• VINSIGHTS

    Interview Techniques

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    July 2018

    Make your answers shine

    You may have heard of the Star technique, but what is it and how can you use it to perfect your interview answers? If you’ve got a competency-based, the technique will be especially helpful.  Here, we look at what’s behind the method, with some real-life examples.

    Answering the million-dollar question

    Some interview questions you just can’t avoid.  “Why do you want to work here?” is one of them.  Find out how to make sure you have your answer perfected with some clear and practical advice.

    A checklist for every interview 

    From preparing what you’ll wear to making sure you improve after each interview, here is a simple step-by-step guide for all your interviews.

    Beat the first-impression bias 

    If hiring managers make a decision in the first 90 seconds of meeting, how can you stop biases working against you?

    Your interview with the chief executive 

    As you climb the career ladder – or perhaps if you’re joining a smaller organisation – interviews with the chief executive become more common.  Find out what they really want to know, and how you can show you’ve got what it takes, before you start preparing.

    Finish on a high with great questions 

    At the end of most interviews, the tables turn and you’re asked if you have any questions.  This gives you a chance to show you’re on-the-ball, inquisitive, have done your research and are serious about the role.  Here are four essential points to consider.

    De-stress your interviews 

    We are often told to relax when it comes to job interviews, which is easier said than done.  But a little preparation beforehand can help to make yourself feel less stressed.

    Mock interviews make perfect preparation 

    It may be age-old advice, but it still rings true with interviews.  Here’s some tips on how to do a practice interview, even if you don’t have an interviewer.

    What to wear

    The rules about what is appropriate business attire continue to change and the lack of clarity there has clouded what works for job interviews.  Is business casual defined as khaki pants and blazers or is it blue jeans and hoodies? In either case, what works for the interview? If the organization is always business casual, should one get dressed up for the interview anyway? The answer is always “It depends”.  What to wear to the interview depends on geography; size of the company; age of the company; age of the people who work there; the department you are in; the weather and just about any other variable one can imagine.

    Just be able to use good judgment on the “it depends” rule and sin on the side of being safe.  There are lots of easy to find rules and guidelines that apply to what to wear to a job interview.  You need to feel good about yourself.  You need to feel comfortable in your skin, inner and outer.  The easiest way to do that is to wear clothes that are comfortable, flattering, age appropriate and that fit.

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    V&C Drapers Interview on FLEXING and the importance of Consulting in our industry.

    Following the coronavirus pandemic, the fashion retail industry will likely turn to temporary employees more than ever, says Matthew Vohs, chief executive of fashion retail recruitment agency V&C. Covid-19 has seen many retailers and brands either closing stores or arranging pre-pack administrations. The by-product of businesses evaluating their store portfolios is an impact on headcount, as executives question whether the organisation requires all its current staff. The furlough route may however have had a detrimental effect on the industry in forcing businesses to streamline and subsequently realise that they can accommodate their workload without the furloughed staff. This could leave many experienced employees a victim of redundancy.  Many retailers have already announced job cuts. British luxury brand Mulberry is to axe up to a quarter of its global workforce as a result of coronavirus, White Stuff has entered redundancy consultations within its head office and UK retail teams. Debenhams has cut hundreds of head office roles after placing them on to the furlough scheme during the crisis. Staff culling like this will, of course, reduce a business’s overheads, but also leaves an abundance of redundant skilled workforce across the sector in buying and merchandising, retail operations, design and technical roles. These candidates will now need to adapt to their situation by being more dynamic and entrepreneurial in their job search, as new, developing and emerging companies look to tap into their expertise via a freelancing route. Going forward, contracting across multiple organisations could very well be the norm for fixed or short term positions. It will allow variety of work for employees but also allow businesses to access skilled workers without the need for long-term investment.  Businesses will also need to change their mind-set. They will need set clear objectives for contracted or freelance staff and establishing tangible KPI’s that measure their output. However, they also run the risk that the employee may find full-term work or a more lucrative contract. The world is changing and retail is among the sectors that are changing the most, with more and more of us needing a flexible work solution.  Freelancing and contracting means a retailer could employ a team of buyers for one season, a merchandise director on a three day week, perhaps a designer for one collection or an ecommerce social media expert for a fixed 12 months. These roles are not traditionally temporary, however, with this new approach, retailers get fresh concepts and diversity without the burden of long-term employment issues. Retailers can also change their teams with regularity, introducing new ideas and responding with incredible speed to what the consumer wants. Post coronavirus, there are going to be lots of highly in demand skills and great talent available but those people will also be considering how they want to work, wanting flexibility. If companies don’t take note, they will miss out on the best staff and lose out to competitors.   

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    Flexing made easy!

    We’re Thinking Differently – Are You? We have been thinking about new ways of working and have something new to tell you about.  Something that we think is going to change the way you work, offering you exciting career opportunities or improved work/life balance – or both! It’s Called Flexing. The world is changing and retail is one of the sectors that is probably changing the most.  The past few months has seen most people review how they work more flexibly. It is just the start, going forward, this flexibility will be paramount for employees as well as employers. Why not consider your Flexing model? We still want to offer you new roles but in a different way.  Instead of being employed by one retail or supply business on a full-time basis, we can also offer you fixed term contracts or fixed term part-time contracts.  We can even offer you Flex to Perm and V&C Associates will effectively be your employer. We will guide you through the process on setting up an umbrella company or helping you register your company It might not sound different yet but read on – it is different.  It’s exciting, it’s new and importantly, it’s flexible. Flexing allows you to work for more than one retailer or supplier for as long as you want, for as many days a week as you want giving that flexible work /life balance if that what you are looking for. As an example; You might Be a buyer but only want to work twice a week without long-term ties? Think about working as a merchandiser but for a short term contract ? Want to do a special, one-off design job? Work as a Merchandise Manager, but part-time? Want to have the opportunity of working on a multiple assignments with a different retailer or brand? Flexing Makes it Possible We will find you the role you want on a short, medium or long-term fixed contract basis (minimum 6 months).  It gives you tremendous flexibility.  Imagine – you could work somewhere as a product developer for two days a week and for the other three days, work as a selector for a different business. You might want to work two days as an Account Manager, have a day off in the middle of the week and work the rest of the week for another retailer, in the same or similar role. There are retailers and suppliers looking for this type of arrangement. It suits both of your needs.   Huge Benefits for Candidates There’s a reason it’s called Flexing. It’s more than temporary roles or part-time contracts.  It’s more than fixed long-term contracts.  It allows you to work for two different organisations at once.  You get the benefits of two different companies, get to grips with different cultures, gain more experience and use your own experience to add a new dimension to another retailer or supplier.  It makes work life more interesting, variable and exciting – there’s no room for boredom!  Alternatively, use Flexing to create better work/life balance and work when you want to. Effectively, V&C Associates (with our FCSA affiliated Umbrella partners)  would employ you and take care of NICS, PAYE and holidays. We believe this is a new beginning, a new way of working for everyone.   We cover: Digital Design & Technical Buying & Merchandising Sustainability Sourcing Human Resources Sales/Account Managers Retail Operations Flex with us - let V&C Associates get it absolutely right for you. Click here to discuss your Flexing employment solution.

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    Your Flexible workforce!

    We’re Thinking Differently – Are You? We have been thinking about new ways of working and have something new to tell you about.  Something that we think is going to change the way you recruit, offering you an exciting opportunity that will save you time, money and give you fresh expertise. It’s Called Flexing. The world is changing and retail is one of the sectors that is probably changing the most.  The past few months has seen most people review how they work more flexibly. It is just the start, going forward, this flexibility will be paramount for employers as well as employees. Why not consider our Flexing model? We want to offer you a variety of roles at all levels but in a different way.  Instead of employing a candidate on a full-time basis, we can offer you fixed term contracts or as a fixed term part time contracts.  We can even offer you Flex to Perm and V&C Associates will effectively employ your Flex contractor. It might not sound different yet but read on – it is different.  It’s exciting, it’s new and importantly, it’s flexible. Flexing allows you to employ a candidate for as long as you want for as many days a week as you want.  As an example; You might Want a buyer twice a week  Need a fixed short term merchandising team Want a designer for one season only Be considering a Merchandise Manager but not on a full-time salary Flexing Makes it Possible We will find you the role or the resource you need on a short, medium or long-term fixed contract basis (minimum 6 months).  It gives you and your candidate flexibility.  You might employ a product developer for two days a week and for the other three days they work somewhere else.  You may want an operations manager for a fixed term three days a week and they want to secure another position somewhere else for the other two days a week.  It suits both of your needs.   Huge Benefits for Retailers and Suppliers.  We have thought of everything. We will invoice you direct, taking the onus away by organising the payment structure, taking care of NICS and PAYE and even holidays.   For you that means there is no long-term commitment, no need to pay bonuses, pension schemes or even supply staff benefits. There’s more too. You save on salaries (PAYE, NI, Holidays, Pension)  but still have the expertise You get knowledge and experience from someone working for a similar organisation Your new Flex employee brings a fresh dimension to your business You don’t need to do anything – we do it all for you acting as your Flexing partner Our pricing model is flexible too.  We know you need your business costs kept at an affordable level, so every project is carefully costed out individually.  This is a new beginning, a new way of working for everyone.   We cover: Digital Design & Technical Buying & Merchandising Sustainability Sourcing Human Resources Sales/Account Managers Retail Operations Flex with us - let V&C Associates get it absolutely right for you. Click here to discuss your Flexing recruitment solution.

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