Friday, March 13, 2009

On Wednesday I went to an Open Interview for a very well-known American retail brand that is opening a new store on Grafton street here in Dublin. I know a couple of people who work for this company, and while it is a somewhat controversial brand for several reasons (its overtly sexual and exploitative advertising, the rumors about its owner being a sexist pig, among other rumors and rumblings), it's also a generally acknowledged fact that the production methods of the garments are more humane than most, and the quality of the goods is quite high. Also, I happen to like their clothes. So, as I was in contact with an acquaintance in the corporate office who told me that they were holding quickie interviews at a Hotel in Temple Bar (that's a neighborhood in the City Centre for those unaware) from 10:00 to 15:00 on Wednesday. She told me that they look at personal style, so be creative with my ensemble. So I figured why not. I did a little research on where their branding is going these days by perusing their website, and assembled an outfit that I thought went with their image, but without buying anything new! Most importantly, I wanted to be comfortable, so that meant no heels, sexy, but yet also slightly androgynous. And, of course, slightly American looking, but not over the top. I knew from their past several years of advertising that I shouldn't wear a lot of makeup either. They like a natural look. Which is convenient because I don't generally wear much makeup. Here's what I cobbled together (imagine tight jeans and grey suede slouchy cowboy boots, not pictured), shot just as I was running out of the door:

I just can't get myself to smile when I take a photo of myself. But anyways, I showed up and patted myself on the back when I saw that one of the women interviewing the applicants was wearing an outfit very similar to my own, except instead of a sweater, she was wearing a blazer, and instead of boots she was wearing booties.

The interview was literally five minutes long. I have no idea if what I said came close to what they wanted to hear, but I did my best. One thing I brought up as something I would bring to the position was my experience with American-style Customer Service. I sort of hesitated with a laugh, and she laughed too (she wasn't American, but she wasn't Irish, but I couldn't decipher her accent), and we commiserated how the customer service in Ireland is absolutely abysmal. And I wasn't lying when I said I don't think it's how things should be. We talked about my feelings on the company -- it seemed important to them that the applicants know about the company and the brand, and I think I demonstrated that I was quite familiar. And then, at the end, the nice woman who interviewed me took my photo. (yes, I smiled. kind of.) They had interviewed over 150 applicants that day, and I was among the last group (I planned it that way so I'd be fresh in their minds). But, you know, really I think it all comes down to personality, doesn't it? Winners get phone calls; losers get emails. So far, I haven't received either, so they're probably still sifting through their 150 CVs.

How sad is it though that I was happy to go on a job interview because it got me out of the house? After it was over, I was like, "Well that was fun!" Then I walked around and did some shopping and drooled over sewing machines. :)

1 comment:

  1. Hey congratulations!
    If you've got a couple hours, there's a pretty balanced (and exhaustively thorough) report on this American retailer of, dare I say, apparel. The sexist pig rumor doesn't sound like a rumor, but the union stuff gets kind of interesting.