This post is a little different to my usual ones but I wanted to share with you some amazing news that I received yesterday which I still can't believe is true... I'm now officially a BENEBABE! I'm sure most of you will know what that means but for those who don't - I've been offered a job at Benefit Cosmetics as a Beauty Advisor in a Boots store near me and I am SO excited to start a new chapter in my life in something that I know I'll absolutely love.
I actually applied for a job at Benefit 3 years ago when I first turned 18 but unfortunately I was unsuccessful but luckily ended up getting another job at Carphone Warehouse which is where I've been working for the past 2 and a half years. It got to the point where I wasn't enjoying my days at Carphone anymore - I loved the people that I worked with but my heart just wasn't in the job anymore and I wanted to get myself out there and start looking for something new in the industry that I'm a lot more passionate about. Although I was a little disheartened by my attempt of getting a job at Benefit a few years ago, I didn't let it get in the way of trying again, so when I noticed that a counter near me was recruiting again, I thought I'd give it another go. I've gained so much more experience since the last time and felt that now was the time to show them exactly why I'd be perfect for this job. Amazingly, I finally got there! Which is why I thought I'd put together a little guide for those who are thinking of applying for Benefit just so you know what to expect from the process and to give people the confidence to just go for it.
This is the first stage which is purely just uploading your CV, a photo of yourself and answering a few situation based questions along with the usual stuff about availability, work history and qualifications. It was over a month ago since I applied for the job so I can't remember exactly what I had to answer but they were things like 'have you ever worked in a target based environment' etc. They also ask whether you have any qualifications in beauty which I didn't but I don't think it matters a huge amount as you learn everything as you go along and I think they're more focused on the sales side of things as the job involves traffic stopping and promoting products.
Around 3 weeks after my online application, I received a phone call from a lady in the Benefit recruitment department who asked me whether I was available for a quick telephone interview. Although she caught me completely off guard and I had no idea what questions were going to be asked, I managed to pass this stage which I honestly didn't expect at all. I found the telephone interview quite challenging - I don't know whether it's just me that gets extremely anxious when I'm not prepared for something but I just thought I'd be myself and just share my love for beauty as well as the brand itself. This stage was mainly getting to know me but she then went on to asking me a few questions such as "What are your favourite Benefit products?", "What Benefit product would best describe your personality?", "Have you ever worked in a target based situation?" etc. Again, I can't remember exactly what was asked but I'd say just be prepared to answer those types of questions because they are really interested in why you want to work for their company and what you'll bring to the Benefit team. At the end of the phone call, I was told that I had passed and I was invited to an interview the following week. I was told that I didn't need to prepare for anything but to just wear all black which automatically told me that I'd be doing something on the shop floor at some point. Nerves suddenly started to kick in.
ONE TO ONE INTERVIEW
Although I was told I didn't need to prepare for the interview, I wanted this job so bad that I made sure I knew everything there was to know about Benefit. I spent hours writing notes about the products, reading blog posts from girls who have had the interviews as well as YouTube videos - just so I knew what to expect. I found a couple of really helpful blog posts with a list of the types of questions I would be asked so I literally learnt every single one of them and practiced the answers every night leading up to the big day. My boyfriend was amazing at helping me too - he's a manager himself so knows exactly what kind of person an employer is looking for, so he gave me some tips and we did little practice interviews before bed every night (maybe a little too much?). Anyway, my interview was at 10 o'clock so made sure I was 15 minutes early and I was then introduced to the lady interviewing me which was the area manager. She was lovely and made me feel so calm and welcome which allowed me to show my personality in the interview completely. I took examples of my blog posts and talked a lot about my blogging which she took a huge interest in, but the majority of the questions were situation based e.g. "do you have experience in a sales environment", "name a time you've dealt with a difficult customer situation" along with the usual interview questions just talking a little bit about yourself, why you want to work for Benefit and what you feel you would bring to Benefit as a team member. The one thing I would say without a doubt, is just make sure you prepare. The fact that I had worked so hard practicing my answers meant that I knew exactly what to say and my answers were confident and honest. For the first time since I've had an interview, I actually walked out thinking wow - that actually couldn't have gone any better! I was then asked to come back later on in the day at 2:15 for another stage in the process which is known as the audition. As I had nearly 3 hours of time to kill, I decided to take my mind off things by getting some lunch and going for a little browse around the shops (a recipe for disaster for my bank card).
The next stage was the audition. This was the bit that I was most worried about as I really didn't want to blow it after the interview going so well. When I got there, there were 2 other girls doing exactly the same as me and the manager came over to run through the basics of the products so that we were prepared to spend a couple of hours on the counter dealing with customers. We were then asked to split up and traffic stop customers within the store and to bring them over for a mini makeover. She said that she wasn't expecting us to sell any products, it was purely just to see how we acted with customers. At first, I had a little walk around the store and there were honestly no customers, it was just my luck that the store was absolutely dead so I went back over to the Benefit counter and managed to get my first customer. YES. I performed a mini makeover on her whilst being assessed and she ended up loving it and buying some products. This gave me massive confidence and I then went on to approaching 2 more customers who both ended up loving their makeovers and buying the products too! It sounds really cheesy but I genuinely felt like I'd finally found something I was good at and it all came so natural even though I haven't had makeup experience before. At the end of the audition, the manager went through a little review with me to tell me how I'd done and then said that she'd seen enough and that she'd contact me tomorrow.
THE STORE APPROVAL
The next day, I received an email saying that I had passed the Benefit interview process and was invited to a store approval meeting with the view to offering me the role. As you can imagine, I was absolutely over the moon when I found out that I'd passed and organised the store approval straight away, which took place yesterday. I was SO nervous as I knew that it was the final stage and I really didn't want to ruin any chance that I had when I'd already got this far. Again, I made sure that I prepared for any question that was thrown at me as well as learning more about the history of Benefit as well as Boots itself. I was taken into an office with another lady for a small interview but there was really nothing to be nervous about as she was so lovely and it felt like more of a friendly conversation rather than an interview which made me a lot more relaxed. She asked me a few questions about my audition process along with similar questions before such as why I want to work at Benefit and where I see myself in 5 years time etc... She also took a massive interest in my blogging which was amazing too and asked for my link so that she could have a look.
A few hours later I received a call from the area manager saying that the lady thought I was amazing and that I had been approved for the job!!!! She welcomed me to Benefit and said that she was really looking forward to me joining the team and feels that I am exactly what they're looking for... Eeeekkkk!!! I can't explain the feeling when I heard that news, I honestly couldn't ever imagine myself getting my dream job but it just shows from hard work and determination, you can do anything if you want it that much! It still doesn't feel real but I can't wait to start next month and begin to share my Benefit journey with you guys! I'm sitting here writing this with a glass of wine to celebrate as we speak ;).