My Experience Applying to Lush

I'd been trying to find a job for months when I was scrolling through Instagram and spotted a post from my local Lush store asking for applicants to work at Lush for a temporary Christmas position. I have always wanted to work there so I emailed my CV and cover letter immediately, and a few days after the deadline, I received an email asking me to attend a group interview later that week. I was honestly so surprised. I've been applying practically everywhere for months, and assumed that I would get rejected again this time!

If you're wanting a job at Lush, I'd recommend following your local Lush store on things like Instagram and Facebook, as well as just the company's main accounts. This is where you'll get the updates that are actually 100% relevant to you (and even more pictures of pretty bath bombs, which is something everyone's timeline needs). I'd also say, don't just not bother applying because you think you're going to get rejected. Go for it and see what happens. If it doesn't work, you can always apply again in the future.

APPLICATION

Applying wasn't hard. I didn't have to do one of those stupid online forms that ask you to upload a CV and then fill in everything that was already on that CV you just uploaded. They asked for an email with my CV and a cover letter detailing why I wanted to work for Lush and any details that might help my application. I kept it fairly simple really. I know a lot of people do things like write poems for Lush, or a short story as their cover letter, but honestly the straightforward approach is more my style.

I mentioned my blog and YouTube channels, letting them know that I was interested in beauty and sharing that interest with others. As well as this, I dropped in things about my creativity - I sew, I did an art course, I draw and paint etc. I also talked about going on to study Musical Theatre, telling them how this will help my communication skills.

My advice here? Do what works best for you. If you think a poem will make you stand out from the crowd, write Lush a poem. If you'd rather do what I did and just list certain things about yourself then do it. Both approaches have worked for others. Make sure to tell them how these certain things about you will help though. Fair enough you studied art for a bit. Let them know that this has enhanceed your creativity and that helping to sort out displays will be right up your street because of your keen eye for colour co-ordination and detail.

GROUP INTERVIEW

My group interview was on a Sunday night after the shop had closed. I was asked to bring details of my availability as well as proof of my right to work in the UK. Bring them. Obviously, they wouldn't have asked for them if you wouldn't need them. If you can't even manage to bring two things to a job interview, how on earth are they going to trust you to be a reliable asset to their team? Please note that a driving licence is not enough of proof of your right to work. One of the girls at my group interview was turned away at the door because all she had was a driving licence. A passport is a good bet.

They stated in the email that this was an informal interview and just said to wear whatever I want. As I have an interest in vintage clothes, my style does tend to lean towards the formal side anyway. I wore a midi circle skirt with a bright red cherry print, and a black long sleeved t-shirt tucked into it. On my feet, I went with a pair of little black pumps. Jewellery wise, I went with earrings in both of my lobe holes and an anklet. For my makeup, I did a neutral eyeshadow look and went with a bright bold red lip. Remember with your outfit that Lush is all for the personalities of its employees, so go as quirky as you feel comfortable! 


For the first portion of the interview, we were split into pairs for a little getting to know each other activity. We asked each other what we did (job wise or in school/college/university), for a random or creepy fact, and what our favourite Halloween or Christmas film is. Then we had to 'present' our partner to the group. My partner and I finished getting the answers we actually needed so ended up just having a general discussion for the rest of the allotted time. I found this calmed my nerves some, as I could just focus on getting to know Jo rather than 'ohmigosh this is a Lush interview I must stand out I must be outgoing and extroverted ohhhhhh gosh'.



The team of people who were interviewing us then showed us how to do some demos. We were shown how to show off the bubble bars, the bath bombs, the body scrubs, and the massage bars. By far the most complicated were the massage bars, because you need the right technique when massaging so as not to make the customer uncomfortable and you have to support the wrist and place the hand down on the knee when you're done, yadda yadda yadda... It doesn't sound tricky in writing (and it probably isn't really) but there's a lot to think about!



After that, we were let loose on the store. We were to choose one Lush product and demo it to the group. There was also a box of non-Lush items but honestly the thought of trying to get a job while demo-ing a singular welly made me more than a little bit nervous. I suppose it'd really let you shine if you went with one of those, but I knew I could talk about real Lush products so I played it slightly safe.



A lot of the others gravitated straight towards the massage bars and lotions and stuff like that. I can see why, as this would be the best way of showing how much you'd learned in that quick demonstration and if you use the product you have a lot to talk about. I however wanted to stand out against this barrage of massage bars, and went for the bath melt, You've Been Mangoed. 



Honestly, I regretted this when I left. I actually thought it would have cost me the interview. Bath melts really don't do much. I think they're great, because they smell lovely and leave your skin really soft, but they don't spew out colours and fizz and sparkles and excitement like a bath bomb. We ended up just being 13/14 people staring into a bowl watching a little lump dissolve. It didn't even dissolve quickly. We were there for a while.



If I could do this task again, I'd go with a bath bomb rather than a bath melt. Butterball has a similar skin-softening affect but with more of a show as it fizzes away. Dragon's Egg would be a great one to demo. With that surprise poof of orange and then a surprise shot of glitter, the thing is a spectacle to behold. And then all the confetti floating around makes for a lovely finishing touch.



My advice with this is to go for a product that you know a lot about. Know a few of its ingredients and the effect they have so you have something to talk about during your demo, and choose something that gives a little bit of a show. Something that smells great, or sparkles, or fizzes away nicely. Don't leave your audience staring into a bowl of nothing happening. Pay attention during their demos, there's more to it than sticking a bath bomb in a bowl of water. Just talk about what you like about the product, and you'll do well.



Think about what you're saying. One girl lead by saying that the product didn't smell great. When you're selling a product, you need to start with a positive. If you think it's important to mention the negative, don't start or end with it. Slide it in somewhere in the middle, and don't make a big deal of it. If even the sales woman says it stinks, who would want to buy it?



Once all these little presentations were out of the way, we had a very quick interview and gave the interviewers our availability. The questions were "Why this specific Lush store?" (I live twenty minutes away and the staff have always been lovely there), "What is your favourite thing about Lush?" (fighting animal testing - WHAT IS THE POINT OF ANIMAL TESTING FOR COSMETICS?), and if I had any questions for them.



SHOP FLOOR TRIAL

About two days after my group interview, I heard back from them saying they would like me to go into the shop for an hour and a half that weekend for a trial shift. Apparently my bath melt demo hadn't put them off. I was asked to wear black and white to comply with Lush's uniform policy, but other than that they didn't have anything to say about appearance, as I expected. They are very open about individuality.


At the start of the trial I was taken upstairs and taught how I should be approaching customers and what was expected of me today (saying hello to everyone who walked in and doing demos and stuff like that). There was one other girl, Lucy, with me.



Next we went back downstairs and were shown again how to do demos.



For about an hour, I was allowed to approach customers and try to make sales. I asked them how their day was, and had a bit of a chat before going in with the customary 'so have you seen this?' and chucking a bath bomb in water. I had some really lovely chats with people as we were watching the water fizz. 



About halfway through I was taken aside and given some feedback. They liked my approach to customers as I was able to interact well, but they wanted to see me demo other things besides bath bombs.



It went downhill from there. No one hovered anywhere other than the bath bomb section. They weren't hoping for a face mask, or a massage bar, so I didn't get the opportunity to show them that.



The only girl who was interested in face creams was NOT interested in a chat with me. She was borderline rude, but I can see that if you just want to browse then you just want to browse.

The trial lasted about an hour and a half, and when we were done we handed in our aprons and got given little gift bags as a thank you for working for them that afternoon.



RESPONSE
I was contacted by them again after a few days, to find out that this time they weren't going to offer me a job. Obviously I was disappointed, but I was grateful for the fast response and the fact that they made it clear I could ask for feedback if I wanted. A lot of places tend to just dump you if they don't want to hire you, but Lush treated us well throughout the process.

I hope this post has been helpful. 

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