Since you are applying to work for Sephora, 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.
"I was on the Sephora website yesterday and saw on your 'Social Impact' page that your company financially supports female entrepreneurs. This initiative is a great way to stand out from your competitors since the majority of your buyers are female. To empower your customers is a genius idea."
"I find your branding to stand out because it's clean and you boast recycled packaging which many consumers value these days."
Sometimes, hiring an overqualified individual can mean that they will leave when a better opportunity arises. Talk to the interviewer about why this position 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 accounting and government-related accounts. Despite my level of experience, there would be much for me to learn here."
"I agree that my most recent job title makes me appear to be overqualified for this position; however, there are many aspects of this position that will be a strong learning curve for me. I am ready for the challenge that this position would offer me."
Is honesty always the best policy? Talk to the interviewer about your thoughts on honesty in the workplace.
"Sometimes full disclosure can damage someone's self-esteem, and reality isn't always best expressed in full and can be self-indulgent based on the person's intention. In those instances, honesty isn't always the best policy."
"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."
A job search isn't just a one-sided hunt. You must also feel as though this is a good fit for yourself. 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 brings charisma and passion to their work. I work best with organizations who have a penchant for learning and promote their employees based on performance."
"My ideal employer is one that allows me to take the reigns when it comes to problem-solving. I like to be hands-on and prefer to work for people who value this in me."
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 slightly higher."
"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."
Performance incentives can be very motivating. Talk to the interviewer about your feelings regarding performance incentives.
"I feel that performance incentives are a great idea. They keep an employee motivated to do a great job and ensure that they are on top of their KPI's. The majority of people are very enthused about being rewarded for their successes."
"I think performance incentives are important for driving people to get 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 towards the company's desired results."
The interviewer is looking for answers to a few points when asking this question. 1. Sephora wants to know what kind of timeline is present before you are scooped up by another organization. 2. They want to know how discerning you are with your job applications. 3. They want to know the types of roles that interest you. 4. They want to hear that they are your top choice. You can certainly discuss your search but avoid giving too many details. Give the interviewer enough to satisfy the question without revealing your entire search. Some mystery is okay here.
"I recently started my search and had found some interesting job postings related to my makeup artistry education; however, this role with Sephora is the position I am most enthusiastic about."
"I am keeping an eye out for viable positions. Although I am not in final stages with any other company, I am actively seeking a new position."
Working well on a team requires you to have solid interpersonal skills and self-awareness. Interpersonal skills help you to communicate and relate to others. Having the ability to empathize, listen and encourage others are all interpersonal skills. Some additional examples are showing respect, being proactive and creative. Many of your strengths may also contribute to your ability to work well in teams. Self-awareness means that you know yourself well enough to recognize some of your flaws and areas you can grow. You also know what motivates you and what your strengths are. Share a few of your best qualities that make you a team player.
"I recognize that there may be days where I need to perform duties outside of my usual job description to help out. For instance, in my current role, I may occasionally need to spend additional time mentoring and coaching new employees to ensure they fit in with the team. This responsibility creates a tighter timeline for my other important deadlines; however, I see that the end goal is to create a well-oiled machine and that cannot happen without everyone being equally trained."
"I have always considered myself a team player; I enjoy the interactions and positive energy a team environment creates. My favorite team environment was at my last beauty salon. The energy was incredible, and I believe the customers took notice. I hope to create the same environment here."
Everyone has some dream or aspirations on where their career could go. When you think about the future, what comes to mind? Openly share with the interviewer where you'd like to see your job take you. Be sure to include how you feel this particular company would fit in with those specific aspirations.
"I have some pretty lofty career aspirations, and after researching your organization and learning more about this position, I feel that this role fits with my future aspirations. I would love to see myself promoted based on my hard work and results, eventually managing my branch, then become a regional director."
"I haven't thought of career aspirations beyond this role because this position is a goal that I have set my sights on for quite some time. The leadership component that you offer, as well as the continued education opportunities, are immense for me, and my primary focus at this time."
Have you been asked to change your priorities on a dime? How do you react to this kind of shift in priorities? Assure the interviewer that you can respond professionally when it comes to sudden changes.
"In my current role, our schedule is changed on a regular basis and always at short notice. I have been able to adapt very well to these frequent, sudden changes."
"I often switch from merchandising to customer service to employee training, all in an hour sometimes! I handle changes well but do understand that multitasking can come at the cost of productivity, so I do not seek out the changes. I do prefer to focus on my task at hand whenever possible."
If you can research the return policy at Sephora before your interview, it's a great idea to refer to their policies when answering this question. If going strictly from instinct, be sure to think about what you would like to hear as a customer while keeping the profits of the company in mind. Affirm with the interviewer that you put a value on customer service.
"I agree that customer service is everything - especially in such a competitive industry. I know from being a customer at Sephora that you will take gently used product back in the first 30 days. It think that is fair. If a customer had used a significant amount of the product before returning I think it would depend on the reason. For instance, if they had an allergic reaction vs. simply being bored of the color. I will always follow company policy and, if unsure, will call a manager for assistance."
"In this situation, I would follow your company policy and accept the return. From what I understand, Sephora accepts returns, no questions asked, for the first 30 days."
Openly discuss with the interviewer why you want to work for Sephora versus their competitors. Perhaps you have a friend who has worked at Sephora, or it is your favorite place for all of your beauty needs. Keep your answer brief, and positive.
"I want to work for Sephora because you have been my favorite place to shop for the past six years! I love your customer rewards program, and the company culture is upbeat and enticing. Your beauty insider program is a great resource for me when learning about new makeup applications and reading user reviews on products that I am curious to try."
"In a competitive industry, I want to work for the best! I believe that Sephora is the best because you care about the type of product you distribute and are well known for not testing on animals."
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 perhaps you even subscribe to the Sephora newsletter 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 subscribing to the Sephora newsletter and being a part of Sephora's Beauty Insider community. I also follow a few great Instagram accounts, including Sephora's!"
"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. I also joined the 'Skincare Aware' group by Sephora, which has taught me a great deal about proper skincare. I have met some helpful community members this way as well."
Researching Sephora 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 their product or service. Assure the interviewer that you have a personal interest in Sephora products and services.
"I have a few favorite products from Sephora; however, if I had to choose just one I would say that it is OUAY's Sun of a Beach Ombre Spray. This product smells amazing, and I love how it brings out the natural blonde tones in my hair in the summer. OUAY has many premium products that I cannot get enough of."
"If you have not used their products before: "I have heard many great things about the Fenty Beauty line by Rihanna and saw from your website that the Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer is a best seller. I look forward to giving it a shot!"
Your beauty related training may include formal courses or even 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 Sephora, should you be hired. 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 US so you can be assured that I come well trained."
"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 US so you can be assured that I come well trained."
"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 would watch and try online makeup tutorials for hours a week. 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."
The interviewer would like to know that you can handle awkward or uncomfortable customer service situations. If a customer were to break a product in-store would you make them feel bad or make them feel like it happens all the time and it's no big deal? Assure the interviewer that you can handle customer service situations like a pro!
"Breaking something in a store is an embarrassing moment for customers. If this happened, I would first make sure that the customer wasn't hurt. I would then arrange for clean-up and assure the customer that it happens more often than they think. I would then ask them if I could help them find the right product, so they don't bolt out of the store right away. I would try to turn the situation into a sale and a happy customer who is sure to return."
"I would be sure to follow your company policy for moments such as a customer breaking product. Accidents happen so my instinct would be to ensure they are not injured and then safely clean up the mess. How do you prefer situations like this be handled?"
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!"
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.
"I can understand why dress codes are significant for Sephora. 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 my current position, I wear a uniform. I am accustomed to this requirement and am happy to comply. I have seen your employees in their dress code, and I think it looks great!"
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. Indeed, avoid a deep dive into what you think Sephora is doing wrong.
"I think that your company branding and in-store culture is exciting and upbeat. However, when I went to your website, I was a bit overwhelmed by all of the options given to me. If I could make any suggestion, I would recommend lightening the tone of your main page. I'd love for online visitors to have the same great experience as those who visit in person!"
"I have had great experiences with Sephora so far and especially love reading your blog posts. My recommendation would be to post content on makeup tips for women of color more often. You have a very attentive audience, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who wants to read more!"
The interviewer would like to know that you have shopped at Sephora 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 have a lot of training. I've always had a great experience shopping at Sephora. 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 noticed the vibe is almost like a club culture when I go in. It's upbeat, exciting, and energetic. I like that about Sephora."
"My last visit to Sephora I made a substantial purchase. Once I arrived home, I realized that in my rush and confusion I purchased the wrong shades of a few products. It was no problem for me to make the exchanges later that week. Your staff was accommodating and it made me want to continue shopping at Sephora."
Problem-solving and dispute resolution are critical skills to possess. Display to the interviewer 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 very last moment. Rather than the typical documenting and reprimanding style that management usually takes, 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 bonus' cost us less money, in the end 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."
"As the Assistant Manager, I am resolving 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."
The interviewer would like to know if you plan to give notice to your current employer, or if you can start right away. It is always a good decision to show the potential employer that you would provide the professional courtesy of notice to your current place of employment.
"I would like to give my current employer the professional courtesy of 2 weeks' notice. I can begin immediately after that."
"If you have a vacation booked, this is the perfect time to discuss that as well. "I am on vacation until December 27th and can begin immediately after that."
Sephora is a French brand and chain of cosmetics stores founded in Paris in 1970.
Sephora originates from "sephos", which is Greek for "beauty" and the name Zipporah, the exceptionally beautiful wife of Moses in the Book of Exodus. The Sephora logo is a white "S" shaped flame against a black background.