This article is for all those who are interested in landing a job as a fashion buyer or an assistant fashion buyer. Naturally, the urge to nail the job interview and leave a good impression automatically surfaces. Usually, interviewers will ask many different questions related to retail mathematics, retail knowledge, customer/target market knowledge, buying plan, buying terms, trends, etc. This can be hard, especially when one doesn't have previous experience in the field, as many of the interviewer's decisions will be based on the portfolio and past work experience. However, they can be impressed with retail knowledge, a lot of research on their company and the position of their brand, as well as the understanding of their brand in the marketplace.
Here are the top 10 interview questions for fashion buyers that will help in getting the job by exemplifying the understanding of the job role as well as the knowledge of the fashion brand and customers.
Ans. This is one of the most common industry-specific questions that one encounters during the interview and this is also one of the most important ones. One must be prepared to answer this question and explain their reasoning proficiently. At the same time, they must be able to convey their love for fashion. The hiring managers are not interested in hearing about the love of shopping. They want to know the story behind one’s passion in the fashion industry beyond shopping. Talking about what draws one to the fashion industry and where one sees themselves in the future is always an excellent way to go. Adding a few examples and mentioning some names, especially the brand one is interviewing for, will earn some bonus points.
Ans. Recruiters ask this question to assess the motivation and compatibility of the candidate for the role. They are usually looking for applicants whose objectives are in line with the company's goals. If the applicant has already worked as a buyer before, they should refer to their previous experiences. Experience plays a vital role in the industry for sure. However, if they don’t have any experience, they can talk about other relevant skills, such as their analytical and negotiation skills, and retail and sales skills. Showing an aptitude for the role that one is applying for might tilt the skills in their favor. For example, mentioning additional skills such as an eye for detail and aesthetics and how they help in becoming a better buyer might make one stand out. Make sure the final answer also shines some light on professional targets and the company’s mission.
Ans. This question is asked to test the knowledge one holds about the company or the brand that they are interviewing for. This entirely depends on how well they have researched the company to prepare for the interview. They should know the company’s history, core values, and how the company has progressed and changed over time. Make sure to look at the website and other social pages as well to get familiarised with their aesthetic style.
Ans. This is usually a fun question, recruiters ask to give applicants a chance to show their understanding of the brand and how they can demonstrate this for others. It also helps recruiters understand the applicant’s perspective on their brand and the company. To come up with a good answer that will help one stand out:
Ans. Recruiters ask this question mainly to check whether one has done their research or not. Candidates can get the upper hand by demonstrating how well they have done their research. For example, talking about the brand’s competitors shows how well they know both the brand and the latest in the fashion industry. One can start their market research by researching all the big players in the field, recent news of acquisitions and mergers, share market stats, and so on. Having sufficient knowledge of the competitors and their standing in the market and updates on current events and statistics will show the recruiters that they are well prepared for the job.
Ans. This is another research question recruiters usually ask to make sure applicants understand the brand’s styles and designs along with the market trends. This means it is best to be updated with the trends and designs of the company at that moment. However, when talking about their current range, it is best not to use only flattery but to also come up with some constructive criticism. If one thinks something can be changed or improved to enhance the range in the future, it is best they add it in the interview. This is an excellent opportunity to show off one’s fashion knowledge and ideas.
Ans. There is no one correct answer to this question. Therefore, it is essential that this answer is modeled for the response that best suits the specific brand or company one is interviewing for. The quality of the products sold by this company must be taken into consideration and the answer should be constructed based on the facts. As a buyer, one should strive for a good ratio between quality and price. However, the actual balance between the two will depend on the employer’s retail plans. For example, if the products are high-end, luxury items, quality will outweigh the price and vice versa. It is best to research and familiarise oneself with the products of the company or brand one is interviewing for beforehand.
Ans. Recruiters ask this question to know how good the applicant’s negotiation skills are and how comfortable they are with this part of the job. This is one of the key factors of the fashion industry. This includes everything from negotiating payment terms and rates with designers and distributors, to making deals and on-spot decisions that will benefit the company. The best way to answer this question is to look back at a previous successful negotiation experience one has with a deal or a contract. Walk the recruiters through the thought process of the steps and explain the outcome proficiently. This will increase the chances of getting hired. Becoming a fashion buyer allows one the opportunity to learn about the retail industry while building one’s skillset.
Ans. Becoming a fashion buyer comes with many different roles and responsibilities. However, one key aspect of this role is understanding and improving the customer experience. One should have proper knowledge of the brand’s target customers are and what kind of experience is provided. Therefore, this question helps recruiters understand the candidate’s thoughts and experience on this matter. To nail this answer, the interested applicants must visit at least one or more stores of the brand they are interviewing for. They must take notes of the customer service and their experience along with the layout, displays, process, etc. Talking about these factors and how it shaped their experience in the interview will swing things to a positive side.
Ans. Recruiters ask this question to understand how well the applicant can handle any situation at any given point. This question gives them a great chance to show that they’ve got what it takes to nail this job. Showing confidence in problem-solving and analytical skills is a must. If there is an unforeseen drop in sales, these attributes will be the biggest asset as a fashion buyer. To answer this question successfully, the applicant must explain the steps they would take to get to the root of the problem and then follow up with the action plan they have on how to revive the product based on the research and findings. This will show the interviewer that the applicant is confident and the best fit for this role.
Apart from these popular and essential interview questions for fashion buyers, here is a list of general interview questions you must prepare for:
Here are some questions you should ask in an interview for a better understanding of your role in the job:
Interviews don’t always have to be a stressful situation. With some preparation and much research beforehand, those pre-interview jitters can be taken care of and confidence can be gained. Study the notes and practice the answers beforehand with a friend if possible. Remember, applicants are more likely to land the job if they are equipped to tackle any question that comes their way with confidence!