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Sarah: The 2 Things That Helped Me Land a Role at Oh Polly

interns + grads Sep 20, 2021

 Ex-FYI Member and Graphic Design wizz, Sarah, has just landed her dream role; Graphic Designer at fashion brand, Oh Polly. So, what do we think sealed the deal?! A multitude of things... Sarah had relevant design experience and a killer portfolio to prove it. Sarah was also a super-engaged FYI Member, who always showed up and absorbed our advice. All that paired with an FYI Mock Interview — the stars aligned and she got the role! Let's hear the deets on how she did it and how you can follow in her footsteps...





1. Before getting the dream role, what were you up to?
I was freelancing for a brand consultancy business as well as working for my own clients - mainly creating brands for start-up businesses.

A slice of Sarah's incredible portfolio...


2. Did you have any previous work experience? If so, what?
I graduated in 2019 and started freelancing pretty much straight after. I also did a work placement when I was at uni which was a couple of weeks at a well-known online travel agency.

3. Before securing the role, what was your job hunting experience?
I had PLENTY of bumps in the road. I experienced a lot of rejections when I was fresh out of uni. Something I struggled with the most was probably getting past the initial round of applications, I rarely got replies let alone interviews! One experience, in particular, was so frustrating and knocked my confidence massively. I submitted a portfolio and CV, had an interview, then was asked to submit not one but two design briefs on two different occasions. They took AGES to get back to me after I submitted the second one (which I took as not great news anyway). Turns out they never filled the position in the end up. I felt pretty used after that so that’s when I started taking my freelancing more seriously as I’d lost all hope in the world lol.

4. Million dollar question — how did you get this role and what was the process?
I had new job alerts set up on various websites. Spotted the ad and inquired about the role. After I submitted a portfolio and CV, I was asked to complete a few design tasks that were representative of the brand and their various campaigns. When I passed that part of the application process I had a lot of faith in my own work and felt really confident that my design skills had got me this far.

To be honest, it was all down to the interview! Obviously, FYI’s mock interview helped MASSIVELY in my preparation for the interview, that goes without saying! I also found taking notes into the interview with me to refer back to if needed really helped me keep calm and eliminated any worry that I’d forget to say something or make a particular point. In the end, I rarely referred to my notes but it was still great to keep them to hand in case I froze up or hit a blank. I was told to expect an answer the following week but I heard back later that day with a job offer and I was completely made up!

5. How did FYI specifically help you get the role?
When I was an FYI member looking for work last year I took a lot of inspiration from the CV templates, what to include, how they should look, etc and I took all that on board for this application process. But the main GAME CHANGER was definitely my mock interview session with Jasmine. It prepared me in ways I definitely didn’t expect. I went into my actual interview with soooo much confidence within myself and my work. When my interview was over I was obviously anxious about whether they'd find someone else but I knew I had done everything I could for the position and it was now out of my hands!

6. Has your employer told you what made you stand out?
When I got the call to say I got the job they told me that they were impressed with my interview (I think? I swear I was in shock during the call) so I’m putting it down to the interview prep I had with FYI because TBH I normally interview TERRIBLY and leave thinking “oh my god I forgot to say this… oh no I should’ve said that instead.”
7. What is your top advice for anyone struggling/stressing about getting a role?
Honestly, just trust the process. It sounds ridiculously cliche but it’s so, so true. I thought I’d walk into a design role straight after uni and all I got was rejections and a global pandemic! Use everything to your advantage, ask for feedback any chance you get and just constantly tweak and add to your CV and portfolio. While you are job hunting, start a personal project for your portfolio… something you really care about and are passionate about, something that shows your personality and values. It’ll give employers a chance to see what kind of things make you tick and what your design style is like. Or even take up some freelance work if you’re able to, just keep busy and enthusiastic about your industry/career. If you face some rejections, it just wasn’t right for you at the time!

randing project by Sarah: OFFXSPRINGZ
9. If you looked at your approach to applying before, compared to after with FYI’s help — what are the main differences?
CONFIDENCE. After my interview with Jasmine I can’t even explain it I just felt so sure of myself. And trust me, that’s UNHEARD of for me. I felt confident in myself, my work, and what I was all about. Also, my CV got a major facelift which definitely didn’t go a miss!
10. Thank you so much for sharing your story Sarah — what does the future hold for you?
Right now I plan on learning the ropes from my new colleagues, growing as a designer, and developing my skill set with this exciting company!
EEEEEK this makes us so god damn happy! YES Sarah... Seeing you flourish into your future and having the confidence you deserve is just pure magic ✨  Honey, if you need a little help with your CV or upcoming interview — book in for an FYI Mock Interview or become an FYI Member and take your CV to the next level.


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