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I had an interview yesterday at a firm I have been chasing for many months.

I felt the interview went well, though I was a bit nervous.

In my interest section on my CV I have written that I went to a culinary school a few summers ago, and it was actually a discussion point in the interview.

I wonder if it would be appropriate to send a box of homemade cupcakes, brownies or similar along with a hand written note? Or should I stick with the traditional route of email? I'm seeking unpaid intern work.

I'm in the UK (London) and a bit worried it may be interpreted along the lines of bribery. I know that this sort of a gesture would be appreciated in many parts of the world, but I'm not sure if we in the UK are a bit too reserved and conservative?

They are an informal small firm - approximately 20 of them, all male. As a woman, if I do this, would I be setting myself up for "you belong in the kitchen"-type comments?

67

I wouldn't, while there's a chance that it would just be appreciated as a nice gesture (and the cakes/brownies enthusiastically devoured) it would be unlikely to sway the hiring decision in your favor by any appreciable margin, and would you really want to work for someone who hired you for a non-culinary role based on your baking skills?

Worst case would be that they would view it as light form of bribery (which would be hard to dispute) and make a moral judgement against you as a result.

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    you really want to work for someone who hired you for a non-culinary role based on your baking skills? I'd think it's more about the gesture than the culinary skill displayed. Bad cooking, however, might still affect their opinion though ;) – Flater May 18 '18 at 15:12
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    Worst case scenario : they get food poisoning. :-) Seriously this sounds like something many people would say was bribery. Interviews are part of a formal hiring process - don't mess with that process as it can only lead to trouble. – StephenG May 18 '18 at 21:43
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    On top of that, it can also come off as a bit needy - you don't want to give that impression to an employer – Ant May 19 '18 at 9:57
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    Additionally, the person in charge of the hiring decision may try to make the decision without taking into account the gift and overcorrect (ie. not hire OP because they don't want to look like they hired a person just because of a gift) – Dean MacGregor May 19 '18 at 16:14
  • I'm a female who works in IT in a mostly male environment, I'm a decent cook (nobody has died from my cooking, or at least lived to tell the tale), and there's no way I'd do this. It just sends all the wrong signals. – Jane S May 21 '18 at 5:52
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Doing this instead of a thank-you email would seem a little weird and unexpected. Anyone who liked them would want to thank you, but since they can't contact you, they can't.

It would probably be better for you to bring in some home-bakes when you get hired - it's a great way of meeting your colleagues.

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    I agree with your second point. I actually did this after accepting a job offer and went into the office to "meet the team" prior to officially starting, with a couple of boxes of well known donuts. Very well received indeed, and was a talking point for months afterwards. – AdzzzUK May 18 '18 at 11:22
  • Make sure you ask about allergies and dietary restrictions if you do that. I HATE when employees bring in stuff and put me in the awkward position of 'not participating with the group' because I can't eat what they brought in. – Adonalsium May 18 '18 at 14:43
  • In a similar sense, it is possible to bring some food at the actual interview and offer some in a very informal gesture :"Oh I made some cupcakes with me that I baked this morning, if you'd want to try one". Obivously it would seel to be too late for that now – everyone May 18 '18 at 16:00
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    @everyone I definitly wont do that in an interview, unless is a bakery position. – Juan Carlos Oropeza May 18 '18 at 16:46
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I agree with the current answers stating that you should not send baked goods. However, I offer an alternative that may help them remember you without looking like bribery.

If baking was a discussion point in the interview and the interviewer seemed personally interested in the topic or, even better, a particular dish, you could include the recipe with your thank you message.

During our discussion, you mentioned an interest in [dish]. I've attached my favorite recipe so you can try it some time.

In my experience, if you're memorable, you may well get a nickname. "The chef" generally has positive connotations and sending the recipe would be something they don't see much. If you can positively stand out in their memory, so much the better.


This seemed too answer-y for a comment and too comment-y for an answer so I hope it fits.

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    In response to your "too comment-y for an answer" bit: There's nothing wrong with saying "no, but you should do X instead" as an answer. :) – V2Blast May 19 '18 at 4:59
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Given the number of whack-jobs out there with a grievance and a twisted desire to act upon it, I would toss any such "gift" into the trash out of an abundance of caution.

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