Performance incentives can be very motivating. Talk to the interviewer about your feelings regarding performance incentives.
"I feel that performance incentives are an effective strategy. They keep an employee driven to do a stellar job and ensure that they are on top of their KPIs. In my experience, the majority of people are enthusiastic about being rewarded for their successes, and I personally find performance incentives highly motivating."
"I think performance incentives are important for encouraging team members to focus on results. For me, as a manager, I feel incentives give me some skin in the game and get my team engaged in making an impact toward the company's desired results."
The best way to discuss your salary expectations is to use your current earnings as an example. Be open, and honest. Transparency is the best choice when salary based questions arise.
"Currently, I earn a base salary of $45,000 per year plus a potential 20% annual bonus. Last year my earnings were $52,000, and I would like to stay in the same range or gain a slight increase. According to my research, this seems consistent with the market."
"I would like to earn slightly above where I am now. Currently, I make $25/hour plus benefits and a 10% commission on all sales. My target income for the coming year is $65,000. If that is out-of-range for this position, I would hope we could discuss alternative benefits and/or a path to reach that salary goal."
Tell the interviewer what your ideal employer looks like. Be specific and be sure to keep the conversation positive. Avoid speaking poorly of any previous managers or organizations.
"My ideal employer is one that is mission-based and focused on excellence, and that acts with integrity and a higher purpose. That's why Estee Lauder Companies is such a good fit for me; with its commitment to achievement, high-touch customer experiences and global impact, I know I can find a connection with my own values and purpose."
"In the day-to-day, my ideal employer/supervisor is one who allows me to take the reins when it comes to problem-solving. I like to be hands-on and prefer to work for people who value this in me. My ideal supervisor might let me struggle a bit with a problem before just jumping in and showing me the answer."
Talk to the interviewer about your thoughts on honesty in the workplace.
"'Always' can be dangerous. For the most part, yes, but I will acknowledge that some circumstances are complicated. Be assured that I am a very honest person and would always strive to act with the best interests of Estee Lauder Companies in mind."
"For the most part, I do believe that honesty is the best policy. Often, it is just a matter of how you communicate and deliver your message."
The concern for the company is that hiring an overqualified individual can mean that they will leave when a better opportunity arises. Talk to the interviewer about why this position with the Estee Lauder Companies would be satisfying for you, long-term.
"I do have more years' experience than what you have outlined in your job posting; however, there are aspects of this position that would be new and exciting for me as well. For example, I would enjoy the exposure to more public service and premiere accounts. Despite my level of experience, there would be much for me to learn here at the Estee Lauder Companies, and with your extensive brand portfolio, the opportunities seem nearly endless; my hope is that this position would be the beginning of a long and fulfilling career."
"I can see that my most recent job title makes me appear overqualified for this particular position with the Estee Lauder Companies; however, there are many aspects of this position that will represent a strong learning curve for me. In addition, I'm hungry to learn from the very best in the industry, and I'm ready for the challenge that this position would offer me."
This is a chance to offer some real-world examples of when you've gone the extra mile or solved a tricky problem in a previous position. Estee Lauder Companies wants to know it can depend on your to give your very best to the position.
"My current/former boss would describe me as an employee who puts in the time and effort to make sure my work is something the company can be proud of. I pay attention to detail and never leave a task unfinished. I believe I would be described as dependable and committed and would be a tremendous asset to the Estee Lauder Companies team."
"I am the type of person who can identify a problem or workplace challenge and put a plan in place to solve it. [Provide your specific example(s) here.] I believe this is why I was promoted so quickly in my previous role, and why I would do well at the Estee Lauder Companies."
Tell the interviewer about the variety of ways in which you express your creativity. If you can work in a connection to the beauty industry, that's a plus. Try to always connect back to this opportunity.
"Outside of work I like to attend dance classes and I also attend the odd paint-and-sip wine nights at a local wine shop. I also enjoy reading as a way of nurturing my creative side."
"I put creativity into everything that I do. I am really into fashion and design, so I spend a lot of my spare time helping friends to shop for clothes, pick out makeup, and decorate their homes."
Are you accustomed to working with a very large or diverse team of individuals? Assure the interviewer that you are enthusiastic about and can handle an environment that offers diversity.
"The global nature of the Estee Lauder Companies business is one that I'm most excited about. I'm accustomed to being around people who aren't exactly like me, and I've been able to learn from exposure to a lot of different perspectives. However, I believe that truly being part of the global economy will be a life-changing experience that I will relish."
"In my current company, we have a very diverse group of people that range in age, race, experience, gender and more. I embrace it fully, and the commitment to all types of beauty, no matter what it looks like or where it's from, is one of my favorite aspects of the Estee Lauder Companies family of brands."
Others don't always communicate with you in the style that you would prefer. Talk to the interviewer about a time when you have handled a supervisor who does not interact with you in a way that you like or that is clear to you.
"Whenever I have had a supervisor who does not properly communicate with me, I first try to learn their style of communication and emulate it. I also try to ask a lot of questions and document instructions in writing as much as possible in order to make sure I'm understanding."
"I try to be independent and find as many answers as possible on my own. As much as I would love to always work with supervisors who are great communicators, that is not always a realistic ask. I also try to repeat instructions just to verify that I'm hearing and interpreting what the supervisor really wants."
Since you are applying to work for Estee Lauder Companies, chances are, you enjoy their products and services! Take this as an opportunity to compliment them on what they are doing right! Research their website for any recent news, accolades, or product launches. Be sure to comment on your findings.
"The Estee Lauder brand is all about luxury - it's the pinnacle of the beauty industry. In fact, you are the global leader in prestige beauty. In my experience, Estee Lauder represents the creme de la creme of beauty products. You separate yourselves from many other beauty brands particularly through your high-touch philosophy, which marries well with the luxury clientele you serve."
"Your culture has been described as a rare mix of family values with a high-performing public company. Estee Lauder has a long history and compelling brand story, with a focus on the kind of high-touch experience that develops strong emotional connections with the brand and its products. Because of its history of excellence, many new Estee Lauder users are third- and fourth-generation customers. It's the kind of prestige that's passed down in families."
The interviewer has given you a clue - Estee Lauder Companies wants its employees to be nimble. Assure the interviewer that you can respond professionally when it comes to sudden changes. Be as specific as you can, but below are some examples to guide your thinking:
"In my current role, our sales goals can change frequently based on marketplace behavior or trends, and sometimes this happens at the last minute. I have been able to adapt very well to these frequent, sudden changes, and to respond with creativity."
"This really speaks to the heart of what it means to be successful in the consumer marketplace. I believe in making sound plans, but also being prepared to abandon those plans based on last-minute changes in circumstances. For example, I may plan to spend an afternoon checking inventory, but if one of my top customers comes into the store with an urgent need, I'll let my plans go in order to help her."
Problem-solving and dispute resolution are fundamental skills to possess. Display to Estee Lauder Companies that you are capable of problem-solving within the workplace.
"In my most recent position we had a consistent problem with employees showing up late for their shifts or calling in sick at the last minute. Rather than the typical documenting and reprimanding style, I decided to track the results of an accountability reward system. For 180 days, my employees received a reward for coming to work 10 minutes early. Also, for every month with zero sick days, a bonus was added. In the end, we awarded those with perfect attendance a $600 bonus. The bonuses cost us less money than the cost of lowered productivity due to absent employees. The program was a success, and upper management chose to keep it implemented for another six months. We will re-assess in December, but it seems to be working very well. If I were to be hired, I'd bring that same sense of problem-solving and positive reinforcement to the Estee Lauder Companies team."
"Currently as assistant manager, I resolve problems on a daily basis. The most recent resolution process I was a part of included a customer complaint about an allergic reaction to one of our products. I was able to resolve her concern by listening to her, apologizing, issuing a refund, and offering a replacement product. I am no stranger to dispute resolution, problem-solving, and creative customer service, and I believe my approach would be in-line with the high-touch approach Estee Lauder Companies espouses."
The interviewer would like to know that you have shopped at an Estee Lauder brand store in the past and a brief overview of your customer service experience with them. Keep your reply positive and upbeat!
"I can tell that your customer service employees receive a great deal of training in the Estee Lauder high-touch approach. I've always had a positive customer experience at any of your brands' stores. My last visit, I was having trouble finding a specific product. As soon as I came across a customer service employee, they knew what I was looking for and found it for me right away. I was impressed with how knowledgeable and friendly she was, and I would hope to emulate that, should I be hired."
"During my last visit to an Estee Lauder brand store, I made a huge purchase. Once I arrived home, I realized that I had grabbed the wrong shade of one of my favorite products. It was no problem for me to make the exchange later that week. Your staff was warm and accommodating, and that made me want to continue shopping that particular brand."
Be sure to keep your reply upbeat, non-critical, and finish with a positive remark. The interviewer is looking for some light insight from you.
"The beauty industry is quite competitive, but Estee Lauder Companies fortunately enjoys the position of having a diverse group of brands as part of its portfolio; I'd say your number one task for staying on top of your field is continuous improvement and competitive landscape scanning. Always looking for ways to improve the company's products and processes, while at the same time staying up-to-speed on what competitors are doing so that you make sure to stay one step ahead."
"I appreciate the fact that this is an important question - while Estee Lauder's family of brands enjoys tremendous success and recognition in the beauty industry, it's important to keep striving for improvement and to better meet customer needs. One of the most important things Estee Lauder Companies can do along these lines is to keep engaging its customers - survey them, talk to them, engage them in brand ambassadorship so that those who are close to and love your brands can have a direct line to let you know what they need next."
Many organizations implement dress codes because they create a sense of unity for the customers. It also helps customers to find you when they need some help in-store. It is okay to ask about the dress code before you agree to it.
"Yes, I'm familiar with the dress code from my experience in several of your branded stores. I understand the importance of clearly identifying employees and also creating a sense of consistency and unity among the team. I'm happy to comply with this requirement - my time at work is about Estee Lauder and its family of brands, not about my personal style."
"I can understand why dress codes are important for Estee Lauder Companies and its respective brands. Can you tell me more about the dress code? I am happy to comply with any reasonable requirement when it comes to a dress code or uniform. In fact, in my current position, I wear a uniform, so I am accustomed to this requirement."
If there are restrictions on your schedule, this is a great time to discuss those with the interviewer. Be open and honest in regards to your availability. If you have no scheduling restrictions: "I do not have any restrictions in my schedule. I am happy to accept any hours and would appreciate any overtime as well."
"I do not have any restrictions in my schedule. I am happy to accept any hours and would appreciate any overtime as well."
"If you have scheduling restrictions: "I have school on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8-4. I can work any other time though, and would be happy to work out a mutually beneficial schedule with my supervisor!"
The interviewer would like to know that you can handle awkward or uncomfortable customer service situations. Assure the interviewer that you can handle them like a pro!
"If this happened, my first concern would be reinforcing Estee Lauder Companies' (and the particular brand's) customer service reputation and protecting the relationship with this customer. I would make sure the customer wasn't hurt, and I would comfort and assure the customer that no harm was done. If I can make him/her laugh and break the tension, that would be a win. I would then help him/her find the right product, and try to turn the situation into a sale and a happy Estee Lauder Companies customer who walks away feeling good about the brand."
"I would make sure to be familiar with Estee Lauder Companies' (and the particular brand's) policies for situations such as a customer breaking a product. Accidents are not uncommon in a retail environment, so I would ensure they are not injured and then safely clean up the mess. Particularly considering the high-touch nature of the Estee Lauder approach, the important thing here is to make sure the customer leaves the store feeling good about the customer service he/she received."
Your beauty related training may include formal courses or on-the-job training. Likely this training is already listed on your resume; however, the interviewer would like for you to go into further detail. Be sure to express how your education will benefit Estee Lauder Companies, should you be hired. For example, if you have related education/training: "I attended CMC Makeup School in Texas. My specialty was SPFX makeup and body painting. This unique focus gives me an edge in the market because my creativity is tapped hugely. Also, CMC is one of the top beauty schools in the U.S., so you can be assured that I come well trained and could be a tremendous asset to the Estee Lauder family of brands."
"I attended CMC Makeup School in Texas. My specialty was SPFX makeup and body painting. This unique focus gives me an edge in the market because my creativity is tapped hugely. Also, CMC is one of the top beauty schools in the U.S., so you can be assured that I come well trained and could be a tremendous asset to the Estee Lauder family of brands."
"If you do not have the related education/training: "I do not have formal training in makeup and beauty; however, since I was a young teen, I've watched and tried online beauty tutorials for hours a week, many of them from Estee Lauder brands. The beauty industry is a passion of mine that I have immersed myself in for years, so I do consider myself well trained and up-to-date on trends and techniques. I would look forward to the opportunity to prove my skills to the Estee Lauder Companies team."
Researching Estee Lauder Companies before your interview is incredibly important as you want to be prepared for questions such as this. The last thing that the interviewer wants to hear is that you have never used the company's products or services. Assure the interviewer that you have a personal interest in Estee Lauder Companies' product line.
"This is tough, because you have some of the best beauty brands in the business as part of your portfolio. Overall, I'm a big fan of MAC products, and I got my makeup start with Clinique, so that brand has a lot of nostalgic value for me. If I had to pick one superstar product right now, I'd choose the classic Estee Lauder brand advanced eye repair night eye serum. It's kind of a miracle product!"
"If you have not used their products before: "I have heard many great things about Product ABC and saw from your website that it is a best seller. I look forward to giving it a shot!"
Assure the interviewer that you have a genuine interest in this industry. Perhaps you follow a few beauty bloggers? Maybe you read specific magazines, or follow Estee Lauder brands on social media for updates on new and unique products. Keep your answer brief and informative.
"I have a keen interest in the beauty industry. Some of the ways that I stay in touch with industry trends is by following some of the Estee Lauder brands, like Mac and Aveda, on social media and also regularly reading The Beauty Blog. I also follow a few Instagram accounts of beauty experts [name them]."
"I stay up to date on industry trends through reading books, and continued education. Also, I have a mentor who has been in the beauty industry for quite some time. She helps me to stay up to date on new happenings in the industry."
Openly discuss with the interviewer why you want to work for Estee Lauder Companies versus its competitors. What does it stand for that meshes with who you are and the career you desire?Keep your answer brief, and positive.
"I want to work for Estee Lauder Companies because it represents the absolute pinnacle of the luxury beauty industry. I have personally enjoyed your products for years, as have many members of my family. From a business perspective, I appreciate that you have a growing portfolio of coveted brands, and that you create and market the highest quality products. I want to be a part of that."
"In a competitive industry, I want to work for the best. In addition to being the top in your market space, I also appreciate your commitment to your talented employees - the company openly espouses diversity of thought and people, and encourages creativity, innovation and integrity in your team members. That's exactly the kind of environment I'm looking for in order to grow."
If you can research Estee Lauder's return policy before your interview, refer to it when answering this question. Be sure to think about what you would like to hear as a customer while keeping the profits of the company in mind. Keep in mind, the interviewer has given you a clue by referencing how seriously Estee Lauder takes customer service.
"I agree that customer service is paramount, and I would make sure to familiarize myself with all appropriate employee policies regarding how to handle tricky situations like this. Particularly for a high-touch brand like Estee Lauder, the customer relationship may be more valuable than the product in question. If a customer had used a significant amount of the product before returning, I would always rely on company policy and training and, if unsure, I would call a manager for assistance."
"The Estee Lauder experience is designed to delight and pamper customers in all circumstances. In this situation, I would review company policy and accept the return if at all possible in order to protect a valuable customer relationship and help the customer find a different product that met her needs. I would also make every effort to check with a manager for confirmation."
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The Est?e Lauder Companies Inc. is an American manufacturer and marketer of prestige skincare, makeup, fragrance and hair care products. The company has its headquarters in Midtown Manhattan, New York City.