is just a bit too much in our opinion. First of all, body hair is a sign of strength and virility and you’ll be removing something that makes you unique—you don’t want to ever do that, right? Second, did you know that shaving is actually a form of oppression? This very thing has been proven by multiple prominent academics. While it might be true that Starbucks requires their employees to shave for what they call “sanitary reasons,” we would suggest another tactic: refuse to shave until they hire you! Be prepared for the possibility of them still saying no. If so, maybe look into getting a job at McDonald’s instead. The beard will make your skin softer and less likely to have acne (real talk), so it’s not like it’ll go to waste if this doesn’t pan out in your favor!

The point here is: don’t let anyone else tell you who or what you should be!

Just show up with a brown bag, and tell them that’s all you need

To nail your hipster interview, do not mention that you want to be a barista. Do not mention that you want to work at Starbucks. Do not mention that you want to work at all. Do not mention money. Do not say the word “barista.”

If you really want to go above and beyond, skip the interview process altogether and simply show up in a long black wool coat with an old-timey paper bag stuffed full of your belongings, then tell them your name is Fred Astaire and this is what makes you happy. They’ll probably give you a job on the spot!

Say your name is, “Eli Cash” or something

To succeed, you must present yourself as a chill, cool person. One way to do this is by giving yourself a really relax name. Cool names are the kind of name that sounds like a cowboy or a character from a movie or book.

You want to give off the impression that you’re confident—that your life is together and that you know what to do in any situation. It’s all about execution!

The best way to do this is by having a name that sounds like it came from The Big Lebowski (1998). So, if your name isn’t already Eli Cash, start going by “Eli Cash,” or something similar like “Cash Money,” or “Eli E.” Also important: carry around an old Western hard-boiled novel with you at all times to cement the new persona.

Bring in some black coffee from another shop, and ask if they can make it taste better than that

You can really impress the staff at Starbucks in ways other than memorizing the names of everyone who works there. Bring in a cup of black coffee from another local cafe, and ask to have it made better by a barista. If they make it taste better, you’ve got yourself an in!

But be sure not to tell them that *you* are the one who wants to work there. It’s almost certain that you’ll only get hired if they don’t know you’re interested. Also, definitely do not tell them where you got the coffee from (they’ll probably be able to identify it). In fact, don’t talk about your love for coffee at all if you can help it—it might raise some red flags about your true intentions.

Tell them that working at Starbucks will help your art

When filling out the application, be sure to mention that you’re an artist. By saying this, you’ll be communicating to them that working at Starbucks will make it much easier for you to focus on your art and the kind of work that really matters.

  • You’ll be getting paid while still giving yourself space in your life so you can practice your craft.
  • You’ll meet people who could give you guidance or even become your mentors because as a rising star in the world of artistic talent and expression, it’s never too early to have a support network around you.
  • The coffee shop atmosphere is extremely conducive to artistic creativity—there are plenty of examples of artists (e.g., Ernest Hemingway) who did their best work in coffee shops. Working there can help put you in an environment where your creative juices will flow freely and effortlessly from wherever they lay dormant inside.
  • Even if none of the above reasons apply, it’s always good for an artist to have regular hours at a place that isn’t their home studio or workspace; sometimes artists just need a change of scenery so they don’t go crazy!

Say you’ll bring your DJ equipment in every day, and hook it up to the stereo system

This will show them you want to work there because you really care about Starbucks’ values, and that you’re willing to use your own equipment to liven up the atmosphere for customers. The baristas will love it when a customer asks if they can request a song from you, and when they say yes and then tell their friends about it, more people will come in. The store owner will be so happy that more people are coming in that he’ll probably offer to pay for your DJ equipment since his profits are going up!

Pretend you’re not interested in working at Starbucks until they hire you

When you walk into Starbucks and they ask if you’re interested in working there, say no. When they ask why not, say because of the hours, the benefits, the pay, or any of those other typical reasons. Any of those will work. The key is to make it seem like you have better options than working at Starbucks. Make them think that this job is your last resort; that it’s not good enough for you.

Of course, we all know the opposite is true: getting a job at Starbucks would be an honor; one that we dreamt about as children growing up in our middle-class homes and attending our respected schools. We know that this job would give us everything we need to launch ourselves from our pathetic existence into a new life full of love and adventure! But don’t let them know this yet!

They must think that for now—until you are hired into your position—you still have options! It doesn’t matter what those options are: perhaps you have been offered a lucrative internship with CNN; perhaps your brother-in-law has offered to take over the family business; perhaps you are planning on getting a sex change operation so you can become a professional model in Paris (which would only take three months even if they want full reassignment). None of these things matter—they only need to make sense next to “I work at Starbucks”.


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