Fail to plan, plan to fail! To successfully make it through a job interview preparation is key. When it comes to retail, this asks for even more specific fashion-oriented preparation. We give you 9 tips to prepare and slide your way through the interview most effortlessly.
#1 Do your fashion research
Most importantly, know your fashion stuff! This begins with researching the website and knowing the history of the brand. If you know what role and department you are interviewing for, research those as well. Think of a brand that you like on the particular floor you will be working on and think of your favourite brand in general. Know the trends in the retail industry. Also be sure to have answer ready as to why you have chosen the brand you want to work for over other competitors and what sets it apart.
#2 Bring your CV
It always comes across as thoughtful and attentive to bring your CV along to the interview. Meanwhile, make sure you are able to confidently talk the interviewer through your resume. If there are gaps on your CV, be prepared to explain why.
#3 Think of who you are as a person
A retail interview is often not only about retail, your professional experience and the business side of things. The interviewer may also be interested in getting to know you as a person. So think about what gets you going and what you enjoy doing in life. This does not have to be fashion-related - don’t be afraid to show yourself and your personality!
#4 Answer carefully and thoughtfully
Don’t rush into answering a question. It’s better to take a few seconds to pause and think the question through so you can provide a thoughtful answer. If you don’t understand the question, it’s completely fine to ask for more explanation.
#5 Know your (fashion) media
If you are interviewing for a stylist or sales position, managers may also be interested in hearing about the media you are interested in. Have a few magazines and blogs in mind that you like to read and a few Instagram accounts of stylists, bloggers, models or other fashion icons that you follow.
#6 Ask clever retail questions
Have some clever questions ready. You can ask these at the end of the interview or in-between, as it should be a naturally flowing conversation. Ask the manager, for example: Do you know what the top selling brand in store and the department is? Why did you start working at this business/in retail? What sets this fashion brand apart from others? What’s the best and the worst thing about your job? What could the department do better?
#7 Bring out your creative talent
Fashion and retail is a creative business so don’t be afraid to bring out your creative talent! If you enjoy being a blogger, designer or photographer on the side, bring your portfolio along. Show your passion and that you have a fashion interest outside of work.
#8 Know the commercial activity
It’s always good to look into recent commercial activity of the brand you are interviewing for and what has been happening recently in terms of launches, projects etc. You may be asked about a display, campaign or event. The website and Google [news section] is very helpful in this regard. Make sure you have an opinion on these activities as well.
#9 Visit the store
Visit a store of the brand you are interviewing for in advance. Think about your experience at the store, and particularly what is good about it and what could be better. The interviewer may ask you about this. Don’t be afraid to bring out the areas for improvement and what would you would bring to the business if you had the opportunity.