I might not have mentioned it but I recently applied to work on the Benefit make-up counter and attended an “audition” yesterday.
The phone interview was very brief, I would say no more than 10 minutes and it was very basic questions like “Why do you want to work for us?”, “What do you know about the Debenhams brand”, “Tell me about a time when you have gone above and beyond for a customer” etc.
They called me back a whole 9 minutes after the phone interview to invite me to the audition. I know from reading other blogs that they aren’t always so quick and I guess it would depend on where the Benefit store you applied for is based i.e. in Boots, Debenhams or elsewhere.
I was advised to arrive early and to wear all black and so that is exactly what I did. I also started to Google for any information that might help me get the job! There were a few blogs and they were very useful although some were a few years old. I decided I would blog my experience of the audition process to help any other applicants out there feel a little more at ease with the process they would be going through.
When I arrived 4 other girls were already waiting at the stand. Through chatting while we waited we discovered who had applied for what store and what their current/last job was. At this point I realised 2 already worked at other make-up counters in the store (YSL and Dior) and a third was a make-up artist currently out of work as the last store she was working for had closed. There was also one no show.
The area manager brought us all up to a training room where we spent approximately 90 minutes learning about traffic stopping, some products and an application routine to use to demonstrate the products to potential customers.
With the traffic stopping she showed us how she would stop people and what she would say. She then went on to go over peoples reasons to not want to try make-up on from “I don’t have much time” to “I have the children with me” and “I have sensitive skin”. Having read up on the audition process online I expected 4 items that lots of people mentioned but we actually were given 6.
- It’s Potent
- You Rebel (in 2 shades)
- High Beam
- They’re Real
The manager wanted to bring a member of her sales team up to demo the make-up process but as she was busy I volunteered to let her do it on me. We learned a few facts about each item to talk about while applying them to customers e.g. that It’s Potent contains vitamins A and E and that the skin around the eye area is actually 40% thinner than the rest of the face. She also showed us how to apply it and told us the importance of using the disposable applicators (which if you study beauty you know why it is important but as it is not a requirement to have a make-up background to do the job I guess that is why they go into these details).
Once she was done showing us how she would do it we took time to do it on each other in pairs. This was a good time to repeat and go over what it was we needed to know for the floor. My partner and I actually quizzed each other a little on each product asking what its features and benefits were.
When she felt we were ready she advised us we would be going to the shop floor and should we feel uncomfortable and like the job was not one we would enjoy we could stop our audition and leave at any point but equally they would stop us if they felt we were not what they were looking for. After this we were all taken down to the shop floor and advised we had 45 minutes to an hour to go out and traffic stop. We could pick whichever item we wanted to bring with us to use to demonstrate and encourage the shoppers over to the stand.
I started with Porefessional while most of the others went for They’re Real as it came with a laminate sheet showing the full effect of the mascara. I managed to get a shopper over to the stand very quickly as I spotted a girl from my class at a till with her mum. She kindly agreed to come with me to the stand to help my “bums on seats” figure. I did the routine on her while one of the girls who worked on the stand took her mum to another seat and showed her some items too. Although I knew she wouldn’t be buying anything just having her sit down built my confidence up to go out to find the next person.
All in all I had 6 people come over to the counter with me. I reffered 2 of these onto the counter staff as I suggested one would benefit from a brow powder (we could not demo or sell anything we had not been trained in and so had to pass them on) and the second wanted a full coverage foundation rather than a tinted moisturiser. Although I passed 2 clients on both went on to purchase items and I also sold a mascara to one of the other shoppers who sat with me.
After what felt like it could have been an hour I went to ask how long we had left and was advised that it was time for my interview as I had passed the audition process. Yeay me. I was also advised that 3 of the other 4 had been sent home and thus only 2 of us would be having the interview.
The interview was very similar to the phone interview with a few extra questions such as what pay I would be hoping for and did I feel the job would be one I could do on a day to day basis (it is).
They advised that I would hear back by Monday at the latest but hopefully by today. Needless to say I have not heard from them today but as I have read that they can take their time with letting candidates know either way I am not too shocked.
I am hopeful that when I do hear from them it will be good news but if I am turned down at least it is because I was beaten by a girl who already works for Dior and that I got further than the MUA and the girl who works for YSL.
Since I was invited to the interview I have been asking myself “Do I really want the job?” Well yes, it should pay better than I receive at the moment and there is also commission. The contract hours are also more than I have with my current employer and they are aware I am going to resume my studies and happy to work around them come September. It was also give me a great opportunity to be applying make-up to people on a regular basis. So here’s keeping everything crossed that they call me on Monday with some good news and of course I will keep you updated on which way the axe fell.