As we move into summer, the wine industry of Northern California is booming. If you’re looking to get a job in the wine industry, you’ll have your pick: There are hospitality jobs like tasting room attendants or production staff like bottling line workers, cellar workers, lab technicians, or forklift drivers.
No matter which job you’re applying for, you’ll need to prepare for your interview. We’ve put together the interview questions you should be prepared to answer — broken down by wine industry role — and remember: Answer with stories or examples, be gracious, and keep in mind that your tone matters as much as your content.
In this article, common interview questions for:
- Tasting room attendants
- Bottling line workers
- Cellar workers
- Winery lab technicians
- Forklift drivers
What do tasting room attendants at wineries do?
A tasting room attendant is a critical guest services role who guides guests during tastings at vineyards — you’ll often be the first person a customer sees. You’ll represent the vineyard and winemakers with friendly hospitality, and you’ll become an expert on your vineyard’s offerings. This is a client-facing food service job, and you’ll need a dedication to wine and to a positive attitude.
Interviewing to be a tasting room attendant at a winery? Prepare for these questions.
- What is your level of wine knowledge or education?
- How do you build relationships with guests?
- What experience do you have conducting tastings? Have you ever bartended or poured wine?
- Are you familiar with the legal guidelines around serving alcohol?
- How would you manage a rowdy customer who is taking advantage of the tasting?
- How familiar are you with our offerings?
- Do you have experience using a point-of-sale system?
- Are you available to work some weekends and holidays?
What do bottling line workers at wineries do?
Bottling line workers are tasked with carrying out daily production duties — and making sure they do it safely. It’s physical work that consists of loading materials onto production lines, changing out equipment, keeping an eye on quality and safety, and even manual bottling.
Interviewing to be a bottling line worker at a winery? Prepare for these questions.
- What experience do you have following strict safety protocols?
- Have ever performed quality checks? How did you document your work?
- What strategies do you use to keep your work environment clean?
- Are you able to handle physical demands, like carrying 50 pounds or using stairs or ladders?
- Do you consider yourself detail-oriented?
What do cellar workers at wineries do?
Workers in the cellar department of wineries process grapes to make them into a winning product: beautiful bottles of wine. You’ll spend your time doing sanitation work, transferring wine, operating machinery like pressure washers, and washing tanks and barrels.
Interviewing to be a cellar worker at a winery? Prepare for these questions.
- Are you available to work a variety of shifts, including graveyard and weekends?
- Do you have experience adding wine additives?
- Are you comfortable working in a confined space?
- What is your experience operating crush equipment?
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What do lab technicians at wineries do?
Lab technicians will analyze grapes, water, other ingredients that go into wine-making, and eventually the wine product itself. Winery lab technicians will be familiar with distillation, titrimetric, colorimetric, and instrumental methods and will operate auto-titrators, refractometers, density meters, ion-specific electrodes, gas chromatographs, high-performance liquid chromatographs, infrared analyzers, atomic absorption spectrometers, balances, turbidimeters, and others. Most lab technician roles require a college degree with at least some relevant chemistry or biology training.
Interviewing to be a lab technician at a winery? Prepare for these questions.
- What is your experience working in labs of any kind?
- How do you maintain safety standards in a lab environment?
- What experience do you have maintaining documentation?
- Do you have experience troubleshooting issues with lab equipment?
- How do you foster collaboration with coworkers?
What do forklift drivers at wineries do?
Forklift drivers operate forklifts to move times around warehouses, including unloading or loading trucks, stacking storage, and more. Forklift drivers need to be licensed.
Interviewing to be a forklift driver at a winery? Prepare for these questions.
- How have you dealt with safety hazards in warehouses in the past?
- What is your communication style like — especially with warehouse colleagues?
- How many years of experience do you have driving forklifts?
- How comfortable are you being responsible for product worth thousands of dollars or more?