How can we survive a job interview for a fashion designer position and be sure that we maximize our chances of being hired?
The answer is simple: preparation! We should never go to an interview thinking that we will get the job just because we’re exceptionally good at what we do. This will obviously help, but we still need to prove that to the recruiters. And the only way to achieve that is by doing some homework, but what does that mean?
Well, this is exactly what we’re going to take a look at today. Not only will I give you examples of the most common Fashion Designer Interview Questions, but I will also tell you exactly what to do to get ready for that big moment.
What Does a Fashion Designer Do?
We all know what fashion designers do, right? They design women’s, men’s, and children’s clothing, shoes, and accessories. But the job of a fashion designer is actually much more than that, and before undergoing an interview, you should be aware of all the responsibilities that you will have.
This is important because the recruiters will test you on any specific aspect of your job. They need to be sure that you’re not just good at designing clothes, but also that you can supervise the whole design process from start to finish.
So, what are the main responsibilities of a fashion designer?
- Keeping up to date with fashion trends and being able to predict and influence customers’ tastes
- Designing and assisting with the production of original ideas
- Testing and deciding the materials that will be used for the production
- Supervising the marketing strategy of the designs
- Participating in fashion events
- Building and maintaining a network with suppliers and vendors
Depending on the fashion design house that you’ll be working with, you might be asked to specialize only in some of these duties. Or, on the contrary, your list of responsibilities might be even longer.
While you can expect one or two questions regarding the job duties and responsibilities, the biggest part of the interview will be about the requirements and how well your skills match them.
Therefore, let’s find out what it takes to be a good fashion designer…
Even though there aren’t any specific education requirements, most fashion designers hold at least a bachelor’s degree in fashion designing or fashion technology. While this is enough to get access to an entry-level position, if your goal is to become a senior fashion designer, you should be aware that most employers require higher education.
Since business management is a crucial component of the job of a senior fashion designer, a master’s degree in a relevant field will open the doors of the most prestigious positions.
Your skills are what you bring to the table, and your ability to show them to the recruiters will ultimately decide whether you get the job or not. The skills you will be tested on can be divided into two categories: hard and soft skills.
Hard skills are those abilities that we acquire through education or working experience. They can be measured, and they are strictly relevant to the job.
What are the most common hard skills that a fashion designer should possess?
- Superior drawing and sketching abilities
- Working knowledge of any relevant software, such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and MS Office
- Sewing skills
- Familiarity with various types of fabrics and their qualities
- Understanding of marketing strategies and business models
- Knowledge of current and past market trends and their evolution through recent history
Soft skills, on the other hand, are those qualities that you acquired through your life experiences. They relate to your personality, and they are not measurable. As a consequence of that, your ability to demonstrate them to the recruiters will make a huge difference.
Here are some of the soft skills that any employer looks for when hiring a fashion designer.
- Communication and interpersonal skills
- Attention to details
How To Get Ready for The Interview?
Now we know exactly what the interview will be about, but how can we prepare for it? Let’s find out…
Research the company
Picture this… you sit in front of the recruiters, and the first question they ask you is: “Why do you want to work here?”. If you haven’t researched the fashion house you’re applying for, the first impression you give is not going to be a good one.
Moreover, having a general understanding of the company, its target market, and the fashion trends that they followed or started in the past will help you to better ‘tailor’ any of your answers.
Read the job posting
The job description is an invaluable source of information. It will tell you exactly what you can expect from the interview. For example, if dealing with suppliers will not be one of your responsibilities, it is completely useless to get ready to answer any question about that topic.
On the contrary, pay close attention to any duty or skill that goes beyond what is normally required for the position. There are high chances that you will get a question about that!
Practice you answer
As you go through the common questions found in the next paragraph, spend some time practicing your answers. But don’t try to memorize them because you still want to sound natural.
Here are some key points to keep in mind:
- Show your creativity and originality in every answer
- Make it a point to include one of your best skills in every answer
- Resist the temptation to quote a famous designer to answer a question. Be unique!
- Show interest in the company any time you have the chance to do it
Top Fashion Designer Interview Questions
Here are recruiters’ most frequently asked questions in a fashion designers job interview.
Why did you choose to become a fashion designer?
When recruiters ask this question, they expect you to show them that you still have the same passion that was driving you when you chose this career. While you’re talking about the reasons behind your choice, your eyes have to shine, and your enthusiasm should be contagious.
If you manage to do that, they will realize that your motivation is still strong and that you’ll do everything it takes to excel in your job.
What’s the difference between style and trend?
This is one of those situations where quoting somebody else might seem like a good idea. But as I already mentioned, avoid doing that! The recruiters are interested in your unique opinion, and as long as you can motivate the answer, there is no right or wrong way of answering this.
What’s your biggest accomplishment so far?
You should always hope to get this or a similar question such as “what’s your biggest strength?” or ” what are you most proud of?” because this is a great opportunity to highlight your best skills! And the good news is that you can talk about anything you want as long as it is relevant to the job.
Pick a moment when you succeeded in a difficult task, and show the recruiters how you used your best qualities to successfully get out of that situation. To be even more effective, choose a skill that is mentioned in the job description, and let the interviewers know that you’re aware of how much the company values that ability.
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
With one of the previous answers, you had to talk about your past. Now it’s time to look to the future.
A fashion designer is a dreamer and needs to have both short and long-term goals. Moreover, confidence and ambition are two qualities that are crucial in keeping you motivated over the years. As long as you have them, you will do everything to be successful as a fashion designer, and your employer will be nothing but happy about that!
What did you like the least about your last job?
This question can be tricky, but if you keep in mind the following tips, your answer will be on point.
- Don’t complain about anything that is a specific requirement of the job
- Don’t talk badly about colleagues or employers
- Talk about something that you didn’t like at first, but you’ve been able to change over time
- Don’t say that there was nothing you didn’t like. If that were the case, why would you quit that job?
Not Feeling Fashion Forward Yet?
That’s what I’m here for! Firstly, a bit more insight into what your position entails with my Fashion Designer Job Description. And Fashion requires passion, so you’ll definitely want to read how to answer What Makes You Unique or How To Answer What Are You Passionate About?
Also, check out my additional interview questions such as How Would You Describe Yourself, the inevitable Why We Should Hire You, as well as What Is Your Work Style, and What Are Your Career Goals, How Do You Handle Conflict, How Do You Handle Stress, or even how to respond to How Do You Define Success to gain that confidence.
But, if you want to get your foot in the door already, I’ve put together some top online applications for you. Just take a look at our Ralph Lauren Application, DKNY Application, Neiman Marcus Application, Zara Application, Levis Application, or even the well-known Saks Fifth Avenue Application in 2022.
Knowledge of Fashion and Fashion History is always key. For that, I recommend Dior: Couture, Yves Saint Laurent: The Complete Haute Couture Collections, 1962–2002, Couture, the Great Designers, as well as The Style of Movement: Fashion & Dance for a compelling read.
You’ve been waiting for this moment since you graduated! A fashion designer position for that prestigious brand that you always admired is finally open.
The job interview is the final obstacle between you and your dream to come true! Make sure you don’t overlook the importance of preparation. Just get yourself ready to answer your interview questions, and your creativity and knowledge will take care of everything else.
Best of luck with that Interview!