Advice: Good References Are a Lifesaver

I bombed my interview with Details for a fashion internship position. Before I go any further, I have to explain myself. I was nervous. Just two years ago I was in a cab passing Condé Nast and I vowed that I would someday step into that building for an interview, and voila! I was standing at the front desk, feet numb, hands shaking, waiting to be called up to the 8th floor.

Conde NastPhoto: Getty Images

Now, to what extent do I emphasize bombed? I stuttered, blanked out and was unable to finish my sentences. For example (verbatim) I was asked, “Who are your favorite designers?” I responded, “I like Junn.J. I’m not sure if you’ve heard of him.” The editor responds, “Yes I have. He showed in Paris.” I felt my throat clench up but I continued. “He’s modern and he is fresh and … um … (one minute passes by) … yea.” (Seriously I said “yea”) The editor had to finish my sentence for me. Now extend that moment for another 15 minutes as he directed a flurry of questions at me. Then the editor told me that I would be competing with many other applicants for one position — that’s normally a bad sign.

Now skip to two days after the interview. I was asked to submit my references and accordingly I sent the editor a heartfelt apology explaining how nervous I was and that I didn’t fully explain my credentials. I don’t know what my Out editor told the Details editor, but it must have been amazing, because I was offered the internship. Moral of the story is, work hard during your current internship whether it be at a start up company or a respected editorial. It could help you to snag that internship despite a cringe worthy interview.

— Francis Bea


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Filed under Advice, Details, Interview

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