Whether you’re after a quiet coffee chat or a vibrant group interview, Melbourne has plenty of great options. Here are our picks.
Photography: Gareth Sobey
Higher Ground has space for any kind of interview. Book a long table for a group session downstairs where there’s plenty of foot traffic and ambience – so you won’t have to worry about disturbing anyone. For a quieter chat or something one-to-one, head upstairs to the mezzanine, where you’ll find lounge seating, space to work on your laptop and pockets of tranquillity – not to mention excellent coffee. A CBD location means it’s easy to get to for most people.
Photography: Alan Weedon
Located in a quiet CBD laneway, Little Rogue feels quintessentially Melbourne without trying too hard to be. White walls, birch floors and some exposed brickwork (plus, great coffee) make this cafe a perfect introduction to the city for a potential employee from abroad. You wouldn’t host a group interview here, but it’s an excellent option for a casual, one-to-one chat.
Photography: Rhiannon Taylor
If Higher Ground is great for groups and Little Rogue works for solo chats, Market Lane’s CBD spot fits somewhere in between. There are both indoor and outdoor tables, and booths inside provide some privacy for small groups. It’s also central, easy to find, and being located on the east end of Collins Street gives it a professional feeling, so it’s perfect if you’re interviewing for a senior position. There are plenty of pastries to keep you going if you’re settled in for a run of interviews.
Photography: Tim Grey
Grab a booth at this Fitzroy favourite for a quiet solo or small group interview, or head to the courtyard out the back if you’re planning on making some noise. There are several spaces and heaps of tables at Archie’s, so you’re almost always guaranteed to find a suitable spot. There’s an extensive menu to keep you going throughout the day, so it’s another great place to settle in if you’ve got a few interviews to host. Once you wrap things up, knock-off with a $10 Negroni.
Photography: Simon Shiff
Alimentari doesn’t seem like a great spot to interview at face value – it’s vibrant, loud and bustling at all hours of the day – but that makes it an ideal spot to interview hospitality staff. If you’re running a busy venue and you need someone confident and outgoing, meeting them in an environment similar to where they’ll be working gives you an insight into how they’ll handle it. If you can talk comfortably to your potential new barista while the staff at Alimentari shout out orders, they might just be the one.
Photography: Tim Grey
Code Black’s interview potential is as versatile as its ever-changing coffee blends. Bench seating and outdoor tables are good for solo interviews, while a round table near the front of the cafe almost looks purpose-built for a group chat. If you’re after some privacy, head upstairs to a mezzanine that hangs above the kitchen. There’s a crowd-pleasing menu to keep you energised while you trawl through resumes as well.
Photography: Josie Withers
There’s no shortage of seating at Top Paddock, with capacity for well over 100 people when density limits allow. For large group interviews, take a seat at one of the long bench tables. Smaller groups can grab a round table towards the back of the venue, and there are ample spots for a solo chat both indoors and outside. The Richmond location means you’re away from the noise of the CBD but still in an accessible spot, particularly for startups scattered in the neighbouring suburbs.
Photography: Kristoffer Paulsen
Host a group chat at one of the long tables located indoors and outside, or grab one of the many two-seaters for a more traditional interview. What Dead Man Espresso lacks in privacy it makes up for in atmosphere – dark wood panelling and plenty of natural light help the space feel relaxed, and it’ll have the same effect on interviewees. A great spot to interview for entry-level positions if you think applicants might be feeling a little nervous.
Lead image: Gareth Sobey