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Apr 23, 2012 04:20 PM

Bringing Samples To An Interview--Genius or Idiocy???

I'm interviewing for a prep type position at a Mom and Pop place this Thursday. Duties will include baking, as well as making soups, salads, lunch entrees, and whatever else I may be needed for.

Would I be completely off base to bring a small sample of baked goods with me to leave with them to taste at their leisure? I've never seen or heard of anyone doing this before, and when the idea crossed my mind earlier today I wasn't sure if it was clever or asinine--so what do you all think? I appreciate your input, as I'm really tossing a coin on this one!

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  1. I don't know why that would be a bad idea--let your talents speak for you.

    1. I've never worked in the food industry so with that in mind, uh, yes, I think it's an excellent idea. Come to think of it, if I owned a restaurant and were hiring, I think I'd want to sample any prospective chef or baker's food before hiring them.

      1. Having been in the business, both being hired and involved in hiring, I have not encountered this. I would expect to be asked to make something as part of the interview, and have done such when I did the interviewed (for those who want to know, I ask for a plain egg omelet or over light egg). Unless I was hiring or interviewing to be hired as an Executive-Chef, who would decide and change menus, I would wait until I was hired to show what else I could bring "to the table". Mom and Pops tend to be rather set in their recipe ways (however your mileage may vary on this as you are the one responding to their ad, which may include dish/recipe development).

        And well you are applying for prep, which means prep our recipes. Trust me, when I moved back to my home state, after leaving a managing position in a gourmet food shop, who's catering business I developed, into a prep position in a Casino, I did three months works of making fresh fruit prep for our various restaurants garnishes. Yes 3 months of cases per day of 3 kinds of fruits, of three different cuts

        1. Thank you all for replying, I appreciate it so much! So far the responses from you and others on a different site seem to be positive--as in "Go ahead and go for it!!"

          Please keep responding, especially my brother and sister pro chefs...

          Quine--I feel your pain, I have been in similar situations myself....way too often!

          2 Replies
          1. re: KSlink

            Maybe you can leave it with them at the end of the interview, and make your comments based on what you learn about the position ie/ "I know I would be hired to prep your much-loved recipes, but I thought I would leave you with a sample of my work, to enjoy at your leisure".

            1. re: julesrules

              I like this idea...leaving it at the end. And julesrules wording is perfect. I've never worked in a professional kitchen, and as others have said, a Mom and Pop is likely to already have established dishes. But that's also not to say that they wouldn't appreciate some new ideas, and leaving them with some samples could help seal a favorable decision!

          2. As a professional (currently a lead line cook/kitchen manager) I would say that bringing samples would be highly unorthodox. I also agree with Quine that the potential employers want to know how well you can do THEIR recipies. It gets old fast when the brand new employee is always offering their 2 cents on how to fix everything, not that you will do that but showing off your work may give them that impression. Also, if you happen to love your raisin bran muffin recipe (for example) and you personally offer them to the interviewer who HATES raisins with a passion, it may create an awkward situation and could potentially cost you the job. I would say interview the old fashioned way: be polite, tell them what they want to hear, hope for the best. The only way I would think samples are a good idea would be as a "thank you" gift a day or two after the interview.

            1 Reply
            1. re: d8200

              I agree with d8200. Fugghedabout it! For one, they won't know that you really made them right? They did not see you make them. It's overkill on your part. Also they will want to really see how you do in the professional kitchen - that's where the rubber spatula meats the road. Your prep job will require more than just baking, so why just bring home made baked goodies to your interview? Your resume, background and personality are enough.