Tuesday, 2 March 2010

First job interview

I went last week, (still quite ill) to the first job interview I've had since I officially began looking for work. It was for Benefit Cosmetics. Dream job, almost, yeah? Nope. Don't get me wrong, I love a good few of their products, like You Rebel, High Beam and Bad Gal liner, but I don't agree with their policy on getting bums on seats within their concession. It's almost forced.

I'll start at the beginning. First up, there were 4 candidates, myself included, up for the "audition". First, we were told abit about the company and how being open and friendly to potential clients was at the base of their company policy. We were told they have a "Show not sell" bottom line, basically, the products *are* great, they sell themselves, but we're there to make sure people know about them. So far, so good, right? They offer mini makeovers, and there's no obligation to buy, no pressure. It's true, I never seen a customer while I was there looking like they felt they *had* to buy.

But wait, the pressure starts before they sit on those seats. We (the four candidates) were taught to walk up to a customer (roleplaying with each other), immediately touch their arm and ask if they'd heard of Benefit. While they answered (and we were told the answer didn't really matter anyway), we were told to slip an arm round their back (to encourage friendliness, of course), and start pushing, I mean leading the customer to the seats while talking about how they simply *have* to try out this line. I don't know about you, but I have serious issue with complete strangers manhandling me, but idea that some people may think that you are invading their personal space was just poohpooh'd away. We were being friendly, that's all!

Before we were lead out to the general public to try this out though, we were asked to give each other a quick makeover, using Dr Feelgood, You Rebel, BeneTint, and High Beam. Happily, I got stuck in, and got compliments both for my technique and for my freshly make over face when the other girl tried it out. I could do this - I know I can, I thought over and over, but when it came to trying to get people over... nope. No can do. I'm not forcing people over.

Benefit looks girly, fun and retro, and the set up, the music, everything about it is welcoming. Except the pressure to sit down. They quite freely admitted that they were the only company in the beauty department to hunt down customers like this, but they made it sound like a good thing. I don't think it is. The products should speak for themselves, and people should want to come over, not avoid it because those crazy girls chase you down and make you sit down. I cut my losses after 10 mins of trying. Doesn't sound like much, but believe, it felt like a million years, if you believe the exaggeration for once. I went back to the girl in charge of us candidates and told her this sort of hard sell, I mean show, was something I couldn't and wouldn't do. She was nice about it, saying this sort of thing wasn't for everyone, and thanked me for trying out.

I know I want a job badly, but I don't want to chase a job I couldn't do well, one I couldn't feel at all comfortable with.

Leaving the store, an employee (different department) asked me how the "audition" went. I told him I couldn't stop traffic, the term they use. He said he didn't really like how they done that either. Made me feel like less of a loser for bailing out.

There'll be other jobs.

Won't there?

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