Sephora Interview Questions & Tips

Hiring process information for an interview at Sephora

Hiring Process Differs for Entry-Level and Managerial Positions

Job hopefuls seeking employment with Sephora often encounter a simple interview process involving a pair of face-to-face meetings with store hiring managers. Applicants pursuing beauty advisor or product consultant jobs often undergo phone screenings to kick off the interview process. Entry-level candidates typically interview in groups before participating in an additional, one-on-one session with an assistant or store manager. Managerial job seekers usually go through two interviews, each conducted on an individual basis by store or district management. Interviews tend to focus heavily on the customer service abilities and social skills of applicants. Qualified entry-level interviewees sometimes earn job offers on the spot, while prospective managers may take months to complete the interview process, depending on location and specific management position desired.

Common Interview Questions

For entry-level jobs like cashier and sales associate, Interviewers generally start by meeting with applicants in groups of three to twenty candidates at a time before conducting subsequent, 1:1 interviews with select candidates a few days later. Interviewees typically need no prior experience in the cosmetics retail industry, as Sephora provides extensive training to cashiers and sales associates upon hire. Hiring managers instead use job interviews to ask questions pertaining to customer service. Entry-level applicants commonly field questions like:

  • "What would you do if a customer dropped and broke an expensive bottle of perfume right after purchasing it?"
  • "How would you handle a situation where a customer asks you for help while you're assisting someone else?"
  • "Could you describe the best/worst customer service you ever gave/experienced?"
Interviewees frequently have to elaborate on motives to work at the store and describe instances of disagreeing with former employers, as well.

Group or One-on-One Interviews

While experience working with cosmetics generally proves unnecessary for potential sales associates and cashiers, candidates looking to secure beauty advisor and product consultant positions typically need to display extensive knowledge of makeup during the interview process. Prospective beauty advisors and product consultants interviewing at Sephora stores may encounter either group or 1:1 interview sessions initially, often after undergoing preliminary phone assessments. Applicants regularly have to demonstrate abilities to speak knowledgably about cosmetics during the hiring process by roleplaying sales scenarios with interviewers and responding to questions like, "How would you convince a difficult customer to make a purchase?" Interviewers also pose prompts and questions such as, "When have you gone above and beyond the duties in your job description?" and Can you describe a time when you solved a workplace issue?" to make sure prospective employees possess the work ethic and personality. Like cashier and sales associate positions, product consultant and beauty advisor jobs usually require completion of two interviews onsite.

Managerial Interviews

Managerial candidates must also complete a pair of Sephora job interviews in most cases, with each interview session conducted one-on-one by a store or district manager. Hiring managers generally look for leadership skills and other essential qualities by asking questions like:

  • "What motivates you and why?"
  • "What specific things would you say to entry-level associates to gain their respect?"
  • "How would you respond if a subordinate employee refused to follow your directions?"
Interviewees hoping to gain employment as managers often have to go over past work experiences in detail and provide specific examples demonstrating possession of certain desirable traits, such as problem-solving skills and employee management capabilities. Aspiring managers may need to establish the abilities to drive sales and maintain high levels of customer service, as well.

Sephora Cashier Interview Video

Video Transcript

Interviewer: Please describe your job title and primary duties.
Sephora Cashier: I was a cashier. I stocked up the makeup and I rang people up to be exposed to the types of makeup and different things that I would know it better for when I … because I was in … I also was training to be a makeup artist, so they wanted to expose me to the material used and the atmosphere in general before becoming one.

Interviewer: What was the work environment like?
Sephora Cashier: It was really good. I think it was … For me it was pretty chilled because, makeup, I think it’s fun and the people were very interested to know about it. I mean, it wasn’t hectic or anything.

Interviewer: How would you describe the application and interview process?
Sephora Cashier: It was, I feel like any other job. You go in. You fill out the application. They ask you for an interview, if they want you. Then, they’ll talk to you. They’ll ask you about experience and what not and what you want, what you’re interested in doing. It’s pretty much it.

Interviewer: What should an applicant wear to the interview?
Sephora Cashier: Well, people in that type of industry … They’re focus is on your face because that’s where the makeup is. That’s where the art is. I would, what I would do is wear all black and it looked very sleek because that’s what they wear to the store. Make yourself look like one of them and wear all black and then do your makeup very cool, because that is your canvas and you’re showing them what you have to offer.

Interviewer: What set you apart from other candidates?
Sephora Cashier: I was … I still am very interested in makeup. I knew what she was talking about and I was able to have a conversation with them about makeup and tell them my ideas and my approaches to it. They were able to give me feedback. We had a conversation. I think that’s what set me apart was I knew what was going on and I was totally ready to learn and improve on what I had. I had a good foundation set already.

Interviewer: How were you notified that you received the job?
Sephora Cashier: I got a phone call, a very exciting phone call. I waited, I don’t really remember, but I want to say it was two weeks before they finally replied. I guess there was a lot of applicants or whatever. Yeah, that was about it.

Interviewer: What other advice would you give to a job seeker looking to gain employment?
Sephora Cashier: Okay. Something that I would give them is, keep an open mind, because this is like the art industry so you don’t have to be traditional on the book. Be creative and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, because that’s going to get you really far and people are going to notice you for it.

Sephora Sales Associate Interview Video

Video Transcript

Interviewer: Please describe your job title and primary duties.
Sephora Sales Associate: I was a sales associate at Sephora. I just helped customers just like if they needed a specific brand of makeup or if they wanted a recommendation. I would just go and try to tailor to their needs and just pick it out for them.

Interviewer: What was the work environment like?
Sephora Sales Associate: It was kind of serious just because of my managers and stuff. But it’s really upbeat, it’s pretty flexible. They’re really understanding. But you have to be really personable with the customers so they let you interact with them a little bit more than other jobs. It’s a very light environment.

Interviewer: What was your favorite part about working there?
Sephora Sales Associate: Just learning the brands of makeup. I would never go back to a drug store ever again because I would find quality makeup at maybe the same or a little bit higher price, but it would last me 10 times longer and the quality is really good. Just learning about the new makeup I guess.

Interviewer: How would you describe the application and interview process?
Sephora Sales Associate: I walked into the store and asked if they were hiring. They gave me an application. I filled it out. I walked back in and she called me a week later and we set up an interview time. I went into the office and they asked me if I knew anything about makeup, how flexible my schedule was, was I comfortable talking to people. That’s basically how it went.

Interviewer: What should an applicant wear to the interview?
Sephora Sales Associate: Our typical uniform is all black. I suggest you’d be wearing all black. If you decide to wear makeup, make sure it looks nice because you are in a cosmetic store. Be really friendly, be personable, but also have a business side because you are working at job. Yes, you can be friendly but you have to understand that your job is to rack up sales.

Interviewer: What set you apart from other candidates?
Sephora Sales Associate: I made her laugh. She asked me if I’ve dealt with a difficult customer. I was like, “I don’t like calling them difficult, I like calling them sassy because they’re just particular.” She just laughed at everything I said. She knew that I was able to.

Interviewer: How were you notified that you received the job?
Sephora Sales Associate: I waited about 3 or 4 days and they called me and they asked me if I was still interested in the position. I said “yes,” and then they were like, “Okay, well come back and we’re just going to get you to sign paperwork.” That was it.

Interviewer: What other advice would you give to a job seeker looking to gain employment?
Sephora Sales Associate: First impressions are everything. Make sure you’re not going to go in with bad nail polish or anything. Make sure you look presentable. I would just go ahead and print my resume and give it out to them. It just gives them a better sense of professionalism and just stay calm.

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One thought on “Sephora Interview Questions & Tips

  1. Esthetician

    I worked for Sephora 10/06-1/07 as a seasonal retail associate. I worked in the skin care department which I loved because I had just graduated from a beauty school to be an esthetician. I really enjoyed working there but at the downtown Disney location in particular it’s kind of a hassle with the staff parking situation. During the holidays the store gets very hectic of course and there’s a lot of people who try to steal products. WHY Sephora doesn’t have security devices that beep when you leave the store with stolen product is still beyond me. Also, during the holiday hours if you tell them you’re available any time they will use it to their advantage and your hours will be crazy. I told Sephora I wanted to work nights but i didn’t realize I’d be leaving work at 1am! Whatever, the pay was good. The starting pay is $10hr. Oh and even though you don’t work commission there, you still have goals to reach per day so if you’re not selling enough stuff per day or giving the customers complimentary make-up or facial demos…they will notice. So be a little pushy if you want to stay working there.

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