Why I Walked Out Of My Dream Job Interview In Makeup

Why I Walked Out Of My Dream Job Interview In Makeup

This is not an exaggeration, I literally walked out of my dream job interview half way through. And here’s why…

For years and years I would walk past makeup counters in department stores and envy the glamorous girls who worked there. I imagined them receiving tonnes of free makeup, having a good time at work and they were always so beautiful. I doubted myself for a long time before I applied for a position on a makeup counter, but I finally plucked up the courage and did it. I applied for a position on a stand for one of the biggest makeup brands in the world, of course I am not going to say who because this is not about outing anyone or pointing the finger, who it was is irrelevant. Anyways, about a week went by and I hadn’t heard anything, but then I received a call. They invited me to attend an interview, I was so excited this really was my dream job interview.

I attended the interview to find it was a group interview with 2 other girls. We went into a room with 2 women who worked on the counter and the manager. They started off the group interview with asking us questions about the brand and their history, I did my homework so I passed this with flying colours. Then came the demonstration stage, some of their products were laid out on the table and we had to do makeup on each other using the products as though they were a customer, we had to try and explain the product and make them want to buy it.

On this particular day the department store was quiet, this is a very well-known department store with everything from beauty and fashion to home ware. We were tasked with walking around the store and asking customers if they would like a free makeover today, this is something the girls on the counter have to do daily. The manager walked around with me in order to show me how to do it, she then approached an elderly lady and asked her if she would like a makeover. She seemed nervous but she said yes, we brought her over to the counter and sat her down, the manager prompted me to try out some products I think she may use, the lady told me she never wears makeup so I opted for a tinted moisturiser. As I applied the product she told me how she never wears makeup and that she doesn’t buy much from fancy stands as she doesn’t have much money. I knew there and then the best thing to do was just to finish applying the product and let her get on with her day. However the manager had other ideas, she pulled me aside and told me I could easily get a sale out of this woman and to keep pushing, I was so shocked. She had just heard this cute elderly woman saying she doesn’t wear makeup and she can’t afford to buy anything, I refused to ask her again so the manager stepped in and did so. The woman ended up purchasing the product for £24, I could tell by her body language, her tone and everything else about her that she had felt pressured into buying something she didn’t want or need.

I felt so guilty, I had pulled this woman in to come and sit at a makeup counter, which is daunting enough anyway and repeatedly encouraged her to buy something she didn’t want. I knew there and then that I couldn’t work there. I understand that brands need to sell products and they have strategies, but I don’t think this one is good at all. There are so many brands out there who just let their items speak for themselves and have people on hand if you need anything. I’m not sure if they will have changed by now, as this was a few years ago, but I felt so bad after that one sale. I told the manager that I didn’t feel comfortable with what just happened and that the woman clearly didn’t want to purchase the product, her response “she wouldn’t have bought it if she didn’t want it and anyway a sale’s a sale”. Not the attitude I want to be working with, so I got my stuff and left mid-interview. The other girls were shocked but I just don’t want to sell my soul to the devil to land my dream job.


* I decided to write this post after the feedback I received from my terrible experience at a makeup counter post. Everyone was very supportive and some had said they received the same service elsewhere. If this post could at least make people realise you should never feel pressured at a makeup counter or a show a salesperson that getting the sale shouldn’t be everything then I have done my job.

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