Raissa Gerona's Instagram feed shows that the fashion executive's life can look undeniably glamorous.
As the chief brand officer of e-commerce fashion company Revolve, Gerona's line of work takes her to events across New York City, Los Angeles, Paris, Lisbon, Ibiza and more. It's all part of the job representing a fashion brand with a major social media presence, through which Gerona pioneered a new marketing strategy involving social-media influencers to elevate the brand's reach and success.
Revolve Group raised $212 million in an initial public offering in June 2019, giving the company a market capitalization of $1.47 billion, as reported by Forbes. While the past few years have been an uncertain time for traditional apparel retailers, Revolve's influencer-driven marketing strategy and ability to connect with millennial shoppers has the company on track to hit $600 million in sales this year, according to the Los Angeles Times.
While much of Gerona's work is seen on social media, job candidates who focus too much on this aspect of the job raise the biggest red flags in an interview — so much so that the chief brand officer says it can kill their chances of landing the job.
"Because of what we do and what the job looks like on social media, it's a dealbreaker for me when they immediately ask, 'When do I get to travel?' Or they say, 'I can't wait to go to the parties,'" Gerona tells CNBC Make It. "Even though I know that feels really exciting to the candidate, to immediately ask about when they get to go on the Revolve Around the World trip puts me off, because it indicates that's what they want the job for, and that they don't really see the bigger picture."
Gerona says these kinds of questions and comments show a lack of respect to the team behind all the work of putting the events together. New hires aren't necessarily traveling to red carpets and events, she says, but rather are back at the company's office in Cerritos, California, supporting the team that is traveling and coordinating events.
"Having a question like that makes me feel like you're not here for the right reasons," she adds, saying these unrealistic expectations can lead to a poor work experience for employees and managers alike. She says it makes her wonder: "Are we going to be on the same page six months from now?"
Of course, it's crucial to show enthusiasm for a company when interviewing for a new job with them. But it's better to focus on the mission of the job and the company itself, rather than ancillary work perks like business travel or access to high-profile events.
Gerona says her favorite way to see this is when job candidates ask questions about Revolve's future in retail and social media, the brand's strategy to expand its influencer network, and how the specific role would play into the company's growth.
When a candidate shows they've done their research and prepare thoughtful questions about these details, Gerona says, "That's already like, kudos — you already are winning."
These kinds of questions also show Gerona that the interviewee prepared for the meeting by not only brushing up on the job description, but also by understanding the history, culture and direction of the company as a whole.
"It's always really fascinating to me when they come prepared knowing the lay of the land," she says. "And when I say lay of the land, it's not just the basics of the job that they're interviewing for, but Revolve's history, things about [co-founders] Mike [Karanikolas] and Michael [Mente], knowing right off the bat the history and culture and the direction of the company and the multiple brands that we support."
These conversations, Gerona says, let her know when a candidate is prepared and excited for the job that, while seemingly glamorous on social media, still requires plenty of behind-the-scenes work to succeed.
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