30 Jan 2014

The Interview

Top - Second Hand
Shirt, Necklace & Bag - Topshop
Trousers - Next
Glasses - Firmoo

More awkward than first dates and more pressure than a high-school reunion, job interviews are up there in my "thing's I'd rather sell my Steve Madden shoes than re-experience" list. 

Okay, maybe that's an over-exaggeration, and my Granite's are safe for the time being, but being a horrendously awkward and shy person, trying to sell myself to strangers is one of the hardest things I've ever had to do, but over the past few months I seem to have become a pro.

In the initial "Tell me a little about yourself" first stage, I can probably recite my answer word for word. I like to think I've got a strong handshake, and I've had more eye-contact with interviewers than I have with new boyfriend* over the past week. I can make small talk about the weather, know London well enough to say if "your office is in a GREAT area", and always do a nice follow up email. There's the trick of always accepting a glass of water so you can take a nice big gulp when you need a few seconds. I've even mastered the dreaded, "so what's your salary expectation?" question. 

What I can't seem to do is get hired. And I know it's nothing personal, it's just that the job market in this city is ridiculously competitive, and there's bound to be people more experienced than me out there, but it can be  really disheartening to come out of an interview thinking you aced it, and still not get the job. Sometimes, all I want to do is binge-watch Orange is the New Black and eat chocolate, but I have to force myself to get on with life and start applying all over again. 
After 1 episode and a cheeky Twix, that is. 

The Pretrender's Interview Tips

  • Do your research. It's fine to apply for jobs at companies you might not know much about, but trust me, if they invite you to an interview, get clued up on what they're about. You will get asked what you know about the brand, and it's always better to say "Well, I didn't know much at first, but I've been on your website/read back issues/done some research and learnt..." than "Not much really"
  • Figure out how long it's gonna take you to get there. London gals, if you don't have CityMapper on your phones already, get it.
  • Decide what to wear beforehand, and make sure your outfits ready. Nothing worse than having to change your entire ensemble because your only pair of tights has a ladder.
  • Don't be late! But if you can't avoid it, ring/email/send a carrier pigeon to let them know. 
  • Know your career plan, and if the job you're going for doesn't quite fit it, come up with reasons why the role will help you progress. I recently had an interview for B2B (Business to Business) magazine, where my fashion based CV looked more than a little out of place. But I was able to argue that the role would have given me the hands on general experience I would need to move into another editorial role.
  • Ask questions! Even if everything's been answered, finding out useful stuff like working hours, lunch breaks and holiday shows you want to find out more about the working environment, and it's information you're going to want to know. I like to ask about the typical working day, and what the office is like.

Hopefully my imparted wisdom will help a fellow job seeker! And if any prospective employers are reading this; I'm a very hard worker and have no aversion to sharing my emergency desk chocolate, so hire me? 

*Yes you heard that right, I'm officially off the market. Sorry boys. And by boys I mean Ben and Jerry.

Top - Second Hand
Shirt, Necklace & Bag - Topshop
Trousers - Next
Glasses - Firmoo

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1 comment

  1. I just adore your colorful top! Those are really great tips. I hope you get your dream job soon :)


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