How Would You Decorate A Cake For An Interview?

Decorating By SweetDreams Updated 19 Apr 2011 , 11:45pm by Unlimited

SweetDreams Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 12:13am
post #1 of 19

I am going into a local bakery on Wed. for a working interview in which they want me to decorate a round two layer cake, any way I want.

Any advice on what type of decorations I should do to wow them? They work mostly with buttercream designs. I usually frost my cakes with buttercream and then make fondant accents.

Any advice from anyone also on doing a working interview like that?

Thank you in advance!

18 replies
Coral3 Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 12:18am
post #2 of 19

I would suggest you go with design/style/techniques that you do best and are confident with.

Elcee Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 1:00am
post #3 of 19

I'd research the bakery and decorate in a style that fits in with theirs.

Good luck!

BakerAnn Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 1:10am
post #4 of 19

As Coral3 said, whatever you do best, put your very best work on display for the interview. They might prefer your style to what they've previously been able to offer! This isn't the time to try to create something in which you aren't 100% sure of your success rate.

Good luck! thumbs_up.gif

leily Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 1:45am
post #5 of 19

as others have said, do what you're comfortable with. But i definitely suggest doing a nice border (whether it be shell, dots, reverse shell etc...) and some flowers, of any kind.

indydebi Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 2:13am
post #6 of 19

If I were hiring a decorator, I'd want to see that whatever they did was executed with precision and quality. I'd want to know they could smooth icing and not take an hour to do it; that the borders were precise and evenly spaced; that the overall designed balanced and looked good; that any flowers made looked like flowers and not like lumps of BC or misformed blobs of gumpaste/fondant. I'd be less concerned with the design of the cake and more concerned with how they performed and their skill level in making the design.

So whatever you decide to do, just make sure you're an expert at it! thumbs_up.gif

NanaSandy Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 2:45am
post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

If I were hiring a decorator, I'd want to see that whatever they did was executed with precision and quality. I'd want to know they could smooth icing and not take an hour to do it; that the borders were precise and evenly spaced; that the overall designed balanced and looked good; that any flowers made looked like flowers and not like lumps of BC or misformed blobs of gumpaste/fondant. I'd be less concerned with the design of the cake and more concerned with how they performed and their skill level in making the design.

So whatever you decide to do, just make sure you're an expert at it! thumbs_up.gif




thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif

JenniferAtwood Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 7:15am
post #8 of 19

When I interview a decorator, I normally have them frost a cake, put reverse shell borders, write a greeting, and put rose sprays with leaves. If they don't know how to do one or all of the techniques, they can improvise. I also have them show me their best work, or what they are comfortable with. The first cake is 85% of our business, so I want to see what they can do when it comes to our standard decorations. I do look for precision and the way they execute the techniques. I also watch body language and listen to the decorators comments. I have hired people who couldn't make a rose, but showed they could be precise with their type of decorating. I have also not hired a decorator who did amazing work because her body language and verbal language was very negative. She wasn't open to suggestions. we also have sets of photos that show the same cake decorated by two different decorators. One is perfect and one has lots of flaws. I have the aplicants tell me if the cakes are the same or different and why. I am looking to see if they can tell sloppy work from precision work. You would be surprised at the number of decorators that employers think don't care about quality, actually do care. The problem is they can't see a difference.
Each bakery looks for different things. Just do your best, show you are Open to feedback, and let them know you are willing and able to learn. I hope this helps.

SweetDreams Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 3:22pm
post #9 of 19

Thank you so much for your feedback!! I really appreciate having some perspective of what they could be looking at. I tend to want to challenge myself and do new things but I will take your advice here and do something that I know I can do well and with precision.

Sometimes I just wonder if what I have done before might look too plain to them (like basketweave on the sides or a chocolate clay bow on top).

Do you all think that, in your opinion, they will put more weight on how long it takes to complete a cake or on creativity of the cake design?

Thanks again!!

Unlimited Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 3:31pm
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetDreams

Do you all think that, in your opinion, they will put more weight on how long it takes to complete a cake or on creativity of the cake design?




They need to be productive to be profitable, so I believe they will consider your speed to a certain degree. As long as you make a basic cake design, and don't spend too much time doing lots of extras (like basketweave), I'm sure they realize that your speed will increase with experience. Just be open to let them train you in their productive ways, and learn all that you can. I'm sure you'll do fine. Have fun!

kristiemarie Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 5:45pm
post #11 of 19

I've never hired or been interviewed but I would think that they want to see what YOU have to offer, not what you think they want to see. Different is always better in artistic work and perhaps you have new talents to bring to the table. You say they do mostly buttercream so maybe they are looking for someone to do fondant. I'd go in, guns a blazin' and do whatever it is you do best. You'll either be a fit or you won't. Good luck!!!

kakeladi Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 6:17pm
post #12 of 19

Indydebi (as usual!) and Jennifer have excellent advice. Have they seen any of your pix? Do they have any idea of the fact that you b'cream w/fondant decos?
If they have seen any of your pix then they have an idea of your style. If not, go with your best style, as neat and clean as you can make it as quickly as you can work.
Yes, to a degree they are looking for speed as was mentioned . Good luck and do let us know how it works out icon_smile.gif

kristiemarie Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 6:42pm
post #13 of 19

Btw, you do great work. I don't think you have to worry about skill. I think it will be more about what you can bring to the table in terms of creative design. But who am I? LOL

SweetDreams Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 6:51pm
post #14 of 19

Thank you guys for the encouragement and support!

I was wondering, how much time do you think is too much time to spend on this interview cake??? a half hour, an hour? What would be a good max. time that I should keep aware of when I do this cake? I could do a lot of things with more and more time but I want to stick to something I can do in a good time frame.

Thanks!!

kakeladi Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 7:17pm
post #15 of 19

.........how much time do you think is too much time to spend on this interview cake??? a half hour, an hour? What would be a good max.............

30 minutes? 60 minutes???? NO.
10 to 15 minutes max! Unless they indicate to you otherwise most places will be looking for speed which spells $$ for them.
If they have 10 orders for Sat and it's Fri afternoon you can't take an hour for each icon_sad.gif
One of the bakeries I worked at said one was not a decorater if they could not put out a cake of their style in less than 10 minutess. We would be assigned many things to do *EXCEPT* decorating all week like bake off fzn dough for cookies, donuts, coffee cakes etc. Then at the last minute - usually Fri afternoon they would want you to decorate 10 cakes which were then put into the walk-in - UNboxed, uncovered on a rolling rack just shoved in the *stuffed!* with all the grocery supplies fzr - to be put out into the sales case all weekend long icon_sad.gif Many were damaged when people got things out of the fzr.
That was my experience of working at a grocery store bakery icon_sad.gif

At another bakery they often decorated 3 and 4 tier wedding cakes as early as Wensday for a Sat. wedding. It was then put in a room of the bakery that was open to customers (but seldom did any go there) - all set up as if it were at the wedding icon_sad.gif

SweetDreams Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 9:14pm
post #16 of 19

I did talk to one of the owners and asked if they had a certain time limit per cake. She said they do not. They are more concerned with creativity.......but......I know there still has to be some kind of time limit, maybe not 10-15 minutes but there has still got to be some limit. That is why I am trying to figure out what a good time max. would be in this kind of situation. Also, this is not a grocery store, it is an independent bakery that has been in town for over 100 yrs.

My mom worked in a grocery store bakery for years and she would say the same thing.........one cake had to be done every 10-15 minutes. She said she felt like she was working in a cake conveyer belt factory and she lost her interest because she was not able to be very creative.

kakeladi Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 9:22pm
post #17 of 19

Sounds like you are doing your homework - .........I did talk to one of the owners ...asked if they had a certain time limit per cake....They are more concerned with creativity......

That's good for you to know. I would try to keep the time as low as possible...maybe 30-40 minutes, showing as much creativity as possible.

SweetDreams Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 10:01pm
post #18 of 19

Thank you Kakeladi!!!

I will try to come up with some ideas of cake designs so that when I go in there tomorrow and ask a few more questions, I can pick one of my pre planned ideas for which cake to do.

Unlimited Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 11:45pm
post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetDreams

They work mostly with buttercream designs. I usually frost my cakes with buttercream and then make fondant accents.




Since they mostly work with buttercream designs, stick with that. BC is fast and easy. You should wow them with what you can do quickly with precision. The whole purpose of the "working" interview is because they don't care what you can do in your own sweet time at home, they want to see what you are capable of doing in a productive environment. You could bring a photo of your best work or what you like to do, but don't be disappointed if they don't want to see it. If you get the job, they might ask later if you have suggestions for new designs if they're looking to branch out into other mediums for more customized cakes.

Keep it basic... ice, border, stems, roses, sweet peas, leaves, and writingyou're done. Don't think for a minute that they'll hire the one who was the slowest. Show off to get the job, and perhaps they'll give you the detailed work later.

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