How I Got My Internship At ASOS...

By Lucy Harbron - 21:53

After however many DMS and questions, I’m finally going to talk about it; how I got my internship at ASOS. Let's dive straight in shall we…

Obviously, internships are hugely helpful when it comes to getting a job, so a while back I signed up to a bunch of internship newsletters, so monthly I get an email with a list of internships up for grabs. One of those was run by The Tab, and almost a year ago now, an ASOS content and engagement internship was advertised. Honestly, I kind of laughed when I apply, like come on, it’s ASOS. But I thought what’s the harm in trying. The process was split into 3 parts; CV, video interview, assessment centre.


So obviously the first part was to upload a CV and cover letter to their database. So here’s tip number 1; make your CV look nice. If you’re applying for anything in a creative industry, you have no excuse to have an ugly CV or an uninspiring cover letter. They don’t care about the cookie-cutter letter content, so I laid myself bare. In my letter, I wrote about body confidence, and the power of fashion to make people feel good and how I believe that ASOS is pioneering this belief. I put any and all experience into my CV; any site I’ve written for, any day/week of work experience I’ve done, Saturday jobs. Like my CV was bulky, and obviously, I included this blog, my magazine and my book. ‘Unofficial’, self-made things definitely look good, they show drive and passion, and they actually remember me at work from some of the things on my CV.

If your CV is weak, time to get pro-active. I’ve always been an exceptionally keen bean when it comes to experience within the circles I want to move in. My best advice would be to just send out email after email, and DM after DM to any local business or creative that you admire, or reach out to anyone that works in your area of interest. Even a days experience or a coffee can be super super useful, contacts are always good, and I promise you it’ll give you a fresh burst of motivation.
This is the slowest part of the process, sometimes taking months to get any response. So don’t get your hopes up, but equally, don’t be disheartened if it’s been two weeks and you still haven’t heard anything. I think it took almost a month to hear back from ASOS, but I did, and I was offered a video interview.

Video interview

The scariest part of the entire process. For big companies, video interviews are becoming more and more popular, using apps like Hirevue, which basically give you your question then film your response and send it off.

I won’t lie, this was terrifying. I had no idea what to expect or to prepare, so I just learnt the skeleton of the company; it’s origin, names of CEOs, names of insiders and people they’ve worked with recently. I looked over all the social channels and tried to mention things they’d done. In general, the questions are pretty vague, the typical ‘what makes you right for the position’ kind of questions. But the format, with the app automatically recording you and giving you limited time to think, is daunting. I think the main thing is just trying to be as calm as possible and be yourself, try and get as much enthusiasm and personality across as possible, and don’t worry if you fumble on your words and don’t say the exact right thing, they understand it’s stressful.

At this stage, I regretted not doing more research into the company’s competition so you can learn from my mistake.

I thought it went absolutely awfully. Afterwards I'd resigned myself to not getting it, but then 2 weeks later I got an email inviting me down to London to the assessment centre. I got the invite on the same day that I signed for my flat in Sheffield, so I had champagne to celebrate.

Assessment centre

I’ve only ever done one of these, so I can only talk about my experience with ASOS, but I imagine it’s pretty typical. An assessment centre is basically an interview with a task involved, that they normally give you to prepare for in advance.

My assessment centre was in 3 parts; a group task, a presentation, and a personal interview. For the interview, they gave us a particular structure to study called the STAR method, which is a specific way to answer interview questions that covers your experience and what you learnt from it. For this I prepared by knowing my experience and how to talk about it, thinking of particular tasks or jobs that were difficult and how I dealt with it etc. The normal interview stuff.

For the presentation, they gave me my task about two weeks in advance; plan a campaign for denim to cover all social channels, the homepage and style feed. And I. went. In.

For mine, I decided to focus on denim that wasn’t blue or black and to avoid jeans. Instead, I went for colourful or patterned denim, co-ords, denim tops, denim suits etc. My vibe was to image the spice girls, then style them all in denim. There were 15 other people in my assessment, all with the same brief, so I think picking something different is important. Also going that extra mile goes a long, long way. We were told that they wouldn’t be screens so to print out our presentations. And while others had printed powerpoint slides or vision board, I played on my strengths and made a zine. I printed 3, one for each assessor to keep, and put time into making it look brand appropriate and high quality. Honestly, I think this is what put my foot in the door. Effort pays off.

Presentations are not in my comfort zone. I hate them. I always end up stuttering, speaking way to fast, and then hating myself for forgetting things. So I tried to prepare enough that I knew my plan like the back of my hand, but I avoided rehearsing, so I didn’t stress myself out or make myself panic if I did happen to forget something. I put everything in my hand out, so if I did happen to forget something, it was there and they knew I’d thought about it. And on the day, I just tried to take my time and move through it logically. The atmosphere was amazing, from the minute we arrived everyone was so lovely and made us feel so comfortable and welcome. They chatted with us and provided food and drinks, and really just did everything to make us the least stressed we could be. So going into the presentation, I felt as calm as I possibly could at my dream job interview. I stumbled a couple of times, but I did my best. And that’s all you can do. Put in effort, try your hardest, get your point and your personality across.

The group interview was fun, like actually fun and stress-free. In groups of three, we had 40 minutes to plan a Valentine's campaign. The trick here is t be assertive and organised, without speaking over anyone. It’s all about balance, getting yourself noticed in a good way rather than coming across too dominating. I made sure to not speak over anyone, but then spoke up and communicated my ideas. I think what won them over on me at this stage, was me prompting the team towards finalising plans when we had 15 minutes left. Time management is a big deal, and being organised, especially when working in a team, is a must. So be that person. Have all the good ideas, communicate them calmly, listen well, and then drive the team towards finalisation. Don’t worry too much, people will be there and will notice all the good ideas you have and all the things you do, so if you’re shy like me, don’t be down on yourself. People will notice if you’re doing good, even if you’re not the loudest one in the room.

At the end of the day, I thought I’d done well on 2/3 activities; my interview and my group task. My presentation went well, but it’s hard to feel confident when something isn’t your strong point. But all in all, I felt good.

At this point, it’s important to realise how well you’ve already done. To get invited down to HQ, or get an interview, you’ve already beat out thousands and thousands of people. So they see potential, and that’s a big deal. So on my way home, I tried to remind myself that even if I didn’t get it, they know my name and they saw something in me. I’d already done 100% better than I thought I would when I half-jokingly applied.

When they called a week later and offered me the position, I cried on the phone. I’d done it.

So my top tips;

1) Apply even if you don’t think you’ll get it, or even if you don’t have exactly what they’re looking for. If you’re passionate, they’ll notice. And you have 100% more chance of getting it if you actually apply.

2) Don’t worry too much. They know it’s stressful and scary, they expect slip-ups and stumbles, it’s fine. Just worry about being yourself and showing your enthusiasm and personality. Also, I think getting your ethics across is super important, for me body positivity and representation are things I advocate massively and I know ASOS does too, so I made sure to talk about this whenever I could.

3) Effort. Effort. Effort. Effort. Go the extra mile, always.

4) Remember you’ve already done so well, and trust in your skills.

5) You don’t have to be extroverted, or the loudest one in the room. They’ll notice you if you do good.

Any other questions let me know, and if you’re in dire need of a CV boost, contributor to kiloran magazine has a nice ring to it.

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