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How to get a job at Sephora or MAC (advice needed)

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I've been wanting to get into makeup artistry for quite sometime. For a while I wanted to enroll in Makeup Designory (I live in NY), but I'm not so sure anymore.

I really want to get a job as a sales girl at perhaps a Sephora or a MAC (any other high end company would be nice, but I know the most about MAC) to help me decide if makeup is the real career path I want to take.

I was speaking to one of the sales girls at a MAC counter in a Macy's near me (Queens) and she was saying that all I need to do is drop off a resume' and cover letter to a store manager at the specific MAC that I want to work at.

Now, my main questions are: Does anyone work for these or similar stores and how was the process. Does dropping off a resume to the manager still apply if it's a department store? If so, who do I give it to, someone who works at the counter or the actual manager of that entire cosmetics department while expressing interest in MAC specifically? What are the interviews like? What should I know ahead of time?

I'm a great people person, and I am fairly knowledgeable in makeup application and techniques. I learn quickly and quickly understand the products. I'm just scared of the application process because I don't want my first impression to be a dumb one.

Anyway, next week I'm going to spend most of my time in Manhattan job hunting just about everywhere, but focusing primarily on cosmetic stores and boutiques and clothing stores.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this long annoying thing and you opinions and advice are greatly appreciated.
post #2 of 20

Re: How to get a job at Sephora or MAC (advice needed)

I'm wondering the same thing. Good luck to us both!

Career-wise this is totally not my element, but it is my favorite hobby and if I were to get another part time job as a bohemian college or grad student, this is it. Haha. I find makeup very therapuetic. I also meditate, but I'm told I meditate like I'm dead. Haha...
post #3 of 20

Re: How to get a job at Sephora or MAC (advice needed)

I've been wanting to get a job at Sephora, but I doubt they're hiring where I am. lol plus I don't think they'd hire me because I have terrible skin. :P
I heard that you just have to submit a resume to sephora.
but for mac it is more extensive.
but good luck to you two!!!
post #4 of 20

Re: How to get a job at Sephora or MAC (advice needed)

If you want to start off somewhere in cosmetics, your best bet would be Sephora. It's the easiest way to set foot into the makeup and skincare industry. One, because you don't necessarily need knowledge in terms of applying MU and secondly they will have training classes to better prepare you. I worked as a seasonal color consultant for Sephora at one point. Most of the people hired know nothing about MU. Just as long as you have the drive to learn and continue to grow within the company, you'll be set. (not to mention you get a lot of gratis products) As long as you can talk to a human being and sell a product, they'll hire you. Keep mentioning beauty insiders and offering great customer service while at the group interviews! lol

I did go for a MAC interview last yr and the process isn't easy. I'm not sure whether it was bc I was nervous or the fact I didn't better prepare myself. haha but I think it was both. In any case, start off at a MAC counter first before a freestanding store. Most of the people in MAC freestanding stores are usually counter transfers or they've had yrs of makeup experience before working for MAC. The interview process with the manager isn't hard. If you're planning on applying to a counter, your best bet is go to the human resources dpt to have it transferred to the cosmetics dpt manager. Once you have the interview with the manager, and she gives you the green light, she will fwd your application the the MAC counter manager. Most of the questions were all customer service related. Then they'll ask you if you have any prior experience applying makeup, and then there's a little bit of roleplay (you being the MA and the manager acting as the client) That was a breeze for me, but I screwed up on the 3rd interview which was the makeup application. According to the MAC trainer, I took too long with the full face application on my client. So make sure to time yourself and don't go over 30 mins for a makeover. Secondly, don't use a lot of products from LE/new collections. They frown upon that...lol.

If you don't make it the 1st time, always try again. They asked me 3 months to re-apply for MAC and do the makeup application interview again, but at that time I passed it up bc I was offered a better job.

I'm sure you'll be fine with the interviews. Good Luck!
post #5 of 20

Re: How to get a job at Sephora or MAC (advice needed)

thank you! BLUEANGEL for all that info girlie.
post #6 of 20

Re: How to get a job at Sephora or MAC (advice needed)

i would sugest going to sephora, you dont need any previous experience to get hired there, though they do like that. you just have to fill out there application and they tend to look for felxibility in hours. you then get invited to a group interview if they like you, and if that goes well a final interview to discuss being hired and such.

any way, the reason i say sephora is a better choice is because they give you make up training at no cost to you. so that you get to learn more while getting paid to learn it.
post #7 of 20

Re: How to get a job at Sephora or MAC (advice needed)

I would love to work at a MAC counter!!! The thought of getting to play with makeup all day and getting sneak-peaks at new items sounds awesome!
post #8 of 20

Re: How to get a job at Sephora or MAC (advice needed)

I've actually tried to get a job at the Mac counter before.
But what I did I actually just filled out a application at the department store, and the one I went to right after you get to talk to the dept manager. Luckily I got to talk to the Cosmetics Manager (usually they just randomly pic who to interview you).
I told her that I was interested in cosmetics, then she told me that there is a 'chain' in the department stores like a pyramid, and that the cosmetics department was at the top. And she said since my lack of retail sales experience is a reason why I couldn't do it. She said I'd have to start at like the clothing or the bag departments, then after I got experience and got good reviews from the other managers, then I could request moving to the cosmetic side of the department store.
Then thats when you actually apply to the counter you want and have a interview with the counter manager.
It seemed like a really long process so I just passed and thought I'd try again when I do get more experience. But most of the girls that I know work there said after that its just down hill from there. Maybe a few color seminars, a class or two to go to, and workshops and what not. But fun either way.
Good luck on the job hunt, hope you do get what you want.
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 

Re: How to get a job at Sephora or MAC (advice needed)

Does Sephora have an application or does it require a resume? Either way I'll bring a resume and a cover letter to look more professional.

Also, could you guys give more information on the application, interview and decision process that both Sephora and MAC use? Living in NYC, makes Sephora the most likely place for me to apply to anyway, they just have so much more energy and are easier for me to get to via subway.

Thanks so much for the advice! Keep it flowing. The more information I know, the more confident I will be ^__^
post #10 of 20

Re: How to get a job at Sephora or MAC (advice needed)

thanks for the post,I've been trying to get a job with Sephora for a while and I sent my resume/cover letter to their email because someone who answered the stores phone gave it to me for Sephora jobs.
post #11 of 20

Re: How to get a job at Sephora or MAC (advice needed)

i can only give information for the application and the group interview.

the application is about 5 pages long. the first 3 pages are the typical some information about yourself, job experience, refrences, avaliability and such. The last two pages are two pages you have to read and sign. one is about background check and giving them the right to preform one. and i cant remember what the other one is but it has to do with working for sephora, i think it is something abou thaving to lift about 25 pounds during work occasionaly. there is a question about why you want to work there, but that is where the questions outside the typical end.

At the group interview they ask again about experiences, and why you want to work there. They also inform you of what the dress code is. they ask questions that are proboably worded diffrenctly in the interviews but are similar meaning in all the interviews. they asked us if we had ever had to deal with a tricky customer in retail experiences before and if we did how we handled it. Or if we hadnt how we would handle it. They also asked up about what customer service ment to us, and what intrested us in makeup.

i have appllied to sephora twice (onle got asked to do the intervew once) however shortly after the interview i got a job somewhere else so i called to tell them i would no longer be in the running to work there. The only true diffrence between when i applied the first time and second time was that the second time i had recieved a cosmotology education from aveda. both times i had previous retail experience in fact it was the same experience on both of the apps cause i had not gotten any new experience since than. Another diffrence was origionaly when i applied i had a semi busy schedual where i could not work certian days and nights. Where as the second time my schedual was completely open.

The only other suggestions i can give is check all the boxes for amount of work (unless you really are against working over time or full time ect.) idk if this is true for all sephoras but the sephora near me does not do seasonal work, since there training is ongoing they do not find it worth there while to train someone who will be gone in 2 months.

that is all i can think of to help currently if you have any other question feel free to ask, and if i can be of any help i will gladly
post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 

Re: How to get a job at Sephora or MAC (advice needed)

Sorry about the lack of response, I've been gone for the weekend.

Now, let me make sure I've got this right. Upon entering the store, I should ask someone for the manager (or just ask "who do I speak to about applying for a position in the store?"). I should have my resume ready and give that to them and they should give me an application? (Do I even need to bring a resume?)
post #13 of 20

Re: How to get a job at Sephora or MAC (advice needed)

Originally Posted by CaptainBonney View Post
Sorry about the lack of response, I've been gone for the weekend.

Now, let me make sure I've got this right. Upon entering the store, I should ask someone for the manager (or just ask "who do I speak to about applying for a position in the store?"). I should have my resume ready and give that to them and they should give me an application? (Do I even need to bring a resume?)
If it's a MAC freestanding store/counter, you just need to ask for a manager and hand them your resume. If they have position open they will notify you to come in for an interview. If not, they will hold your resume until an available position is open. They don't have applications like other retail stores.

If you're talking about Sephora and/or any other retail stores, you do not need to ask for the manager when you ask for an application. Anyone can hand you an application at the store (most likely the applications are up by the cash registers) Have EVERYTHING filled out and attach your resume with your application. When you bring everything back, then you ask for a manager. Only reason is bc if you just hand your information to a random associate they might end up losing it and it'll never make it to the manager's hand. Keep your resume brief and up to one page. Anything more than that, the managers won't look at it. It's always good to have a resume bc it shows initiative and it stands out from other applications. Have you ever done retail? I'm just wondering bc it seems like you're not sure on the application process.

Originally Posted by FutureCStylist View Post
thanks for the post,I've been trying to get a job with Sephora for a while and I sent my resume/cover letter to their email because someone who answered the stores phone gave it to me for Sephora jobs.
You should go into a Sephora store, fill out an application there and hand it back. You're 30% more likely to get a callback for an interview since you actually took the initiative to go there and see the manager even if it's just for a brief min or two. Sometimes they might ask you a few questions, mainly regarding your availability. If you just send it via email, they get 100's of applications a day...so it'll take longer for them to get back to you.
post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 

Re: How to get a job at Sephora or MAC (advice needed)

You figured me out. XD. The last two jobs I've had were A) I made and sold Japanese cream puffs for a little bakery type company. B) I worked as a intern for the city council

I am aware that this could potentially lower my chances, which is why when I'm job hunting in Manhattan tomorrow I am going to apply at several Sephoras as well as stores like, Forever21, Victoria's Secret, GameStop. I'll be primarily looking aound 34th street.

Later on in the week I am going to look at other stores in the "alternative" scene to work at. I would prefer above above all to work at a Sephora or MAC because I am truly interested in makeup as a career, but right now I actually really need a job. (Moving out in June)
post #15 of 20

Re: How to get a job at Sephora or MAC (advice needed)

Originally Posted by CaptainBonney View Post
You figured me out. XD. The last two jobs I've had were A) I made and sold Japanese cream puffs for a little bakery type company. B) I worked as a intern for the city council

I am aware that this could potentially lower my chances, which is why when I'm job hunting in Manhattan tomorrow I am going to apply at several Sephoras as well as stores like, Forever21, Victoria's Secret, GameStop. I'll be primarily looking aound 34th street.

Later on in the week I am going to look at other stores in the "alternative" scene to work at. I would prefer above above all to work at a Sephora or MAC because I am truly interested in makeup as a career, but right now I actually really need a job. (Moving out in June)
Definitely try Forever 21. that was my 1st retail job ever and the pay wasn't too bad starting off. I used to work at the one on 34th and 6th ave. Vicki's secret might be a good start in terms of makeup. Ask to work in the beauty section. They always need makeup artists in that area. Same goes for The Body Shop and Bath & Body works. As you build your way up, u can try for MAC or any cosmetic companies. Seriously try Sephora first. I know 3 MA's from MAC who used to work for Sephora. If you have any other questions, u can PM me. I've worked for 8 retail stores and gone on dzns of interviews. I'm a retail wh*re :P
post #16 of 20

Re: How to get a job at Sephora or MAC (advice needed)

Working at a makeup counter sucked for me- I'd def go for Sephora if I were you. I have friends who worked their and loved it- although I hear they have some semi-weird practices and phrases. Like they call their employees something like.. I think it's "cast members." lol. And Sephora has those ugly black jackets they have to wear. But its the most makeup in one place.
post #17 of 20

Re: How to get a job at Sephora or MAC (advice needed)

It is a lot easier to apply inside of a Macy's as opposed to a MAC store and the best way to work start working at Mac is by offering your services for free until a position becomes available. This can give the training that you will need as well as a referral for Sephora or any other place. I have several friends who went this route and it has worked every time.

Have your resume ready as well as a portfolio of your work(a few clear pics of family & friends) do not under dress, have your makeup fully done and your in a fun style. Dress in all black and mimic the look of a MAC makeup artist. Please do not, I repeat do not give your resume to anyone other than a manager. One thing about these girls are they are biotches. Not all but I hear stories from my friends all of the time and some of them have even quit due to the drama.

Good Luck Ladies!!!
post #18 of 20

Re: How to get a job at Sephora or MAC (advice needed)

Im not hating at mac ,all that im saying is all the trouble to get a job there and believe me when i say this i wan a job there too, but all of that trouble is just not worth it plus some of those girls can't do makeup to safe there lifes not all of them but the majority i think some of you guys here have alot of potential when it comes to makeup for example angie. Angel,johnnie, shelley and many more of you guys and to you go apply at sephora this girls know what they talking about.good luck girl don't give up im just sayng mac is not te only store to get hired any makeup counter will hired you if you have some expirience and some counters just don't really care if you have any expirience.
post #19 of 20

Re: How to get a job at Sephora or MAC (advice needed)

Remember that even if you are just going in to get an application, appearance is key.When I picked up my application, i had a smokey eye and bold lips. When I attended the first interview I wore a neutral lip and eye, on the second interview I had a colorful eye and pink lip. Make sure your application (make-up wise) is on point. It may help if you go in to actually shop afterwards (the next day or two). Study the appearance of the consultants; it will give you an idea of dress code expectations. Be personable. Be nice to the person you receive and submit your application to.

If you get an interview at Sephora, wear their concept colors to show you are already thinking about the team and showing you belong. (Red, white, black, grey). I hope this helps (and makes sense). Good luck!
post #20 of 20

that helps soo much. i am seventeen years old and i just finished my makeup cores. i feel a little bit more secure about what i am going to do. :)

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