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So You Want to Work at Sephora ...

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 1 0
Sephora Store at Toronto Eaton Center
Credit: By Justin Tung (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Some Tips From Current and Former Employees

Believe it or not, you don't need to be a cosmetics or makeup expert to get a job at Sephora. In fact, Sephora stores provide paid, in-depth training sessions for new employees. So you don't need to know anything about applying makeup, and they'll pay you to learn all about products, hygiene, and application tips!

You will require some skills to get a job at Sephora, of course. Specifically, you should be friendly, hardworking, and have great customer service skills. You should be passionate about cosmetics, and eager to help customers look and feel their best.  

A smiling face, encouraging attitude, and ability to focus your attention on the matter at hand are all desirable qualities for Sephora store employees. Here are some tips on how to apply for and get a job at Sephora; tips on how to increase your chances of landing (and succeeding in) the Sephora interviews; and even some general insight into working at a Sephora store. No guarantees, of course, but hopefully you'll feel more informed and prepared after reading this article.  

Most of this information comes directly from current and former Sephora store employees. Policies and procedures will vary, though, so these are only general guidelines, and you should be prepared for things to go differently. 

Step 1: Go directly to your local Sephora store and ask for an application

  • Appearance is important: if you wear makeup, now's the time to make it shine; try to draw inspiration ahead of time from existing salespeople in terms of dress code and grooming
  • You can ask a cashier for an application, or talk to one of the staff members; be personable and remember to smile!
  • The Sephora application is around 5 pages long, but the information required is pretty standard
  • Consider attaching a (brief) resume to your application to make an impression
  • Be as flexible as possible regarding your scheduling availabilities (e.g. nights, weekends); this is crucial
  • Hand your application directly to a store manager to ensure that your materials get seen
  • Be prepared to answer a few questions from the manager regarding your availability (remember, be flexible) and prior experiences

Step 2: Wait for a call or email regarding a group interview (fingers crossed!) 

  • The group interview is the standard first step in the Sephora store interview process, and will ultimately determine whether you get called back in for a one-on-one interview
  • Appearances are still important! Consider wearing Sephora concept colors to make your interest even more apparent, but don't be too obvious
  • At the group interview, you'll be given lots of info about the company, Sephora store policies, shift details, etc., so take notes and stay engaged 
  • Be prepared to answer questions like: Why do you want to work at Sephora? What excites you about customer service? Can you talk a bit about your interest in cosmetics (product specifics will help)?
  • Wait (and hope) for an email or call regarding a one-on-one interview, which should happen within 2 weeks, but sometimes as soon as the very same day 

Step 3: One-on-one interview with a Sephora manager and/or store director

  • Appearances are still important; look your best, know what you're wearing, and be true to your style!
  • Have a resume available, just in case they want an extra copy
  • Make sure you've really researched the company: various products, Sephora University, seasonal ads and promotional materials, etc. 
  • Be prepared to talk about any prior experiences you may have listed on your resume related to customer service and interacting with people in a retail environment
  • Be able to go into more depth with the types of questions asked in the group interview
  • Stay engaged and ask at least a couple of relevant questions
  • Express your admiration for the company, share your own positive experiences as a Sephora customer, and try to mention some favorite products, if and when the opportunity arises
  • Keep your spirit up, stay positive, and hopefully you'll get that call offering you your dream job at Sephora!

Bonus: Some insider trivia and facts about working at Sephora

  • The Sephora shop floor is called the stage
  • Sephora employees are cast members
  • Your uniform is your costume
  • On average, salaries at Sephora stores start around $9/hour (no commission)
  • While some employees are given the chance to apply and sell cosmetics, others are hired to work behind the register, hand out baskets, stock things backstage, etc.
  • More product/brand trainings (from individual reps) = more freebies (called gratis)
  • The amount of gratis available is one of the major perks of working at Sephora!
  • Science of Sephora (S.O.S.) is a coveted week-long beauty training program full of product insight, free stuff (gratis), technique classes, and more



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