Hi guys, So today I thought I would tell you about my experience of applying for a counter job with Benefit Cosmetics. Every now and then I try and get a counter job, but as most of my experience is office work, I never get far.
However, I got through to the recruitment day stage and it was actually a lot of fun. If any of you aspire to work for a make-up counter, this should hopefully be a helpful read!
Stage One: Online application
If you've had a browse on the Benefit Cosmetics UK website, you've probably seen that you can create an account and a profile, to buy products and/or apply for jobs.
My tips for this stage is to look at the job description to see what type of person they are looking for and try and fit in your descriptions and experience around this. I haven't had sales experience, but I have had to work to targets in one of my jobs before, so I described that part of it as being determined to meet targets and knowing how important they are.
I also handed in my CV and cover letter to a department store near where I live, and again made sure in my cover letter I talked about the relevant experience and what I could bring to the role.
The main thing is to just come across as enthusiastic, hard working and fun and that'll be fine!
Stage Two: Telephone interview
I have to admit that I was caught off guard at this part!! I'd received a message explaining that someone wanted to talk to me about my application so I rang them back and on the spot they asked if they could interview me for 5 minutes! I can't remember every question, as I blagged my way through most of it. I can tell you that they asked me to name some of the products, why I wanted to work for Benefit Cosmetics, what I liked about the brand and a few questions on how I would attract customers to the counter. A bit of prep helps but it wasn't anything too hard.
Stage Three: Recruitment Audition Process
Once you've passed the telephone interview, you're invited to take part in a recruitment day. The only information I got was the location, date and time, to wear all black clothing, and no open toe shoes.
Google Benefit recruitment process and you'll find a load of blogs and forums where people detailed what they went through. It involved traffic stopping customers. Okay, this time I was scared s***less.
After reading through tonnes of information, the main thing was to not worry about having the make-up skills, just concentrate on being friendly, smiley, enthusiastic, stand out and approach every single customer.
On the day I was slightly late, due to having to arrive straight from my job 40 minutes drive away and not knowing the town centre at all. They seemed fine about it though. You get taken upstairs to the training room after signing in and storing your bags. There were only 3 other girls and we were all going for jobs in different stores, so that fact relaxed me a little. The trainer went through what the day entailed and explained how to traffic stop customers. We went through the different answers people could give and what we would say to try and persuade them to come to the counter.
When I was reading about the auditions, people were saying you have to be quite pushy and they didn't like it, but it wasn't like that at all. The opening line was "Have you heard of Benefit Cosmetics?" and so the customer can only give a yes or no answer. Then if they didn't want to come to the counter, all you do is ask them why politely and try and persuade them gently one more time. If it's still a no, then that's fine and you move on to someone else.
"Hello, have you heard of Benefit Cosmetics?"
"Oh brilliant, well we're giving out free makeovers today, come with me and I'll show you a few products."
"I haven't got time."
"How long do you have?"
"It will only take 5 minutes at the most and you get a bit of pampering."
Something along those lines. Then if the customer says no again, you just thank them and tell them to enjoy their day.
So once you've learnt how to bring people to the customer, the trainer will go through the products you will be using on customers, and demonstrates how to apply them and what to say. I liked the way they did it actually. You apply one product at a time to half the face, showing the customer the result after each product so they can see what difference each one makes, as it's quite subtle. You also explain how to apply the product and what each of them is for, and after a few goes you do remember a lot of information and end up constantly talking to the customer. It's important not to worry about not remembering every single fact; after all, you already know more than the customer so you will look like you know what you're talking about.
The products we used were:
It's Potent Eye Cream
In the training room, you practise on each other and talk as if you are the customer, so you're not just thrown into the deep end out on the shop floor!! Once you've done half the face, you carry on with the other half but talking to the customer about their day and just general chit chat. You are encouraged to find out what product they liked and bring it over to see if they wanted to buy it.
The thing I was a bit frustrated about was that when customers asked how much things cost, I realised we hadn't been informed of the prices and there were no stickers on them. So it helps to research prices a little bit before the day, however no need to worry if you aren't sure. If a customer loves the product, the price won't matter to them!
I thought I would HATE traffic stopping customers but I actually really enjoyed it. No one is rude to you and the people that do come to the counter are actually really lovely!! I was also surprised with some of the people that did come to the counter, so really do ask everybody. It could see the girls on other make-up counters smirking if they heard you trying to get customers, but they were standing around doing nothing while ours was the busiest, so I didn't feel silly.
I think overall I sat about 7 or 8 people down and sold a couple of products, so I was pretty pleased.
However, I didn't get the job. My feedback was great, they said I gave the customers a great experience, and that it was nice to see the different age ranges I was bringing to the counter. There I was waiting for the inevitable 'but' which ended up being that they had filled my position with someone internal, so will keep my details on file and contact me if anything else comes up. Gutted!! I haven't got my hopes up, as she ended the call with "good luck for the future." Yeah thanks. I'll keep trying though.
Anyway, I hope this information helped you and gave you a bit more insight to recruitment processes.
Ciao for now!