Jobs in the beauty industry run the gamut from hairdresser, makeup artist, fashion photographer and media spokesperson. Wildly different skills and competencies are often required for each individual job. However, no matter the job, there are several top questions that often get asked at beauty industry interviews.
What is your biggest weakness?
This question gets asked in pretty much any job interview. Research the company’s mission statement and values. Make sure you don’t list one of its areas of emphasis as one of your weaknesses. Do be truthful and emphasize that you’re working on your weakness. Portray it as positively as you can.
Example: “I get so engrossed in work projects that I tend to focus on work too much—coming in early and staying late. It’s definitely something I’m addressing. I recognize that the best employees have a healthy balance in their lives. I have a new strategy that includes never taking work home with me on the weekends.”
What is your greatest strength?
Talking about your strengths is definitely easier than discussing weaknesses! The trick is to tie your answer to the beauty industry and the specific job you’re applying for. Know what the company prides itself on and use that in your answer. Give specific examples, including facts and figures, of a time or times you’ve used your strength to bolster or save a project.
Example: “Time management and organization are my greatest strengths. As a result, all my projects are completed at least five days early. At my last job, I came into a department with frequent cost overruns and project delays. By the time I left, the department had gone from losing $50,000 a year to being the most profitable unit of the company. The beauty industry recognized it last year with the RST award.”
What are your favorite [name of company] products?
A key component of any interview is being familiar with the company and its products and services. If you already have natural favorites from the company, great! If not, take the time to go out, purchase a few products that appeal to you, and try them. This gives you firsthand knowledge to help inform your answer. You’ll be able to provide details that Internet research can’t give.
Include the following in your answer:
• Why these products are your favorites
• Any unusual ways you use them that make you stand out
• Where you tend to buy them
• Why you prefer them to competing brands
Example: “I swear by ABC crimson lipstick. I used to wear XYZ all the time, but one day ABC was on sale, so I tried it. I never went back to XYZ. The color is just more vibrant and makes me feel great. Plus it never leaves smudges and stays on all day.”
Name a [company name] product and perform a SWOT analysis.
SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities for growth and Threats. Sometimes your interviewer will give you the product to do the SWOT on instead of letting you choose. So it’s important to be passingly familiar with the company’s main products. In any case, do your research and choose a product. List main details for each SWOT letter. Look at areas such as:
• The product’s competitive advantages (such as appearance, price, market reach)
• The product’s competitive disadvantages (what do rival products have that this one doesn’t?)
• How any changes to its presentation or formula have helped or hurt
• Potential markets, distribution venues and untapped audiences for the product
• Predicted customer demand and product demand in economic downturns