Many fashion industry hopefuls set their sights on where they will work and what they will do in an exciting professional landscape, but in doing so, lose sight of some of challenges which lie closer to home - like the all important interview. Interviews for jobs within the fashion industry can be a minefield: what to wear? What to bring? What to say? Let our guide to the process help you navigate a couple of classic interview pitfalls...
What to wear
Like any job, interviewees for positions in the fashion industry worry about what to wear! Business-casual may be the norm for jobs in retail or the financial sectors, but in fashion, you want to be able to demonstrate to your potential employers that you understand the world in which you are applying to work.
Flamboyant styles, like neon leopard print leggings and see-through tops, are not necessarily the best choice for fashion industry interviews - especially in entry-level positions: employers will be looking for candidates who can demonstrate their creativity without compromising their professionalism. Instead of loud, extravagant style gestures, you should be ready to express yourself by other means - blazers and trousers can be an ideal canvas for self expression and you should think about colour and texture over actual item-types of clothing. Fashion interview style tips include:
- Comfort: wear clothes that feel good. Interviews are intense, pressurised situations - if you aren't comfortable in the clothes you are wearing, your performance may suffer.
- Focus point: instead of trying to wow interviewers with every item of clothing, choose one clever focus point which will make an impact and complement the rest of your outfit.
- Details: build in small, smart details to accent your outfit. Zips, stitching, prints, patterns - small details can be memorable and impress fashion professionals who will be looking for individuality.
What to bring
Fashion industry interviews for creative positions will, more often than not, require interviewees to demonstrate their abilities. Hopeful designers will be expected to have developed a portfolio of work, or may be asked to bring an item of clothing they designed. In either case, keep these portfolio tips in mind:
- Range: interviewers won't have time to go through every last piece of your work - so select a range which best represents you and could provide talking points.
- Skills: include work in your portfolio which demonstrates more than just your creative side - fashion craft, like sewing, knitting and needlework, can be a valuable asset to employers.
- Ambition: don't be afraid to use your portfolio to show employers your ambition. Use concept art and ideas to show your experimental side.
- Digital or physical: you won't necessarily have to bring a physical copy of your portfolio - find out whether you can send a digital version to your interviewers. Read our guide on submitting a digital portfolio here
Lots of employers include portfolio requirements on their website - make sure you know them ahead of time. If a position comes down to two candidates, a professional portfolio can make all the difference.
Don't get too hung up on what to wear or what to bring to your fashion interview - once you've decided on your look and your portfolio, stick with them and be confident. It's so easy to over-think an interview that you can lose sight of important factors, like making a positive impression with your interviewers and ensuring your talent, skills and personality shine through!
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