Interviewing for a
career in fashion carries the same
rules as interviewing for a position in any other industry. The only
exception is that there's a little more flexibility in choosing the
ideal interview outfit. Since fashion is a creative industry, the job
candidates need not show up in a
navy blue suit, nude stockings, navy blue pumps, and a set of
Although the job candidate should be dressed in professional attire,
there is a bit more room for personal expression and fashion flair. A
well tailored dress , scarf, and heels is appropriate as is a stylish
yet somewhat conservative
blouse accented with minimal
How to Ace an Interview
1. Be 5 to 10 minutes early – Punctuality is a
clue to future behavior. Call if there is the slightest chance of being
2. Be enthusiastic – First impressions
dramatically affect the ultimate decision.
3. Be involved – The most effective interviews
are those where an active two-way conversation prevails. Interject
inquisitive and probing insight and do not let the interview turn into
just a question and answer period.
4. Remain attentive – Stay alert and never let
your guard down. Maintain eye contact. Sit forward in your chair with
good posture. Be animated. Your enthusiasm will breed enthusiasm in the
5. Be self-confident – Unless you are confident
in yourself, the interviewer will not be confident in your ability to do
6. Don’t get cocky – Confident, Yes. Arrogant
and overbearing, No! This is a key reason top people don’t get offers.
7. Be positive about past and current employers
– Do not “bad-mouth" previous positions, companies, or employers. No
matter how well founded, this implies a negative attitude, one typical
of those who do not take personal responsibility for their actions.
8.. Go alone – Never bring anyone with you to an
9. Do not smoke or eat – Refuse cigarettes and
only eat at a luncheon interview.
10. Use a FIRM handshake – For both men and
1. After an initial exchange of amenities, your
first question should be: “I understand what a (TITLE) does, but in
order to make sure we are both on the same wavelength, what are the
duties and responsibilities of the position?" The interviewer’s response
will give you a blueprint of what he or she expects of the successful
2. Let the interviewer know that you want to
demonstrate clearly HOW YOU WILL DO the work that needs to be done.
3. Focus on what YOU CAN DO for the employer and
turn the interview into a solution to the employer’s problems or
Intuitive questions to
1. If I were hired, what would be my top
priority? – This question will tell you whether you can do the job and
if you want the job. Give examples of your accomplishments in this area.
2. If I were hired, what would be my first
project or production goal? – This will tell you if production goals are
realistic and attainable. Talk about accomplishments in this area.
3. If I perform well, where might the position
lead? –This will tell whether the position is consistent with your
4. What characteristics, personal and technical,
must a person possess to be successful in this position?
5. What criteria are used to judge successful
performance in this position?
6. What are the most critical aspects of this
7. What exactly does this company value the
most, and how do you think my work for you will further these values?
8. What’s the most important thing I can do to
help within the first 90 days of my employment?
9. In what areas could your team use a little
10. When top performers leave the company, why
do they leave, and where do they usually go? I am very interested in
this job, and I know your endorsement is key to my receiving an offer.
May I have your endorsement?
Questions NOT to ask
1. DO NOT ASK Compensation and benefits –
Especially during the first interview. If asked a compensation question
respond by answering “I am currently earning $$$$$ and would expect a
reasonable increase to make a move."
2. DO NOT ASK What the standard hours of
business are, or how much time you would have at lunch. – Asking these
question connote clock watching, and will question your commitment to
getting the job done. Make the interviewer aware of any bona fide time
constraints you may have at either end of the day. It is better to
comment, “I am accustomed to working whatever hours necessary to get the
job done. Does this position require extensive overtime on a regular
Most frequently asked questions
1. Why would you want to work here? – Good
reasons would be: career opportunity, known growth tracks of current
employees, reputation of the company, the position or company meets your
career objectives. Poor reasons would be: compensation, benefits, that
you NEED a job, proximity to home. The interviewer must feel you want
the job for the right reasons.
2. What are your short and long term career
goals? – Be consistent.. Short and long term goals should be compatible.
If your short-term goal is a position with a corporation, your long-term
goal should be an upper level position (speak in general terms to show
that you have flexibility and versatility, not toward a specific
position) as long as the company’s and your objectives continue to be
compatible. Your long-term goal in this case should not be to own your
3. What is your biggest strength? – Give
examples and elaborate. Do not just use superlatives (hard working,
4. What is your biggest weakness? – Do not give
a standard response (I’m too hard on myself, I’m a workaholic, or I’m
too detailed). A good response would be a lack of exposure in an area
not too closely related to the position at hand.
5. Be prepared for closed-end questions –
(questions that require a yes or no response) Don’t just answer yes or
6. Why are you leaving your current position? –
Do not bad-mouth previous employers. Do not sound too opportunistic.
State that you have given your decision to pursue the opportunity, it is
your personal consideration, or that due to changes with you current
employer, opportunities appear to be limited.
7. What is your most significant accomplishment?
– Prepare extensively for this question, and SELL YOURSELF!! Tell at
least a two-minute story.
Keep your audience in mind – Are you speaking to
a technical person, a Human Resource representative, or both? Try not to
speak overly technically to an interviewer that may not be as technical
as yourself, but ask more general questions about the company and its
employees. Do not underestimate Human Resource’s influence in the hiring
process; Please treat this interview component accordingly.
1. Recap the interviewer’s major problems and
needs and quickly summarize how you will solve those problems and why
you are the best fit for the position.
2. State that you feel your qualifications
closely match their requirements and ask the interviewer if they agree.
3. Address any immediate concerns you may have.
4. Offer to address any questions or concerns
that the interviewer may have.
5. Ask for the Job!! – Most candidates never do.
An effective way to ask would be “I am very interested in this position,
and I am prepared to accept an offer if extended." OR “I am interested
in pursing this opportunity. What would be the next step?"
6. Try to obtain a business card of the people
with whom you interview.. Their card will have the correct spelling of
their name and their title for the thank you note.
Don't forget to send THANK YOU NOTES to the
person that gave you the interview. Take extra care to ensure that
the letter is grammatically correct and that there are no misspellings
By Regina Cooper
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