5 Ways To Prepare For an Interview — On Zoom or IRLFeb 15, 2022
Okay party people, interview time.
I have a secret. I LOVE interviews. Honestly, it’s true! It was the same throughout Uni when I was trying to land many, many interviews in the fashion industry from internships to Junior roles. Guess what are actually fun? Interviews! Like I love interviews, you should too and I am going to show you how.
1. THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP
So, how do you get excited like me? Well, that’s down to your mindset but also down to the brand and the opportunity. This is why it is SO IMPORTANT to make your ultimate hit-list and reach out to the brands you would LOVE to work for to try and find potential opportunities. As opposed to just applying online to roles that you are not in love with because you just need a role — we call this spraying and praying.
For example, when I was at Uni I had interviews with the magazine brands I loved, such as Cosmopolitan, because I reached out to them. I got 99% of my interviews. That wouldn't be 99% if I interviewed at a magazine brand your Nan reads in the hairdressers. You gotta FEEL it. It’s like going on a date with someone who isn’t really a bit of you. You aren’t going to be excited and it’s likely it won’t go any further… The same goes for interviews, Honey.
✅ ACTION STEP: Try to find roles that you really LOVE via reaching out or applying to ones that are advertised online. Stop applying to roles you are not really feeling because guess what? It’s likely you won’t get it anyway because it’s so clear to an employer when genuine excitement and passion aren’t there.
2. CHANGE YOUR MINDSET
This is the magic. Once you reframe your mind to be excited about this opportunity rather than anxious or nervous, this is where your world will change. Because guess what? Excitement turns into confidence. Guess what brands love? Confidence. Reframe your thinking to think that your interview is just a casual chat and an opportunity to network with industry, regardless of whether you get it or not. For example, ex-FYI Member Phoebe, once went for an interview and didn't get it, but the guy who held it connected her with an industry pal who needed an intern.
✅ ACTION STEP: Before your interview, look at yourself in the mirror (I know, I know cringe) and tell yourself ‘I’m excited about this interview. I have GOT THIS. I have got this because they see potential in ME. Whatever happens, it’s going to be great’. Then give yourself a high-five in the mirror. Honestly, I do this every morning thanks to Mel Robbins. Also, preparing will give confidence. Get a mate or family member to do a mock interview with you. Just like Sarah did with me a while ago.
3. GET YOUR SPY-MODE ON
As you should already know, researching the brand thoroughly before your interview is crucial. Take a look at their website, socials, their work, what they offer, their USPs, their values etc. Go full spy mode!!! Then pick out what ALIGNS to you. What do you LOVE of theirs? What sparks a fire inside of you? Brands love to hear this. Showing that you have invested time into them will win you big points. For example: 'I LOVED the most recent issue of ELLE that you designed, especially the mixed media collage style spread. The scanned-in fabric samples are genius!’
Also, research the person conducting the interview — check out their LinkedIn, their history, their position and duties for the brand. Notice some commonalities such as studying at the same uni? Mention that in your interview.
✅ ACTION STEP: Set aside one hour at least to do this. Write the main points down on Apple Notes and refresh your memory on them before your interview. Got a Zoom interview? Pop this Apple Note to the side of your screen for reference.
Interview Time! Don't forget to pop your notes to the side!
4. RESEARCH AND REVISE YOU
Like with the brand, spend one-hour researching and revising you. *Shock*... Employers will ask you questions about you, your experience, the projects you have created, your skills, your attributes. Worried that you don’t have any ‘relevant experience’? You do! Think about anything you have done that relates to this role. This could be a uni project or your uni course as a whole. For example, going for a Buying role and you are a Fashion Design Grad? You have Buying and Merchandising experience because you have been subjected to trends, silhouettes, fabrics through 3-years of researching, creating and making on your course. You just gotta dig a little deeper into you.
✅ ACTION STEP: Before any interview, re-read your application, CV, Cover Letter, website, look at your portfolios — get inspired by yourself.
5. BE BRAND YOU (AND THEM)
Time to prepare brand you! Whether you are hopping on a Zoom interview or heading into the office, be brand YOU. From what you are wearing to the CV that you should bring (and your biz card BTW).
As well as this, subtly align to their brand too. For example, don’t rock up to an interview with a sustainable brand, wearing all fast fashion. Got an interview with a luxury brand? Don’t rock up with dirty shoes, holes in your tee or showing your shoulders. Own a piece of the brand's clothing? Wear it! Be you, but be a bit them too. Again, if these are the brands you love anyway, I bet you already naturally align.
If it's a Zoom interview, think about what employers will see. Your surroundings are brand you. I always make sure I have a nice fashion print in the BG or a pink wall. Don’t have a messy background featuring a clothes dryer hanging your socks and pants!
✅ ACTION STEP: If your interview is held on Zoom, add your profile photo or logo, make sure your full name is displayed, and use capitals for professional personalisation. It's my absolute bugbear when it just displays something like Bobsiphone. Go mental and add a brand-you emoji if you want.
I don’t want you to be anxious about interviews. I know this is easier said than done – but as a serious anxious overthinker, I am proof this works. The way you help the anxiety is to frame your mindset to ‘I AM EXCITED’ and to land interviews with brands you love. When you get interviews at brands you truly love, this is the magic. This is when you get to chat to “your people”. Imagine how much easier the interview process is when you are talking to a brand you love, vs a role you are just meh about.
P.S. Don’t be afraid to be nervous, nerves are good because it means you care. Nerves are what will push you to do the best job you can do. Good luck!
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