I have been asked this question, so many times.
'How did you get a job at MAC?'
I worked for this company a good few years ago now, for around 3 years.
I had worked on various makeup counters from the age of 21 and when I was 29, decided to apply for a position there.
It's daunting, and a little intimidating applying for a job on a counter where nearly all staff who work there, look like they've stepped off a catwalk. But really, it's like any other job in retail/makeup counter job.
MAC is part of the Estee Lauder 'umbrella', and the first piece of advice I would give you is:
KNOW THE BRAND
Whatever brand you are interested in working for, if they are part of the Estee Lauder group they will want to see that you have a genuine interest in working for the brand. A passion for the products. A knowledge of the brands history and ethics is crucial, and the first step to securing a face to face interview.
I worked for many brands under the Estee Lauder name, and unless it's changed since I had my first interview for Bobbi Brown ( another Estee lauder company ) almost ten years ago, the first step once you find a job online, is a telephone interview.
You will need to call to apply for the position, and THAT'S when you have your telephone interview, so make sure you are prepared.
Questions you may be asked.
Why do you like this Brand?
Why do you want to work for this brand?
What can you tell me about the beginnings of the brand, and give me some history? ( how it was founded, by who, when it was founded )
Name a product from this brand you like, and tell me about it.
This part of the Interview lasts around 10 - 15 mins. It may not even last that long, but it's to give them an idea of your genuine interest,
TIP: Don't be fooled into thinking just because you have a makeup qualification you will automatically get the job. I had a friend who made this mistake and had not researched the brand, so got told on the phone interview she had not been successful. If memory serves me correctly, if you are unsuccessful you cannot apply again for another 6 months. Again, this may have now changed.
I also think, that they now require anyone who applies to already have either retail experience/ makeup counter experience, but this will be told to you when you apply.
IF you pass this telephone stage, you will be told straight away, and then the next step is a Manager from the brand, usually the Counter Manager, or Area Manager will contact you for your face to face interview.
The face to face interview with MAC, is to determine your Makeup skills and to see if they think you will be suitable for the position. I was interviewed by both the Manager and Assistant manger.
It works in your favour to provide a portfolio of any Makeup work you may have done. You are applying for a Makeup artist job, so you need to demonstrate and sell yourself as a Makeup artist should.
I'm pretty sure when I was told to attend the interview I was told to dress, as I would if I had a job at MAC.
I was apprehensive at first thinking they maybe wanted me to do some work on the counter, as part of the interview, but they don't! ( Benefit does this, I also worked for them many moons ago! )
So it goes withour saying, MAKE AN EFFORT. Wear your BEST black clothes. MAC is not Bobbi Brown and Bobbi Brown is not MAC. Both companies portray a certain image. I didn't attend my MAC interview wearing a suit. I wore an embellished black dress, leggings and boots. Makeup was strong, nails painted and hair done.
You need to stand out, look the part. This is part of the interview.
You will be asked about the brand again, Makeup trends, how you would deal with customer situations, the usual. The interview was long, and intense. You will be expected to know about the Makeup trends, Makeup of the season, colours that are now in - again they are almost probing you to ensure you follow Makeup and have a genuine passion for it.
If you pass this stage, you are then invited to a Makeup test.
This is the final stage. This can vary, depending on who takes your test.
It is normally done in store, so you will on the counter while everyone is working, a normal day. You are sometimes asked to provide a model, or they get a MAC girl to be your model. You are normaly assessed by a regional trainer for this.
What you are asked to do will vary.
I was asked to do an everyday Makeup look, and then transform it into an evening look. During this time you need to speak to the model as though she is a customer. You have to talk about the products you are using, and why you are using them.
You will be expected to know the products. Don't use the excuse,
'Well I don't work for you yet, so I don't know the products.'
If you want the job, you should have looked into the products.
Make sure you TALK. Do not do the makeup in silence, you have to be seen to be interacting with the 'customer'
You will have the regional trainer, also asking you makeup related questions whilst you are doing this.
Do not panic about the makeup you have done, not being perfect. Obviously, it need's to look decent! But they are determining that you comfortable applying makeup, that you can communicate effectively with your customer and can also get it done in the set time.
They are assessing your makeup skills, communication skllls, time management, all of it.
Once done - the regional trainer will ask you a few questions and assess the makeup you have applied.
I then found out within a few months if I had the job, which i did!
IF you are applying for a job for MAC, within a department store it doesn't end there. You will then be asked to do a Store approval interview. This is where the store determine if you are suitable to work in their store. Not half as stressfull as what you have had to already do to get this far. Nothing to worry about.
Alot of people look at these jobs and assume it's an easy job, with a similar, easy process to apply for it. It's not. The process is long and intense, and is designed to find the best staff. The job is also just as demanding. If you want a job in the makeup field, MAC is a great place to start. You have daily, hands on experience, and alot of the time working under time restrictions. It really helps prepare Makeup artists who eventually want to work for themselves or in the Fashion/Media Makeup scene.
Next - HOW TO GET A JOB AT BOBBI BROWN.