Interviews and etiquette

As a senior in college, the countdown to graduation has definitely begun for me, and I must say it is not an entirely pleasant experience.  The thought of attempting to find a job has already caused more than a few sleepless nights, and I’m looking everywhere I can for advice.

The interview process is about to begin, so here are a few tips that I’ve heard or learned along the way that are slightly different than traditional interview advice, simply because magazines are not a highly traditional industry!

1. Do as much reading as you possibly can before the interview.  I’m talking at least 3 of the most recent issues, although the further back you go, more will give you a clearer understanding of the magazine’s direction and a few great talking points.  Take note of your favorite stories and don’t be afraid to mention what you liked, it shows you did your homework.

2. The outfit.  Obviously if you want to be an Anna you already have amazing style, but many people will tell you that a black suit is a must for any interview.  Not in this field.  If you are applying for a fashion position, make sure your style is reflected in your interview outfit.  Choose bright colors and don’t be afraid of patterns.  Wear great shoes and make it clear that you understand fashion.

3. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT ever tell the person interviewing you that you want to work in this industry for any variation of the reason I loved The Hills/The City/The Devil Wears Prada. Just do not.

4. Be early.  But in this industry, understand that while it will be noted that you are early, you will most likely be asked to wait in the lobby for what could be a very long time after your scheduled appointment.  Do not repeatedly call your contact asking to be let in.  They know you are there, but they are making you wait.  So wait.

5. Be enthusiastic. This is a demanding field with long hours and a high burnout rate.  If your passion is not visible, it may be called into question how long you would last.  Editors want someone who wants to be there and who is not going to give up after a tough day. If you love it, make it clear.  It can make all of the difference in the world between two equally qualified candidates.

So, that’s what I know so far.  I’m sure I have lots more lessons headed my way in the coming months, so I’ll keep you posted on my adventures.  What is the best interview advice you’ve ever received?


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