Approaches to Interviews for Apparel Merchandising

Approaches to Interviews for Apparel Merchandising
Mohammad Shahadat Hossain
Currently working on Merchandising for a buying liaison office.
Studied B.Sc. in Textile Engineering from Daffodil International University

  All of we have our own way to adopt interviews & it varies from case to case or person to person (ways/interest of interviewer or theme of organization) but I am trying here to present a sequential overview which I believe to be making you confident prior to go for any interview specially for apparel merchandising job.
Approaches to Interviews for Apparel Merchandising
Fig: Interview board
Before going for an interview/insight thinking when you’re on session:
  • Don’t be panic on getting the job while you’re on interviews.
  • Be positive in thinking & try to feel for the entire session very lightly to grow your confidence.
  • But be aware that you’re presenting yourself, so your any unusual manner can abuse your personality to market.
  • Be formal in manner & approach, not only in dress-up.
  • Try to think that whichever you know this is right & you have to establish this.
  • Try to use simply “no” at your answer, don’t try to answer any point on which you’re not confident enough.
  • Be honest & try to expose the real facts otherwise you will fall on perplexing situation with your false answer.
Covering the questions at interviews:
  • Please describe/introduce yourself in brief.
    --Highlight your present work/responsibility, educational & personal back ground (family/home district) in a couple of sentence.
  • Why did you choose merchandising as your profession?
    --You should say valid/logical reason behind.
  • How do you manage your assigned work/responsibility?
    --Should answer on a summarized point, avoid lengthy explanation.
  • How do you keep your record for daily follow-up/tracking?
  • What are the sampling process?
    --As example: development sample, fit sample, PP sample, production/gold seal sample.
  • What are the mostly used commercial & shipping terms?
    --i.e; FOB, C&F, CIF, L/C at sight, deferred, PI, CI, BL, HAWB etc
  • What are the lead-time of your product?
    --You have to answer it based on your product. This is variable like 60 days for knit basic tee/vest, 95 to 100 days for denim/woven bottom etc..
  • What do you mean by T&A plan or critical path & do you think this is necessary for your order follow-up?
    --You have to answer this based on your own experience/approach of working. But as per my understanding- this is really very necessary tools as it is total framework for your daily follow-up process which includes your planning/forecast & working towards hitting the plan for keeping your order on track.
  • How do you define a successful PP meeting?
    --To cover up all the necessary discussion on comments, sampling, production plan, forecasting possible issues. And to make sure that all relevant production, QA team has clear understanding on everything.
  • What do you mean by trim sheet/BOM? Or how do you take your order specification/clarification?
    --Based on development records, you should make queries on all the points (fabrication, accessories, styling/fitting, color, approval reference, packing/folding reference) & take confirmation/understanding from your respective buyer.
  • What are the necessary points for costing?
    --Fabrication/relevant yarn count, consumption, knitting price, dyeing price, accessories cost, print/embroidery/wash/any other embellishment cost, size ratio, quantity, fabric & trims source, commercial, testing or any other charge, CM (cost of making), lead-time of product.
  • Interviewer can show you some product to ask on price, lead-time, fabrication, print/embroidery/wash/any other embellishment, CM/SMV value?
  • Interviewer will ask you on fabric lead-time, accessories lead-time, transit time for some imported fabric, yarn, accessories.
  • What are the folding or packaging process?
    --Flat pack, shirt fold, roll pack, hanging method etc.
  • Write a mail to manage one-week extension from buyer?
  • How do you manage your customer for any approval (based on any particular case like fit rejection, PP rejection or any other submission rejection)?
  • How do you plan yourself for best adoption of new customer/account?
  • What types of testing parameter your existing customer follows for base & bulk?
  • How do you take commercial acceptance on testing?
  • How do you get confirmed of care symbol/instruction for your product?
  • You need to be aware on testing parameter for what types of product?
    --It’s also variable based on your product range. But for an idea like shrinkage/recovery for rib fabric(specially on lower gsm), pilling for CVC, wash fastness for pigment coverage AOP, wash fastness for lurex content fabric etc…
  • What are the required percentage of fabric wastage which needs to be considered while booking?
  • What is the usual width of woven fabric? Or what is the open width for knit fabric (S/J, rib or any other)?
  • Can you please tell about some renowned supplier for woven/denim fabric?
  • Do you know the change of weight after wash (both for woven/denim & knit fabrics)?
  • What will be the per day output of a product (knit basic tee shirt, vest, fleece hoodie, woven/denim bottoms for men’s or any other kids item or anything)?
  • What are the types of zipper? Or how do you measure button size? Or anything on accessories?
  • Types of wash, print, embroidery (varies from case to case)?
  • What are the type of poly/carton- you’re using for your consignment?
  • What are the type of vessel? i.e; feeder, mother vessel
  • Can you please share some DC/Port name for UK/any other importer country?
  • How do you manage yourself in critical situation like as air shipment at your company’s cost or any other alarming issue?
  • How do you avoid issues at your working area?
    --I think to flag out the thing at very beginning & to put the thing on table not keeping on pocket at your own risk.
  • How do you define risk assessment?
IQ views/general questions:
  • What is the total export value from BD garments on last year?
  • What do you mean by brand?
    --It’s like an identity to expose through a motto. This answer can be variable & to be as your own thinking.
  • What are the top class fashion brand for all around the world i.e; Europe, USA, UK?
  • Do you think you as perfect/confident & what’s your strength behind to make you perfect than others?
  • What’s your thinking about BD garments trade or what do you think of this trade- after ten years?
  • What do you want you to see you after 5 years? Or what’s your future planning? Or what’s your motto of life?
  • Do you think you as positive thinking person? & why?
This is simply an overview of interview- from my point of view. You may go through the same to match with your ideas. As I believe that everyone has their own thinking to present themselves or make them ready for any challenge. I will be obliged if someone can get help from this writing, thanks in advance & wishing for all of your better future.

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Mazharul Islam Kiron is a textile consultant, entrepreneur, blogger and researcher on online business promotion. He is working as a consultant in several local and international companies. He is also a contributor of Wikipedia.

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