The cutthroat job market nowadays makes it increasingly difficult to create a positive impression on an interviewer. Selling your boutique management abilities needs a lot of thought and hard work especially when you are sitting across the table from an interviewer who is being paid to grill you! What do you do? Here are a few things you can do:
• Research the position and the company.
• Visualize and rehearse your role in advance.
• Prepare for behavioral questions.
• Practice tough questions and answers beforehand.
For the last bit, let us provide you with some extended assistance:
What has been your experience working as a boutique manager?
I have worked as a boutique manager for 10 years now. I have exposure to different fashion brands within one store and have also worked in a high-end boutique which served the cream of society, including movie stars and the “rich and famous”.
What specific duties were you assigned while working as a boutique manager?
Creating employee schedules, ensuring that all staff members were providing the best possible customer services, creating and maintaining liaison with designers, vendors, suppliers and tailoring teams, overseeing the boutique’s cashiering and payroll systems, and handling customer complaints and suggestions, was all in a day’s work for me.
Where fashion is concerned, how acquainted are you with the industry?
I have deep insight into the fashion industry, with exceptional knowledge of popular designers and their clothing lines. I make it a point to perform trend researching activities from time to time to determine where the fashion industry stands, and how the boutique I am managing can keep up.
How do you think a fashion business stays afloat, considering the competition?
The competition is only a problem if one does not provide customers with what is new and in fashion, or provide shoddy customer services. Fashion businesses cannot operate if the quality of their products or services is not up to the mark. I believe in training my staff impeccably and ensuring that customers get what they are looking for.
As a manager, have you ever received aggression from an employee? How did you deal with it?
Once a sales representative was quite rude with a customer because the customer had become a bit difficult to handle. The customer was constantly nagging the representative about “not having enough good things”, and this made the rep lose her temper. The customer was shocked and vowed never to come to our boutique again. It was quite disastrous. Upon inquiring about the sales rep’s aggressive behavior, I was told that she had some issues at home, and her inability to deal with them had led to the untimely outburst. I had no choice but to ask her to take a break and return to work only when she can handle the stress.
But if the customer was wrong, why did you reprimand the sales representative?
The rule of any business is the clichéd the customer is always right. I knew that the customer was wrong but since us as workers have to keep our cool, it is up to us to restrain ourselves, no matter what the customer does or says. If one is not in the right frame of mind generally, customer interaction is usually not positive.