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Getting Paid to Play With Makeup
So you've discovered the secret to the perfect smoky eye, and you love helping other people feel beautiful. Working at Sephora could be the perfect fit. The beauty emporium has 2,300 stores in 33 countries, with more than 400 of them in the United States. Sephora stores employ people in both associate and leadership positions, but all employees have one thing in common: They wear a full face of makeup to work each day.
Associate Jobs at Sephora
Associates, who interact with customers and help them sample products, are categorized as skin-care, makeup or fragrance advisors, which means those are the departments they specialize in. Sephora also hires dedicated cashiers who don't work the floor like other retail associates. Fragrance and skin-care advisors help customers find and sample products, while makeup advisors also give makeovers.
These are fairly standard retail jobs, so sales associates tend to earn $11 to $13 per hour. Cashiers earn between $10 to $12. (Your state's minimum-wage laws may guarantee you a higher rate.) Associates work either part-time or full-time and can access benefits including paid time-off and medical insurance. One of the biggest perks of working at Sephora is the employee discount. Cast members―what Sephora calls its employees―get 40 percent off Sephora-brand products and 20 percent off everything else. They also periodically get free products. Those perks are appealing, but keep in mind that working at Sephora also means you may be expected to sometimes work nights, weekends and holidays. It may not be possible to adjust your schedule to suit your child's school breaks or sudden illnesses, so having reliable child care is important.
Management Jobs at Sephora
On the management side, some Sephora stores employ education leads who conduct training for other cast members and who oversee classes and other projects. Not all stores offer classes, so not all stores hire for this role. Then there are assistant managers, who open and close the store each day, handle customer complaints and oversee the cast members working in the store. Co-managers and store managers handle more big-picture tasks, like hiring, training, and monitoring budgets and sales numbers.
Managers generally work full-time and are salaried. Assistant managers typically earn salaries of around $50,000 per year, while store managers earn average salaries of around $58,000 to $64,000 per year.
Getting an Associate Job at Sephora
Your Sephora job search should start at the company's website, where all available job postings are listed. Search by location to find job openings in your area. Postings also include requirements for each specific job. Retail associate jobs typically require one to three years' of retail experience and a high school diploma. If you want to be a makeup advisor, becoming a certified makeup artist is your best bet. Being an esthetician will help you get hired as a skin-care advisor.
While the pay is fairly typical for retail jobs, Sephora has a reputation for being a tough place to get hired. If your online application nets you an interview, wear a business casual outfit, a full face of makeup and styled hair. Wear black if you can, which is the Sephora uniform. Make a few trips to the store to make sure you're familiar with the brands and products available, and research the company's background.
Previous interviewees report being asked to do activities like build block towers and answer basic interview questions about how they've handled problems at work. Friendliness, positivity and confidence are important qualities for Sephora cast members, so focus on displaying those traits.
Getting a Management Job at Sephora
Read through the job posting carefully before applying for any management role at Sephora. The company seeks people who have at least a few years of retail experience, with some management experience. It's unlikely you'll be hired for a leadership role if you've never been a retail manager.
Dress professionally and complete make yourself up. Even managers are expected to look polished and "done." You may start with a phone interview, and if that goes well, advance to a round of in-person interviews with the store's management team. Be prepared to talk about the sales volume at the store you previously managed and your approach to handling difficult scenarios.
Kathryn has been a lifestyle writer for more than a decade. Her work has appeared on USAToday.com and Indeed.com.