Whether you’re a basketball fan or a sneakerhead, chances are you’ve thought about what it would be like to work for Nike, the world’s largest athletic apparel brand. Based In Portland, Oregon, the company employs 56,000 people and is about as iconic as it gets thanks to its ubiquitous Swoosh logo. In a recent interview with Cosmopolitan, vice president and chief talent diversity officer Monique Matheson revealed what it takes to find yourself among the lucky few.
No surprise here: a love for athletics is a must, but Nike doesn’t hire just anyone. “People who thrive here are curious, flexible, resilient, self-starters with high personal standards, optimistic, and great team players,” says Matheson. “They also bring world-class capabilities in their area of expertise.” Sound like you? Then read on.
Keep that social media clean
Resumes and cover letters are important, but so is your presence online. “The number one piece of advice for collegiate or early-career candidates reaching out over social media is to be mindful of your message and profile at all times. Be sure you are sharing content that is public knowledge and is appropriate,” says Matheson.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions during the interview—Matheson emphasized the importance of being “curious about their [Nike’s] business and culture.” This includes not forgetting to ask the interviewer if they have heard enough about your experience and other information they’ll need to make the decision. “Better to ask questions than make assumptions,” she says.
Look the part
Nike has helped push a fashionable aesthetic in sport, but Matheson suggests you stick with a suit and tie. “I recommend that candidates always stick with a professional dress code during interviews,” she says. Leave those Kobes at home, gents.
Know what for and why you’re applying
It’s always to your advantage if the position you’re applying for is hard to fill or lies in an expanding branch of the company. Matheson highlighted marketing positions as top-growing areas of the company, as well as those within consumer technology function—meaning sneakerhead engineers and tech-savvy designers should apply. Once you score the interview, you’ll also be asked why you want to work for Nike—be able to provide at least two to three reasons why.
One of the best ways to make a lasting impression during any job interview is to stay on the staffer’s radar after you’ve parted ways. Matheson suggests a message or hand-written note to help create a personal connection. “When it’s a close call, even little things make a difference,” she says.
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