In the past few weeks I’ve been on a look out for the perfect interns to spend the next few months with MyItThings.com, covering some of the hottest events in town (including NY Fashion Week in the fall!) as well as helping to manage our growing community of contributors and the amazing content they create. I was very lucky to find not one, but two perfect people for the role and decided to post some of the comments I had for those who didn’t make the cut, so hopefully it will help those who are still hunting for internships at these gloomy times. These are the most important qualities by the order of their importance I was looking for while interviewing candidates:
1. Be excited. Your energy level is probably the most important thing you can offer, especially when lacking experience and skills. Get excited about the company, position, product, even about the interview itself. Remember – excitement and positivity are contagious, so hopefully the person who interviews you will feel the same about you.
2. Dress Memorable. I know, it’s tough to dress fashionably when you can hardly afford the NYC rent these days, so go for one statement piece that will make you memorable. Whether it’s a vintage jacket, “it” bag or fabulous pair of heels – go for something memorable and forget everything you read about the typical interview outfits. Those rules simply don’t apply in the fashion industry.
3. Don’t be a fashionista, be an expert. Many girls sat in front of me talking about their passion for fashion, but when were asked specific questions about industry leaders or brands, got confused. The love for shopping and putting together outfits isn’t enough to make it in this industry. You must be knowledgeable about the field and the main players in it. Keep up to date with the latest fashion news via industry publications such as WWD and don’t be afraid to show your knowledge.
4. Get a blog. Fashion blog is almost a must requirement for anyone who wants to get into fashion publishing these days. If you want eventually make a career as a fashion editor/writer, why don’t start it now? A blog eliminates the need to send writing samples, and gives an impression of your personal style. You don’t have to update it every day, 5-10 posts could be enough and serve as your portfolio.
5. Highlight additional skills. In this competitive environment having an extra skill will only help to differentiate you from the masses. Even if the skill isn’t directly related to the job description, find a way to mention it. Good examples for online fashion internships are video editing abilities, photography, illustration, etc.
6. Remember, magazines are the old media. I’m not saying that magazines are completely dying, but if I ask you what’s your dream job, please don’t tell me to work in a print magazine. Why? 1) Because if you are really passionate about your internship with an online fashion magazine, you will never want to work in print. 2) Because ideally you will do your internship at the space you are most passionate about, and if online media isn’t your passion, I prefer to give this opportunity to someone who wants it more.
7. Have a clear idea about your future. Future is a tricky thing, but you can actually plan it. Have a clear idea on how this internship will help you to achieve your goal to become the next X. The worst thing you can tell is that you hope this internship will help you figure out what you want to do in your life. There are plenty of candidates who want this opportunity so badly, and they know exactly who they want to be, so they probably will deserve it more than you do.
Hope this helps some of you on the way to your dream internship.