Just Blew An Interview:(

Decorating By Kahuna Updated 9 Mar 2010 , 4:08am by JanelleH

Kahuna Posted 25 Jan 2010 , 6:43pm
post #1 of 18

I had an interview tody with a grocery store I use to work at 7 years ago (before DD) Anyway after the inital interview they want me to decorate a cake. Was totally not expecting that. I was so nervous I was shaking like a leaf, they probabally think I'm a crack addict.

They do have drug testing, so I could clear myself if it ever got to that point, which it won't because they probabally wouldn't hire me to mop the floor. Oh my gosh, it was soooo bad, my cat could have done better and he doesn't even have thumbs Fao***er!.

The icing was a lot softer than I'm use to, not improved by the fact that I ws sweating bullets. Ugh, I haven't been in the work force for a long time definatelly need to brush up on my skills. Maybe it was just like pancakes, the first one never comes out right.

Anyway, thanks for listening to me vent I feel a lot better now and will be much more prepared next time. If anyone knows, btw, they only gave me one tip to make the roses, I usually use a 12 for the base and 104 for the petals, how do you make the base with just the 104?

I'm sure it helps if you aren't shaking to death, but would like to know the techinaue. Thanks again.

Sue

17 replies
jodibug0975 Posted 25 Jan 2010 , 6:56pm
post #2 of 18

Oh my, I couldn't decorate under that kind of stress either! Hopefully (and surely) all of the applicants were just as nervous as you were! Good luck!

KHalstead Posted 25 Jan 2010 , 7:07pm
post #3 of 18

I use the 104 for the base too.........you just squeeze the icing out and let it blob up that's all.........you don't get a PERFECT cone shape, but it works! Such a pain switching out the tips OR preparing 2 bags to make 1 color of rose bleck!

TexasSugar Posted 25 Jan 2010 , 7:12pm
post #4 of 18

Do you have any of the older yearbooks? For a while Wilton did it using just the 104. They held tip up at an angle and pipped a cone then did another cone on top of it.

Do you have pictures of cakes you are proud of? What about going in and explaining your nervousness?

jenmat Posted 25 Jan 2010 , 7:14pm
post #5 of 18

Wow. This grocery store should have warned you ahead of time. That totally sucks. I worked at one for 4 years and I still would have had problems on the spot- nerves make the brain go out the window.
I use the 104 and do what khalstead said, you just need a base to get the scissors under, not to shape the rose. I just either squeeze out a blob or I zigzag back and forth. If the icing is softer, I zigzag. They expected you to make a rose out of soft icing? Naughty people who know nothing about decorating! Shame on them!

tinygoose Posted 25 Jan 2010 , 7:20pm
post #6 of 18

Sorry, I know how that feels. Next one will be better.

icer101 Posted 25 Jan 2010 , 7:44pm
post #7 of 18

i,m sorry you got so nervous. i would have been too.. i teach wilton at michaels. i have to teach with the 12 for base.. and then the 104 for the petals... but i also teach at a technical school.. but i teach only with the 104.. you just hold your tip at 90 degree with the nail.. as the icing starts coming out.. bounce it around ... and make pile of icing .. resembling the cone part.. then stop and pull away. then the next one.. the wrap. holding the tip at 11 oclock... then the next 3 ..holding tip at 12 oclock. then the next 5. holding tip at 1 oclock.. then next 7 . holding tip at 2 oclock.. i i mean the little end of tip at all this degrees.. i know you know that.. just keep trying.. it really saves you from using another tip... then you can go on to using the candy stick or little skewer..youtube .. show all these ways. just keep practicing.. hth

cakesdivine Posted 25 Jan 2010 , 7:58pm
post #8 of 18

That is grocery store decorating...you have to be fast and you have to be able to do a rose with just the rose tip. There really isn't any need to use the 12 round tip to make the base. Sorry you had a panic attack, but that is common for any bakery when you are interviewing for a decorator's position, not just the grocery stores.

Jentru...And why would the store have warned her? It is common practice that someone applying for a decorator's position would have to decorate a cake for them before being hired. So if someone is applying you would tend to think that they will ask you to ice and decorate a cake for them. Bringing in a portfolio doesn't tell them squat. They have no idea if those are even cakes that person has done (and yes there are people out there that will put cakes in their portfolio that they didn't do.), or how long it took them to make those cakes.

When I was the head decorator at a grocery store the general manager had hired a girl that said she had been doing cakes for a while. Well I handed her a cake order, and showed her where everything was that she would need. Also in her orientation I had told her that if we ever ran out of a product that the grocery store had we could do a department pull, and for her to just go get the product and ring it up under the special key we used and it was all good. I went to lunch and came back....

The cake order was a 8" 2 layer round cake, with chocolate buttercream with party style decor (strings of different colors piped over the border and confetti on the border) and it was suppose to say Happy Birthday with the persons name.

When I came back there was a 1 layer cake iced with the canned fudge icing from the shelves that had torn the cake so much it was all misshapen and crumbs were all in the icing. She had gone and grabbed the royal icing letters that betty crocker makes in the cake aisle and put that on the cake. And she also stuck candles in the cake. The only thing she got right was the confetti. It didn't have a border on the cake either. And yes it took her the ENTIRE hour to do just that.

I asked her if she had ever made cakes in a commercial bakery before or professionally, she said no that she had only made a couple of cakes at her house and that was how she decorated them. Needless to say I informed my bakery manager, of what transpired and he fired her that afternoon (he was in meetings that whole week so he had been at corporate and never met her).

bobwonderbuns Posted 25 Jan 2010 , 8:02pm
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kahuna

I had an interview tody with a grocery store I use to work at 7 years ago (before DD) Anyway after the inital interview they want me to decorate a cake. Was totally not expecting that. I was so nervous I was shaking like a leaf, they probabally think I'm a crack addict.

They do have drug testing, so I could clear myself if it ever got to that point, which it won't because they probabally wouldn't hire me to mop the floor. Oh my gosh, it was soooo bad, my cat could have done better and he doesn't even have thumbs Fao***er!.

The icing was a lot softer than I'm use to, not improved by the fact that I ws sweating bullets. Ugh, I haven't been in the work force for a long time definatelly need to brush up on my skills. Maybe it was just like pancakes, the first one never comes out right.

Anyway, thanks for listening to me vent I feel a lot better now and will be much more prepared next time. If anyone knows, btw, they only gave me one tip to make the roses, I usually use a 12 for the base and 104 for the petals, how do you make the base with just the 104?

I'm sure it helps if you aren't shaking to death, but would like to know the techinaue. Thanks again.

Sue




Don't sweat it kiddo, I had the exact same experience a few years ago. The frosting he gave me to work with was sooooo soft that literally everything I did melted!! The shell border he insisted on turned into a pathetic lined blob around the edges and we couldn't get roses on the cake -- they melted! I tried making the roses on the flower nail with the blop in the center -- no dice. So I tried making them on skewers (my preferred way of doing it) and again, no dice. (Then if that wasn't bad enough I was told I have no talent!) icon_eek.gif It's not you kiddo, it's them. icon_smile.gif

jodibug0975 Posted 25 Jan 2010 , 8:53pm
post #10 of 18

I wanted to add that I also tried making roses with just the 104 after watching Buddy make them that way on CakeBoss. I don't think it would be too bad with practice, but my quick attempt was not successful either.

sweet12 Posted 25 Jan 2010 , 9:02pm
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobwonderbuns

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kahuna

I had an interview tody with a grocery store I use to work at 7 years ago (before DD) Anyway after the inital interview they want me to decorate a cake. Was totally not expecting that. I was so nervous I was shaking like a leaf, they probabally think I'm a crack addict.

They do have drug testing, so I could clear myself if it ever got to that point, which it won't because they probabally wouldn't hire me to mop the floor. Oh my gosh, it was soooo bad, my cat could have done better and he doesn't even have thumbs Fao***er!.

The icing was a lot softer than I'm use to, not improved by the fact that I ws sweating bullets. Ugh, I haven't been in the work force for a long time definatelly need to brush up on my skills. Maybe it was just like pancakes, the first one never comes out right.

Anyway, thanks for listening to me vent I feel a lot better now and will be much more prepared next time. If anyone knows, btw, they only gave me one tip to make the roses, I usually use a 12 for the base and 104 for the petals, how do you make the base with just the 104?

I'm sure it helps if you aren't shaking to death, but would like to know the techinaue. Thanks again.

Sue



Don't sweat it kiddo, I had the exact same experience a few years ago. The frosting he gave me to work with was sooooo soft that literally everything I did melted!! The shell border he insisted on turned into a pathetic lined blob around the edges and we couldn't get roses on the cake -- they melted! I tried making the roses on the flower nail with the blop in the center -- no dice. So I tried making them on skewers (my preferred way of doing it) and again, no dice. (Then if that wasn't bad enough I was told I have no talent!) icon_eek.gif It's not you kiddo, it's them. icon_smile.gif


Don't sweat it kiddo, I had the exact same experience a few years ago. The frosting he gave me to work with was sooooo soft that literally everything I did melted!! The shell border he insisted on turned into a pathetic lined blob around the edges and we couldn't get roses on the cake -- they melted! I tried making the roses on the flower nail with the blop in the center -- no dice. So I tried making them on skewers (my preferred way of doing it) and again, no dice. (Then if that wasn't bad enough I was told I have no talent!) It's not you kiddo, it's them.

Wow, thats awful that they actually told you that you didnt have talent. If it were me in the interviewing position i couldnt downgrade someone for at least trying. I would encourage them to keep practicing...How do these grocery store employees/management teams expect someone to do a good job on an interview if the frosting is way too soft to work with?!? Sad...its like they are making someone try a lot harder than needs to be done and then discriminate against them~

DelectabilityCakes Posted 25 Jan 2010 , 10:43pm
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesdivine

That is grocery store decorating...you have to be fast and you have to be able to do a rose with just the rose tip. There really isn't any need to use the 12 round tip to make the base. Sorry you had a panic attack, but that is common for any bakery when you are interviewing for a decorator's position, not just the grocery stores.

Jentru...And why would the store have warned her? It is common practice that someone applying for a decorator's position would have to decorate a cake for them before being hired. So if someone is applying you would tend to think that they will ask you to ice and decorate a cake for them. Bringing in a portfolio doesn't tell them squat. They have no idea if those are even cakes that person has done (and yes there are people out there that will put cakes in their portfolio that they didn't do.), or how long it took them to make those cakes.

When I was the head decorator at a grocery store the general manager had hired a girl that said she had been doing cakes for a while. Well I handed her a cake order, and showed her where everything was that she would need. Also in her orientation I had told her that if we ever ran out of a product that the grocery store had we could do a department pull, and for her to just go get the product and ring it up under the special key we used and it was all good. I went to lunch and came back....

The cake order was a 8" 2 layer round cake, with chocolate buttercream with party style decor (strings of different colors piped over the border and confetti on the border) and it was suppose to say Happy Birthday with the persons name.

When I came back there was a 1 layer cake iced with the canned fudge icing from the shelves that had torn the cake so much it was all misshapen and crumbs were all in the icing. She had gone and grabbed the royal icing letters that betty crocker makes in the cake aisle and put that on the cake. And she also stuck candles in the cake. The only thing she got right was the confetti. It didn't have a border on the cake either. And yes it took her the ENTIRE hour to do just that.

I asked her if she had ever made cakes in a commercial bakery before or professionally, she said no that she had only made a couple of cakes at her house and that was how she decorated them. Needless to say I informed my bakery manager, of what transpired and he fired her that afternoon (he was in meetings that whole week so he had been at corporate and never met her).




I feel bad for the OP but I just had to interject that is the funniest thing I've heard in a while.. I am so sorry that you guys had to go through that fiasco.

Good luck to the OP. It will get better. Deep breaths.

Kahuna Posted 26 Jan 2010 , 6:52pm
post #13 of 18

Thanks for all of the kind words. I did show the magr. some pictures and he said he could tell I was really nervous (what gave it away) I also said I would be happy to do the in store traing and would need to get used to working with that icing, I mean that's what they use and the cakes in the coolers had good roses so I know it's possible to do. Definately going to practice with just the 104, thanks for the instructions. I've just been out of the work force for so long, I really didn't know what to expect. I was really pround of myself that I din't cry or throw up, which would be my usual MO. Anyway, thaks again for all of the advice, will keep plodding along until thenext opportunity comes along, and will take a nerve pill before I go to the interview! icon_lol.gif You all are the best!!

Sue

cakesdivine Posted 26 Jan 2010 , 8:09pm
post #14 of 18

And maybe a shot of tequilla for good luck too icon_smile.gif

icingimages Posted 26 Jan 2010 , 9:03pm
post #15 of 18

Go decorate a cake at home and send them a note. Dont use any excuses other than the fact that you were so very nervous and did not expect that. Use the same type of materiails you would have to use there and deliver the cake to them. We are all human and since you wont be decorating with someone watching over you if you get the job so hopefully they will realize that. Good Luck to you!

prterrell Posted 27 Jan 2010 , 4:46am
post #16 of 18

Having worked as a grocery store decorator, I can say that it does take some time to get used to the icing, especially when doing the roses. One good thing about working in one of those bakeries, is that it does make you fast. Even when I make a cake at home, the long part is making the cake and the filling and the icing, decorating (unless I'm doing something elaborate) takes 5-10 minutes. And that's including assembling and icing. icon_biggrin.gif

alliebear Posted 27 Jan 2010 , 5:22am
post #17 of 18

i could be wrong... but pretty much everyplace i have interviewed at had given me notice if they need me to demonstrate training. the places that didn't ask if i was free or wanted t arrange a time.

don't worry you probably did just fine. Nerves always make things seem worse then they are. A lot of interviewers look for someone who has growth potential and a good concept of the skills needed to decorate a cake. i think alot of people understand that you will need to learn a few tricks ( like the rose) but want to see if you can learn then quickly.

i have a bad interview story.
i was recommended to hand my resume into this swanky 5 star hotel. so i did.. went into my interview was ask to have a Q&A session as well as a demo of training. no problem. What i thought would be a 2-3 hour interview turned into a 6 hour process. i was ready to walk out 3 times.

i had to wait around for about 4 of those hours waiting to speak to the 6 or 7 people who needed to speak with me and then they had me cut fruit for fruit salad. umm ok? after that process, i was asked to take out frozen cookies and place then on trays.... about 200 cookies.

That's about it. Not only did they not make any of the pastries in house ( it was all frozen and shipped in from wholesalers),but i was told all my cake decorating experience was a waste of time and the classes i took were a waste money because in the Pastry/ culinary industry no one has time to make elaborate desserts or cakes. i mean not just in the hotel but the whole industry really? There's is a pretty big market for wedding and specialty cakes. She had an annoying smirk the whole time, i could have slapped her but that wouldn't have been very professional.

Anyways not to hijack here but i was very insulted and it seemed like a way to get someone to work for free. i wish i had the nerve to walk out but alas i thought it would get better. It didn't. They called to offer the job to me and i said nope it wasn't for me. i eventually got a better job that i love and am in charge of my own kitchen and don't have to deal with a know it all.

point of story... when one door closes a window open

JanelleH Posted 9 Mar 2010 , 4:08am
post #18 of 18

One tip about the soft icing - most grocery store bakeries order their icings premade, so they use only 1 consistency for everything they do, from roses to drop stringwork. Try checking your local grocery stores, one of them will be willing to sell you a container of their icing (Rich's and Brill are the two most popular brands in my area). When making the roses, build up a base with a #104 as others have described, and just think about making your petals a little more upright than you would with stiff icing. This leaves you room to get your scissors underneath the petals, and allows for a little "droop".

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