Incurably Curious

How to Get a Job at Benefit Cosmetics

Updated: 28/07/13

Just after I finished university I worked at a Benefit counter at my local Boots. Lots of the girls who came to have their make-up done would ask me to how to get a job at Benefit too. Jobs at Benefit tend to be particularly sought after by teenagers and young people; unlike the other beauty houses you do not need to be a make-up artist or have any industry qualifications whatsoever, but you do need a passion for beauty, bullet-proof self-confidence and a willingness to frog-march total strangers to the counter for a free make-over/sales pitch. Lots of people get jobs at Benefit before moving on to more, ahem, professional make-up houses like Mac. It was a real problem in my area; so much that the area manager stopped hiring people who were looking for a career in make-up artistry because she knew they’d move on to somewhere else before long. At the end of the day, being a Beauty Advisor (BA) at Benefit is a sales role, not a make-up artist role, and it’s important to remember that when writing your CV.

Benefit

Job Role
Before you apply for a job with Benefit, it’s important to know what the role entails. Sadly, it isn’t all about make-overs and free make-up (although there is definitely some of that!) On counter your responsibilities will include:

  • Cleaning. If you can’t refrain from punching somebody when they tell you that ‘if you’ve got time to lean, you’ve got time to clean’, then this job is not for you.
  • Re-stocking. Benefit actually issues little diagrams every couple of months with elaborate instructions as to how to set up their shelves exactly right.
  • Walk-ups. Speaking to people who just walk-up to the counter; some will know exactly what they want and just want to grab and go, but your job will be to try and sit everyone down, perform the ‘Magic Formula’ (see below) and try and up-sell. These ladies (and occasionally gentlemen!) are usually already die-hard Benefit fans so it’s often easy to persuade them to purchase something else as well.
  • Promoting the product du jour. My counter manager took a sadistic pleasure in making me wear the silly skirts, brooches, hats and other promotional crap they will try and make you wear. While this can be fun, I found wearing a giant flower garland or ridiculous frilly apron to be a bit cringe. Every BA has a target of selling 3 of whatever the new product is every day.
  • Appointments. One of the most important parts of being a BA is getting people to agree to come back and see you. It’s actually pretty cool when you start getting ladies who come back and see you regularly.
  • Traffic-stopping. This is the deal-breaker for a lot of people, because hassling people who are shopping for something else is awkward and disheartening. You’ll do a lot of training and role play to help you gain the confidence to do this, but for me (and most Benefit BAs) it was my least favourite aspect of the job.
  • Following the ‘Magic Formula’. Benefit is an American company and they like their products and services to be completely uniform throughout the world. There are scripts for everything and you’ll get to read a training manual an inch thick. In my experience, following these guidelines to the letter doesn’t go down too well with the Great British public because it all seems a bit…false. As a nation we’re not a fan of schmaltzy bullshit so don’t worry about it too much; it’s not gospel! When you’ve got a customer sat down, you will be required to follow the Magic Formula, which is Benefit’s script for successful sales. They’re really hot on it; I once made a £88 sale but didn’t follow the formula exactly and was told off for not following protocol. In short, the Formula is four ‘fake-its’ (i.e. make-up), one skincare product and one brow product. There are elaborate ‘recipes’ for products that go well together and you will have to pick items to suit individual customers (‘Bene-scanning’). For instance, if someone comes in with a bad case of Lard-Face you do not sell them greasy-ass highlighters. You also have to include at least one product that camouflages (e.g. concealer), one that enhances (e.g. mascara) and one that adds colour (e.g. blusher or lipstick). You do get the hang of it on the job and nobody expects you to be perfect straight off the bat, so don’t be put off if it sounds like a lot to remember.

Perks and Pay
There are lots of awesome perks about working on a beauty counter for Benefit; for the most part the work is fun and relatively undemanding (although you will need to invest in a pair of comfortable shoes!) and the hours are flexible (unless you’re unlucky and have a total arsehole for a counter manager). When you join you’ll get a starter-pack of a few products to get you going and when a new product comes out you’ll usually get one for yourself too. Best of all, twice a year you get an allocation of products you can order off the website for free. Part-timers get a £150 voucher and full-timers get £200. You will need to have been at the company for three months before receiving an allocation, and they tend to be around March and October times.

Pay will vary depending on geographical location, experience and, bizarrely, whether you have a degree or not. You can expect to earn between £6.40 and £7.50 working as a Benefit BA, plus 2% commission on everything sold. This doesn’t sound like a lot – 31p for every mascara – but it’s the most generous of all the beauty counters and it does add up, especially around Christmas.

You will get extra perks depending on the store you work in; I was at a Boots so I got 12.5% off all products (including other counters) and 22.5% off all Boots-own brands, including sandwiches, No7 and Botanics.

Cons
Working at Benefit has the same drawbacks as any job in the retail sector: antisocial hours (although if you’re well-organised and you’ve got a flexible counter manager this normally isn’t a problem), dealing with customers and being treated like a criminal by your employers. Boots has a real problem with staff stealing stock, especially seasonal workers, so we were watched constantly on cameras and subject to on-the-spot body and locker searches. Whilst I understand they need to protect their business, it’s not fun being summoned to the security room to be frisked.

Like any customer service role, you will occasionally have to deal with rude, arsehole customers, but in this job you also meet loads of great people. My favourites were two guys who came in looking for make-up for their joint 40th drag-themed birthday party!

Regardless of how flexible your counter manager is about the rota, you will still have to work a lot of weekends and public holidays; I was a part-timer and I put in 60-hour weeks around Christmas, including Christmas Eve and Boxing Day. It would have been New Year’s Day too if I hadn’t thrown a massive wobbler and flat-out refused. Plan ahead and stand your ground!

Finally, beauty halls are dominated by women, and while this can be fun, it can also be a very bitchy environment. In my experience counter managers often go on massive power trips and really get off on ‘managing’ people, so learn to keep your cool. Unless you’re very lucky and working with 30 or so laid-back girls, be prepared for a lot of drama!

The Interview Process
Nowadays getting a job anywhere seems to involve a long and elaborate interview process, and Benefit asks quite a lot from its interviewees too. Staff turnover is high so if you’re lucky and your area manager is desperate, you’ll breeze through it and be given a ‘trial’ shift straight away. When I left my job they were so short-staffed they literally gave the first girl through the door a go. The standard practice, however, is to apply online. It’s a fairly simple set of questions, so just name-drop as many Benefit products as you can (make sure you don’t mention any discontinued ones!) and be positive and cheerful. If successful, you should get a phone call within two weeks for a telephone interview. The important thing here is to sound upbeat and confident. Stress how much you like talking to people and express your passion for make-up. Do not say these things if they are not true; you’ll be wasting your time and theirs. Although attitude is the most important thing, make sure you have a good knowledge of Benefit and its products – like with any interview, do your research!

If your telephone interview is successful, you’ll be invited to an ‘audition’. This is always unpaid and lasts approximately 4 hours. You’ll be told to wear all black and sensible shoes – do not wear heels – and will be with a few other potential candidates. When I went to mine, I wore minimal make-up. Others turned up with a full face of slap. You’ll be applying some of the make-up yourself so it’s best not to layer it on too thick, but it’s obviously best to look polished. The audition involves being told in detail about four best-selling Benefit products, which are invariably You Rebel tinted moisturiser, Dr Feelgood face balm, Benetint lip and cheek stain and High Beam highlighter. These may have changed since I tried out but they will always be easy-to-apply bestsellers that suit everyone and that can be applied over existing make-up. You will have to learn taglines – each product has one and you are expected to drop it into conversation when you’re talking about it to a customer. For instance, Dr Feelgood is ‘your miracle finisher for perfect-looking skin.’ I tended to ignore these when I was actually on counter and got away with it because my counter manager thought they were lame too, but some Benefit people are really intense about following company protocol.

Next, you will have to apply the product to another candidate to practice application technique. There really is no excuse to mess this up; do some research if you’ve never used the products (or similar ones) and don’t make rookie mistakes. My partner put High Beam under my eyes, which just made me look like I had hideous bags!

After your interviewer is happy that everyone has got the hang of the basic products, you will be told to go out traffic-stopping. First you’ll do some role-play to give you some ideas, but this is the really meaty bit of the audition. Your challenge is to persuade shoppers to come over to try the products. Do not feel like you have to pressure anyone to actually buy anything; Benefit will tell you the important thing is to show new customers the products rather than coercing them into making a purchase. I didn’t actually sell anything on my audition. Just stay calm, be yourself and you’ll be fine.

Following your audition you’ll have to have a sit-down interview, which is an absolute piece of piss. You’ll be asked why you want to work for Benefit and a load of other basic questions. They’ll also ask you how you feel about working for commission/target-related earnings. The answer is always ‘I know they’re not everyone’s cup of tea but to be honest I’m very motivated by financial incentive; I know that a commission structure would help to motivate me every time I go to work.’ Don’t be afraid of sounding like a money-grabbing tightwad, it’s what they want to hear!

If you’re going for a job with Benefit, good luck! If you’re just nosy and/or a fan of Benefit, I hope this article has helped you to understand how those Benefit girls are selling to you. Remember, these sales people are not make-up artists and often they’ll say anything to get you to make a purchase – if you don’t think something is worth buying, don’t be bullied into it!

Edit: It’s been two and a half years since I sacked off working at Benefit, but this blog has some excellent, in-depth tips for make-up counter interviews and applications in the UK, see here and here.

Did I miss something? Check the comments section below to see if your question has already been answered, or email me at emily@incurablycurious.com.

155 comments on “How to Get a Job at Benefit Cosmetics

  1. morwenna thomas
    May 10, 2012

    this really helped me thank you :)

  2. bridie
    May 23, 2012

    thankyou for the greagt information< what kind of interview questions do they ask? x

    • CuriousEmily
      May 23, 2012

      Pretty standard stuff about what kind of person you are and so on: the key is to be cheerful and optimistic. Tell them you’re a people person and you’re outgoing. And smile all the way though. If you’re upbeat and you’ve done your homework on a few Benefit products and express passion for the brand then you’re probably in. :) x

  3. kimtifannidigital7
    June 8, 2012

    hie there, i recently applied for a job at benefit. i got through the audition stage. i did pretty well. i got 10 customers to sit down. They even said i did the best out of the girls. I was invited to a final interview a week later. they asked general question like , what would you do in this situation? the problem i have is i i feel i did better at the audition than the final interview. they said they will call me to let me know if i got it. Do they usually do this or do they tell you on the spot if you’re successful? Also what stage of the interviewing is most critical ? the audition or the general questions part?. i really want the job but i fear the , “will call you”, might indicate i haven’t got it. I’d really appreciate your honest opinion. :-)

    • CuriousEmily
      June 8, 2012

      Hi! Thanks for reading. :) It sounds to me like you’ve got it in the bag; traffic-stopping and getting bums on seats is the hardest part of the job for most people and also the bit that people dislike the most because it can sometimes be quite disheartening. Area managers are a scatty, disorganised breed and calling back auditionees is sadly not their number one priority. I think I got a call about 10 days after my audition. Don’t worry about your interview; the audition is the most important bit by far. Unless you went out there and said you’re planning on stealing stuff or you’re a racist or something I’m sure you’ll be fine. They tell you to wait for a call because they have numerous candidates and I guess they don’t want loads of excitable girls (and occasionally guys!) ringing up and demanding to know what the status of their application is. It sounds like you’ve got it though, so chill out. :) And good luck for when you start. ;) x

  4. Emma
    June 10, 2012

    This was really helpful thank you! I was just wondering, how old would you have to be to work at a Benefit counter? I m 16 years old and I am very passionate about makeup! x

    • CuriousEmily
      June 11, 2012

      Glad it was of some help! They’ll employ anyone over the age of sixteen; it’s actually a really popular job with students. :) x

  5. Anisa
    June 23, 2012

    Heyy there, thank you for the description.
    I went to an audition for benefit today and the manager said I was successful and that she will call me on monday for an interview. I got 5 ladies to sit down and 4 of them purchased products, the manager was very pleased with me, however I have a few questions.
    I heard a lot of auditions were going on throughout the week and today quite a few passed the audition stage so I’m not sure if I actually will get the job? Also what will the interview be like, 1 to 1? How long will it last and will they tell me straight away if I get the job? My manager also said before I left, “after you succeed in the interview I’ll train you up.”

    • CuriousEmily
      June 23, 2012

      Hey Anisa!

      When I was auditioned the interviews were immediately afterwards and everyone got one, but there were fewer of us. I think we had six audtionees but two people left halfway through saying they couldn’t take the traffic-stopping aspect. It sounds like you did bloody brilliantly at the audition though, especially as so many people bought!

      Obviously it helps if you know how many positions there are to be filled but it’s a role with high staff turnover (i.e. people leave quite quickly) so it’s unlikely to be only one or two. The interview is a piece of piss really; it’s one on one with the area manager and it’s just standard interview questions about your work ethic and so on. Just be enthusiastic and super available. The hours for retail are always rubbish – lots of weekends – so make it clear you’re happy to do that. Talk about your punctuality and say you’re really excited to work in a team but also about individual targets because you like having your own personal goals to walk towards. The main thing is to be cheerful and smiley; treat your interviewer like you would a customer!

      They won’t tell you immediately whether you’ve got the job or not; you’ll get a phone call between 3 and 14 days afterwards to tell you whether you’ve been successful or not. ‘Training you up’ means getting you to learn about all the Benefit product ranges and the ‘Magic Formula’ – the Benefit way of selling.

      Good luck and let me know how it goes! And don’t hesitate to ask if you have any more questions. x

  6. donna
    July 8, 2012

    Hey, thank you for all that information it really helped in my trial stage! We were on the shop floor for 4 hours and I was the only girl left. I got 11 people sitting down and sold 10 products, some products were not even the 4 we were told to try sell! I was told i’d be called next week at some stage for an interview with the regional manager and i’m so nervous. Will I know right after that interview if I get the job or not? All this waiting is driving me crazy. Also, I wore my hair down and had a full face of make-up for the trial, should I go smarter for the interview?
    thanks for all your help! :)

    • CuriousEmily
      July 8, 2012

      Hi Donna!

      Sounds like you totally aced the interview. The second interview, which is just a standard sitting down one, is the last one. Frankly, if you can sell like that you’re not going to get turned down, especially if you were the last man standing.

      As for interview attire, just wear what you’d wear on counter! Full make-up and sexy hair is totally fine; remember ‘Bene-babes’ (mega cringe with extra vom) are supposed to be all fun and sexy and that. That’s what sells make-up!

      Good luck! :) And try to forget about it until they call so you don’t drive yourself crazy (but from the sound of it, it’s in the bag…!)

      x

  7. crystal
    July 30, 2012

    i had a a trial day ages ago like ages and ages ago, there were 2 of us left and the i had 6 sitting down customers and sold some products too. the lady phoned me back last week and said my last interview would be this tuesday and said she would phone me back with more details but she hasnt phoned me back to confirm my last interview. should i phone up and ask if they have any further details when my last interview will be? and by the way what kind of questions does the last interview include, i want to make sure i am ready and prepared. thanks x

    • CuriousEmily
      July 30, 2012

      Hi Crystal,

      Congratulations on doing so well on the ‘audition’ part of the interview process, which is definitely the most difficult part.

      As you’ll soon find out if you get offered a job, area managers for Benefit (and, in my experience all beauty brands) are notoriously shit. To be fair, they have a lot of things to do and have to travel around too, but they are invariably scatter-brained, disorganised and use the word ‘fab’ every other sentence. If the area manager said it would be Tuesday, i.e. tomorrow, then yes, I would phone up tomorrow morning and politely ask if your interview is going to happen today or not – that’s certainly not unreasonable!

      Interview questions are a doddle; I don’t know how old you are or how many retail/hospitality jobs you’ve had before, but it won’t be much out of the ordinary from those kinds of questions. Generally they’ll be vague questions like ‘why do you think you’ll be good at working for Benefit?’ and ‘how do you feel about traffic-stopping?’ All you need to do is be SUPER enthusiastic. Do your best to be the most bright-eyed and bushy-tailed you can be (but don’t sound fake!) Talk about how much you love beauty and how you believe it’s about fun and enjoying yourself (which it is!) Smile. Be friendly. Research your products! It helps if you own some yourself, so you can talk about your experience genuinely. Should you know your stuff. If the right moment comes along, ask your interviewer what her favourite product is!

      Punctuality is an important attribute; if you get the chance tell them how reliable you are! They may ask you something about whether you’re driven by targets/money – you may be tempted to say no to this to seem more likeable but they’re after people who’ll be motivated by the 2% commission. Tell them you’re excited to have a commission-based job because you know a financial incentive will help motivate you.

      Good luck – let me know how you get on! x

    • CuriousEmily
      July 30, 2012

      Hi Crystal,

      Congratulations on doing so well on the ‘audition’ part of the interview process, which is definitely the most difficult part.

      As you’ll soon find out if you get offered a job, area managers for Benefit (and, in my experience all beauty brands) are notoriously shit. To be fair, they have a lot of things to do and have to travel around too, but they are invariably scatter-brained, disorganised and use the word ‘fab’ every other sentence. If the area manager said it would be Tuesday, i.e. tomorrow, then yes, I would phone up tomorrow morning and politely ask if your interview is going to happen today or not – that’s certainly not unreasonable!

      Interview questions are a doddle; I don’t know how old you are or how many retail/hospitality jobs you’ve had before, but it won’t be much out of the ordinary from those kinds of questions. Generally they’ll be vague questions like ‘why do you think you’ll be good at working for Benefit?’ and ‘how do you feel about traffic-stopping?’ All you need to do is be SUPER enthusiastic. Do your best to be the most bright-eyed and bushy-tailed you can be (but don’t sound fake!) Talk about how much you love beauty and how you believe it’s about fun and enjoying yourself (which it is!) Smile. Be friendly. Research your products! It helps if you own some yourself, so you can talk about your experience genuinely. Should you know your stuff. If the right moment comes along, ask your interviewer what her favourite product is!

      Punctuality is an important attribute; if you get the chance tell them how reliable you are! They may ask you something about whether you’re driven by targets/money – you may be tempted to say no to this to seem more likeable but they’re after people who’ll be motivated by the 2% commission. Tell them you’re excited to have a commission-based job because you know a financial incentive will help motivate you.

      Good luck – let me know how you get on! x

  8. crystal
    July 31, 2012

    Thankyou so much, you are so right about how shit the area managers are, they said they will phone me back this morning so fingers crossed eeh! I know it will be so hard to be enthusiastic when i will be so nervouse haha but i did love the traffic stopping even when customers started having a go at me.. hahah!! xo

    • CuriousEmily
      July 31, 2012

      16 is fine, in the UK you can legally have a full-time job at this age.

      They will definitely want you if you enjoy traffic-stopping; it’s the bit of the job most people hate and is at least partly responsible for the high staff turnover. Just keep calm, keep polite & you’ll be fine. :) x

  9. crystal
    July 31, 2012

    btw i am 16, they will accept me wont they?? xox

  10. crystal
    August 1, 2012

    well they said they would phone me back, they never but i did get a text to day confirming it for friday, the nerves are unreal im so excited :-) x

    • CuriousEmily
      August 1, 2012

      Welcome to the wonderful, organised world of area managers! Good luck for Friday, but it sounded like you were awesome at the audition so I’m sure you’ll get it. :) Let me know how it goes! x

  11. RachelR
    August 21, 2012

    Loved this post, as I quite literally spend pounds and hours at the counter every month!

    • Rachel
      August 21, 2012

      (No idea why half my comment posted and not the rest!) The bit about the formular and sales tactic explained a lot to me actually. Why the full time girls on my local counter always find it so amusing when the part timers pull me off the shop floor and try to sell me something. Over the past 5 years they have learnt that I will spend a lot of money there, and buy every new product I get along with eventually, but if someone tries to sale pitch it to me I will go and buy it elsewhere. Sometimes I take pity on the new girls and stop them from explaining all the new products speil to me, when the usual girls know I’ve already had it all from the press release! To be honest, I find being jumped on grating and it makes me frustrated and pissed off, so while I was at uni in London I ordered online rather than having to go to a different counter, and in Los Angeles I think I’ll get it all online too, except for when I want to go test a new product!

      • CuriousEmily
        August 21, 2012

        I totally agree it can be annoying to be ‘sold’ to like this! I’ve glad this article is handy for Benefit customers as well as aspring BAs. :) x

  12. Natalie
    August 21, 2012

    Hey I had my audition and on the spot interview last Thursday. The area manager was on holiday and another woman looked after it all. She said at the end of my interview that I had got the job but rather offer me a BA job she would like to offer me a Account manager’s job??? This sounds super exciting but I still haven’t heard anything from the area manager and I was told I would be called yesterday…I am worried because I hate my current job and just wanna get started!

    • CuriousEmily
      August 21, 2012

      Hi Natalie,

      That’s great! That means you’re going to be a counter manager – either you’re going to be on a little counter that only needs one staff member or at some point you’ll be in charge of other BAs.

      It’s basically the same, but if you have anyone below you you are in charge of motivating them. You’ll earn more, and you’ll also have to fill in some paperwork (but don’t worry, it’s not complicated!) x

      • Natalie
        August 21, 2012

        Ah brilliant! I do LOADS of paperwork already so I am used to that shiz! Do you think I should try contact the Area manager? I was told I would be called yesterday but I haven’t heard anything. Plus how do you contact them? I wasn’t given any details. Sorry to ask so many questions btw! Thanks again x

      • CuriousEmily
        August 21, 2012

        You’ll be fine then, it’s very straightforward.

        If you haven’t been contacted by the area manager then I wouldn’t bother trying to get in touch with her; she will have delegated the task for a reason. Do you not have the details of the lady who interviewed you?

        Don’t worry about them not having called you on time – they NEVER do. They’re very disorganised. I’d wait until Friday; if you haven’t heard anything by then I’d phone Head Office and explain the situation. Hopefully it won’t come to that though! x

  13. jennifer
    August 21, 2012

    Hi, Thankyou so much for posting this it was SO helpful! I have my ‘audition’ tomorrow for the role of account manager, what is the difference between this role and yours?
    xxx

    • CuriousEmily
      August 21, 2012

      Hi Jennifer,

      I’m glad you found this post helpful! An account manager is in charge of the counter, which means motivating any other BAs who work on it and filling in some basic paperwork. You’ll have more responsibility and earn more money, so at the audition play up your motivating skills and how it’s important to manage people in a fun and positive manner. :) Good luck, let me know how it goes! x

      • jennifer
        August 21, 2012

        Thankyou so much I’ll let you know tomorrow how it goes! i’m just swotting up on my Benefit knowledge just now!

        Here’s my blog if you want to have a look

        I love yours :)

        xxx

        thebigburd.blogspot.co.uk

      • CuriousEmily
        August 21, 2012

        No problem – just be cheerful and enthusiastic and you should be fine. And great you’re swotting up; name drop as many products as you can and demonstrate a genuine passion for the brand!

        Thanks for your link – I’ll check it out when I’m home from work. :) x

  14. Donna
    August 22, 2012

    Hey there! This is Donna, I wrote a while back. I got the job, apparently! However its been over a month since my interview and i’m having alot of difficulty with the area manager. She said she would call me a week after the interview and never did, so after a few days I called her and got through to voicemail. She called me back a week later to say she has to sort out moving around some staff members and everythings all messed up now so she doesn’t know my hours and will call me when she everything settles and she has a good idea of what i’l have. After 2 weeks I call her again, and she says she still doesn’t know, is going on holidays for 3 weeks but when she gets back everything should be clear and shel know exactly how many hours i’l get and will call me. It’s been two weeks since and i’m going mad with this waiting. I need a job, it’s been two and a bit months since my initial trial and i’m turning down offers waiting for her to call me. Do you think it’s all worth it? To top it off, I got a place in college and was going to defer it for the year to work with benefit but now i’m not to sure. I really would love to work there, as I love sales and beauty but this all seems a bit ridiculous. Do you have any idea what I can do?
    Thanks for all the great information!
    Donna x

    • CuriousEmily
      August 22, 2012

      Hi Donna,

      Congratulations on getting the job! I’m sorry the area manager is being totally useless; unfortunately this is fairly normal!

      Although working at Benefit is fun, I certainly don’t think it’s worth turning down other offers for, and certainly not for college! At the end of the day it’s a shop job, and although it can be a lot of fun it’s not the be all and end all. If I were you I’d phone Head Office and explain the situation and see if they can do anything about it.

      Have you considered going back to college part-time or perhaps only working part-time hours at Benefit? Then you can do both. :)

      Emily x

      • Donna
        August 24, 2012

        Hey Emily,
        I live in Ireland, i’m not sure we even have a head office here haha! If she would be able to offer me part time I would gladly take it, however when she was telling me what hours I should roughly expect she said between 20-39. I want to call her and ask her if it’s possible to just do part time, as without the work I wouldn’t be able to afford to go to college in the first place! But her voicemail says she won’t be back from her holiday until nearly two weeks time. Thing is I need to accept or reject the college offer by monday! If she’s unable to offer me part time that suits my college hours, deferring college for a year to work with Benefit and save wouldn’t be totally heartbreaking but obviously I would just prefer to accept and work part time. Why must she be so hard to contact! I would just love to know as my decision does rely alot on what she has to offer. Are there any other ways of contacting the HR or something like that without sounding crazy demanding?
        Thanks for all your help, it really is invaluable!
        Cheers,
        Donna x

      • CuriousEmily
        August 24, 2012

        Hey Donna! It’s a tricky one. The Head Office for the UK is in Chelmsford – I suggest first thing on Monday morning you phone them and ask them for whoever is in charge in Ireland! If you explain it how you’ve just explained it to me I’m sure it won’t sound psycho. :)

        Overall, I think college should come first – if you work for Benefit and get sick of the weekend hours and traffic-stopping after a few months you’ll regret not going! On the other hand, it is a great opportunity to save up plenty of cash (and commission!) for college next year. It’s up to you to weigh up the pros and cons depending on your circumstances.

        Good luck! :) x

  15. daisychain
    August 29, 2012

    I’m perfectly happy in my current job, but this was still a fabulous post to read!

  16. mia
    August 29, 2012

    I’m 17 and hoping to get a part time job in house of fraser at the benefit cosmetics section. However this is my first job, would this lower my chances in working there and would i need my cv on hand? As far as the interview would wavy hair, and subtle but slightly smoky eyes and red lips be too much for an interview? And would a coral above knee length dress be too casual? I really really want to work there, and have done so much research before hand, I just hope I fit their criteria! x

    • CuriousEmily
      August 29, 2012

      I think it’ll be fine, but you should expect to earn on the lower end of the payscale as you are not yet a legal adult.

      Go natural with the make-up – you’ll be testing Benetint for sure so I would avoid the red lipstick.

      If the interview is an interview then go smartish (not suit-smart!) but for the audition you must wear all black as you will be working on counter.

      Your A Level choices won’t make the slightest bit of difference – it is a sales role, not a make-up artist role.

      Good luck! x

  17. mia
    August 29, 2012

    I forgot to mention I’m currently studying French, Spanish and English at A-level. Do they tend to look for someone who is interested in a career based around beauty and cosmetics? x

  18. Sarah
    September 3, 2012

    Found this post so useful! I had my audition last Wednesday which I passed. Unlike a lot of horror stories I’ve read about Benefit auditions, I loved it! I now have a one-to-one interview with the area manager on Thursday which I’m excited/nervous about. I applied to be a full-time account manager, however can’t seem to find anywhere online the rough salary/pay. Does anyone know what it would roughly be?

    • CuriousEmily
      September 4, 2012

      Congratulations on passing your audition and good luck for your interview. Account managers don’t earn a huge amount more than regular BAs as their isn’t a huge increase of responsibility; I think they earn something 16-19K annually depending on where they are and their experience, but don’t quote me on that! (As a BA I earned the equivalent of about £17K plus permission but my hourly wage was quite a lot higher than my workmates because I had a degree.) x

  19. Christine Kelly
    September 12, 2012

    Hey i was wondering if you could help me. I had my benefit audition today with the regional manager and at the end he cut the interview short and told me i had passed. My audition was in house of friseurs but he said he was going to phone around stores and get back to me as he was thinking of sending me to a near by boots. He then said i will have a short interview with a boots manger but that i had passed the benefit part of the job. Do you think this means i am guaranteed a job? He said he should call soon within 2 weeks but now that i have come home i can’t work out if i am definitely getting a position!? Also was your audition in boots?

    • CuriousEmily
      September 12, 2012

      First off, definitely always spell ‘House of Fraser’ correctly if you’re looking for a job with them!

      Secondly, unless you cock up massively and tell the Beauty Manager at Boots that you like to kill and eat babies or something, you almost certainly have a job. I worked in a Boots myself, but it’s the only place where you’re technically a store employee rather than a Benefit one and will be paid by Boots. They just want to make sure you’re nice and not going to nick anything.

      Haz of Fraz is the worst place to be on counter because it’s so quiet. While Debenhams have their 10% off beauty days, John Lewis has price match and Boots has Boots points, House of Fraser runs very few promotions and also is popular with older shoppers typically outside of Benefit’s demographic.

      Hope that helps, and good luck! x

      • Christine Kelly
        September 12, 2012

        sorry my phone can be a bit weird with the typing, i know is Frasers!! Ahh ok thats fine, i was just a bit worried because i was leaving the store not actually knowing where or when i would be placed but hopefully the manager that did my audit will call soon!

  20. Martha
    September 13, 2012

    Thanks so much for this post! I took plenty of notes! There’s a recruitment day on in Benefit tomorrow, so it’s like an open day between 10 – 12. What do you think this entails? Thanks!

    • CuriousEmily
      September 14, 2012

      Hi Martha,

      So glad you found it helpful! I’m not sure what a recruitment day entails, were you invited or is it a free for all? If the latter I presume they’ll just be telling you what working at Benefit is like and scouting out potential candidates. Put your best face forward and make a good impression..! I see by your email you may be a professional MUA – I suggest you play that down as they will probably think you’re trying to get experience before moving to a artistry job at MAC or somewhere. Be passionate and personable and you’ll be fine. :) Good luck! X

  21. Martha
    September 16, 2012

    Thanks for replying! The ‘open day’ was just open interviews, there were about 15 girls and they took us in one by one. Anyway, I passed that stage of it and I’m called back in on Friday for an ‘audition’ where I have to try and traffic stop and sell things? Do you have any tips? For some reason I have a reeeally really really bad feeling about this! I have no idea how to do this! Please help!!! xx

    • CuriousEmily
      September 18, 2012

      Oh, well done! The rest of the article pretty much covers the audition stage – the main thing is to have a positive attitude and to look like you’re enjoying yourself! Banish your ‘really really bad feeling’ (self-fulfilling prophecy, innit) and good luck. You’ll be fine. :) x

  22. Natalie
    September 18, 2012

    Hi!
    I have an audition on Thursday in the Benefit counter inside a crazy busy beauty hall, I’m feeling slightly intimidated by all of these comments saying they got 2000 women to sit down and sold 400 products, eek!
    Also worries me a bit how long this recruitment process is, sounds like it takes weeks from the initial interview to actually starting the job if you are successful.
    Oh well, I’ll see how my trial day goes anyway!
    Thanks so much for taking the time to write this, it was really helpful! x

    • CuriousEmily
      September 19, 2012

      Good luck for your audition today! Don’t be intimidated by the people who have managed to sell huge amounts of product; in certain areas (big inner city stores) making sales will be really easy but in others it’ll be much more difficult. I did my audition in Milton Keynes and sold diddly squat. They’re looking for a ‘show, not sell’ mentality and nobody expects you to be a fantastic salesperson straight off the bat! Just be enthusiastic and personable and they’ll see your potential.

      The process is generally long-winded though, and Benefit HR is pretty dreadful. See how it goes though. :)

      Glad you found it helpful! x

  23. Christine Holdsworth
    September 19, 2012

    Hi, i have a group audition next week with benefit make-up and i just wondered do they ask you what products you use yourself? x

    • CuriousEmily
      September 19, 2012

      When I went the group was asked what they already use/love, but regardless of whether it’s a standard interview question you absolutely must know your stuff before you go. If you already use stuff take a look at the box and learn about its special features/ingredients (e.g. silicone in The Porefessional). You can also find this information on the website. If you don’t currently use Benefit products then go to a counter (a different one to where your audition will be!) and let them sit you down…you don’t have to buy anything but make mental notes all the way through. Don’t worry, you don’t have to swot up on every single product ever made but it helps if you can say ‘yeah, I LOVE BadGal mascara, I’ve used it since I was like sixteen. I’ve never found another mascara with that kind of brush.’ Good luck! x

  24. Christine Holdsworth
    September 19, 2012

    okay great :) i love the products so that part should be okay! Also just one more question, when you went for your group audition did you go with your hair up or down? x

    • CuriousEmily
      September 19, 2012

      I don’t think it matters in the slightest, wear it however you feel the most comfortable but if it is very very long you might want to tie it up for practical reasons. :) I have long hair and wore it down 90% of the time. x

  25. jenny.k
    September 20, 2012

    Hi , i have an audition with benefit tomorrow and i’m super nervous! Could you give me a good ideal answer to this question ‘What is benefit the company about mainly?’ x

  26. jenny.k
    September 20, 2012

    This is a question i heard they ask and i’m not sure how to answer it?x

    • CuriousEmily
      September 22, 2012

      Hi Jenny,

      Sorry I didn’t get time to reply to this in time. Questions like that you must think about yourself; if you can’t answer them then it probably isn’t the job for you! You should think along the lines of how Benefit doesn’t take itself too seriously though and believes beauty should be fun, and is for everybody (that’s why it does its products in such a wide range of shades). x

  27. Martha
    September 22, 2012

    I am so embarrassed! I had my audition on Friday, it went on for about 2 hours. There were 6 other girls, and I got 3 women to sit down in total. All that’s well and good but I am cringing so badly!!!!!! We had to try and sell the 6 best sellers, apply half a face of makeup at a time, showing them each product in the mirror one by one. My first girl who sat down…. I LET HER GO WITH HALF A FACE OF MAKEUP :( I didn’t know what to do! As soon as she walked away I realized my mistake! They defo noticed because another girl was doing her friend and she was standing there waiting for her. I was so so so embarrassed, I wanted to tel them I knew it was a mistake, I wanted to call her back but i didn’t I just let her go! I am so distraught because I enjoyed the experience sooo much. After that, I had 2 older women. The one straight after had an eye infection so i didn’t apply any mascara, but I fear they didn’t know that and thought i forgot because it wasn’t a noticeable eye infection. And the last one was an older lady too who bought the mascara. I am so annoyed at my embarrassing mistake, I am heart broken! I had such a good time working for the day and want this job more than anything! And now I know I haven’t got it :( They said they’ll be in touch within the week!

  28. rosie
    September 27, 2012

    Hi, please could you tell me what questions they ask you in the telephone interview?

    • CuriousEmily
      September 27, 2012

      Just standard interview questions really – it’s quite informal so it’ll range from interviewer to interviewer. They’ll probably ask you why you want to work for Benefit, what your availability is like, what your favourite products are and what you think Benefit is about. Most of it should come naturally if you have an ounce of common sense, but just make sure you sound happy and confident and cheerful throughout! And a sense of humour always helps. ;) Good luck! x

  29. Martha
    September 27, 2012

    Didn’t get the job. in absolute foul humour! i feel like giving up!

  30. sarah
    October 7, 2012

    Heya, ive had an interview and went through benefit auditions before but i was unsuccesful. This was like a year ago. I want to try again. Please can u give me any advice on the audiotions, what are they looking for? And the reason why people are unsuccessful. Is there a certain look they like etc. What they dislike and like .
    thank you:)

    • CuriousEmily
      October 7, 2012

      Hi Sarah. Thanks for reading. All your questions are answered in the post above – good luck with your second attempt!

  31. Emlaaa
    October 8, 2012

    Hello! Your post is exactly the sort of thing I have been looking for advice-wise! Thankyou! Makes me feel a little better about my interview on Friday, although I am still so nervous. I was wondering, I recently dyed my hair blue, do you think this will effect my chances. It’s for a position in debanhams. Do you think they will mind me standing out a little????

    • CuriousEmily
      October 8, 2012

      Hello!

      Well done on your interview, I’m sure you’ll do magnificently! Unless your interviewer has a special, personal dislike for blue hair you should be fine; of anything it shows you’re a fun-loving, outgoing girl so I actually think it’ll play in your favour. It’ll certainly make you more memorable! :) x

      • emlaaa
        October 9, 2012

        you are a gem :) thankyou! this makes me feel much better ^_^ Have a nice day! X

  32. Siobhanwilliams
    October 8, 2012

    Hi this is really helpful information, how did u find and apply for a BA at benefit? Ive been looking all over the Internet trying to find how to apply for a position but can’t find anything!

    • CuriousEmily
      October 8, 2012

      Hi Siobhan! You need to go to the http://www.benefitcosmetics.co.uk website, scroll to the bottom and click ‘careers’. They might not have anything going in your area so it may be worth handing a cv and cover letter in at all your local counters too in case something comes up.

  33. Nick
    November 1, 2012

    Hi a lot of good advice there thank you, I am male and passed phone interview and have audition interview next week what’s the brand like for hiring men it’s to be account manager worked in serious sales roles and also for clarins do you think I have a good enough chance as any ? Just worrying about the make up application got a qualification went to college to do make up and done some at clarins just worrying in not up to there standard yet ? is it something I should be worried about thanks nick

    • CuriousEmily
      November 1, 2012

      Hi Nick. Great to have a comment from a dude. Benefit aren’t biased by male applicants as far as I know but they don’t get too many! You sound better qualified than most of the Benefit account managers I encountered so definitely don’t worry about that – remember that Benefit is one of the only counters where professional qualifications are not a prerequisite. The job is sales, not make-up artistry (although this will definitely give you the edge in flagship stand alone stores and big city counters).

      Just work on showing them good sales skills at your audition – can-do attitude, likeability, professionalism and a sense of fun – and you’ll be fine. Good luck!

      • Nick
        November 1, 2012

        Thanks for you reply appreciate it yeah I think I have more than enough selling skills and ways and means to get sales my roles have been target based strictly for past 7 years working for Hugo boss and Guess and also clarins just hope when it comes to the application of the make up n what they expect doesn’t let me down

  34. dailypolish
    November 7, 2012

    hey..this was super helpful! i flunked my interview today because i couldn’t describe the “benefit experience” or say how many stores benefit had. i’ve looked all over their website to try and find out what the “benefit experience” is and i can’t find it anywhere! i don’t care about the rest of the stuff, i just want a job!

  35. Alxandra
    December 1, 2012

    Hiya, I just recently had an audition for benefit and suprisingly I actually enjoyed it, read the details on my blog http://alxandrascloset.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/benefit-cosmetics-audition.html I hope this helps out anyone preparing to go for an audition soon! x

  36. Lauren
    December 8, 2012

    Did you include a cover letter when you uploaded your CV? :) x

  37. Meee
    December 16, 2012

    Hi, thanks for all the info its been really helpful. I’m really interested in working for Benefit, especially as it’s more of a salesy role. But I was wondering, when you do apply, or get a job with them, do they send you to different stores to work or do you stay in just the one. If they do, do you have any choice in stores? Reason I’m asking is I used to work at Boots (shop assistant), and left a few months ago because the managers are horrific, and it was just a hostile work environment, most people at that particular store would agree! But obv, I know I cant go to an interview and slag off an old employer. I’m trying to get a position at Debenhams, but incase they were to say ‘we want you at the Boots counter’ is there a nice way to say no without ruining chances of a job??

    Thanks x

  38. Hannah
    January 4, 2013

    Hi, I’m considering applying for a role at Benefit in the near future and was wondering what sort of things they look for in your CV? If, as you say the role is more sales based, should I gear my CV more towards that than anything else? Also do you know what (on average) amount of hours a part time employee is usually contracted to? As a student I don’t really want to be in for long hours when I have work etc to do! Any help would be greatly appreciated, thank you :)
    Hannah x

    • E
      January 15, 2013

      i am a student, and work for benefit. i had no experience and just had my gcse grades and predicted a levels to show, they didnt seem to mind. i work 7 and a half hours a week, so usually a saturday, with once a month sunday but that tends to vary on your contract :) i wrote a comment about my oppinion if u want to check that out. x E

  39. E
    January 15, 2013

    i work for Benefit in boots at the moment, and i can say this sums it up pretty well. as much as there is pros to the job, like allocation, commission, and free makeup occasionally it has its negative side. firstly the targets are pretty harsh, benefit like to set the targets high, but there extremely pushy and constantly demand you to traffic stop which personally i hate doing. also, you do not have freedom to sell what you like to customers, as you have the set makeup sales to exceed (prime, prep, and perfect) which is a pain in the arse. and the fact that they force you to book appointments is also annoying. i would say, i enjoy the makeup and the money is reasonably good. i just really wish i knew what i was getting myself in too when i auditioned. luckly im a part timer so im not their everyday. you stand on your feet ALL day and that can not only hurt your feet but your back and knees, so be prepared for that. and they have REALLY cringy sayings obviously they try to be ‘different but i personally find it a tad patronizing. all in all its ok, im not going to stay forever but for a part time job, or a “foot in the door” for something else its excellent so sorry if i sound negative i just think people should be prepared. the products are great and you get to meet some amazing people. some however are not but the majority are genuinely interesting individuals, and that makes it all worth while in the end. so if you are a keen makeup artist, you dont get to have fun as you are basically told what to do (same eye shadows, same blush) you dont get to play around. but thats always something that was good about benefit, you dont have to be a qualified makeup artist to do it. those who work for benefit will see what i mean and those who are applying, i wish you all the best and i hope i dont sound to negative and helped! good luck. oh and one more thing, i couldn’t agree more about the boots doing random body searches, they take it really seriously!!!! even if you are caught with a sample it could loose your job so be careful they are very strict.
    E x

  40. Gill
    January 28, 2013

    HI Emily informative blog thank you. I have the chance to audition but feel benefit may be more for younger people, I am 47 yr old beauty therapist, and most of the information and counters seem to indicate I,m well old for this position. Wondered what you thought having been an advisor thanks.

    • CuriousEmily
      January 28, 2013

      Hi Gill! Benefit is definitely a “younger” brand, but it’s all about being young at heart! If you’re one of these “fabulous at forty” types there’s no reason at all why you shouldn’t go for the job. After all, although Benefit is youthful looking with its sweet-stand counters and sugary packaging, it is still expensive. Teenagers can’t afford to buy all their slap from there, and many clients are women in their thirties, forties and fifties. Don’t be intimidated and rock it. After all, I would definitely rather buy from a 47 year old who knows her shit than a po-faced 19 year old. You’ll be fine. :) Good luck, and I’m glad you found the article helpful! X

  41. Evette
    January 29, 2013

    Thank you so much – your info really helped me decide whether to attend an interview. I didn’t go because I don’t believe in harassing/stalking customers to buy anything. Thanks girly – think I’ll stay in teaching :)

    • CuriousEmily
      January 29, 2013

      Glad it was helpful to you! It is quite hardcore on the traffic stopping front…good luck with the teaching! X

  42. Charlotte
    February 1, 2013

    Hiya! Ive just got a position at Benefit part time – what did you get in your ‘starter pack’?

    • CuriousEmily
      February 2, 2013

      I didn’t get one, it depends on how organised your account manager is, but it’ll only be a couple of products, like mascara. If you started now you’d get your next allocation in October though (150 for part time, 200 for full time).

      • Sabi
        February 4, 2013

        Hello, last week Friday on the 25th Janaury I went to an audition because the week before that I was
        Called for the phone interview and I was successful, but the audition was to work for one of their boutiques as I am level 3 beauty therapy qualified. I went to audition got down a few customers and sold a few products, they saw my traffic stopping and said I was great, and also I was successful in my audition. After my audition I was immediately told to go downstairs for an interview, she asked me the usual questions what hours I can work, experience, what I love about benefit.. And she then gave me a sheet of paper explaining all the guidelines and rules about working for benefit. She said we will call you soon, it’s been more than a week and I haven’t heard from them at all, although I passed the audition. I’m not sure if I should try to call them? For example calling head office. I’m just really confused!! 

      • CuriousEmily
        February 4, 2013

        Hi Sabi,

        Benefit lower management are REALLY badly organised. I actually had to chase my interview, so if it’s been a week I would phone head office and ask what’s going on. Be really understanding and polite about it and I’m sure they’ll do their best to help you. :)

        Good luck, sounds like you did great! x

  43. Hannah
    February 12, 2013

    Hiya, I just wanted to ask I am going to a benefit recruitment day next week where I’m guessing anyone can go along and ‘introduce’ themselves this may sound silly but how do you think I should approach them? And do you think I should refrain from putting too much info about wanting a career in make up on my cv? Thank you!

    • CuriousEmily
      February 12, 2013

      Hey! I never went to a recruitment day, straight to audition after a phone interview. I imagine you should go in, introduce yourself in a self-confident, friendly way (remember this is what traffic-stopping is!) and then maybe ask them some questions about what it’s like to work at Benefit. I don’t think wanting a career in make-up is a bad thing, but don’t dwell on wanting to be an artist or anything too much. :) Remember it’s a sales job!

      • sarah
        February 16, 2013

        hiya i am starting my pink workbook training on Monday and am wondering if u can tell me what its like? and also weather we are h.xpaid for this?
        thanks
        sarah.x

  44. Anya
    February 24, 2013

    Hi,
    I’ve seen a poster at my local boots for a recruitment day so you’re blog has answered loads of questions I had. The poster says be prepared to come back and where black in the afternoon but what did you wear to the morning, I’m guessing a suit would be too formal? I thought maybe a casual dress or jeans and a nice top? X

    • Georgie
      March 3, 2013

      A woman in Boots (in York) rang me up the other day and invited me to a recruitment day in Leeds in response to me giving in a CV previously… she just told me to go wearing black. She also said wear flat shoes. I’m going to go in a black shirt and black skirt, so I’m wearing all black but still look smart enough for an interview. Apparently the way it works is you go for an interview in the morning, following which (if you pass that stage) you do the traffic-stopping ‘audition’. Hope this helps :)

      • CuriousEmily
        March 6, 2013

        Hi Georgie,

        Let me know how it goes! I’d love to update the main blog post with some more up-to-date information. :)

  45. kara
    March 6, 2013

    hey, i have a traffic-stopping audition tommorow i am really nervous about it normally i am a confident person and dont get like this however im really worried that i wont remember what they say.i was just wondering what is it actually like and do they put you under- pressure? :)

  46. Hannah
    March 6, 2013

    Hi again, I went to the recruitment day passed the first mini interview then passed the audition! She said she would call me in 2 weeks to let me know when the final interview is and that it would be 2 weeks because she has to go out of Bournemouth, however it will be 2 weeks tomorrow since my audition and I passed the benefit the other day and saw her in there? Do you think I should call or wait? And do you think I should call her of a HO? Cheers :)

  47. Megan
    March 14, 2013

    Hey, thanks so much for posting this its such a helpfull article! I had an interview 3 weeks ago and it went really well, I had a really great time and I did around 10 girls makeup and I sold 5 items, I strangely enjoyed the traffic stopping and the woman kept saying how well i had done, the the formal interview went well also and she was telling me all the perks of the job. She said she would ring me but after the first week (as she was on holiday) but its been two weeks since she came back and i havent heard anything. Should I give up hope or do you reckon she might ring? Or is there anyone I can ring? Thanks so much :)

    • CuriousEmily
      March 14, 2013

      Hi Megan,

      Benefit area managers are notoriously shit; just look at all the comments with people in the same situation as you! I’d definitely recommend you give head office in Chelmsford a call…be apologetic but just make it obvious you’re calling because you love the brand and really enjoyed the audition (and traffic-stopping!) and was hoping to hear back. Be enthusiastic (but be genuine!)

      Good luck!

  48. ElMa
    March 25, 2013

    Hi,
    This is amazing, thank you so much!! I have my audition on Thursday in Debenhams! I was told to wear all black but I was wondering what would be suitable!? I am just nervous about what to wear because I know appearance s very important for this kind of role!!

    • CuriousEmily
      March 25, 2013

      Hi Elaine!

      Glad it’s helpful! I used to wear skinny black trousers (not jeans…depends on the counter manager so play it safe!) and then just a plain black fitted tee or sweater. Wear some cool jewellery though to give it some personality. :) Good luck! x

      • Jessicajayne
        April 2, 2013

        Hi, you are a god sent with this blog!!!!!! I have an audition on friday, in hanley, And I’m a little nervous! I have been reading through the comments and seeing what I will be doing. I’ve already had my sit down interview and it went really well, as I’ve come to my audition. I was just wondering about what I will need to take with me? And I have not yet had a telephone interview as I am having troubles with my phone what should I do!?

  49. Jessica
    April 8, 2013

    Hello, I was wondering if you could help me. I was at a Benefit counter last week checking out different products and got along very good with the sales girl. She informed me she would be leaving and encouraged me to put in a CV and apply for the full time position. Only problem is I’ve always worked in hospital so I have no sales experience. I am a beauty make-up guru so I do know a bit. That would be the reason why I left hospital was to get into working with make-up. I informed the sales girl all and she suggested doing a cover letter for my CV. I’ve never done a cover letter. Any suggestions? I obviously have to include my passion for makeup, do u think I should include the brand Benefit into it? Also as this has not been advertised (not that I know of) do you think I would have to still go through the whole process others have with going through different interview stages with others?
    Thank you!
    Jess x

    • CuriousEmily
      April 8, 2013

      Hey Jessica!

      Thanks for your comment. Having no sales experience is no problem at all, so long as you show you’re eager to learn! Working at Benefit is a ‘first’ job for lots of girls (and a few boys!); the workforce is teeming with sixteen and seventeen year olds with no experience either, so I’m sure you’ll be fine. :)

      A cover letter is just a couple of paragraphs introducing yourself and explaining specifically why you want this job and why you’d like to work for Benefit. A CV is just an advert for yourself, a CV can be more personal! There are some great generic examples online you can look at for a starting point.

      Often they’ll ask you for an interview but if time is short and they are desperate I’ve known girls to just be handed the job after an interview with no audition…it just depends on how quickly they need someone, how good you sound and how popular positions are in your area.

      Good luck! x

      • Jessica
        April 8, 2013

        Thanks a lot doll! I’ll get started on the cover letter tomorrow ready to hand in Wed. I shall let ya know how it goes! XoX

      • CuriousEmily
        April 8, 2013

        Excellent! I’m quite busy but if you fancy emailing it to me I don’t mind looking over it if you like. :) Otherwise, good luck! You seem very articulate so I’m sure you’ll do just fine! x

      • Jessica
        April 9, 2013

        Thanks so much! I shall try an get it done an send it to ya if ya have the time to look over it. I really appreciate it! xox

      • Jessica
        April 9, 2013

        Hi doll, I’ve finished my cover letter. Let me if your ok or free to still have a look at it. Thanks! xox

      • CuriousEmily
        April 9, 2013

        Hi Jessica! Just got home…do feel free to email it to me at emily@incurablycurious.com and I’ll take a quick look. :) x

  50. Alicia
    April 12, 2013

    Hi, what benefit counter did you work at? x

  51. Megan
    April 22, 2013

    Hello, your post is brilliant and very insightful, I’m going to a recruitment day next month, but dont really have much experience, I’ve only ever worked in a corner shop, so I was wondering are they more likely to hire you if you have experience over enthusiasm? in other words, do you recon it’s possible to get the job on enthusiasm and performance on the shop floor without having a great deal of experience? x

    • Megan
      April 22, 2013

      also, do you need to bring a CV for the initial interview? x

  52. Millie P (@XxEme_PxX)
    May 11, 2013

    Hi – I just had my make up done at a Benefit Counter and thought it would be an awesome place to work; I really want to apply but I was just wondering if you need to know prior to auditioning / getting a job how to apply makeup particularly with make up brushes etc, I’ve always done my make up and I know my way around makeup brushes but I don’t know particular techniques, I was wondering if they train you on how to do this if you get a job or they just expect you to know how to?/ which brushes to use etc? x

    • CuriousEmily
      May 11, 2013

      Don’t worry, there is training on counter how to use brushes and so on ‘the Benefit way.’ :)

  53. Laura
    May 13, 2013

    Hey there
    im from germany and i found your blog while i was searching for “Work at benefit” on google. My audition is on friday and i am afraid of the part “traffic stopping”. I don´t like it – as a customer as well as a BA. Here in germany we don´t have many benefit shops so cant get a sneak peek of what to do at a counter or if an audition here in germany is the same like in the UK.

    • CuriousEmily
      May 13, 2013

      Hi,

      English people don’t usually appreciate the traffic-stopping approach either to be honest; it is a very ‘American’ thing and sometimes you do get people being a bit shitty with you. I couldn’t comment on whether it’s different in Germany or not, but I would probably advise you to try and work at a different counter that doesn’t do traffic-stopping if you don’t like it; it’s quite an important part of the job!

  54. Courtney
    May 19, 2013

    Hi ladies,
    I have just came across this post I went along to a opening day nearly 3 weeks ago it went well and I passed the audition straight after and went along for a interview one week later, this went well and interviewer said to me I had passed all interviews with Benefit and that I was just waiting for store approval, that was 10 days ago i have heard nothing and I have been sitting waiting on tender hooks waiting for a call, I know people on this thread have been in the same boat, just wondering how long it took for them to call you back? Am I worrying for nothing? Should I ring head office and ask what’s going on? Any advice would be appreciated x

    • CuriousEmily
      May 20, 2013

      Hi Courtney,

      Seems to be a recurring theme here on this post! I really think the best thing to do is always chase them up – you’ll never hear back otherwise, and what have you got to lose? Phone the head office in Chelmsford and be really nice and police…hopefully they’ll get the area manager to give you a call back. Good luck!

      • Courtney
        May 21, 2013

        Ok thanks f

      • Courtney
        May 21, 2013

        Ok thanks for the reply. I rang Chelmsford they have given me a email address to message Benefit so hopefully should hear from them soon fingers crossed xx

  55. Pingback: Working at benefit cosmetics – Ein Einblick in eine Audition | theainshino

  56. Anonymous
    May 27, 2013

    hi on wednesday there will be recruiting events in the local area, for example in the benefit counters in Debenhams, i was wondering when i attend there will it be like you told us, the audition? and trafftic stopping? or isit something else ?

    • CuriousEmily
      May 27, 2013

      It’s been awhile now so I couldn’t possibly say, but I’d go prepared for all of it!

      • louise
        May 28, 2013

        Hey ladies! I would be careful when it comes to Benefit recruitment days as some just do it to get sales up instead of using it to recruit staff, I auditioned and passed to the last stage which was the interview and was never called, I kept on calling and they kept saying we will call you when we have a date blah blah! I know this because I now work bang opposite the one I applied for at BareMinerals and was told by a former staff member! So unprofessional and nasty but Like I said its not all off them, I dont mean to put a downer on this but I thought I should share this with you but good luck to everyone applying :) xx

  57. anna
    June 5, 2013

    I have also heard that these recruitment days are just there to increase sales.How unfair on people who waste their time going along only for there to be no job at the end of the 4 hour traffic stopping!

  58. Kyrie
    June 9, 2013

    Hi Emily! I would like to say thank you for posting this and I really appreciate that you reply to people because this way we can all see many answers to a variety of questions we couldn’t think of!
    My question is about the dress code: I plan to attend a recruitment day and even though I believe it suits me well being all like “bene-babe”, I generally prefer pants to skirts. Would skinny blacks or business trousers be appropriate, or is the skirt/dress a “must-wear”?

    • CuriousEmily
      June 9, 2013

      Hi Kyrie,

      Thanks for your comment! I’m so glad you found it helpful. :) Benefit uniform-wise is fairly casual, definitely no business attire! You often see girls in leggings or hot pants on counter, all black, but that might be a bit much for a trial! I’d pair skinny trousers and a fitted t-shirt to be safe. You’re always wearing a Benefit apron on counter and sometimes product launches come with accessories that you can wear at work, e.g. the turquoise silk scarf for Porefessional.

      Good luck with your trial, and don’t forget comfortable shoes!

      • Kyrie
        June 9, 2013

        Thanks for the quick reply! I will keep checking on here since that event seems to be in July! Benefit have a counter in the department store I work so until then I will take some time to do serious research and try out some products! I am really interested in the style and approach they have, so it all makes me optimistic about it! And, since you said not to wear heels I will look for a comfortable pair of flats… I am more of a rock-chick so ballet pumps are out of the question… Hope that’ll be ok.
        Thanks again :D

  59. kal884
    June 17, 2013

    Hi, this has been soooo useful! Thank you!
    I have an audition in Merry Hill on Friday but can’t make it to that one, how would I go about being placed into another audition but to one that’s in my city? Thanks xx

    • CuriousEmily
      June 19, 2013

      Hi Kal,

      Glad you’ve found it useful. I don’t work for Benefit so I wouldn’t know, but I would contact the person who gave you the interview and ask if you can be transferred. Best of luck!

      • kal884
        June 21, 2013

        Thank you!
        Also, I have an interview wit Boux Avenue on the same day at 2.15, 15mins after the audition is meant to end. Do the auditions end on time? I tried to get the manager to make the Boux interview for later but she insisted to have it at 2.15pm.

      • CuriousEmily
        June 21, 2013

        Benefit managers in my experience are quite disorganised but I was out of my audition fairly punctually. x

      • Anonymous
        July 10, 2013

        Hi babe, I went to the recruitment date this week, and I passed first interview, my audition and my final interview, however the lady told me my name will be on a list and when there is vacancies availabe they would give me a call… And that my name woulkd be on the list for 3 month after that 3 months I have to go through the same recruitment process again. I am abit worried, can any one tell me how long it took them after their final interview to get the job it self ?

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  62. Jlynn89
    August 9, 2013

    Hello ladies!
    I found this site extremely helpful! But I had a question!
    I had my audition last Friday and the manager told me I did well and that she had one more interview Wednesday and she said she would call me this Thursday but she called me today
    To let me know the company has to post the position (which will be today at 6pm)
    Before making a decision and she will call me early next week to let me know if I got the job or not. I was wondering what this sounds like to you?

  63. Ashleigh
    August 18, 2013

    Hi ladies, im just looking for advise, i have a level 2 beauty therapy qualification going into level 3 soon. I am a massive make up enthusiast and everyone has always told me to head towards the makeup artist career path and i am so glad i came across this article its so helpful, i know working on a makeup counter isnt all about makeovers but i was wondering if its a good place to start it seems so much fun. I am 17 and have no work experience yet. Is it worth dropping my cv in?

    Thanks :-) x

  64. Danielle Gilbertson
    August 19, 2013

    Hello ladies I work in accessorise monsoon and I’m happy their but hours are rubbish ant not garnented and it’s not what I want to be
    Doing for a career, I love every single thing about make up I think it’s the only thing I have really took a shine to I would love to do this and would be gratefull if you could pop a link on or tell me where to go to get their Evan writing this am getting a tiny b
    It excited thanks, Dannii xx

  65. Victoria
    August 22, 2013

    Can you apply for a job at Benefit if you are 16?:)

    • CuriousEmily
      September 8, 2013

      Yes, you can be 16 or over to apply.

  66. Jordan Hopla
    September 12, 2013

    Hey guys I just landed my self a job @ benefit. 3 women left as it was too much and the girl I was competing against for the final position made 4 sales and I made 7. It is not for everyone but practise your sales techniques if your desperate for it. I had 10 free products including perfume starting.

  67. Sam Scott
    October 8, 2013

    Hellloooo there. This has given me a great idea and help into working for Benefit thankyou!! There is a recruitment day in debehnams near me soon and was wondering what they look for and if you can be abit too chatty or not?! And if you know what happens at these kind of things!? Need to get it right! stuck working at a hardwear store is not where i want to be all my life!! I am a mobile nail technician too so feel i wanna mix things up abit! excited!! ahhhh
    thanks!!
    xxx

  68. tianna
    October 29, 2013

    Hey, thank you for a very detailed post. Could you tell me how much commission you use to get on a typical month. I know it varies, but just a rough idea please.

    Thank u x

    • CuriousEmily
      October 29, 2013

      Tianna,

      It varied hugely but we got 2% when I was there. So about 30p for each mascara and 50p for a foundation. It depends on your hours, the days you work (i.e. Monday is much slower than Saturday), the location of the store and the time of year. At Christmas I think I made about 500 (in Milton Keynes) but I did about 12 shifts in the run-up. Usually I worked Saturday, Sunday and one weekday evening, and I used to make about 60-120/month in commission.

  69. Anon
    November 8, 2013

    Hi there, this post was very helpful so thank you very much. I wanted to add something which may help other applicants as I just went through the process. I handed my CV into a benefit counter after hearing of a vacancy and then got a call inviting me for a short interview and audition. I was told I may have a telephone interview in between but I never got called. The first interview was very quick. 5 of us were there and we got asked I think 8 questions that we were scored on. I scored all ‘excellents’ apart from one ‘ok’ on a question about targets. It helped me to prepare by watching youtube videos where people discussed what the interview was like and the types of questions such as how would your friends describe you in 3 words etc. I then got called back to the audition a few hours later. It seems my application process went a little differently to other applicants because I loved the audition but found the final interview very difficult. We had an hour of training (exept I was the only girl out of I think now 7 of us to not get to practice the makeup before going down to the shop floor). Most of the other girls also had makeup experience where as I didn’t so I was worried at this stage. However the audition was a breeze. Despite it being a wednesday it was half term. I got 5 people to sit down and sold 2 products – they’re real and you rebel. I was the first girl to sell a product out of the candidates, so I felt quite at ease on the shop floor. Traffic stopping is fine if you leave your pride at the door, which is what you have to do. The other girls stood around slightly nervously when we first got down to the shop floor as though waiting for something to kick off. I got the first person I approached to sit down and they bought the mascara. I believe that 3 girls got told to go home so at the end there were 4 of us left. A few days on our final interview was arranged. 5 people were going for 2 part time and 1 full time job (2 xmas ones). Online there is less info about the final interview apart from people saying it was easy! I sadly fell at the last hurdle. I found it very difficult. I was told I had to say as much as possible for every question because the interviewer had to tick boxes for the content of your answer. I found that really hard because I didn’t know what she was looking for in my answer and lost all my confidence so I went away knowing I probably hadn’t done enough. As I thought she rung me and said even though I did well in the first stage I didnt score enough in the final interview so they could not hire me. I just wanted to give others a different perspective. Really prepare for that final interview! Its all experience based in or outside of work. You have to say as much as possible about how, for example, you handled a sensitive situation in or outside of work. You also obviously have to say the right thing. I think I just didn’t say enough because I didnt know how much or what I should be saying. I prefer the typical more natural interview style personally because it feels less like an exam! Luckily I had a job offer later the same day I got told I didn’t get the one at benefit, so maybe it was just meant to be :) For anyone wondering about salary I was told the boots jobs would be £7.20 p/hour and John Lewis £7 p/hour. (I am 18). You also get £500 to spend per year at benefit. Hope this helps anyone applying! Just really prepare for the interviews and be confident in audition.

    • CuriousEmily
      November 8, 2013

      Thanks so much – this is really helpful! I’ll bump it to the top of the thread.

  70. Serena
    November 11, 2013

    OH MY GOD!!! I was so happy when I found this post but reading the answers I’m getting sad :P

    Today I’ve sent my cv online and I’ve seen on Friday 15 there is a Recruitment day at Debenhams, they say 2 hours… I’m really nervous, specially for the last stage of the interview (as they say in the last answers) and a little bit for my English, I hope no strange questions!!!

    anyway, in September I sent my cv, I have no experience in make up(I worked in a waffle shop for almost one year and before, fashion retail in Italy). but I wrote a really nice cover letter because I know the brand :)
    They call me back for a phone interview but that morning I signed a contract in fashion retail, so i said I didn’t need anymore… I’m telling this to show they could call everyone…I know they were opening a new boutique shop, so probably they needed a lot of new staff and they called me!!!

    • Serena
      November 11, 2013

      sorry I forgot……talking about the job(so, not the recruitment) do you do the traffic-stopping in all the benefit stores or in the boutique only?!?
      I mean, I usually go in department stores and I’ve always seen them at the counter

  71. Mercy
    December 23, 2013

    Hey!
    Thank you so much for writing this! It helped me a lot for my audition and interview. I personally thought it couldn’t have gone any better, I was confident, All my customers bought something and I answered all the questions. I’m just a bit disappointed and confused (I guess).. I was told my the area manager that she would call me today (Monday) but it’s 2:30pm and I still haven’t heard back from her :(

    I don’t know what to do… Should I call her back to ask if I was successful or not? or is that not appropriate.

    Regards,

    Mercy xx

  72. assinra
    January 31, 2014

    Hey! Ive recently just passed the audition stage aswell as the other interview right after, the Benefit’s manager who was in charge said she really really likes me but when I told her my availabilities being weekends for definite and afternoons on weekdays so flexible part time, she said shed put me on the ‘Benebabe list’ and shell call me once shes figured out where she can put me, Ive seen so many articles saying they dont call back even after youve passed but the lady said she really liked me and shell put me as her first priority, also at the first interview she said the same and she even put a number 1 on her paper to call me back first, should i be worried? because not only do I want this job, but I really need it to! Please reply xxxxx

    • CuriousEmily
      January 31, 2014

      If they haven’t gone back to you within a week I would chase them up. Also make sure you haven’t got any missed calls on their phone – if they can’t get through to you they’ll just move on to the next person.

  73. Anonymous
    February 4, 2014

    Hello Emily

    This post was indeed so helpful, I am on the train now heading to my audition day in Glasgow but it’s the beauty therapist position for the brow bar which I am applying for. I have a diploma in beauty therapy amongst other qualifications which I was told to bring incase they need a copy if I am successful. Do you know if the therapist position is as focused on the traffic stopping? I also used to work in debenhams at a threading eyebrow bar and never really saw the benefit girls leave their counter. I was forced to stand at the front door and hand leaflets out stopping traffic and explaining threading,
    I hated standing around bored all day and having nothing to do when there was no customers. I currently work in wetherspoons so I am used to an extremely busy atmosphere and can handle a million things at once, so I hope this is not a step back for me as I can cope with a lot! I agree I also hated traffic stopping, but when you get a bum in the seat usually it does lead to a sale. I am just going to try and be the most bubbly and enthusiastic one there and stand out, which I think I manage without trying sometimes! Hopefully they will like me and also not hold it against me that I graduated in 2012 and haven’t been practising for a year, this is a point I may not mention however! I have not gofer gotta. How to was brows so I think il be ok, I’m good at blagging, wish me luck and thanks for this post it really is an insight into what will happen today.

    Pip

  74. Anonymous
    February 4, 2014

    Meant to say I have not forgotten how to wax brows :/

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