What happens at a Benefit audition?

Well, let me tell you. It started with getting up at 6am, stumbling onto the 9:30 train and arriving half asleep (face and hair still in tact, somehow) and wandering into Debenhams, where I was met by seven others there for the audition and three super polished, beaming Benefit staff.
[I wore a pretty standard look, LOVE for Aromaleigh 'Pique', though!]

We then made our way to a training room, where we were introduced to the staff - regional manager, counter manager and whom I can only refer to as 'the big cheese'. We then all introduced ourselves - strangely, out of the eight of us there, only two of us had a background in make-up. The big cheese commented on how we all had a sales background...Oh no. There it is. That sinking feeling. It really would be all about sales, wouldn't it? Ho hum.

The big cheese and regional manager did a few role plays on traffic stopping which we then copied...You see, Benefit don't advertise - have you ever realised that? I hadn't! So traffic stopping, word of mouth and bloggers/ youtubers are the only people spreading the word.
'Have you heard about Benefit Cosmetics?' '.....No.' 'Ohhh gosh, really?! You must come and see our products!' Rinse and repeat.....to everyone you stop. Everyone. And if they have heard of Benefit Cosmetics? 'Ah, you must already love us! Come and sit down!' But what if they have no time? 'Oh, there's always time to look gorgeous!' Rinse. Repeat....

After our little role plays, the big cheese did a make-up demo on the counter manager. She then unleashed us on each other with their best selling products to do a little makeover on each other - Dr. Feelgood, You Rebel, BeneTint and High Beam. You know how High Beam is 'the super model in a bottle?' this is called a 'unique sales tag'. Any time you use a different product, youmust say the tag. Who could deny a defiantly different tinted moisturiser? Or the sexiest flush in a bottle? Apparently, a lot of consumers can't - but hey, I can't say anything, if it's pretty, I'm buying it!
[BeneTint stained my cheeks through primer, foundation, Dr Feelgood AND You Rebel!]

Soon, we were split up to go on two different counters. Four girls to each counter. My counter also had the regional manager to keep a beedy, perfectly applied eye on us. Do you know how hard traffic stopping is? To actually get somebody to the counter? Very, very hard! Even when I said it was free and there was no obligation to buy...'No thanks, no time.' I didn't even try the 'There's always time to look gorgeous!' line - faaar too naff and sales personesque! However, I did find a Benefit junkie in there, a medical student who could probably have been a better Benefit sales person than me!

After moping about the store, desperately trying to reel people into my kitsch pink lair and feeling more and more useless with every, 'No thank you!', I figured it was smart to call it quits. Especially after the regional manager told me I'd have to do that EVERY DAY and that you don't get used to traffic stopping (in her words, 'This is as good as it gets.') One hour in and I felt so useless, bored and fake (fake smiles EVERYWHERE, super joyful happy times, unique sales tags, minor harassment...) I called it quits.

But you know what? I don't mind at all! Being 90% salesperson, 10% MUA just isn't me. Give me anything and I could sell it easily. I've sold six odd shoes for £30 before! But I'd rather work for a brand like Illamasqua or MAC - the products sell themselves and I can be 100% about customer service and making people feel comfortable, happy and fabulous!

[Got home, had some much needed Rekorderlig, my sister had bought a good luck lolly for me and I chatted to my mum while she cut sweat peas - a nice end to the day!]


  1. Ah-Mazing post darling! haha that sounds exactly like my two jobs. I felt like I was reading what I always think! it sucks sometimes having to reel customers in. It's dreadful to be honest... I love one of my jobs though because I get to sell hundreds of brands that the store carries. But to be stuck at one line. its horrible and boring... like you said 90% salesperson. 10%MUA. I guess thats why they didn't mind that there were only two of you that actually had a MUA background.

  2. Oh dear. I had a feeling lol. I have read about their quote unquote AUDITIONS. Benefit makes some quality products - I really don't understand why they feel the need to use such antiquated and cheesy sales tactics! I agree with you and think you would totally fit in at MAC or Illamasqua where you could express yourself without having to feel uncomfortable everyday.

  3. And the sad truth is that it seems to be more off-putting to push products like this than helpful.

  4. That was very interesting!
    I agree maybe you are more suited for MAC or Illamasqa but don't be fooled!!!! MAC and Illamasqa have a very strict selling technique: that you need to sell like 3 products (minimum)to each customers so they are a bit pushy as well. It's very target driven job regardless of the brand. But as you said it's easier as the products sell themselves.

  5. Ahh you look gorgeous :D

    thank you for following my blog, even though it's the wrong one :P


  6. Interesting post, but sounds like it wasn't for you. I'd hate a job like that, especially when you're trained for something else.

  7. @ Miss Krimson, thanks! I don't think Icoould stick it out. Where do you work?

    @ Amy, I knooow! I had a bad feeling about it too after the, 'You all have a background in sales.' AND how they apply make-up with their fingers -_0 I think they use those tactics because they don't advertise...literally nobody came to the counter of their own accord. I don't see why they don't advertise though, to a company like Benefit advertising costs would be like pocket money.

    @ Loverlada, I agree! When somebody stops me, I want to run away as fast as possible!

    @ Mercedes, yup, I think it would be easier to meet those targets though. A lot of folk go to MAC/ Illamasqua with a list of what they want in their head and are open to suggestions. With Benefit...it was hard enough to find customers!

    @ Apneatique, haha, I think I'm following the right one now :P

    @ The Bristol Beauty Blogger, definitely not for me :/ Interesting to see what goes on though!

  8. This was so interesting. Definitely sounds like it wasn't for you, traffic stopping sounds brutal haha! So cute that your sister got you a good luck lollipop too :) xxx

  9. I am sorry that the "audition" wasn't the best of times. I have to give you serious props though for staying an hour.

  10. this sounds interesting. I applied to a benefit job a few months ago, too bad I didn't get it :x lol the taglines are so cheesy~
    Love your blog btw! following :)

  11. That's exactly how I am. I've passed up a lot of jobs because I'm not a sales person. But I'm sure it was a wonderful experience. :)

  12. @ Ariel, it's definitely not fun! Yeah, I was shocked she'd remembered so it was a really nice surprise :)

    @ Kate, haha, thank you!

    @ Lily, haha, count yourself lucky! The tag lines are mega cheesy, I just wanted to cringe all the time!

    @ Julissa, definitely best to be an MUA if that's what comes naturally :)

  13. Wow- were you there for my audition?! I had the EXACT same experience! What a terrible way to run a business, I couldn't stand it- and neither could the poor ladies who were subject to my harrassment on the day! I felt like a fraudster! Although I'm sorry you had to go through the same excrutiating nightmare as me- I'm also pleased that there's someone else who feels similarly uncomfortable with benefit's aggressive sales approach!

    You seem far too intelligent and wise to be wasting your time with such a crummy job anyway...onwards and upwards!

    All the best!

  14. 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 x I hope this helps out anyone preparing to go for an audition soon!

  15. I don't think it was that bad to be honest,I passed all my auditions with benefit and really did enjoy my self,it doesn't really mater if it's mac,lancome ect because your in a retail based environment so you do need to have sales experience which luckily I have and have some knowledge of makeup also,I actually do freelance,but people don't be put off,if you want to apply for benefit cosmetics go for it as it is really fun,be your self and have confidence,I actually got the job and can't wait to start .


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