Recruiter Interview – Jillian Prejean
Tell us a little about yourself.
JP: I’ve been in the fashion industry for 10 years working with the retail side of the industry. I grew up in Lafayette, Louisiana in the middle of “Cajun Country” and then studied PR and Advertising at Oral Roberts University before stepping into fashion full time. I’m obsessed with Saved by the Bell and secretly wish I was the Kelly Kapowski of the industry. I grew up in Lafayette, Louisiana in the middle of “Cajun Country” and then studied PR and Advertising at Oral Roberts University before stepping into fashion full time. I’m obsessed with Saved by the Bell and secretly wish I was Kelly Kapowski.
How did you get into recruiting?
JP: I started my career in stores first and worked my way up to hold a General Manager position running a high volume store location while overseeing a team of 100+. That experience gave me firsthand knowledge on what to look for when finding the right talent to run a successful retail business. After my time in stores, I was ready for a change of pace and received an opportunity to work full time in recruiting. I’ve stayed in recruiting ever since!
Tell us about Theory / Helmut Lang
JP: Theory was built around the idea of the perfect, essential pant and shirt. We were among the first to use stretch fabrics in tailoring, making our clothes sexy, feminine, comfortable, and versatile.
Our mission is to empower men and women by providing them with sophisticated wardrobe essentials; to define innovation in design and manufacturing through a mastery of fit and fabric; to represent the last word in quality and integrity.
Founded in 1986, Helmut Lang redefined fashion and style through innovative tailoring and a deep engagement with contemporary avant-garde culture. In 2006, Fast Retailing pivoted the brand into a successful contemporary business and enabled global expansion. In 2015, the brand relaunched with a newly refined vision for the collection and introduced a new retail concept at the brand’s Los Angeles flagship on Melrose.
Why would a fashion industry job seeker want to work at Theory / Helmut Lang?
JP: We are a global brand yet operate with an entrepreneurial spirit. Our focus is internal growth and we have amazing product that keeps customers loyal year after year. Andrew Rosen, our Founder and CEO, is passionate about seeing these brands evolve regarding the apparel design and also the personal development of each individual in the company.
What types of fashion industry positions do you recruit for?
JP: My focus is to find top-talent for our retail stores including sales and management leaders.
What are some common misconceptions job seekers have about your job?
JP: I’ve had many store associates show interest in wanting to be a recruiter. I always ask them this question, “Are you the top recruiter in your district and have you been able to find candidates for open positions in your location as well as in your district?” The general misconception is that a recruiter spends their days interviewing, but an even bigger part is finding talent!
What are some of the most common mistakes fashion industry job seekers make when looking/applying/interviewing/etc… for a job?
JP: It’s true when they say that “honesty is the best policy”. Obviously during an interview you want to ensure you are putting your best foot forward. That being said, I’ve had numerous interviews over the years where candidates have not been honest with me regarding their work experience, current salary, career aspirations etc. Being truthful about your experience is the best way to go. A good interviewer will be able to call your bluff whether it’s during the interview or after by checking your references.
What are some common mistakes fashion industry job seekers make during the job search process?
JP: Applying for jobs that have specific requirements that their experience does not meet.
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