Fall Application Questions

Position is ideal for someone interested in a culinary arts and science career.  We aim to place our baristas in highly rated innovative restaurants such as Cafe Juanita, Poppy, Harvest Vine, The Corson Building, and Mistral Kitchen.

You’ll be introduced to skills and concepts that change non-productive, psychopathic, anti-social, self-centered, self-absorbed, bizarre behaviors into productive ones.  You may be expected to unlearn everything you learned in school, at home, and at other jobs.   You’ll learn how to assess the value of your labor so that you can successfully negotiate pay raises; to function at varying speeds so you can synchronize with customer and team; to understand different frames of references so you can express sincere empathy; to run multiple processes at a time so you can work efficiently; to build mental toughness so you can channel stress into productive behavior.  You’ll learn to be responsible, not obedient; to be charming, not polite; to be competitive, not complacent; to be dignified, not nice.  If we think you have inflated self-esteem — and most applicants do — we’ll crush it.

We do things this way not to be mean, but to ensure high standard of service and products.  Our baristas are renown for their speed, efficiency, and customer service skills — other employers regularly offer them jobs.  Watch them, listen to how they work.  Apply only if you want to be like them — competent, confident, and ambitious.

Don’t give the answer you think we want to hear.  Research anything you’re not familiar with.  Look up unfamiliar terms.  Don’t worry about finding the “correct” answer.  We’re more interested in how you think, your approach to solving problems. Don’t over-think, don’t worry about “wrong” answers.  You shouldn’t need to spend more than 10 minutes on each question.


Someone once said that the “poor don’t want to look poor, the rich don’t want to appear rich.”  Assuming this dictum is true, how do the poor and rich present themselves?  What do they wear, where do they shop, what do they drive?  What do they eat?

Why are you not special?

Guess how many hours per week the CEO of Walmart works.

Why are you so lazy?

Why is Starbucks so popular with lower middle class Americans?  What about the Starbucks experience appeals to them?

Upperclass-Middleclass-Lower class
Match food with class.
Kobe beef burger        Pig feet soup          California Roll
Extra lean porterhouse steak          Liver pate         Eighty percent lean burger
Papa John’s pizza         Grilled beef tongue          General Tso’s chicken

From the Bible, Ecclesiastes 7:1, .”A good reputation is better than costly perfume, and the day of death better than the day of birth.” Here at Alive, we think a lot about death.  How does the prospect of death make one alive?

Person A from age 5 to 25, attends school 6 hours a day, studies 4 hours a day, spends 6 hours of leisure time learning to build and building, with like-minded friends, random things, like a tree house, a bridge, a dog walking robot. A also spends an hour per day daydreaming of building something that will improve world’s standard of living. At age 25, he graduates with a Masters degree in electrical engineering and is offered a salary of $150,000 to work as a product developer for a green tech company. He gets 3 weeks vacation, full benefits. He accepts the position and works 60-80 hours per week, and is expected to be available for phone calls and e-mails during his vacations.  He pays Federal Government 30 percent of his earnings.

Person B, from age 5-25, attends school 6 hours a day, studies 1 hour a day, spends 6 hours of leisure time passively watching TV shows and films like Jersey Shore and Twilight, 3 hours a day daydreaming about being wealthy and pampered and adored by everyone. At age 25, he graduates with a degree in Socks, Drugs, and Rock and Roll. Unable to find a job in his field of study, he takes a job as a cashier at McDonald’s, making $10 per hour, 40 hours per week, or $20,000 for the year.  He doesn’t have to pay taxes.

Let’s assume one of them is “underpaid.”  Which one and why?

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