Sunday, 25 September 2016

My Topshop Interview Experience

Hi everyone,

Before I start, I just wanted to apologise for being so inactive lately, I've just moved up to Aberdeen to start university so I'm just getting settled in. I'll be getting back to the weekly blog post now though!

As I have just moved to a new city and I now am technically living 'independantly' I felt like getting a job would probably be a good idea as I have a major shopping addiction! In Aberdeen, there are 3 shopping centres - Union Square, Bon Accord&St. Nicholas centre and the Trinity centre. Union Square and Bon Accord are probably slightly more fashion retail based but the Trinity centre does have a Debenhams! When I noticed on the Bon Accord website that Topshop were looking for sales advisors, I had to apply.  So, I handed in my CV and didn't really expect to hear much else as I assumed many more 'fashion experienced' people would have also applied. A couple of weeks later, however, I got a phone call asking me to come in for a Visual Merchandiser interview (I should mention that in my previous job I was a Visual Merchandiser for Nutmeg, the clothing branch within Morrison's).

The first interview literally lasted about 10 minutes, it was a very informal chat with one of the store managers who was absolutely lovely. It was 1 to 1 which was good as it felt more relaxed.  She asked me what I was doing at Uni - Fashion Management - and a bit about my VM experience. I was also asked what kind of job I was looking for and then she told me what job they could offer. The manager said that I was great on paper but a lot younger than they had expected - obviously, I don't have a degree or anything yet! I was told that I would hear whether or not I would get a second interview by the end of the week so I left feeling reasonably happy with how the interview went.

Later on that afternoon, I got a phone call inviting me back for a second interview. This interview was going to be a practical so I was a lot more nervous! When I arrived, I had another mini interview where I was asked about my customer service experience, how I take feedback, my availability and how I keep up with current trends. I was then taken onto the shop floor and given a rail to set up with non clothing items such as purses, umbrellas, stationery, travel cups and phonecases. This was a lot of fun but very difficult. The whole process was supposed to take 30 minutes but it took me an hour and a half! During this time, some customers also came up to me asking for help just assuming that I worked at Toyshop so I had to try and help them! When I was finished, I had to briefly discuss why I had set it up like I had and then I was allowed to leave. The managers told me that they were impressed with what I had done and that I would hear either way the following week.

I had sort of come to the conclusion that I hadn't got the job as I felt I lacked the necessary experience and I had found the practical quite stressful. When the manager phoned me back, I was right, I hadn't been given the VM job but she had been impressed with me enough to pass on my CV and her recommendation to the Topshop concession in Debenhams! I was extremely grateful for this but by this point I had already accepted a job in Miss Selfridge.

I wanted to write this post as I know many girls and boys probably would love to get into Topshop or Hopman so I thought sharing my experience might help any of you out if you have an interview or are planning on applying! I would say the main thing Topshop look for is passion about fashion (what a cliche). If you show your personality and prove to them you would fit in well with the brand, you will do great!

I'm sorry this post has been so long, I was trying not to miss anything out! While researching for my interviews I came across this blog - that has a really good post about Topshop VM interviews that would be helpful to read as well.

I hope you enjoy reading this post!
Much love,
Cat x