Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Makeup Counter Interview Process



I've worked on many counters and applied for even more. The one brand I have always wanted to work for but never been given the chance is Urban Decay. The holy grail of counters is MAC; the brand every girl and her aunt want to work for. The two counters application process couldn't be much different.
 
Urban Decay is about Sales - If you are lucky enough to be invited for an interview don't expect to be sitting down and chatting. You are about to be thrown into the frying pan. Urban Decay want to see if you can 1. COPE and 2. SELL. The Area Manager will explain the products you have to promote and their benefits so don't worry if you don't know every product on their shelf.
 
You are now going to be traffic stopping. For those that haven't heard this term it means stopping shoppers when they are walking straight past you and showing no interest in you. This is where lots of girls fall flat. One girl I was with during this process left when she heard this. You will have to approach these non-customers and influence them to come over to the counter where you will apply either a lip or eye makeup. If you managed to get their bum on a seat that's the easy part (yes, the EASY part).
 
You now have to sell  the products you are applying because by the end of her mini makeover your need her to buy something. You can do this several ways. I prefer the compliment approach by telling her how gorgeous a product looks on her and how much it enhances her best features. Some people go the other way and tell the customer all their faults - baggies, dark circles, thin lips - and then show them how to cover them. There's no right or wrong! You just need them to buy as it's highly likely that if you don't sell anything then you won't be invited back for a second interview (this is what happened to me).
 
Similar brand first interview process:
Benefit and Clarins
 
Brands who do a phone interview before inviting you to a formal interview:
Clinique and Bobbi Brown
 
 
MAC is about the Art - now before I start I have never applied for MAC but I wanted to show you the contrast between different companies. My information below is from other people who have applied.
 
If you are applying for MAC then you know something about makeup and how highly this brand is rated in the market. You WILL need a portfolio to apply for this counter and know how to apply makeup to a professional standard. Initially you will have a telephone interview so be prepared for all questions. I like these interviews because you can have all your notes in front of you (try not to sound like you are reading them though).
 
Example Questions:
Name a current makeup trend and how that has inspired you.
What is your favourite product? How would you sell it to a customer?
What do you know about MAC? (MAC history)
Describe MAC
What can you bring to MAC?
 
If you are successful you will be invited to a formal interview and to perform a Trade Test. This is where you will be asked to complete a look on a model (which you supply) and supply your own brushes (MAC preferred but not essential) and tip.. take a MAC palette. If you are successful you will have a final interview to evaluate the Trade Test and more questions about yourself.
 
Example Questions:
Is there anything you would change about your look?
What inspires you?
Where do you see yourself in 3 years time?
What can you bring to MAC?
When do you expect to be promoted?
Give a makeup trend you may see in the coming season?
 
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Can you see how different the brands are now? The processes will ofcourse fluctuate so be prepared for group interviews or formal interviews before phone interviews etc This is just an example of what to expect. Good Luck with your interview and please come back and share your experiences in the comments.
 
oX Wendy Xo