So, today I received the phone call informing me I have got the job at BENEFITTTTT!
There was a lot of excitable screaming at my end, from both me and my mother. I got that excited that I couldn’t actually take in all the info the area manager was giving me, and I ended up having to text him later on to repeat it all. (How embarrassing?)
This will probably be a pretty long post, but I’ve split it into subheadings for anyone looking for specific info/wanting a quick fix.
It’s not that I plan on blabbing on, it’s just the actual Benefit application process itself is pretty long. If you’re anything like I was and you’re searching specifically for blog posts written about the Benefit interview and audition, then you’ll already know this.
I’ll be as detailed as I can and drop you some winning tips on how to nail your interview/audition, to hopefully land you the job too!
ABOUT ME AND WORK (skip this if you wanna just get straight to the point)
I’ve been unemployed since the new year, and that’s partly due to my ‘2017 plan’. I know beggers can’t be choosers … but, I am. Basically, I wasn’t really in a position to be choosy, but I was. This might not be the correct work ethic but, with jobs, I know what I want and I don’t like to settle for anything less. The idea of working a job that I hate just depresses me.
Don’t get me wrong, I have worked multiple jobs I hated. I’ve worked in seedy bars, I’ve been one of those people that knock on your door and begs for money, and I’ve washed greasy old grannies hair for about £2 an hour… but I’m getting older now, and I feel like every move counts. I don’t like the idea of wasting mine or anyone else’s time. Everything you do in your 20s gets you one step closer to your ultimate goal, so I feel like, in some respect, it’s okay to be picky and know what you want!
Now, I’ve landed a job I am truly passionate about, know I’m going to put everything into, and it’s one more thing on my ‘2017 plan’ ticked off.
Obviously, I still have my more ‘long term goal’ in journalism; but Benefit is perfect for me for a good while, it’s in a field I also adore and want to progress in, plus … it’s an absolutely class company!
THE ONLINE APPLICATION FORM
I applied via the careers website as I spotted a job advertisement on Indeed (sorry if you’re not from the UK) and started my application instantly, as it’s somewhere I’ve always to work. You can also find recruitment dates on their website too, which is another way benefit hire. Slightly different process if you do it that way, but it’s the same sort of jist and the info in this post will still be relevant.
DO include a cover letter, and I will say that, if you’re not passionate or enthusiastic about Benefit as a brand anyways, then you should think twice about applying. Your love for the brand needs to shine through in this application. They like energetic, bubbly, fun, smiley people. “Laugher is the best cosmetic” and all that, so give it all you’ve got and really sell yourself.
It’s a fun brand with lots of personality, they want their staff to be the same.
You won’t have a ‘makeup artist’ role as such. You’re more a … ‘makeup magician‘, so don’t let ‘lack of makeup experience’ put you off. You just have to be confident at applying makeup on people.
Benefit is all about ‘QUICK FIXES TO BEAUTY DILEMMAS!‘
An important factor to note while filling out the application form: Your role at Benefit Cosmetics will be sales and target based!
If you have experience in any sales, for the love of god, say so. I have quite a bit of previous makeup-counter/customer service experience from working at River Island, Chanel & No.7; however, I have even more sales and target based experience.
Examples could be, well, most retail jobs these days, plus charity fundraising, call centers, sales (obviously) in anything, or even if you were ever set targets/incentives/goals/challenges at any of your previous jobs to aim towards …
Talk about, how you managed to meet them, did you increase company sales? how do you cope under pressure? are you confident interacting with the public?
Just realllly, hammer home the sales experience.
The rest of the online application is multiple choice questions, which are easy enough. Just keep the Benefit ‘way’ in mind, when answering.
THE TELEPHONE INTERVIEW
I hadn’t read any blogs at this stage, so the phone call was a surprise.
I received a call THE NEXT DAY (to be honest, I don’t know how I even passed) but you have been warned, no excuses (hah hah hah).
No one likes telephone interviews, they’re designed to catch you off guard anyways (I think) to make sure you actually do give a damn/know a bit about the job you’re applying to.
It takes literally 5 minutes, and the girl I spoke to was very very very nice/encouraging, I’m assuming they will all be like that. So don’t panic.
The questions go something like this:
- Why do you want to work for Benefit Cosmetics?
- What is your favorite Benefit product and why?
- What Benefit product would best match your personality and why?
- What sales experience do you have?
- How would your best friend describe you in 3 words?
They vary slightly, I think they probably change them around often – but defo along this sort of line. Obviously, use your brain and don’t answer the personality questions like “loves the sesh” – they want fun but, not party animals who are gunna turn up hungover every shift (even if you are) – use words like reliable, friendly, passionate, determined, quirky.
I mean, I don’t think they’re too picky at this stage, honestly. I spent the whole phonecall mouthing “what the …” to my mam, who was sat next to me, and when they asked what product best suited my personality, I almost said “a faulty one” … jokes, but my real answer wasn’t much better. I picked one of the cool Russian doll gift set things they had at Christmas and I couldn’t even remember the name. So, just be creative and do a little product research after applying online. If I passed, you defo can (hahaha!)
If you pass the phone interview, you’re then invited to a ‘proper’ interview.
If you applied via a recruitment event, it might be a little different in terms of the order of things. The ‘phone call’ being a mini-interview, then your audition and then the full-on interview.
I think the interview though, is a chance for you to really show off, and stand out.
DO YOUR RESEARCH!
Benefit is a really cool brand you know, there are so many cool aspects and stories surrounding it. It’s really interesting, and a brand that’s easy to get excited about.
I am an aspiring journalist, so naturally, I LOVE researching. I went nuts, writing all my notes out in pretty colours. I won’t give the whole game away, but …
Some things worth looking into are:
- Who founded it? Where? When? Why (who what where when why lol?)
- It’s history. It used to be called ‘The Face Place’ and supposedly came about via a coin toss (yup, we almost ended up with a Casserole cafe!)
- It’s ethos: “Why does makeup have to be serious to be good?”
- How many Benefit counters are there across the world?
- Any famous customers? (Psssst Lady Di)
- They focus on traffic-stopping to give a lasting experience to customers and because they don’t advertise.
- What was their first product? (Pssst, it begins with a B)
- BIG one here: their charity partnership with REFUGE!
See, told you they were cool. It’s a very empowering brand, all about empowering people and making them feel good. The fact they work alongside REFUGE was something that really spoke to me. I also loved all the quirky little stories, it matches my personality, so I talked about that!
It was quite an informal interview, mine was in Costa cafe. The area manager was so lovely and easy to speak to, he made me feel really relaxed. Just be yourself!
He asked me 6 questions, plus asked about my availability etc.
The questions were something like:
- Tell me a bit about yourself?
- Why do you want to work for Benefit/why Benefit?
- Have you ever worked in a target based role before? How do you cope being under pressure?
- Tell me about a time you dealt with a difficult customer?
- Tell me about a time you dealt with a sensitive subject at work?
- Have you ever had to demonstrate excellent team work?
When answering these sort of questions, really think about your answers. Like, with the ‘difficult customer’ one, they don’t want you to sit and slag off a customer and explain why they were wrong. They want to know how you dealt with it, they will be marking you against a checklist, so you need to hit certain pointers i.e. listened to the customer properly, looked them in the eye, didn’t get annoyed/were patient, tried to calm them down, took it to a manager etc.
The sensitive subject one, take your time. I talked about my charity fundraising role as it involved speaking to the public about very touchy/sensitive issues; I also mentioned that working with people on a makeup counter is quite a sensitive subject in itself anyways, as people feel vulnerable without their makeup on, and may be wanting help with things like acne, wrinkles, skin conditions etc.
Teamwork is key, so give good examples. I talked about my time working at a camp via Camp America.
Also, like I mentioned earlier, hammer home any sales/targets experience you have. Even if you don’t have any official experience, mention anything similar, even if it is just something silly, like … you won an incentive at work for who could sell the most biscuits once, or something.
If you blog – MENTION THAT!!! Benefit love bloggers, and it demonstrates that you’re passionate and know a lot about … whatever it is you blog about.
If you’re prepared then you have nothing to be scared about. Get there early, grab yourself a coffee (or five) and have a read through your notes.
The best interview advice I can give if you’re the type of person who gets’s really nervous is:
- Remember, they’re probably a bit nervous too about interviewing you. We’re all human, we all go to the toilet the same at the end of the day!
- Relax, have a reality check. What’s the worst that can happen? Just pretend you’re talking to a friend.
- Sometimes I think it helps to pretend you’re acting, if you find something really difficult. Like, pick a cool character from a TV series or something, how would they handle this situation?
You get told there and then if you’ve passed the interview.
Then you’ll either be told to come back in a few hours, or another day (like me) for your audition; this is where everyone gets nervous because they’ve heard all the horror stories.
It’s not that bad. Honestly. It’s actually really fun.
I’m not going to lie – I have had a bit of experience with traffic stopping before, so I wasn’t that daunted by it. However, I do remember my first time ever traffic stopping, and I.was.crapping.myself. I also remember the first time I had to knock on a strangers door and give a whole pitch about a charity … So, if you’re feeling a bit scared, trust me, I feel ya. However, there really is no need to worry. It is daunting, but at the end of the day, the worst someone can say/do is ignore you or say no, and if they do, you just move on to the next person and shrug it off. No biggie!
What happens is, you’ll either be with a group of other girls/boys OR by yourself (like me), really the less of you there is, the better, as it gives you more customers to play with, but don’t worry if you are in a group – everyone’s in the same boat!
You’ll be told a bit about the products/given some sort of brief training. I think it’s different for every audition. In blogs I read, some people were just briefed about the products and others practiced on each other, it just depends on the area manager/the store you’re in/time etc. So don’t go with an exact formula in your head of how the days going to play out, cause you might be in for a shock.
The key thing to prepare for, regardless of how the day’s organised, is that you will be TRAFFIC STOPPING at some point. The aim of the game is bums on seats. Don’t worry about sales, or perfect makeup application (if you get the job, they’ll train you anyways).
All you have to do is go grab random shoppers and bring them back to the Benefit counter, easy! Obviously, the area manager, or other members of staff, will be watching you and monitoring other things too, so don’t literally just grab customers. They will also be watching how you interact with customers and how confident you are at engaging in conversation/getting customers over to the counter.
They will also be taking other things into consideration too. They want to make sure that you’re right for Benefit, and that you’ll fit into the team like a missing jigsaw piece.
All the blogs I read told me to revise the products I’m about to list below (which I did) because in some auditions you have to do a full mini-makeover using these specific products in this order. However, in my audition, I was just allowed to pretty much do whatever. To play it safe, the easiest products to focus on are POREFESSIONAL – BENETINT or their BROW MAPPING service (which is what I did) …
Anyways, here’s the product deets:
- IT’S POTENT EYECREAM: This is an eye cream, obviously; it contains an ancient Chinese ingredient called ‘Benert‘ (are you impressed? I’m doing all this from memory) that has a tingling sensation and targets fine lines and dark circles. It also feels lush, so make sure you let the customers have an experiment if you use this. To try this on a customer use a spatula or cotton bud, pop it on the back of the customer’s hand and massage in with finger or let them do it. #hygiene
- POREFESSIONAL: My absolute fave. Start off by saying it’s like carrying a mini bottle of filler around with you. Then explain that it is silicon based so it is great at filling in wrinkles/fine lines/large pores. It looks like a foundation but feels like a cream, and the best part is that it works instantly in front of your eyes. To demonstrate, put your hands so that your thumb and your index finger make a V kind of shape, notice that the skin inbetween is kind of ugly, pop porefessional onto that little bit of skin (it probably has a name but I really don’t know it) and then show the customers so they can compare it with your other hand. There will be a clear difference!
- YOU REBEL – TINTED MOISTURISER: This has quite full coverage, so be careful when applying as you don’t want it to look cakey. It has some sort of magic skin technology in it (I haven’t done training yet, bare with me) so it is meant to adapt to people’s skin tones, hence why there are only two shades. Magic! Let the customer choose which shade, use a spatula/brush/cotton bud to pop some on the customer’s chin (both shades) and let them decide which one they like!
- BENETINT: Okay, answer to a question earlier on this post spoiler … This is Benefits first product. Most Benefits products are No.1/2 UK best sellers, and this is one of them. Fun fact: it was actually designed for an exotic dancer to make her nipples redder. It’s purpose now though is for lips (not nips) and cheeks, use a cotton bud to pop some on the lips, then on the cheeks do three little strokes (like cat whiskers) and blend QUICKLY, because it dries fast.
- HIGHBEAM AND SUNBEAM HIGHLIGHTERS: Again, these dry quickly, so work fast. They look like nail varnishes. First time I saw them I thought they were nail varnishes and I waited hoursssss for them to dry … obviously, they never did. Anyways, two shades … highbeam for cooler skin tones and sunbeam for warmer but again, let the customer choose. If I use these I actually like to mix them in with a foundation to give a really glowy look, so you could also do that. If not, just use a cotton bud and highlight the cheek bone as usual.
And here are my TRAFFIC STOPPING and GENERAL TIPS:
- When approaching customers, don’t ask them to come over to the counter. Actually, don’t ask them to do anything. That way you’re just giving them an easy way to say no. Instead of being like “would you like to try …?” be like “we’re offering free makeovers at the Benefit counter today – LET ME show you some of the amazing new products” – Something like that. I’ll do a basic script at the end to give you some more ideas.
- Be confident! If you wander over to a customer and shyly ask them something, they’re going to dismiss you, also … they won’t want to talk to you. Be bubbly, maybe give them a compliment or strike up a normal conversation first? If they like you as a person, they’ll be more obliged to help you out – people love compliments, make them feel good!
- Look for groups or pairs. That’s a great way of getting more people over to the counter and sparking more interest in the products, which will ultimately give you more to talk about and more chance to drop in some cool facts that you’ve learned!
- The worst thing you can do is take ages to get started. As soon as you’re instructed to go off traffic stopping, jump straight in. Don’t be choosy, or else you’ll end up talking yourself out of it. Talk to everyone, anyone, you’ll be surprised who ends coming back.
- You’re allowed to go all over the store, but from my experience, I wouldn’t bother! It’s better to stay near the Benefit counter. No customer is gunna wanna treck from the bag department over to the cosmetic section. Also, the area manager who is watching you will be able to observe all the good stuff you’re doing easier! Just be careful you aren’t stealing customers from other counters because you’ll get shot for that! (dirty tactics)
When you get the customers sat down. Things to remember are to:
- Be HYGIENIC. Throw rubbish away. Wipe any products with an anti-bac wipe. Sanitise your hands. Use disposable wands/brushes. You will be watched for this. If you’re unsure, ask.
- Do the face in halves. Explain what you’re doing and why, while doing the first half of the face then show the customer when you’ve finished it (ALWAYS show the mirror from up above, as it’s a more flattering angle) – on the second half of the face, make the customer love you by having good chat, and obviously making them feel amaze.
- Be super social. Talk about the products/brand obviously, but also, ask the customers about themselves. Why are they out shopping? What else they got planned? Going on holiday anywhere? What makeup do they usually use? I found out loads about the customers I got back, and was talking about eyebrows, growing hair, weddings, proms, selfies, boys, everything! ahaha.
You: “Hey ladies/girls/gents, I was wondering, have you heard of Benefit Cosmetics?” or give a compliment e.g. “Can I just say, I absolutely love that bag – where is it from?” then ask if they’ve heard of Benefit.
Them: “No/Yes …”
You: “Ooo, that’s good news cause we’re actually doing free make overs over at the counter. Let me show you some of the amazing new products. Don’t worry, you won’t have to take your makeup off!”
Them: “Oh Im sorry, I don’t really have time.”
You: “Neither do I. Honestly, it won’t take two minutes. I’m literally going on my break in 5 anyways!”
Don’t objection handle more than twice or you’ll just look like a pest. Thank them anyway and move on to the next person. I walked around with the “brow mapping” tool, and said “I bet you haven’t had your brows mapped – let me quickly show you” and that worked really well.
IF YOU GET THE JOB
You will get a phone call usually a few days after telling you if you’ve got the job or not. I’m sure you will *positive vibes people* then you have store approval. An interview with someone from the store, just to see if you’re suited to that store or not and that you’re not a complete radgie. They basically just need to approve you, and check you will fit in with the rest of the staff. I’ve been placed in Debenhams so I’m really happy with that!
Once that’s done, you will go on training/receive your schedule etc. Then you start. HURRAY!!! You’ll get told about all the perks of the job e.g. bonus’s etc and your starter pack. It’s all v exciting!
I am so sorry this post is as long as it is. I’m still excited about getting the job myself, and I just have so much love for the brand! If you have anymore questions, then pleaseee don’t hesitate to drop them in the comments, and I’ll be happy to answer them.
You could even share your own experience, for others to read, since the process does tend to vary.
Finally, GOOD LUCK – I’m sure you’ll smash it!
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