Were you recently accepted for a job interview but you’re having some ‘colds’ about it? Well, it can really be quite daunting, especially when you don’t know anything about bread making! But loosen up, as this post will help you survive and baker interview questions you may have for new or experienced bakers.
First off, congratulations on getting accepted for the job interview! There are a lot of job seekers out who are still looking for their shot, so you should be really proud of yourself! To give you some baker’s interview tips, some typical interview questions for a baker job and how to answer them, this post will help you out.
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What happens in a baker’s interview
The purpose of a baker’s interview isn’t actually to find out if you are going to be the next best baker in town. The best way for an interviewer or recruiter to gauge your skills by to see you in action, and not just having a conversation. An interview is a way for the interviewer to see if your attitude and personality are a great fit for their company. They will be looking to understand your motivation and skills and learning more information that’s not listed down on your resume or CV.
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As for any kind of interview, it starts with your personal introduction. You’re going to be asked to tell your work experiences, the duties you’ve handled before, and of course, the reason why you’re applying for the job. These are just pretty basic things that you should have no problem answering.
The interviewer will then move on to more specific questions that will test your familiarity with the ins and outs of baking. These questions may either come from your resume or they may just ask you straight out.
It’s important that you answer the questions well and try to explain the challenges and how you overcame them. This can actually be a great indicator of whether you’re going to be good for the job or not. Just try to be honest about everything and show that you’ve done your research about the company and the job post.
What is the interviewer looking for?
I’ve hired many bakers, and I believe that motivation is the most important thing. There are many interview questions for baker, but no matter how much experience that a baker has or lacks, it still boils down to motivation. It takes a lot of effort to train a baker, but the most important thing is that they want to do the job.
Other objectives of the interviewer are to find out the applicant’s knowledge about the role and if they will fit in with the culture of the team.
Anything that an applicant says beyond these three is just some added points. So if you’re an applicant that can give relevant answers to these, you’re most likely to be considered!
What are the top 5 duties as a baker?
- Working as a team – communication skills are important
- Preventing any health and safety or contamination issues
- Ensuring the quality of the products is consistent
- Learning new skills and recipes
- Planning and prioritising to achieve deadlines
Baker interview questions
What are typical interview questions for a baker? Well, there are 3 types of questions that you may get asked. The first is for bakers with no experience, the second is for experienced bakers and the third is a mix of generic interview questions and motivation questions for both an experienced baker and a baking newbie. I’ve included many of the questions that you should expect and some tips to help your response.
Baker interview questions if you have no experience
Why do you want to work in a bakery?
Demonstrate your reasons for starting a new role. Where has your inspiration come from and why do you think it’s the right job for you.
How do you imagine a typical day as a baker?
Do some research beforehand on the roles of a bread baker. In a small bakery, you’ll be working in all areas to complete all the stages of making bread. In larger environments, you’ll tend to stick to certain roles. Here’s a good video of a day in the life of a baker.
What tasks do you expect to perform on a daily basis?
Take a moment to review the products that the bakery produces before the interview. Look at recipes and explain the techniques used to produce them in your answer. You’re not expected to know how to do each step here, just an overview is fine as you can expect training. The interviewer is just checking that you are familiar with the baker job role.
Do you have any experience in completing tasks in a bakery?
Be honest here. It’s fine to have no experience in baking, but can you relate to similar roles or hobbies that you have done such as craft skills, production line roles or working in a team environment?
Are you ready to start work very early in the morning, at weekends or at night?
Bread is traditionally ready first thing in the morning. In a wholesale bakery, it is even earlier as the products will have to be delivered in time for cafe opening times. Each bakery will have a shift system, with some having 24-hour rotas but it’s typical that you will be working at night or getting up at 3 am. You’ll have to show confidence that you are prepared for this, and how it will fit in with your social life.
How do you prioritize, organize, and plan in your existing role?
When baking professionally, timing is vital. You’ll need to get your deliveries out on time and avoid everything being ready for the oven at the same time. The interviewer wants to see how you can plan your duties and cope when under pressure. Give an example of how you manage your daily schedule in your current role.
Baking is a fast, physical job. Are you confident that you will be able to keep the pace?
As a baker you’ll be on your feet all shift, throwing dough and batters all over the place and require a steady hand to finish the products. It’s hard work! Again, be honest here. If you’re not in great shape but you see working on your feet as a good way to improve your health, just say. Because of the time it takes to train a baker, managers want employees to stay for a long time.
Experienced baker interview questions
Describe your daily routine as a bakery worker?
This is a great ice breaker that allows you to talk about your experience in baking. You should practice this question as many people forget a key step. Talk about what you do every day and the strategies and mindset that you have. Feel free to include your previous skills that if you have previous roles in the industry.
What areas of baking are your strengths?
The manager here is trying to work out where he could put you in his team with minimal training. This is really important when there are multiple vacancies. It’ll mean you’ll be able to help the team right away while allowing brand new bakers to get some quality training. Suggested skills are: knowing when the dough is fully kneaded, shaping skills, scoring and managing the bread going in and out of the ovens.
What baking skills are you looking to improve?
As a baker, there are always things that you can get better at. Your answer should match your motivation for working for this employer. You should be describing the skills you wish to improve in this bakery environment.
What techniques excite you as a baker?
Describe your passion for certain baking methods. You should explain why they are important, how they benefit the baker and how they produce a special product.
How have you protected yourself and your team from health and safety issues?
The employer will be looking for someone to keep the environment clean and prevent accidents from occurring. You should talk about potential health and safety issues and how you would prevent them. It may be helpful to mention topics like checking the safety of equipment before using, removing any obstacles from working areas, preventing contamination issues, cleaning as you go and end of day cleaning.
What goes into producing the perfect bake?
The employer is looking to see your passion and knowledge in baking. Take your time with this one and explain all the stages and “pinch-points” that are important in making the perfect product. Some knowledge in the science behind baking might be beneficial here, so consider swotting up if you have the time to do so.
What was your worst experience as a baker?
Explain a situation when things have not gone so well. The interviewer is looking to see that you don’t down tools when things don’t go well. Detail what went wrong, how you coped with the situation and how you learned from it to prevent a reoccurrence.
Have you ever developed or improved a recipe? How did you do it and what feedback did you receive?
You’re being asked about your creative skills. If you will be expected to create your own recipes or designs, knowledge in this area is more important than a line baker. It can be as simple as lowering the water content of a recipe, adding cheese to bread before baking, or changing the colour of icing to make it more attractive.
The employer is not looking for someone who’s going to be changing the recipe completely without their permission. But someone with ideas to enhance the product range. This question is more important if you are expected to design and develop the range of products in a senior position.
What qualities should a bakery worker possess to be effective in their role?
What are the important skills required to be a baker? List the core skills that are important to you, just don’t forget to mention adherence to a deadline!
Tell me how you prioritize, organize, and plan your time when baking?
You will be expected to explain how you manage your workload and cope with stress. Being able to manage your tasks independently and positively influence or help others will earn you a lot of respect. Rehearse one or two examples of how you keep up with production.
Generic and motivation based interview questions
Why are you interested in this role?
Describe your motivation for working in this role and why the companies values and the job description interest you. Be sure to read the job description (sometimes called the role profile). Relate the key points that you are already competent or would like to improve your skills in.
What do you know about the company?
Don’t be that person that answers “Not a lot!” Bakery interview questions like this are used to see how serious the individual is about working for them, so prepare for it!
Read as much as you can about the company that’s available online. Check their website, social media platforms, read reviews and any local press write-ups. Explain the products that get the most engagement and mention any areas that don’t get as good a response. You should also try some of the products they produce and be able to explain which ones you like and why.
Tell us about your previous work experience?
Explain your work history, highlighting key skills that are related to the role you are applying for.
What major challenges did you face in your current role?
The interviewer is wanting to understand how you deal with pressure. Have a couple of examples where you overcome a stressful situation and turned it into a victory. In your examples, explain what made it a challenge, how you put a plan in place to overcome it and how it worked out. It’s also a great opportunity to show that you can self reflect and put things in place to prevent issues happening at the earliest occasion.
What type of bakery products do you like to eat?
This is just a question to check that you enjoy consuming the products that you will be preparing. It is one of the popular bakery interview questions though! You can talk about a specific product, range of products or even a specific bakeries products. Don’t try to be too clever with your answer as it’s more to see how well you hold a conversation than anything else.
How do you deal with tense situations between yourself and coworkers?
If you’ve ever dealt with conflict with another colleague or aided a situation when co-workers are not working together, describe what you did to receive a beneficial outcome for all parties.
What is the biggest challenge that you foresee in this job?
The interviewer is looking to see how he could support you in the role. What skills don’t you have or are there any other areas that you have concerns in. Be humble and explain the challenges you expect and how you plan to resolve them.
How do you stay motivated at work?
What is it that keeps you going every day? What do you want to achieve in your career? Explain the real you and get across your personality. It’s ok to mention things outside your work life too.
Describe a time you failed in a task?
Have an example of when a task did not turn out well and what you did to learn from it. Give as much detail as possible and take a particular focus on what you have done differently to prevent a reoccurrence.
How long do you want to work here?
This question is often asked a lot more subtly. Other variations include:
- “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”
- “What do you want from this role?”
- “Would you be interested in a senior role here in the future?”
It is extremely expensive for a bakery business to train a baker in their styles and recipes. Therefore they really don’t want you to leave in a couple of months. You should be willing to stay for at least 18 months, if not several years.
Describe a situation when you went above and beyond with your service?
Take an example from your previous experience of how you raised customer expectations. The employer is looking to see that you put the customer first and raise your game to deliver a goal that was not expected. Talk about what you did and the impact of the service you delivered.
Phrases to include in your baker’s interview that the bakery manager wants to hear
- “I like to be creative and be proud of what I do”
- “I love working with my hands”
- “I enjoy being part of a team”
- “I like to be active and always try to keep busy”
- “I want to achieve perfection when time allows”
- “Health and safety regulations come first”
- “I’m passionate about making good food, it’s exciting to think I’ll be making products that people will eat”
The worst things to say in a baker job interview
While a bakers job interview is often a casual conversation, there are still some things that you should avoid saying. The interviewer will likely ignore the unnecessary information but will remember the negative things that you say. Here are a few phrases you should avoid:
I watch The Great British Bake Off so I’ll be a good baker
Adding food colouring and shaping bread into a castle is not relevant so you won’t gain any extra points. Having said that, if you make the recipes then it will be viewed as positive.
I bake bread at home (when you don’t)!
If you tell the interviewer that you bake bread at home, expect to be asked what processes you follow. If you’ve never done it before and all you can say are keywords like “kneading”… “proofing”… “In the oven” it’s going to be a waste of time. You don’t need to have baked at home to be a baker and I doubt many professional bakers make homemade bread either!
While you should avoid boasting off, don’t be too vague either. If you’re asked a question, try to answer it properly. You don’t want the interviewer to think that you’ve got nothing to back up your talk with. You don’t want to sound like a robot who doesn’t even know what he wants. Being able to answer any questions confidently is a key part of having a successful interview.
Talking negatively about your previous employers
Even if it seems like the interviewer is asking you to do so, don’t talk negatively about your previous employers. Especially if your last job was also in the bread baking industry, as they’re competitors of the company that you’re applying for. Be diplomatic and leave out the things that may put them in a bad light.
What questions to ask at a baker’s interview
Every last part of an interview process, you’re going to be asked if you have any questions. Use this opportunity to find out more about the company itself. These questions are to ask a baker in an interview to you a feel for how the bakery operates. Asking questions will also allow the hiring manager to get a feel for what it’s like to coach you (some kind of psychology going on here!). If they find it easy to explain things to you and you seem to understand then your feet are getting closer to the door!
Asking questions like these will show a keen interest in the role and will show that you’re well-prepared. The whole point is to ask relevant questions that you’re curious about and for the interviewer to see your determination about the role.
These are the questions to ask a baker in an interview which I would love to hear from an applicant:
- Do you make all the bread with the same methods?
- How long does each loaf of fresh bread take to make?
- How long do you bulk ferment your bread?
- How long does your bread rise?
- What temperature are your proofers set at?
- How is the daily production scheduled? What order do you make your products in?
- What products are popular?
- What’s the most challenging bread?
- What sort of person fits in with the team?
- Do you use bread improvers or concentrates?
- How long will my training last?
- What shifts will I work?
- What future progression is available?
- What equipment do you use? (if you can get yourself a tour you are doing well!)
What if I get anxious before my interview with a professional baker?
You may be worried about being anxious before you confront baker interview questions, but try not to let it get the better of you. Think of the interview as just another fairly casual conversation. The interviewer wants to try and understand you. They must be interested in you as they want to interview you, so see it as a vote of confidence! Try to relax and explain your answers in a simple manner.
Facing baker interview questions is a daunting experience for many people. It can be really nerve-wracking, especially if you feel that the outcome is completely out of your control. But by being well prepared and doing your research, you can reduce the stress levels and make a good impression on your interviewer.
Remember to always be yourself during an interview. Never try to be someone that you’re not just to get a job. If they don’t like you for who you are, then it doesn’t matter how much you try to change. If you’re yourself and you know that you’re going to be great for the job, then there won’t be any reasons for them not to hire you!
Keep in mind to focus on the three points I’ve mentioned above that an interviewer will look for and move on from there. And don’t forget that it’s not possible to tell if someone can bake just from an interview. So if you are not successful, it doesn’t mean that it’s not for you. Maybe it’s just not the right time for you or they’re just looking for a different kind of person. Keep your head high and you will get there!
Let me know in the comments section if how can I help you further!