I have a working interview at a small bakery next week and the owner told me she would be able to tell right away if I am a good fit, what will she be looking for and how can I show her that? I only bake at home and am afraid my skills won't be what she is looking for.
I see your title is an "at-home-cook". Is this your first job in a bakery, or food industry?
I'm not baker so I can't advise you on what the bakery owner will expect, but one thing is universal in all kitchens, and that's clean as you go, always keep an immaculately clean work station.
Also label and date things you use and put away in the walk-in or reach-in.
It's hard to say what this particular person is going to be looking for but as Pollopicu said, cleanliness is key. If I were a potential employer I would hope that you could do mental conversions for liquid and solid measurements (i.e. instead of measuring out 30 teaspoons of baking powder measuring 10 Tbs instead or knowing how to convert grams to cups, etc), also knowing the different methods (cake, cookie, muffin, etc) or even how to properly measure flour whether by weight or by spooning it into a measuring cup and scraping the top.
Relax, have fun, speak respectfully and keep your ears and eyes open for learning opportunities. If you even applied then you probably have an interest and a passion that will also be attractive to an employer. Do your best and express a willingness to learn to perform her way.
Well......I WAS a baker and what I would be looking for would be:
How do you handle yourself in a commercial facility
Do you work fast
Do you work clean
Do you know your measurements in both English and Metric
Can you use bakery equipment and know how
Do you understand yeast and what its' parameters are
Can you bake cookies, pies, cakes, muffins, cupcakes, etc.....day after day after day, with consistent results.
When this person says, she can tell right away whether you are a good fit, the above is what she would be looking for.....Good luck.
Agreed that teachable is the big one...even if knowing that someone has substantial experience. Listen closely to any instructions you are given, ask questions if you do not know something, but hold any questions if the person you are asking is obviously busy. Do not offer any unsolicited advice on how to do something differently than they way it is being done (with the exception of potential sanitary issues)...the time for that is after you have established yourself there.
Cleanliness is very important as well. Clean as you go, don't leave a big mess in your work station, put everything in its proper place. Do not touch anything with your bare hands that is ready to go into someones mouth...use gloves or tongs or some other utensil. Wash your hands if you touch your face or hair.
Move quickly but not so fast that you lose control of what you are doing. In any kitchen, economy of action is key. i.e. if you need to grab something from a refrigerator, get everything you need in one go instead of two or three. Speed comes with time and familiarity, as muscle memory takes over. Just don't be slow and inefficient.
Do not waste anything. When transferring food from a container use a spatula to get every last bit of it out.
If you aren't doing something, clean something or ask what else you can do.