Thursday, 21 August 2014

My Topshop Inteview Experience

Last Tuesday I went for an interview for a huge new Topshop store which is opening near me. I was so nervous but something which really put my mind to rest was reading online about other people's experiences. From what I have read online the interview process varies from store to store. People who have applied to the Oxford Circus Flagship report of having to have about three rounds of interviews. I can't comment on this because I didn't have to do any of this but I thought I'd share my own experience.

About a month ago I decided I needed a job. I went around an area near where I live handing in my CV hopping that I would get called to an interview. I went into the Topshop store and handed in my CV to a really nice guy who said he'd put it on file. I was pretty certain my CV would go straight in the bin, not because he gave off a careless vibe but because a store like that must get so many teenagers like me handing in their CVs that I quite honestly didn't think I had a chance.

3 weeks later I received a call from a woman saying that they had my CV on file and would I be interested in coming to an interview. I was so excited that I got the call I nearly forgot the time and location! It's difficult because they call you on either a 'Blocked Number' or a number which says 'No Caller ID' - make sure you answer the phone because I very nearly didn't thinking it was spam.

On the Tuesday I turned up to the interview about 20 mins early and just waited outside as other applicants gradually appeared. There wasn't really any ice-breaker activities which I was relieved about because that sort of thing makes me really nervous. The interview was split into two stages a group styling task and a one-on-one interview. For the group styling task we were given a customer profile and had to choose an outfit from a rack of clothes provided. I think the outfit must be fashionable and as long as it fulfills the brief and you can justify your decisions when you present it to the group you should do well.

I didn't feel that there was anyone in particular who dominated the group, which is lucky because I had read some real horror stories about this online. They are interested in how you interact with others and how you listen to other peoples opinions and that you have suitable fashion knowledge.

The big issue: 'What to wear?!' People on the whole were pretty casual I though- some too casual in my opinion but I think you need to come and express your own individual style. I wore my black Topshop Mom Jeans with a black leather belt, a black and white striped cropped top a white blazer and my Birkenstocks. My make-up was pretty minimal with a statement lip and my hair back in a messy bun. I accessorised with an orange bag and understated silver jewelry.

The one to one wasn't as scary as I thought it would be and I was put totally at ease by the lovely woman who interviewed me. Just be yourself, be smiley and enthusiastic. She didn't ask me any curve-ball questions only the standard, 'Give me a scenario when you have helped put money in the till' and that sort of thing.

Topshop interview toptips:

1. Arrive 15mins early. I heard they have a policy of not letting anyone in even a minute after the interview start time so don't risk it!

2. Don't talk over people and at the other end of the scale don't not participate at all in the group styling.

3. Know your Topshop collections/trends and general knowledge of the company, just in case you are asked any questions about it.

4. Remember to bring a copy of your right to work in the UK ie Passport. I was amazed at how many people forgot this and it is literally the first thing they asked for as we walked in so it really doesn't give off a very good impression at all.

5. Make polite and engaging conversation with the other applicants because they are always looking at how you interact with others.

6. Don't worry about wearing something from Topshop. If you can discreetly encompass it into your look then go for it but the likelihood is they won't even realise - I mean have you seen how big the collection is?!

Most importantly enjoy it. For a fashion lover like me it was my dream job opportunity and I think that showed through. I actually really enjoyed the whole experience and in fact, yesterday, I got a call saying I had got a part-time position! YEY!

Hope this helps anyone going for an interview not only with Topshop but within any store!

El x

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