By: Caroline Vazzana
Recently, I said goodbye to my first assistant. A little over two years ago, when I left my full-time job to become my own boss, I set out to hire an intern--someone who could assist me as I began to grow my brand. To my surprise, I ended up finding one who later became my first actual Making it in Manhattan employee, and at the end of the day, my friend. When you’re a small business owner, or really any business owner, and you’re looking to hire, you want someone you can instantly connect with, and I’m lucky I found just that! Two years later, my first employee found a full-time job- while I was sad to lose her, I was so happy by her growth within my company and within the industry. But, now reflecting back, I feel like I’ve learned a thing or two about what people look for when hiring a new team member, especially an assistant. Below, I’m breaking down a few things I think you should know that people look for when hiring to help you land your dream job.
A Good Attitude
This might seem like common sense, but what company doesn’t want to hire someone with a good attitude? I know I do. Though we work in fashion, it isn’t always as glamorous as it may seem, so having a good attitude and taking every task on head first is so important. We’ve all been in your shoes, running around the city doing errands, late nights at the office, and etc. If you can do each task to the best of your abilities and portray that kind of mentality and work ethic in your interview, you are golden.
I cannot stress how annoying it is when someone isn’t proactive. I mean, not to be harsh, but that is one of the most important things that I think every boss and company needs. Someone who can think for you, who can do the errand, answer the email, do something you were going to tell them to do before telling them. We love people who can take the initiative and who can get stuff done before they need to be asked.
Can they picture you there?
Make sure you do your research and dress for the part. A future employer wants to be able to envision you within the company. Can they see themselves speaking with you on a daily basis? Can they imagine inviting you to happy hours with other co-workers? Taking work trips together? If you do your research and know all the right things about the company you’re about to work for, plus you dress for the roll, the likelihood of your boss knowing they need you on their team is very high.
Do you really have the right experience?
It’s always so important, to be honest with yourself, do you really have the right experience? We’ve all done it and applied for jobs that were definitely a reach given our experience- heck I’ve even done it! But at the end of the day, it’s best to be honest with yourself and your employer because that will shine through. If you’re asked in the interview if you know how to do something but really don’t, the absolute best answer would be, “I don’t currently know how to do it, but I am a fast learner and hard worker, and I’m sure I could pick it up in no time.” This way they can see you’re eager, hardworking, and ready to take on a challenge even before hired.
Creativity and Growth
My last point, especially if it’s a more creative setting is, what can you bring to the table? Do you have fresh new ideas? Are you on the cusp of the latest trends and apps? Are you going to be able to contribute to the team? And similarly, they want to feel they you are going to be able to grow within the company, that this is not just a five-month stepping stone, that you can grow and bring the company to a new chapter!
And, on top of all of this, always make sure you bring your resume with you and write a really good follow up thank you note.
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