I Bombed At My Bakery Interview!

Decorating By lainalee Updated 25 Apr 2009 , 3:59pm by sweetjan

lainalee Posted 27 Feb 2009 , 12:48pm
post #1 of 59

I had an interview last night at a bakery that I just fell in love with. Loved the people, very down to earth family owned. Anyway, I thought I was prepared to get in there and decorate a cake if they wanted me too. Well, they did and I choked. Went completely brain dead. My cake looked like I just started Wilton class. Compared to the cakes they had in the window, forget it. The wife interviewed me and is the only one that does not decorate. She said to do what ever I wanted. Nothing came to me. Just some dots on the sides and cut flowers on the top, and not arraigned very well.
My question is this. Should I send her an email thanking her for the interview and offering to redo a cake with one of their designs.
I really want (and need) this job.
Sorry so long. icon_sad.gif

58 replies
Deb_ Posted 27 Feb 2009 , 12:59pm
post #2 of 59

I'm sorry icon_sad.gif Are you just being hard on yourself? Sometimes, we think our work isn't up to standards, we're our worst critics. Besides the cake how did the rest of the interview go?

An e-mail would be a good idea. Explain how nervous you were, tell them how much you loved their bakery and that you know you would be a perfect fit. I think they may give you a second chance. Do you have any letters of recommendation?

I once interviewed a hairstylist for a job at my Salon, she brought in her Mom as her model, and the poor thing was so nervous her hands were shaking. I took a chance on her because I knew our personalities would "click" and 7 yrs later, she's one of my best employees.

Good luck, I hope you get the job!

Deb

edited to add......Your cakes look beautiful, love the baby in the pink box! Did you bring your pics to the interview?

vickymacd Posted 27 Feb 2009 , 1:07pm
post #3 of 59

Me, personally, I wouldn't send an email, but a personal handwritten note. And explain how nervous you were and how much you loved this place, etc. I would also include pics of yours. You do wonderful work.
Don't sell yourself short.

sweetjan Posted 27 Feb 2009 , 1:12pm
post #4 of 59

I agree with vickymacd....a personal note and some of your pictures.
Tell her the truth, you had terrible stage fright. You're very interested in the position and hope for a 2nd interview. If you get called back, maybe take in some premade flowers and/or a cake you did at home...?
Good luck, and keep us posted!!!!!

pastryjen Posted 27 Feb 2009 , 1:14pm
post #5 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by vickymacd

Me, personally, I wouldn't send an email, but a personal handwritten note. And explain how nervous you were and how much you loved this place, etc. I would also include pics of yours. You do wonderful work.
Don't sell yourself short.




I totally agree - a handwritten note is more personal.

Sorry your interview didn't go as well as you had hoped. Hang in there, you never know.

Deb_ Posted 27 Feb 2009 , 1:18pm
post #6 of 59

While a personal note is well.......more personal, an e-mail is instant and they will receive it immediately before they have the chance to make a choice.
If you mail a letter today, they won't get it til Monday and that may be too late depending on how desperate they are to hire.


Of course, you could call them too.

pinklesley1 Posted 27 Feb 2009 , 1:25pm
post #7 of 59

sounds like the lady was real nice, hopefully she can get the email and be ok... i agree did you take pics with you to the interview???

miss_sweetstory Posted 27 Feb 2009 , 1:28pm
post #8 of 59

Ouch, I know this hurts. It's likely that your cake was better than you think it was. Even if it wasn't, remember that a good interviewer could probably see that you were nervous and will weigh the other aspects of the interview more heavily (particularly if you provided a strong portfolio and recommendations). Like dkelly said, the "click" is really important.

Over the years I have conducted a lot of interviews, many of them which required a talent/skills demo. The candidates that performed the best were the ones that came in with a specific plan that they adjusted to fit my requirements. For you that might translate into preparing a design that you can adapt to whatever size/shape cake you are asked to decorate. (e.g. two colors of fondant stripes with ribbon roses, etc... If they only provide one color, you have the chance to ask if you can make another color, or you just make your familiar design using all one color. This takes the pressure of creating a new design off you and lets you concentrate on execution. )

I hope you get this job...but if you don't, remember it isn't a complete loss. You learn things from every interview that make you even more valuable to the next employer.

lainalee Posted 27 Feb 2009 , 1:31pm
post #9 of 59

Thanks everyone. No Deb, it really stunk. I really wish I had time to send a personal note, but she is only interviewing 2 more people tonite, I was the 1st. She has to make a desision tomorrow, as her decorator's last day is today. I did take my pics, thanks for the compliments. She did reallly like them. And she knows that I havn't worked in a bakery b4, just a home baker.
She was really easy to talk to. I just don't want to come off like I'm begging for the job.

lainalee Posted 27 Feb 2009 , 1:34pm
post #10 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by miss_sweetstory

Ouch, I know this hurts. It's likely that your cake was better than you think it was. Even if it wasn't, remember that a good interviewer could probably see that you were nervous and will weigh the other aspects of the interview more heavily (particularly if you provided a strong portfolio and recommendations). Like dkelly said, the "click" is really important.

Over the years I have conducted a lot of interviews, many of them which required a talent/skills demo. The candidates that performed the best were the ones that came in with a specific plan that they adjusted to fit my requirements. For you that might translate into preparing a design that you can adapt to whatever size/shape cake you are asked to decorate. (e.g. two colors of fondant stripes with ribbon roses, etc... If they only provide one color, you have the chance to ask if you can make another color, or you just make your familiar design using all one color. This takes the pressure of creating a new design off you and lets you concentrate on execution. )

I hope you get this job...but if you don't, remember it isn't a complete loss. You learn things from every interview that make you even more valuable to the next employer.




Very good info. I wish I would have done that. But I guess, now I know if I need to do another one. Thanks

janelwaters Posted 27 Feb 2009 , 1:39pm
post #11 of 59

Definately email her - maybe you should type out the email and post it here for others to edit before you send it.

I wouldn't think you would be begging, it used to be industry standard to send a thank you for an interview - I think it will all depend on how you word your email whether you come off as begging or not.

Good luck, I really hope you get the job! How exciting! I would love to find a job pt at a bakery!

If you do get a second chance, make sure you go back in with a plan and a sketch, that way if your brain blanks, you still have your drawing.

leah_s Posted 27 Feb 2009 , 1:46pm
post #12 of 59

An applicant always - always should send a thank you note for the interview. When I was in a hiring position, I swear that several applicants had to have sat in their cars or even the lobby of the building, wrote out their thank you and mailed it from the office's mail room, it got to me so quickly. Even if you don't get this particular job, send a think you note. It leaves a good impression and you never know if and when they will have another job opening.

MBHazel Posted 27 Feb 2009 , 1:53pm
post #13 of 59

Do you have time to make a pretty "Thanks for the interview cake" and take it by for them? (With a nice note attached)

lainalee Posted 27 Feb 2009 , 2:08pm
post #14 of 59

Ok guys, how does this sound?

Good Morning ____,

Thank for the opportunity to interview for the Cake Decorating position at ---- ---- Cake Shop. I enjoyed chatting with you and your family, and found so many beautiful designs in your reference books.
I do have many ideas for the window displays, and I understand how important these can be.
I would, however, like to apologize for the inadequate cake that I produced for you last night. As you can see from my pictures, this is not the norm for my work. When I do a cake that I design myself, I do take some time in planning before actually decorating it.
If you would like for me to replicate one of your designs, or bring in one of my finished cakes, I would be more than happy to do so.

Thank you again for your consideration.

Alaina Klug

janelwaters Posted 27 Feb 2009 , 2:26pm
post #15 of 59

I would put something in there about your nerves getting the better of you while decorating that cake, so that they don't think that you can't decorate a cake on the fly.

I hope that made sense! other than that, I think it looks good!

lainalee Posted 27 Feb 2009 , 2:44pm
post #16 of 59

thanks janelwaters. i tweaked it a little. off it goes, keep your fingers crossed for me.

VannaD Posted 27 Feb 2009 , 3:00pm
post #17 of 59

My fingers are crossed for you, good luck!

eldag0615 Posted 27 Feb 2009 , 3:03pm
post #18 of 59

Hope you get it, what a wonderful opportunity. God bless you

janelwaters Posted 27 Feb 2009 , 3:05pm
post #19 of 59

You are very welcome and I really hope that you get the job!! How great it would be!!

Deb_ Posted 27 Feb 2009 , 8:53pm
post #20 of 59

Just got home from work and wanted to check on you........I'm so glad you decided to send an e-mail.

Keeping my fingers crossed for you!

Wouldn't it be cool if the bakery owner was a member here and read this. If so...........You'd be nuts not to hire this lady, have you seen her cakes? She'd be a great asset to your bakery! icon_wink.gif

akgirl10 Posted 28 Feb 2009 , 1:48am
post #21 of 59

Just wanted to say good luck and keep us posted!

xstitcher Posted 28 Feb 2009 , 4:11am
post #22 of 59

I'm glad you decided to send a follow up email. This is always a great thing to do after any kind of interview.

Good luck, I hope you get the job your work is great!
icon_smile.gif

lainalee Posted 28 Feb 2009 , 5:09am
post #23 of 59

Awh, you guys are the best. Thanks for the kind words. I'll let ya know if I hear anything.

Cakenicing4u Posted 3 Mar 2009 , 9:01pm
post #24 of 59

any news yet??

lainalee Posted 3 Mar 2009 , 11:08pm
post #25 of 59

No. Haven't heard anymore from them. They were supposed to decide by last Sat. for someone to start today. Live and learn. icon_sad.gif But thanks for asking.

Rhonda19 Posted 3 Mar 2009 , 11:21pm
post #26 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by lainalee

Thanks everyone. No Deb, it really stunk. I really wish I had time to send a personal note, but she is only interviewing 2 more people tonite, I was the 1st. She has to make a desision tomorrow, as her decorator's last day is today. I did take my pics, thanks for the compliments. She did reallly like them. And she knows that I havn't worked in a bakery b4, just a home baker.
She was really easy to talk to. I just don't want to come off like I'm begging for the job.




It never hurts to act like you are " hungry " for a job!! I did that one time for a bookeeping position, and I got the job over an actual accountant. When I asked my new employer, why? She told me, " Well, you were hungry! The other girl, did have a degree, but I knew you would do the better job, because you needed it!!

You know we are always are own worst critic!! You probably didn't do half as bad as you thought you did!!

Good Luck
Rhonda

Eisskween Posted 3 Mar 2009 , 11:44pm
post #27 of 59

As a former "human resource" person, I can tell you that nervousness is taken into consideration. If she's as nice as you say she is, then she probably knew that you were nervous. We all are at job interviews, it's as natural as opening your eyes and part of being human.

That being said, I would say absolutely send her a thank you note for her time and the interview. Express how much you would like to work for their organization and maybe mention a couple strong points you can bring to the table. If you are strong in gumpaste flowers, or scrolling, mention that.

Did you bring any of your photos to the interview? If not, it couldn't hurt to send a couple. It doesn't have to be actual photos, just color copies so she can see what your work is like when you aren't "under the gun."

If you don't here from her five days after sending your thank you note, call her on the phone and again reinforce that you would love to work for "so-and-so bakery."

Best way to get the position, stay on their mind. You may have flubbed the cake, but if your personality shined through and your thank you note is sincere and genuine, you will be the one that stays on their mind.

NOTE: Like my teacher always told me "You are your own worst critic." You may have seen things you thought you could have done better, but she may have liked them. Don't be too hard on yourself and good luck to you! I hope you get it!

Best,
Karen

PS Sorry for the long dissertation here. icon_wink.gif

Rose_N_Crantz Posted 4 Mar 2009 , 12:22am
post #28 of 59

Let me give you some advice I was given in culinary school. For our restaurant final, we were given a box of raw ingredients and were told to make whatever we wanted. The class that went before us did a really awesome job with ingenuity and plate presentation, but guess what? Their salads were soggy, vegetables overcooked, and their chicken was raw in the middle. Oh, and they forgot to season everything. So we were told to focus on technique, because that's the basis for everything good. So you think your cake looked like a beginner's? How was your base icing? Were your dots evenly spaced? How did the flowers look? Because even if you were able to make something she's never seen before, she's going to be docking you if your icing was crummy or rough, or if the flowers didn't come together well. Try not to look at the cake as a whole, but look at the different elements that made up the cake. I'm sure that's what she was watching for as well.

lainalee Posted 4 Mar 2009 , 3:59pm
post #29 of 59

I love this site. Everyone has been so supportive. Thank you all. I have learned so much from you all in this thread, and have a whole new arsenle (sp) for the next interview. Here's hoping one comes soon. icon_biggrin.gif

annacakes Posted 4 Mar 2009 , 4:17pm
post #30 of 59

Rosenkrantz is right! I think they were looking for everything but design. Cake shops want the cakes smooth, design elements balanced, colors harmonious...all the other things that make a cake look great too, not just the design. This they can teach you later on. All shops have an identity or a brand for themselves which can be learned. If you have the basics down, you're 80% there. Keeping my fingers crossed for you too. Have a good feeling about this!

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