Bakery is no place for pansies. You will do night shifts, you will bake bread in the wee hours, and you will work hard. People want their fresh bread and croissant in the morning, and so someone has to make it possible–it can be you.
Or, you may work as a cashier, selling bread and pastry–which also isn’t easy at all, though you will work during the day.
You do not need any special qualification to work in a bakery. Training will be provided, and the processes are automated to great extend. But you need to have motivation, enthusiasm, and show right attitude to this beautiful but hard job.
Bakery owner or manager will try to assess these things with their questions in an interview. Let’s have a look at them right now.
Why do you want to work in a bakery?
Things get tough right from the start. Nobody really dreams of working in a bakery (it’s not the same like owning or running one), and it will be a fallacy to think that you can convince the hiring manager or bakery owner of your utmost desire to work in the bakery.
I suggest you to say that you prefer manual labor, that you like the bread and are somehow interested in the baker’s business, and prefer this position to other jobs available to you in your present situation (in terms of your qualification, abilities, location, schedule, etc).
How do you imagine a typical day in work in our bakery?
More than anything else, show them that you expect to be busy. Very busy . If you apply for a bakery associate position (standing behind the desk and serving customers), say that you expect to come to work early, placing the various items into the shelves, cleaning the place in the morning, end ensuring everything’s ready for the day.
Then you will serve customers, and expect to serve many of them, trying your best to handle each request with smile and precision. At the end of the shift you’ll clean the place again, count the cash sales, take care of administrative duties, and leave the bakery. Tired but happy.
If you apply for a baker’s job, or baker’s assistant, then you should refer more to measuring and mixing ingredients, baking and decorating items, helping to load delivery trucks, etc. You can also say that you plan to help the lead baker with anything they need.
Tell us something about your previous working experience.
Previous experience is not necessary for this job. But you can point out former jobs you had, and explain how the heavy workload, or responsibility you carried on your shoulders, prepared you for the job in a bakery.
Try to avoid any negative remarks about your former colleagues or bosses. Nobody wants to hire a person who complains about everything in work.
They may also ask you why you left your last job. Try to be honest. Even if they dismissed you, you can say it, and ensure the interviewer that you learned your lesson and will not make the same mistake again in your new job (one that eventually led to your dismissal).
How do you feel about arriving at work at 3am in the morning? How do you feel about working on Sundays?
Definitely the biggest drawback of most jobs in the bakery are working hours. Think about it for a while. If they did not expect a new employee to start at three in the morning, they would not ask the question in an interview.
Now, in my opinion, starting at three every day is better than doing day shifts one week and night shifts the other, or even having a different shift every other day. Your body can get used to the new rhythm, and this is exactly what you should refer to in your answer.
Say that you read the job description carefully. You know that you will start early each day and plan to adjust your daily schedule accordingly, going to bed early in the evening. Say that you do not mind, and are sure you will handle it.
The same principle applies to the question about working on weekends.
* Special Tip: You can also download the full list of questions in a one page long PDF, and practice your interview answers anytime later:
How long do you want to have this job?
In times of economic expansion, it is difficult to find a new baker, or a new cashier. Bakeries want to keep the employees, and they also pay them much better than they do while the economy is in recession.
Ensure the interviewers that you want to work in a bakery, and once you get the job, you won’t be looking for new opportunities anymore.
At the end of the day, you do not have to do what you promised to do in an interview. Of course you can leave in two weeks (if you find the job too hard), or after two months (if you get a better offer). Once in an interview, however, you should say what they want to hear from you.
Describe a situation when you went above and beyond with your service.
Bakery is a competitive business, just like any other one. If customers do not like the service they receive in the place (from the cashiers), or if the quality of pastry is under par (the result of work of the bakers), they will simply go and spend their money somewhere else.
Ensure the interviewers that you understand this principle, and will do your best to meet, or even exceed the expectations of the customers.
You can narrate a situation from the past, when you did something extraordinary for the customer, and you should speak about it with enthusiasm.
If it is your first job application, you can simply emphasize the importance of excellent customer service, and say that you will always try your best to deliver such a service to the customers.
Do you have any questions?
You should ask at least one question, demonstrating that you still want the job, after everything that happened in an interview.
For example you can ask about the training and orientation, whether they provide any, and where it takes place. You can also ask about the shift patterns, if they did not describe them clearly in the interview.
I do not suggest you to ask about the salary. Wait for them to bring the topic on the table. If they consider hiring you, they will talk about the salary…
Interview in a bakery belongs to easier interviews. Once you understand what is expected from you in the job, you can easily prepare good answers to common bakery interview questions.
On the top of that, you won’t face tough competition in this interview. In times of economic expansion you may actually be the only job candidate. They will literally pray that you do well, because they need you badly to stay operational.
Take it easy, read the questions once again, and try to answer them. I am sure you will do well, and will get the job. Good luck!
May also interest you:
- Body language in an interview – What do your gestures and movements say about you? Can we control our non-verbal communication?
- 15 Most common interview questions – Learn the basics.
- How to dress for your interview – Four rules to consider when choosing clothes to wear.