So today I went to a retail job interview and decided to tell you guys the process I went through and any tips that may help you to be successful. Now I don't want anyone thinking I think I'm an expert on this subject, but it's never a bad thing to have the opportunity to possibly improve. First, I'll go through the process of the interview I had today.
I had to go into the actual store for my interview and after getting my visitor badge waited for all 15 potential employees to arrive. After which we were shown up to the shops top floor to where the staff room was. After being ushered into an interview room we found our name tags on allocated chairs. Now this is when I started to get nervous because there were about 6 interviewers that would be assessing us throughout the process.
It felt a little like dragons den, now for those of you who don't know what that is it is basically a program with these really intimidating investors that people try to sell their business/products to in order be get an investor. At the interview I felt as if I was trying to sell myself. (http://www.school-portal.co.uk/GroupDownloadAttachment.asp?GroupId=463813&AttachmentID=425873)
However, after being with them for less than 15 minutes you realise they are actually all really friendly and just want you to be successful.
First Part of the interview
We introduced ourselves to the group and told them why we wanted to work for the brand. We then got split into groups to do an activity about qualities needed in an employee. After that we had to try to sell a random object to the rest of the group. This was really daunting at the time because you feel unprepared, but just look at the positives and benefits of what you’re trying to sell when you try to sell it.
I had to sell a doughnut shaped cushion which was navy, red and white (sailor themed) for children. I said:
- It has a fleece outer layer and polyester filling which means it will be soft and comfortable (the label told me what was in it)
- The store sells other products in the sailor theme if you don't want to buy a cushion (I didn't know this but you’re meant to pretend you know what you’re talking about)
- The colours will brighten up the room
- Unique shape - keeps children's interest
- Perfect as a Christmas gift for a child
Don't worry if you have to do this they will give you a couple of minutes to think of things to say!
Second Part of the interview
This was the point when the interviewers stepped outside to deliberate who would gets to one-to-one interviews - which I got through to. This is when one of the interviews sits down to ask you common interview questions such as: why do you want to work for the brand? Tell me a time you received good or bad customer service? Tell me about the brand? When are you available? What would you do in this situation?... etc.
Be smiley, friendly and approachable.
You will catch the interviewers’ attention especially in group interviews! They will think you’re a confident, positive person even if you’re really nervous!
Now I know better than most that it is difficult to be confident when you are so nervous you feel sick! But I have a way to make myself more confident I pretend that its not an actual interview in my head. Now you may think this is strange but if you pretend its a test run for the real thing it takes all the pressure you or others that may be putting on you!
The worst thing you can do is start to fiddle with your hair or your fingers, this shows what you feel inside... plain nerves! I try to just put my hands on each other and cross my legs so I'm not tempted to start fidgeting around.
The employer doesn't want to catch staring out the window when they talk to you, this makes them feel they haven't got you 100% attention. This causes a bad impression as it may seem as if you are boring them too.
I know how sometimes you can find it easier to look at something else when concentrating but try to at least look in the direction of the person. BUT do not constantly stare into the interviewers’ eye this will just cause awkwardness and discomfort for you both.
I don't wear suits to interviews; I normally try to look smart wearing just all black. It is important to look clean, smart and professional. I didn't wear a suit to this interview because it was for a retail job and so isn't an extremely academic high paid role. Also I personally was meeting friends afterwards and didn't have time to change so wearing this jacket after my interview made my outfit seem more casual.
Try not to over think what you should wear to an interview as long as it looks smart and professional you will be fine!
Top from Topshop £18, Trousers from River Island £30, Black loafers from Topshop £28 and Jacket from H&M £15 (on sale).
Face: Mac studio fix fluid foundation (shade NC25), Rimmel Wake Me Up concealer
Eyes: Urban decay naked palette shades: Naked and Buck. Maybelline the falsies mascara
Lips: Christian Dior Addict Lip Glow