The digital revolution has impacted the world. Much of what used be done in person is now happening online. It is now possible to apply for jobs in the fashion industry online. Instead of meeting face-to–face, both applicants and recruiters can meet screen-to–screen. Many of the factors applicants should be focusing on in a job interview are also applicable to important video calls.
Technology testing in advance
It’s important to know which video program the recruiter uses. Nabila Staschel from Deeken HR, Berlin, senior executive search consultant, stated that applicants should spend time setting up the software. You can test the software a few days before you start. It is important to not rely on the built-in tests of the program, but to conduct a test call. It is less likely that the technology will cause uncertainty during an interview if it is already in place.
Lighting is another important aspect of a successful video conference. The applicant must confirm that they can see clearly in the video and are not hiding in the darkness. Staschel stated, “We recommend that you use daylight as often as possible.” This means that the camera or laptop should be aligned against the sunlight, which will expose you to the light.
Staschel said, “We are all in our private rooms now. One thing to think about is what we would like to share with others.” It’s possible for the desk to be visible from the bedroom. It is important to ask yourself these questions: “How serious does it look? Do I want it to be noticed?” However, this does not mean everyone has to have a white wall behind them.
Staschel suggested that a background should be serious but not distract from the subject. For example, a bookcase or a photo wall is a great background. It is important to feel at ease with the background. You can also test it before you install it to make sure it looks professional and attractive. Staschel said, “We always recommend a certain amount of genuinity. We don’t have to put up a whiteboard and write notes on it. It’s all about using my past to communicate the insights that I want to.”
“In the end I always tell candidates that they should act as though they are going to a personal interview.” She advised that the same applies to clothing. Candidates should dress the same way they would for an interview for a job, even if they are interviewing via video. This does not mean you have to sit in a suit at home? Staschel said, “It depends.” “With the exception of the luxury sector, classic ‘suit conversations’ are not so common in the fashion, consumer goods, or lifestyle industries. Fashion consciousness is more important than ever.
You can’t convey genuinity by sitting in a three-piece suit in front of a bookcase. It’s about being comfortable. She explained that everyone must identify with a particular style of clothing. She suggested that men wear a jacket and a turtleneck or a well-fitting turtleneck when having a formal conversation. You can also choose a blouse for women and leave the jacket out. It’s not common for people to wear a jacket within their walls. It’s possible to try it on, and if it doesn’t fit, you can take it off.
It is also important to consider the job role and industry within the fashion industry. Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, Staschel has seen men wearing suits in video interviews. Women opted for a blouse, while men wore a blazer, turtleneck sweater or shirt. Staschel suggested that applicants ask which company they are applying for to feel comfortable and secure. “What is it communicating? How does it position itself in the market? What kind of fashion does it specialize in? What collections does it have? What can I represent genuinely?” It is all about creating a new normal and embodying the company’s values, much like in an interview.
Everything goes according to plan: the background, light, and outfit. However, despite previous tests, technology can put a damper in your performance. Candidates who experience problems with their microphone or internet connection should immediately address them. “Absolutely,” said Staschel. “Don’t be nervous if there is a problem with your connection. This is technology, and it often doesn’t work immediately. Ask them to restart the video.” Staschel believes that there will be enough time because it is a new situation. “From my perspective, communication and solution-oriented thinking are the best and most important.”