Written by Kimberley Startup | October 18, 2013
You’ve made a good impression via your application and now it’s time for the interview, but the question is… are you prepared? Whether your role is that of a part time sales assistant, visual merchandiser or concession manager, there are some key elements to keep in mind when you’re doing your preparation to ensure you shine above the rest.
To help you on your way to your new role, Webrecruit have put together their top tips of things to consider when preparing for your fashion retail interview.
Who’s the target customer?
As a customer out on a shopping trip, many of your favourite fashion retailers may appear to sell a lot of similar products but behind each brand there will be a different target audience – who is it? Hit their website and do some digging. If you can’t find a definitive answer, really consider the cut and style of the clothing and who it might suit age and personality wise.
What’s on trend?
Fashion is a fast moving environment that is driven by trends interpreted from the big London catwalk shows. It is an almost certainty that you will be asked about trends in your interview. Again, visit the company website and also treat yourself to some fashion magazines and do some homework.
Love the customer
Retail is driven by the customer; above all tasks, your first priority will always be to provide exceptional customer service. Prepare some examples where you have helped customers in your past experience. If this is your first role in retail, think about times where you have experienced really good service as a customer.
Dress to impress
The dress code for an interview for a fashion retail role is a hard one to crack, it’s important to look smart but it’s also great to look on trend yourself. Your interviewer will know their brand’s stock so if you have recently purchased an item of clothing from them (that’s suitable for interview), wearing it is bound to impress.
Practice your styling skills
It is very common in a fashion retail interview to be given a customer scenario such as, ‘a customer has a meal out with friends coming up she wants to look her best – she doesn’t like wearing trousers, loves big silver jewellery, really likes floral prints etc.’ You will then be asked to pick out an outfit for her – this is your chance to prove you know your trends and that you can judge the occasion and style of accessories that would be suitable.
Be confident with your maths
A part of your role is likely to involve working on a till handling cash. Although, in most cases, tills will do all the maths for you, still be prepared to be asked about your basic maths skills and how confident you are with cash handling.
Dodge the discount
One of the most common perks of retail work is staff discount. However, try to avoid asking questions on this; it is very likely that your interviewer will tell you this as part of the interview, so hold fire. You don’t want to set the impression that you’re only after the job to save you money on your shopping habit.
There’s no I in team
Expect to be asked at least one teamwork focused question. You will be working closely with a team in your role and most retail stores, especially large ones, have set rules regarding things such as staffing numbers on the shop floor. As such, it is important that you can communicate with your team well.
Know the company
Doing company research is always key for interview preparation. Visit the retailer’s website and try to find some information on when they began and their history to date.
Show your personality
Although nerves can often get the better of us in interviews, it’s important to show your personality. As you will be working with a team and at times it will be busy and stressful, your interviewer will want to see your happy and positive side to reassure them you will be enjoyable to work with.
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