Honey first things first, the Devil Wears Prada is not real. If you’re going for an interview in fashion or any type of creative course – not everyone is like Miranda Priestly. There will be some, let’s not forget that, however remember the people who are interviewing you are still just that. PEOPLE. Now ladies before I go off on a LARGE and probably irrelevant tangent let’s get into just HOW to do the best interview of your career.
1. Be authentic
Now let’s take it back to the first thing that you would do WAY before the interview is even a spec on your horizon, and that is LOOK for somewhere to work/study. Whether you’re just starting in the industry that you want to work in or you’re applying for universities by the bucket load, make sure that you are AUTHENTIC. Don’t worry if you’re great aunt is telling you to go to Cambridge because it’s amazing and will look amazing in your life prospectus. Choose somewhere that is going to suit YOU. Working or studying somewhere that you don’t know can be daunting, however the first step is realise that you’re applying to work for them as much as they’re applying to work for YOU. You aren’t just a part of their team or their student body, they’re aiding you and working for you to boost your potential and to ensure that you get THE best out of the situation that you’re in. You should choose somewhere that is going to be mutually beneficial for both parties and somewhere that will benefit your authentic self.
2. Calm down with the research
Don’t get me wrong ladies, doing research before you go to a university or a new job or an internship is JUST what you need to be doing. Get to know the people, the surroundings, the course, the placement, the position, how good the tea is, these are ALL important things that we need to be doing. HOWEVER, remember that whenever you go somewhere for the first time for the interview, that it’s a FEELING more than anything. Know that yes, you need to research the role or the course and know what you’re doing, and a bit about the company etc, however remember that you’re not going to find out everything from sitting on google at 3am looking at the amount of charity shops in the local vicinity. Relax, and remember that an interview is there to help you get to know the place so don’t worry that you don’t know everything about wherever you’re going for interview because you will soak up ALL the feelings and emotions when you’re there. I promise.
3. Don’t compromise your passion
If I’ve learnt anything through this process of application and interview is to not comprise your passion for thing you’re trying to accomplish. When in your interview, never shy yourself down and down sell yourself. Up sell yourself because sadly we live in a capitalist world where all analogies revolve around selling and exploitation. If you adore something and want it to be your life, then TELL them that. I had an interview recently where my practical experience for the role was minimal however I had to use the passion angle to be able to try and sell myself for the role, and show that I WANT it and they NEED me. Also don’t feel like somewhere is ‘TOO BIG’ for you. I have had that drama at the moment when it comes to applying for fashion internships, and I’ve come across placement options for designer labels and I’m just like CAN I DO THAT? FOR THEM? ME? Of course I can. And these positions are always the most sought after however if you have the passion and the literal drive to just apply, who knows what you can achieve? Oh wait … you do. It’s everything!
4. Don’t google it
The worst thing people do when it come to interview tips is to google what to do, when in actual fact this just gives you jargon that has been spewed out from corporate boring vanilla heads who are just TOO corporate to function. Don’t forget that amongst all the drama of an interview, you are literally TWO people (more if it’s a group interview obviously) and for a second, take away the hierarchy of the situation and just realise that you’re two people with wants and needs and nerves and anticipation. The interviewer is also nervous, 100%, so don’t think that you’re the only one in the hot seat. Be personable, maybe throw a joke in or two about yourself or the fact that your hand is cold when you handshake, just SOMETHING that makes you come across in the best and most professional yet HUMAN way.
5. Any Questions?
My favourite question is to ask the interviewer why THEY wanted to work for the company. What made someone else want to work for the company that you’re going to work with? Why did THEY choose to teach at this university? This is much an interview of you as it is of them, and get as much out of them as possible. (This links into how mutually beneficial you are going to be for each other in the company). This will be the only cliche interview tip today but DO always try and have a question, even if you think it’s naive or bizarre, it won’t be. Even if it’s simple and obvious, ask because it shows that there’s been a thought process during the interview and that you haven’t just been sat there like ‘OH so that’s where I recognise those shoes from’ (literally me). A good question actually (lord I’m giving ALL my secrets away) is ‘OH so when will I hear back from you about the interview’ because it’s applicable to every interview and ties in the fact that you’re interested in the role. You’re welcome.
LADIES don’t despair, if you think the company isn’t right, the role isn’t right, or everything’s not right, you have the right to not take the job if you’re offered it. For example I have been on interviews recently where the role is perfect but the company has just been too corporate and non-personable so if you can’t imagine yourself in the staff/year group photo then honey don’t take it. Be clever and remember that although career/student progression is important, so is your health and your HAPPINESS in a job/university.
I hope that’s helped you ladies in your interview/internship woes! Deep breaths, have a cuppa tea and just act like you have the role already and you’ll ace it ok! And if you don’t, THE WORLD WILL NOT END! AND YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE! Don’t beat yourself up ok because there is SO much more out there I promise.
Good luck ladies, and if all else fails just imagine the interviewer is me and we are just having a good ol’ chinwag.