Nordstrom

  www.nordstrom.com
Work in HR? Unlock Free Profile

Nordstrom Cosmetics Sales Associate Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Jul 23, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting an Interview  

62%
12%

Interview Experience  

41%
33%
25%

Interview Difficulty  

Average Difficulty
12 candidate interviews Back to all interview questions
Relevance Date Difficulty
in

Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Cosmetic Sales Associate Interview

Cosmetic Sales Associate

I applied online and interviewed at Nordstrom.

Interview Details – Personality Tests online, two phone interviews, interview with someone from personnel, then offer to interview with Department manger, Then joint interview with Department Manager and vendor, Department manager/vendor/counter manager interview.

This was a very extensive hiring process, yet there are still some employees that have no idea what they are doing!

Interview Question – What would you do if everything you have tried to do for the customer does not calm them down and the customer remains upset?   View Answer


No Offer

Negative Experience

Very Easy Interview

Cosmetic Sales Associate Interview

Cosmetic Sales Associate
Lonetree, CO

I applied online - interviewed at Nordstrom in June 2014.

Interview Details – Don't get too excited. No matter having years of experience and an actual license unlike many who apply for these jobs, or even the women who work at the counters... they do most of their hiring from within.

Interview Question – What is Bobbi Brown's philosophy?   Answer Question


4 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Difficult Interview

Cosmetics Sales Associate Interview

Cosmetics Sales Associate
Houston, TX

The process took a day - interviewed at Nordstrom in June 2012.

Interview Details – I had wanted to work for the Nordstrom cosmetics department for a long time. I applied online and was called within 24 hours by the department manager for the interview. The interview was very professional (more professional than I would have thought, they didn't ask any personal questions at all) and concise. The first and most prominent question was "Why should I hire you". He also asked about my experience. Additionally, I was asked:

1) Explain a time when you gave outstanding customer service?
2) How do you feel about making commission?
3) What motivates you?
4) What would you do if your sales were under your quota?

He made it pretty clear to me by the end of the interview that I was going to get the job. A few days later, I was called and offed a job. Very excited!!

Interview Questions


1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Cosmetic Sales Associate Interview

Cosmetic Sales Associate
Nashville, TN

The process took 1 week - interviewed at Nordstrom in June 2012.

Interview Details – Applied online to become a cosmetics and fragrances sales associate. About 30 minutes later, received a phone call from store's recruiter. During the call I completed a phone interview and was informed that I was selected for an interview which will be scheduled two days later. My 1:1 interview consisted of meeting with the department manager as well as assistant manager, tour of the department, and completing an IQ/Intelligence test. During the interview the department manager stated that with my prior work experience and education I should consider the cosmetics counter manager position. We then discussed the job duties as well as qualifications required of a cosmetic counter manager. I also provided both managers my preferences of the cosmetics I would like to sell if hired.

I was informed shortly after the 1:1 interview that if selected as a potential candidate I would be receiving a call/email from the account executive of the product I selected to sell if hired. About 4 days later I received a call from the account executive to schedule a interview with her. Unfortunately she couldn't attend due to an illness and it was postpone to the next day. She couldn't attend that day as well however she did call me to conduct a phone interview. Her first and only question was why her company. I answered honestly by stating my business goals and reiterating my work experiences. She loved my answer and stated that I was what her company needs as well as a "breath of fresh air". She informed me that she would send her recommendation via email to the store manager. Two days later I received a call from the department manager with an offer for the cosmetics counter manager and I gladly accepted.

Interview Questions

  • Why Nordstrom?   Answer Question
  • Are you comfortable working in a sales environment that requires you to meet daily as well as monthly sales quotas?   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – I was content with the base salary and commission. Therefore no negotiation was needed.


1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Cosmetics Sales Associate Interview

Cosmetics Sales Associate
Natick, MA

I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Nordstrom in February 2012.

Interview Details – I walked in one day and talked to the cosmetics manager and asked if they were hiring for MAC. She said yes and to apply online even if it just says a general cosmetics sales associate. The online application consisted of uploading your resume and answering personality questions. Two days later I got an email with a link to choose a date for the phone interview. The link didn't work. I tried it again for about three days and the scheduling system was down. I did a live chat online and they gave me a phone number for a website help line. I called them and they told me to call the store's HR abd they could manually set up a date. I called for three days and no one in hr answers the phone. I finally asked for the cosmetics manager who transfered me and then the woman in hr picked up. She scheduled a phone interview within a couple of days and told me she would call me at 11am. That day came and no call. I waited an hour and then called the store. Again, no one picked up. Called and left messages for the next four days. Still no call. On the fifth day after when my phone interview was supposed to be, I called again and she answered telling me she lost the paper that had my phone number on it but she wanted to know if I could do the phone interview now. Of course I said yes. She asked me basic questions like:
Why nordstrom?
Describe a difficult customer.
Describe a time you didn't reach a goal of yours.
How do you feel about making commission?
It took about 10 minutes and then asked about my availability and said a cosmetics manager would call me to schedule an interview. Waiting for phase 2. I see that a lot of people have gone through some type of miscommunication like I have, so we'll see. Hope this helps.

Interview Questions


No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Cosmetic Sales Associate Interview

Cosmetic Sales Associate
Saint Louis, MO

I applied online and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Nordstrom in August 2011.

Interview Details – I applied for Cosmetics Sales, but ended up having my 1:1 in Handbags. The store isn't open yet, so the process is taking longer. My 1:1 had many of the same questions as my phone interview did, with a few more about teamwork and leadeship added to the mix.
My interview with the HB manager went very well, and she informed me that she is in need of a Design Lead and gave me details on what that would entail and how to show my interest. We discussed the job, the pay, and how the scheduling is managed. She informed me that I would hear back from her by the end of the following week, so now I must wait.

Interview Question – What do you do if you are unfamiliar with a product?   View Answers (2)


No Offer

Negative Experience

Difficult Interview

Cosmetic Sales Associate Interview

Cosmetic Sales Associate
Columbus, OH

I applied online and the process took 5 days - interviewed at Nordstrom in May 2011.

Interview Details – I submitted an online application, was directed to a 30 min or so personality test, that consisted of alot of the same questions reworded, ( ie. Are you a team player, are you friendly, Multitasker ect. ) Then e mailed to schedule a phone interview, 4 days later I had a very short phone interview, they asked the standard "why nordstrom?" " tell me about the most diffucult customer service problem you have had?" " tell me about a time a co worker was doing something they should not?" " how do you feel about commission sales?" I guess I didn't do all that well, they said they had other applicants to review and would get back to me, It's been a week and I have not heard from them.

Interview Questions

  • Tell me about a goal you set for yourself and failed to meet?   Answer Question
  • Tell me about the worst customer service problem you have had? how did you handle it? and what was the outcome?   Answer Question


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Cosmetic Sales Associate Interview

Cosmetic Sales Associate
Orem, UT

I applied in-person and the process took 3 days - interviewed at Nordstrom in February 2010.

Interview Details – The interview was pretty easy. I interviewed 1:1 with the Human Resource Manager and he directly took me to interview with the Costmetics/Fragrance Manager. After sitting down in her office and talking about my past experience in other areas, she offered me a job on the spot. I also interviewed with the manager from Hosiery.

Interview Questions


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Cosmetic Sales Associate Interview

Cosmetic Sales Associate
Chicago, IL

The process took 2 months - interviewed at Nordstrom in May 2009.

Interview Details – Very long process, interviewed by many people. Training was excellent. Very long process, interviewed by many people. Training was excellent. Very long process, interviewed by many people. Training was excellent. Very long process, interviewed by many people. Training was excellent. Very long process, interviewed by many people. Training was excellent.

Interview Question – Recall one exceptional story of customer service that you've performed:   Answer Question


2 people found this helpful

No Offer

Negative Experience

Average Interview

Cosmetics Sales Associate Interview

Cosmetics Sales Associate

The process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Nordstrom in October 2011.

Interview Details – I applied for a part-time cosmetics sales position on the Nordstrom website, and two days later, received an e-mail asking me to schedule a phone interview online. A week later, I had the phone interview, and they asked basic questions like, "Why do you want to work for Nordstrom?" and "Why cosmetics?" and "Describe how you deal with difficult customers?" It was about 10 mins long and pretty easy if you prepare, and I was offered an in-person interview on the spot. I was told that I would be meeting with a cosmetics counter manager and was told to come in a week later. When I arrived, I realized it was a group interview, which was slightly annoying only because I wish I had known.

They brought us all down to a conference area, and a few managers from Nordstrom Rack introduced themselves and talked about how they were looking for people to join the Rack team. I started to get nervous because I really had no interest in working for the Rack. The offered us bottles of water and magazines to read, and then they called us in one by one to another room, where we met one-on-one with a manager, but you were still in a room with other candidates while they were being interviewed. I met with a customer service manager for a Rack store, and she asked questions from a standard form. They asked me about my background, asked for an example of how I went above and beyond in a past job for a customer, what my availability was, etc. In the end, I told her that I was under the impression I was interviewing for a Cosmetics sales position, and she looked at me surprised, and said, "Oh, okay, I'll write that down." Then asked, "Would you be interested in working for customer service?" I kind of panicked and said that I would consider it, but that my priority was cosmetics sales. I left the interview thinking nothing would come of it, and was disappointed in the lack of organization and communication.

Two days later, I got an e-mail from Nordstrom asking me to move forward with the interview process for a customer service associate for the Rack, and asked me to apply online for this position. I was really confused and called the woman in HR who phone interviewed me and asked what was going on because I applied for a cosmetics position. She said, "Oh, you want to work in cosmetics?" Well, yeah! I mean, she was the one who asked me during the phone interview, "Why do you want to work in cosmetics?" She said she would forward my info onto the cosmetics department and they would call me.

A half hour after that, I got a call to schedule a one-on-one interview with the cosmetics counter manager. I came in three days later and met with her. She acted like she had never seen my resume before. I felt like I really did well in the interview. I know a LOT about cosmetics and all kinds of brands and I told her I was ready to move forward if she felt I was a good fit. She then told me to go home and think about if I really wanted the job. Umm, okay? So I called her the next day and told her I wanted to move forward. She basically told me she didn't think I was a good fit and wanted me to take this "ambassador" position selling these new candles. At this point, I was just upset I had come this far without an offer, and I decided to move forward with what she was offering. But wait! I had to go through ANOTHER interview with the NY sales rep on the phone first!

So then I interview with that guy, and I thought it went really well. It was probably 10 mins, and he asked me about my availability and gave me a speech on the products. I gave it a week, and then I called the cosmetics manager back to ask for an update. She never called me back. I'm not expecting an offer.

I'm REALLY disappointed at how this whole process was handled. I felt like they didn't respect my time and I also feel like they led me on. After the interview with the cosmetics manager, she made it sound like she liked me and thought I would be a great addition to the team. Then suddenly, I wasn't a good fit. And then, she ignored me.

Interview Question – How do you handle difficult customers?   View Answer

Worked for Nordstrom? Contribute to the Community!

The difficulty rating is the average interview difficulty rating across all interview candidates.

The interview experience is the percentage of all interview candidates that said their interview experience was positive, neutral, or negative.

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.