If one has just graduated from a reputed fashion institute and is looking for a job in reputed fashion houses, their portfolio becomes their biggest asset. The work which they did during their course program and internship becomes the topic of discussion during the interview sessions.
However, for senior fashion designers, the designer interview questions change. Since they have worked in the fashion industry for a few years, probably with a big or medium-sized brand, they are judged on their ability to contribute to the brand that will be hiring them. Along with having innovative ideas, they are expected to know about sales and marketing. They should be familiar with advertisement campaigns and the ways to increase the brand value of the fashion house which will be hiring them.
Let’s discuss some of the interview questions that senior fashion designers face during the interview process.
Q1. Who is your role model amongst fashion designers, and why?
The new brand will try to judge the knowledge of the senior fashion designer with this designer interview question. Often professionals get so engrossed with their current assignments that they lose track of what’s happening in the fashion world. That is suicidal for a fashion designer because studying trends, keeping track of the four primary fashion shows in Milan, New York, London, and Paris is a part of their job.
Apart from that, they need to be aware of what’s happening in the fashion arena in the Asian countries, ANZ region, African countries, middle-eastern countries etc., and keep track of fashion shows and trade fairs. They should watch all the latest Hollywood and local movies of the country they belong to.
The applicant should not talk about any fashion designer who was popular in the past or about iconic designers like Coco Chanel, Giorgio Armani, Calvin Klein, Christian Dior and the likes. They have created their empires, and most of them were born in the 20th century. The interviewer is looking for young budding designers like Virgil Abloh, Kanye West, Reem al-Kanhal, Anita Quansah, etc.
Q2. In your opinion, what are the most critical aspects of the fashion industry?
In this designer interview question, the interviewer is looking for the aspirant’s knowledge about the marketing strategies, advertising campaigns, understanding of creating a brand image through social media and any other innovative idea. The interviewer wants to understand how well the aspirant looks at the complete picture of the fashion industry and what kind of contacts they have with the sourcing companies, merchandisers and other key people who will help to make the brand more successful.
Q3. What is your favourite part of being a fashion designer?
Here, apart from the process of designing the fashion line, the interviewer is looking for the business knowledge of the candidate. In this designer interview question, ideally, the aspiring senior fashion designer should talk about how they intend to project their fashion line in the industry. Which trade fairs or retail groups do they intend to reach out to advertise about the new product line? How will they engage with the online customers on the social media page of the brand and inspire them to become customers?
Q4. Are your designs influenced by the colours and trends of the season?
This is a trick designer interview question. Here the interviewer is trying to judge if the senior fashion designer can design only when they can take inspiration from the designs which are popular during the season, or they have their own ideas too.
An ideal answer should be taking up a middle path. If the designer goes for completely different clothing line types that are not popular during the season, it is possible that the sales figures will be quite low. However, projecting the inability to work independently and just relying on the trends or other designs might be suicidal for the interviewee.
As far as colours are concerned, it is a good idea to give answers like, “I can design dresses in any colour as requested by the client. When I design dresses for the masses, I stick to popular colours like red, black, blue, white, green and brown because sometimes experimenting too much with colours might not work out. However, during the summer months, pastel colours, of course, take precedence over others for regular wear clothes.”
Q5. How did you end up as a fashion designer?
Here, the interviewer is looking for an honest answer. It will be a good idea to give some inputs from your personal life, your motivation, etc., while answering this designer interview question.
Q6. Can you describe what lessons you learned during your internship as a fashion designer?
It is always a good idea to give real-life instances for these types of designer interview questions. In all probability, the interviewer would take feedback from your previous employers.
Hence, the best option will be to quote the real challenges faced by you or your team during the internship. Giving examples like, “I was given a task to design an evening gown using blue taffeta. It took me two days to finalise the design. However, when I went to the market to source the material, I realised that there aren’t many great sellers who source this material in my city. With great difficulty, I managed to get the fabric and the accessories to stitch the dress. However, it was quite challenging to stitch the dress using taffeta material is it is quite silky and difficult to stitch.”
Q7. How would you reduce garment manufacturing costs for your fashion brand?
Always pick up real-life examples from your previous experiences.
You can talk about how predictive artificial intelligence (AI) tools can do better fashion forecasting, how sourcing materials from ethical manufacturers will have a lesser impact on any kind of lawsuits being filed by the government or human rights violation committees. You can talk about following all the compliance guidelines can help in saving the reputation of the brand and increase sales figures too.
You can talk about opening an in-house manufacturing unit to reduce the costs or how to predict trends that will be in vogue so that most of the clothes are sold in time, and the brand need not sell them in stock clearing sales at much lesser prices.
Talk about the usage of social media and predicting customer behaviour. Create a robust supply chain so that an order should not be stuck due to the lack of materials.
Q8. Why do you think it is important to integrate all the computer systems and applications in a fashion house?
The applications now use advanced artificial intelligence embedded tools to collaborate with the payment gateways, customer service department, human resources department, brand creation and advertising department, factory logistics department, warehouses etc.
Most of the companies now are looking at integrating their upward and downward systems to ensure that the departments do not work in silos and data is available to the professionals readily. Anyone who works in the corporate world in any industry knows how time-consuming it is to collect data from others in an excel format, and a lot of rework is done by various departments to complete their work. Hence, it is extremely important to integrate all the systems so that all the departments can work on one portal, and they need not be dependent on each other for data.
Q9. What is your best and worst fashion moment?
To answer his designer interview question, take cues from real-life examples which will sound an honest response to the interviewer.
You can talk about any wardrobe malfunction of any model during a fashion show. Or if you had designed clothes for any TV series, and the dress did not fit the main character on the day of the shoot, how did you manage that situation?
For best moments, you can talk about customer appreciation, any awards you might have received, etc.
Q10. Do you think every employee in the fashion house should be the brand representative for the company? How is that possible?
Here, the interviewer is looking for your loyalty and how will you inculcate loyalty in your team members in the designing team and other teams. You can always give answers like, “In the current world, every employee of the fashion brand represents the brand to the outer world. Whether it is an accountant, procurement specialist or even the office boy, should have some information about the company's functioning. In my day to day conversation with them, I will share about the company’s vision, growth path, sales figures, etc., with each and everyone I come in contact with.
When I work with my production team in the manufacturing unit, I will talk about the latest fashion trends; invite them to share design ideas with me. When a regular factory worker gets an opportunity to share his design ideas with the designer, they feel important. I will find time to listen to their ideas and check out their sketches. And I might pick up some of those designs and include them in my next collection. When I do that, I will recognise that worker’s efforts with some kind of award and send an e-mail to everyone in the organisation talking about that employee’s contribution.”
The key to cracking any interview is to remain calm and give answers honestly. The interviewers can figure out if you are talking from experience or you have prepared those answers from the internet.
Find more such advice and tips related to fashion on Fashinza. Fashinza connects you with manufacturers within the industry. We manage every stage from design to delivery. Talk to our experts, and we will be able to help you to negotiate for the best deals with the sourcing companies and garment manufacturers.