Former editor in chief of Vogue Australia Kirstie Clements shares her advice on how to work magic in a job interview.
The prospect of working at a high fashion magazine was the holy grail for so many, we were constantly inundated with enquiries. The deputy editor Leigh Ann had the task of culling the enormous amounts of CVs that arrived each week, just to get them to a manageable pile.
“I finally realised what it is that annoys me” she said, placing a couple of applications on my desk that she had actually deemed possibilities. “They all mention what Vogue could do for them – indulge their passion for fashion, magazines, travel. They hardly ever mention what skills they could bring to Vogue.”
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In my new book, Impressive How to Have A Stylish Career (MUP) I tackle the subject of how to ace a job interview, gleaning advice from more than thirty colleagues and professionals who are all top of their game in the fashion and media industries. Here’s my top list of what not to do.
1). Don’t be underprepared.
Take the time to learn about the company you are asking to join, what their business is and does, what campaigns etc they are currently producing, what awards/wins they have had. They will be impressed that you took the time and did the research.
2) Don’t apply for one position actually wanting another one.
Ambition is natural and important , but an employer doesn’t want to know about your fashion styling capabilities if the job they want filling is clerical. Do the job you are supposed to do, and raise your ambitions later. Much later. After you have aced the first role.
3) Don’t be late.
No one cares about the bus schedules, the traffic, the alarm that didn’t go off. Be 15 minutes early. And never, ever, walk in late with a takeaway coffee in your hand.
(I’ve never recovered from that one).
4) Don’t overdress, or underdress.
There seems to be an assumption that if you are going for a job in fashion you have to dress like the latest street style star, or in head to toe expensive labels. It’s preferable to just wear something simple and tailored, with some great shoes, or one piece of statement jewellery, and let your personality be the centerpiece. Most employers cite grooming as the first thing they notice, meaning they zero in on dirty hair, or chipped nails. And don’t wear fakes – a fantastic Zara tote is better than a faux Vuitton.