If you work in the fashion and retail sphere, you know just how important first impressions can be! You also know how much work it takes to start off on the right foot. And when you get invited to interview for a new job opportunity, the rules of putting in the effort to prepare definitely apply.
“Interview prep is something all professionals should take part in, but if you work in the fashion and retail industry, there are some very specific ways to get ready for the interview,” says Rif Saleh, a Staffing Manager in The Execu|Search Group’s Fashion & Retail division. “The key to acing these interviews is demonstrating a flawless balance of experience and knowledge of the company’s brand.”
In order to get ready for your next fashion and retail interview, be sure to take these 3 steps into account:
Visit the company’s store
Among the fashion and retail space, one of the most universally-shared values in an employee is their knowledge of the brand and company culture. “If you haven’t already, visit the company’s store before the interview,” says Jaymee Kruysman, a Staffing Manager within The Execu|Search Group’s Fashion & Retail division. “Employers respond well to candidates who share the company’s values and who can serve as a brand representative should they receive a job offer. However, this is difficult to prove if you are unfamiliar with the store.” When there, be sure to take note of the environment, the type of person who shops there, and any particular amenities the store may offer. This type of knowledge usually leads to an impressed interviewer!
Anticipate situational questions
Though it is common for employers in various industries to ask you situational questions, fashion and retail companies place extra emphasis on these questions during interviews. Since many candidates will be on a similar plane regarding skills and experience, employers evaluate how potential candidates anticipate reacting to certain situations as a way to identify the best fit for the role. As you go through the interview process, you’ll want to ensure that you know how your past experiences have prepared you for managing difficult situations that could arise.
Ensure your portfolio is complete and accessible
As you finalize an interview time and location, you’ll also want to ask about logistics regarding your portfolio. “Before your interview, it’s important to make sure you have all of your bases covered in terms of portfolio presentation,” says Jaymee. “If you use a tablet or laptop to access your portfolio for example, ensure you’ll be able to access the company’s Wi-Fi connection during the interview.” Additionally, you’ll want to ask if there are any types of particular projects or skills they would like to see. Having this knowledge in mind will help you determine which projects you want to present, and will also help you to define talking points you’ll want to go over during the interview!