Whether you are embarking into the career world fresh out of University, or finally following your dream of pursuing a job in the fashion industry; the interview process can be daunting!
Waiting by the phone for a call post-interview is just as bad - if not worse - than waiting by the phone for a date to call. It’s the ‘not knowing’ that makes it bad; what exactly did you say or do to sabotage your future career?
Well here you have it, straight from a Fashion Weekly Editor; these are the habits and ways of thinking that are sabotaging your fashion industry career.
1. You don’t dress to impress
While many creative industries embrace a casual work environment and wearing jeans to the office is accepted, you should definitely dress up during the interview process. Opt for a pair of heels you can walk in, smart black trousers and always wear a blazer!
2. You don’t have knowledge of what is happening in the fashion industry
It seems like a basic point, but too often interviewees aren’t aware of what is happening within the industry. Stay up-to-date with the latest trending news through magazines, websites and even social media apps like Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter.
3. You can’t describe your personal style
If you aren’t able to describe your own style using fashion terminology, how is your interviewer supposed to trust that you can describe a street style or catwalk look? ... Do you even speak FARSHUN?
4. You aren't nice to everyone
It is vital to be nice to EVERYONE! Smile at the person in the lift, greet the receptionist warmly and don’t step on any toes.
5. You don’t outline how your skills and experience will benefit the organisation
While you might think you have an impressive list of experience, your skills aren’t valid unless you describe how they would benefit your potential employer or how you could put them into action in the particular work environment.
6. You haven’t done your research... and no, a quick Facebook scan does not suffice
Once you’ve landed an interview, second interview or even a trial at the company; ensure you know EVERYTHING about them! Know all the little details about the company and even assume their working style. For example learn and adopt the writing style of the publication if you are hoping to work in journalism, or the brand’s creative aesthetic if you want to work in the design team.
7. You expect to be at the top straight away
The fashion industry is tough! There is no easy road and you WILL have to do the hard yards. Be open-minded about your tasks and don’t have a bad attitude when you are asked to do something you might not have expected... Even the Fashion Editor sometimes has to steam the dresses!
8. You don’t take initiative
We just told you this industry is a tough one; you can’t expect to be babied by your supervisor. Take initiative when completing tasks and ensure everything is done to the highest standard. If you make other people’s jobs easier, you will be valued.
9. You aren’t open to networking
Due to the competitiveness of the industry, it really is true when they say, “it’s not what you know it’s who you know”.
Opportunities usually arise through connections so always be open to meeting new people and mingling. Asking questions is a great way to keep the conversation going if you are nervous.
TOP TIP: You become familiar with faces, but always make sure to greet people by their names. It adds a personal touch and they will remember you for it.
10. You aren’t willing to accept critique
It is totally natural that you don’t like hearing about what you are doing wrong, BUT critique is vital to career and personal growth. Listen and embrace the advice that those with more experience and knowledge are giving.
Finally, remember your passion, celebrate the small victories and now-and-then, look up from your phone and embrace the moment.
Words: Frances van Eeden