Your Beauty Retail Job Interview

We can’t tell you the specifics of what you’ll be asked to do on the day and every cosmetic company has different interview procedures but what we can do is give you a rough idea of the sorts of things you may be asked to do on the day. At least if you prepare in advance for the following you’ll stand a good chance of impressing most recruiting cosmetic companies.

Interview questions

At the very least you’re bound to be asked some questions at your interview in a one-to-one interview setting. You should think in advance how you would answer the following questions.

Sample questions:

Q. What do you know about our company and why do you want to work for us?

It pays dividends to  do some background research on the company before you attend your interview as it shows some initiative on your behalf and also helps you explain why you want to work for them. The company after all wants to see that you have real enthusiasm in working for their particular firm either because you both use and love their products or because they’re a reputable brand with a great reputation for developing their staff and you want to progress your retail career with them

Q. What do you like about our products?

Whatever you do don’t turn up for the interview without at least having done some research into their products. Go and visit their beauty counter in your nearby department store, try some sample products, quizz the beauty retail assistant about what is great about their products. In other words have some answers to hand about what it is you like about their products. If you can’t articulate what it is about their brand you like then they’re unlikely to trust you have the ability to sell their products

Q. How do you feel about working towards sales targets?

Get one thing very clear in your mind - beauty retail roles are not  simply makeup roles but sales roles. Your job is to promote and sell as many beauty products as you possibly can and you will be given daily sales targets to work towards. The cosmetics company wants to know that you’ll be comfortable and indeed motivated about working to retail targets. There is nothing to be embarrassed about admitting you both like and feel motivated about achieving sales budgets and boosting your salary with commission

Q. How do you feel about traffic stopping customers? How would you go about doing it?

Traffic stopping is one of the key requirements of any beauty retail job and if you feel uncomfortable about approaching members of the general public then retail might not be the right career for you. You will want to convey to the interviewer that you feel comfortable and happy in approaching potential customers and give reasons why i.e. it creates an opportunity to promote your products. If you’ve never traffic stopped yourself and want some ideas about how you would go about doing it then why not go window shopping in a department store and look at how the retail consultants approach you and make a note of which methods were the most effective.

Q. Have you experience of selling products?

Even if you haven’t worked before in a department store on a beauty counter, nearly all of us have some degree of selling experience. If you’ve been working as a beauty therapist within a salon then you’ll have been selling treatments and products to your customers. Make sure you think in advance of scenarios where you’ve sold well against target or managed to get repeat business from your customers.

Q. What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Use your common sense here. Putting 'selling' as a weakness will get you frog marched out of the interview!!

What are you most passionate about at work? Here the interviewer will be wanting to determine that the things you most like about your work can be found in a beauty retail position.

Company induction/presentation

If your interview is booked to last 4 hours or more don’t be surprised if you are asked to sit through an induction talk or even demonstration of how to sell and/or apply certain products. The products demonstrated will typically be their best sellers!

Pay very close attention and take notes about everything that is shown including tips on how to apply the products and buzz words used to describe them as  there is a high probability you will be expected to demonstrate what you've just learnt during role play later in the day.

Role play

Beauty retail roles are customer facing. It’s essential therefore that you’re a good communicator. In a bid to see how you would possibly interact with customers the cosmetics firm may arrange a role play situation where you interact with one of the other candidates in various mock retail assistant/customer scenarios.  If you’re applying for a role with a cosmetics firm they may ask you to apply make-up to your fellow candidates, traffic stop them, try and sell them products ... You get the idea. The important thing is to be yourself, try and relax and enjoy yourself. No one expects you to be perfect but they do expect to see that you’ve got the personality and confidence to give it a go

An 'audition'

Some beauty retail interviews will come across more like an audition! Candidates will initially sit through a company demonstration as detailed above and be introduced to some products which they'll  be shown how to correctly apply as well as sell!  They'll then be released onto the shop floor and asked to approach customers to take back to the counter and demonstrate their products to. This will undoubdtedly terrify some of the candidates but if you familarise yourself with the company and its  products beforehand and practice some role playing of your own in advance of the interview it won't feel quite so daunting a task!

If you have a beauty retail jobs interview lined up we wish you the best of luck and hope that our little guide goes some  way to helping you in your interview preparation.

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