FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising hosted hiring managers from major brands like BCBG, Guess?, Juicy Couture, Quiksilver, Volcom and many more during its annual Industry Expo event at its Los Angeles and San Francisco campuses last week.
Hosted by the FIDM Career Center, the event provides a casual setting at which FIDM Students and Alumni may ask career-related questions and network with top employers.
We took the opportunity to ask hiring managers about some of the most common mistakes or faux pas that job applicants make. Action sports lifestyle brands Quiksilver and Volcom both advised that job applicants avoid wearing competitors’ branded clothing to their interviews. Quiksilver also quickly identified the most egregious mistake commonly seen among applicants– the misspelling of the company’s name.
Volcom hiring managers explained that while the brand’s employees aren’t expected to actively engage in the brand’s lifestyle and hobbies (like surfing and skating), that they seek job applicants who at least identify with the brand on some level.
“Find a way to connect and appreciate the brand, even if you don’t live the lifestyle,” says Alicia Siegel of Volcom’s human resources department, adding “When I ask you, ‘what excites you about Volcom,’ you should have an answer.”
All employers emphasized the importance of conducting research about the company and position for which you are applying. Hiring managers from Perry Ellis International mentioned that job applicants often have the misperception that the company is solely dedicated to menswear. In reality, Perry Ellis International owns or licenses multiple brands including Jantzen, Nike Swim, C&C California and many others, offering a diverse range of career opportunities including in sourcing, technical design, marketing, design, sales and account management, retail and visual areas.
Hiring managers at retailer, Buckle, advised for job applicants to practice their interviewing skills and to come prepared with questions to your interview. Human resource representatives from VF Corporation Contemporary, which represents brands like 7 for All Mankind, Ella Moss and Splendid, recommended that applicants visit retail stores that carry their brands’ merchandise to familiarize themselves with the current company initiatives.
Recruiters from BCBG emphasized the importance of proper email etiquette and recommended that job applicants read every detail of their emails, use professional language and also check their spam folder regularly while applying for jobs to ensure that you don’t miss any opportunities due to email filtering.
How to Make a Good Impression
Job interviewing advice from the hiring managers of leading brands at FIDM Career Center’s Industry Expo event:
- Visit the company website to conduct as much research as possible
- If applicable, visit a retail store that carries the company’s merchandise
- Come prepared to talk about how your skills apply to the job description
- Bring several copies of your resume
- Don’t wear clothing that is clearly labeled with a competitor’s brand
- Use formal, professional language in email exchanges
- Think about what you enjoy about the brand
Browse more photos from FIDM Career Center’s Industry Expo event on Facebook here.
FIDM thanks the many employers who were present at Industry Expo this year including:
- 24 Seven
- Brooks Brothers
- Charlotte Russe
- Crazy 8
- Fourth Floor Fashion Talent
- Janie & Jack
- Juicy Couture
- Lamps Plus
- MAC Cosmetics
- Mark and Graham
- Nils Skiwear
- Old Navy
- Perry Ellis International
- Pottery Barn
- Ross Stores
- True Religion
- VF Corporation Contemporary
- West Elm
- Williams Sonoma
Questions/comments? Email the editor, Mani O’Brien at email@example.com