7 tips for leaving an impression at a fashion industry job interview

words Al Woods

fashion industry job

A multitude of young, talented, and skilled professionals are clamoring for a job in the fashion industry. Career opportunities for fashion designers, purchasers, and other similar roles are barely growing or are in decline and therefore, the competition in the industry is intense. To get a leg up on other job seekers and to land your dream job, you need to nail your interview. Here’s how to do it:

1. Get an Internship First

A successful interview is tough if you have no actual, relevant work experience. A great way to get work experience is to land a noteworthy internship. It’s easier to get this position than a paying job, as many companies are willing to hire and train interns new to the industry.

If you have an internship under your belt, you can talk about specific skills and real-life experience and knowledge in your interview. Employers are always more interested in talking to job candidates who have relevant experience.

2. Strengthen Your Online Presence

In any industry, having an excellent online presence and reputation sets individuals apart from other job candidates, but this is even more important in fashion. Fashion is a visual industry and is all about design and looks. Your online presence, including social media profiles, need to show not just work experience and professionalism, but also your fashion sense and knowledge of the industry. Here are some things you can do online impress interviewers:

  • Develop a strong LinkedIn profile. Treat it like an online resume.
  • Follow fashion industry leaders on social media.
  • Follow trendsetters and influencers in fashion.
  • Keep social media sites professional. Interviewers will check them.

3. Be Fluent in the Lingo

Knowing fashion terminology is essential, or you risk blowing the whole interview. You must know the industry at a basic level at minimum to show any potential employers that you belong here. Do your homework on trends as well, so you’re up to date on what’s new in fashion.

Impress an interviewer by knowing the technological side of fashion as well. For instance, PLM systems for apparel brands are frequently used to streamline the product development process in the industry. Maybe you even worked with product lifecycle management software in your internship. This highlights your versatility and what you can contribute as an employee. Understanding tech trends will help set you apart from other job candidates.

4. Dress to Impress

First impressions count, so give careful thought to how you look for each interview. In the fashion world specifically, what you wear to make that first impression can make the difference between getting the job and being instantly rejected. Fashion editors and other professionals offer advice online, including personal stories on how to dress for interviews. Leverage that information wisely.

Dress appropriately for each specific job for which you have an interview. For instance, a job with a conservative fashion label may call for a suit, while an interview at a trendy, hip new magazine might be more casual and give you a chance to show off your style.

5. Be Prepared

Always come to interviews prepared. It shows the interviewer that you are serious about the job. Do some homework on the company, the position, and any related topics. It also helps to prepare with practice interviews. Have a friend help you with a staged interview, including tough questions. The more you prepare, the more comfortable and confident you will feel at the actual interview.

6. Ask Questions

As part of your preparation, think of questions to ask the interviewer. Researching the company should help you come up with some things to ask, but there are also general questions that will show your genuine interest in the job:

  • What are you looking for in a hire for this position?
  • Who will I work with at this job?
  • What kinds of qualifications do you require?
  • What is a typical workday like here?
  • Are there opportunities to advance from this position?

These questions show you are serious about the career opportunity, and you want to learn and grow within the industry.

7. Send a Thank You

First impressions are essential, but a lasting impression is even more impactful. Not only does a thank you note or small gift remind the interviewer that you are still interested in the job, but it also highlights essential people skills. A note is enough, but include a personalized message, something from the interview that will help them remember you.

Interviewing for a job in the fashion industry can seem like a competitive sport. If you take some time to prepare, research your subject, dress to impress, and to follow up, landing that dream position can be a reality.

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