I Do Windows

An email question from a reader

Posted in Q and A by Arcadia on October 6, 2010

Here is a great question from a new reader:

Hi there,

I just stumbled across your blog as I was doing last-minute prep for my interview with Macy’s tomorrow for a Seasonal Visual Associate. I don’t have any formal studies, but have had some creative experiences in merchandising, floral event design, styling and photography as well was retail sales experience.

Just wondering if you have any tips or input on what to expect for the first interview.

Thanks!
J.

Here’s what I wrote back:

Hi J,

Really emphasize your “hands-on” experience in the areas that you mention.  Skills in styling, floral design, etc transfer over into merchandising because you have trained your eye on what looks good and creating optical balance.  Explain what you learned in retail sales, I’m sure you paid attention to how the sales floor was laid out, and which areas are the prime selling areas in the store (It’s always the front).

Visual Merch. and Window Display are “artsy” hands-on jobs.  You can’t be afraid to get your hands dirty or move around store fixtures when called upon.  You need creativity, organizational skills, and good time management, and it doesn’t hurt to be self-motivated.  This is what I tell my students and what I would look for in a potential employee.

I started at Macy’s as a part-time Xmas trimmer as well.  If you have a portfolio showing creative work you’ve done that’s a plus.  When I applied many, many years ago 🙂 – I didn’t get the regular permanent position because of my lack of a portfolio even though I had all kinds of experience.  The guy with the portfolio, who was an artist got the position over me.  The manager called me up a few months later and offered me the seasonal part-time position.  I took it and worked really hard to learn how they did things.  I was the only seasonal trimmer they kept once the holidays was over.

Best of luck to you!

Kindly,
Arcadia

I heard back from J and was told she did not get the seasonal position but was contacted for an interview for a full-time position instead!!  That is wonderful news and I sincerely hopes this works out, as I could tell from our email correspondence J has a real passion for this kind of work!

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  1. […] An update from our Visual Merchandiser job-seeker! Posted in Q and A by Arcadia on October 31, 2010 Here’s a great update from a reader who had actively been seeking a job in our field!  Click on this link to get the back story. […]


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