Wednesday, 25 June 2014

What happens at a Benefit Cosmetics Audition?

After scouring the internet and reading every possible blog or forum post on the subject I thought I would write my own to add to the collection, especially as I hadn't come across any written more recently than summer 2013.

I'm going to assume that if you're reading this post then you're either about to have an audition yourself or you're just researching the whole interview process, either way - you probably want to apply in one way or another ;)

Benefit are extremely different in the way they recruit compared to other beauty/makeup counters. There are two ways you can apply - either looking on their careers page or attending an recruitment/open day. My journey actually started five months ago in January where I decided to attend an open day, I was torn between travelling to London or another nearby county as there was none being held in my own area (despite there being 3 counters locally they are all quite small) so decided to go to the one in the nearby county as I thought the London ones may be too busy for me to even try and stand out.

The basic way that Benefit asses you are (this is from my research of other blog/forum posts):

Recruitment day -> Face to Face Interview -> Pass? Audition -> Pass? Final Interview

Apply online -> Phone Interview -> Pass? Audition -> Pass? Final interview

I actually ended up having to a combination of all of these. After putting on my best Benebabe face I headed to the Recruitment day bright & early arrived at 10:30 saw the competition and was brought up with ALOT of girls, I was quite intimidated as there was a group next to me who all seemed to know each other from working at other counters and having their beauty courses together. After a wait I was taken into a room with other people being interviewed by other people at the same time and was asked the usual questions... Why Benefit? What are you doing now? What are your favourite products? I was then told I had passed...phew buuuut then came the 'I'll get the Area manager to get in touch when there is a vacancy for an audition' now I had prepared myself to have an audition that afternoon if I had passed so was a little let down as I had read how Benefit are quite bad at ever getting in touch. I'm still not completly sure if my details were ever passed on...

Fast forward to now where I'd managed to get myself a job in children's fashion retail. Still browsing the job sites looking for any beauty vacancies I saw one for my local Benefit counter and applied and didn't expect them to even take a look. A couple of weeks later as I arrived home from work I was invited to an audition.

Now the it or hate it the main aim of this is not how well you apply makeup, it's to do with your approach and interaction with customers and most of all, the selling. This is why you need a retail background and you HAVE to be able to have no shame when it comes to approaching strangers and asking them if they would like a free makeover or if they have heard of Benefit before. I am in no way the most confident person in the world, in fact every single school report had always mentioned how quiet/shy I was but when it comes down to working in a sales environment I can quickly turn that off and I believe that you will be able to do that too, you just have to fake it til you make it afterall! :)

I arrived at 10:30 dressed all in black and met three other girls the area manager then took us into a room out the back , we introduced ourselves, it was very informal, then practiced some traffic stopping techniques (this was hilarious, but also 100% harder than doing it on the shop floor, so if you can do this you'll have no problem in real life!) then we were spoken to about the products we would be demonstrating (It's Potent, The Porefessional, High/Sun Beam, Benetint, Hoola Bronzer, They're Real) unlike other auditions i've read about, this was lighthearted, the 'magic formula' 'pushy sales techniques' or 'cheesy tag lines' were not mentioned or used and most of all, the area manager was lovely, not sickly sweet and fake. Next we had to apply the products onto one another, this was probably the most difficult part I found as you're just getting used to all the products and the hygiene standards and how to apply them, but don't worry you can just have a laugh with your partner. (Side note: I found out that Benetint does not suit me in any shape or form, especially paired with Hoola :| )

Traffic Stopping Tips

  • Approach ANYONE no matter the age, Benefit has products to suit absolutley any age range or skin type, even the older lady like a bit of highlighter and it's good to get some eye cream starting young! (Even the guys are a fan of bronzer ;) )
  • We were told not to take no for an answer and how to get around this, for example if someone says their busy, ask why? or say you wont be long, or how you just want to show them one product - most of the time they will end up staying longer. Do not take 'we have no time' for an answer, you can always tailor your next line and you WILL be able to convince them.
  • If you can tell that someone REALLY won't come with you, just tell them to have a nice day and move on as quick as possible, I can't stress how important it is to constantly be looking for someone, eventually someone will join you.
  • The first couple of clients you get, you will be nervous, repeating yourself and be a bit stuck on what to say, but thats natural - by the third you will be a pro and feeling like you actually work there!
I found that the time spent traffic stopping (about two hours) went so fast! I was even finishing my last client this adorable older lady and another of the auditionees complimented her on her makeup (post makeover) which I hope the area manager heard ;) In total I sold two products; it's potent & the porefessional another girl sold two items, one sold one and the other girl sold 0. Another thing I thought might happen which was my worst nightmare was that you could get sent home if it wasn't for you or they didn't think you fit right but I think to have that effect you would have to literally not approach anyone and I think if you've got to the audition phase, you obviously really want to work for Benefit and therefore everyone in my audition was really determined to go and find people! 

We were then taken to the back room again and told that we would be contacted about availability or opening spots :) I'm not 100% sure what this actually means but either way I'm really pleased I went as I really enjoyed it and it's helped me realise that I'd love to spend time putting makeup on peoples faces everyday and it's actually soo satisfying to be set a goal (to sell certain products) and actually hit these targets! 

I hope this post helps anyone with an audition soon, if you have any questions please leave them below as I'd be happy to answer :)

updated - I passed this stage and am just waiting for a vacancy to come up in my area :) 

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