I thought that I would start my first blog ever with the story of the most terrifying interview that I have ever been through. Mainly because I think it is a good starting point. So after my first four years in cosmetic retail with a well known mineral makeup company, I decided that I wanted to run with the big dogs and I applied for a "Beauty Advisor" position at the ever-so-fabulous Saks Fifth Avenue. Just walking in the building was intimidating enough for a 24 year old girl with limited funds and a bargain brand suit... let alone to actually apply and hand over my resume thinking that I am even good enough to try. Knowing there were plenty of makeup artists with years more experience and better interviewing skills than I, but I did it anyway.
My very first face-to-face interview was scheduled after countless emails and phone interviews with anyone and everyone involved in this process. I remember my Father asking: "Geez Cass!! Are you applying for a job with the CIA???" It did seem a bit extreme, but I was more than happy to speak with anyone that would listen to get my foot in the door. It came time for my final interview... I was told that I would be coming in to meet with Kelly Fine at the Trish McEvoy counter to do an on-site makeup application and that I would be judged on my work. "YESSSS!!!" (I thought). That would be a cake walk. I had gotten through all the tough interviews and now they'll really get to see me fly!
As I approached the cosmetics counter, I saw a woman who seemed to be aware of my presence. "Hello, I am looking for Kelly Fine" I said. She replied "I'm Kelly Fine." Now let me explain a few things about Kelly before I continue. Small in stature, with jet black hair, piercing green eyes, and the fiercest cat eye that I have ever seen.... she had a serious case of resting bitch face and the temperment to accompany it. The next words out of her mouth were definitely the last thing that i expected to hear... "You'll be applying makeup on me today, and I will be interviewing you while you do so." I think the expression on my face said it all. She quickly responded in a stearn voice "Is that a problem!??!" I am thinking to myself "Sure not a problem at all, as long as I dont die of a heart attack right now!!!" But of course I went along with it, well, because I had to. I'd gotten this far, and no turning back now.
As I fumbled through the counter full of products (all of which I had never seen until this very moment), I somehow managed to throw together some sort of palatte... and began to apply her makeup. She started in on some of the expected interview questions "why do you want to be here?" "what will you bring to the counter?" "how will you get new clients?" Did I mention that all of this was happening with the entire cosmetics department and other makeup artists watching and listening in?? It was horrifying. The questions continued for another few minutes or so. I still remember so vividly, my hand shaking while trying to recreate that amazing black cat eye she had perfectly applied earlier. As I finished up, everything seemed to get uncomfortably quiet. Kelly stood up, thanked me for coming, and walked away. In that very moment, I wanted to die. Thoughts of doubt were flooding my head, and I couldnt wait to get in my car and call my Mom to tell her about how awful it went, and about how Kelly wasnt friendly at all.
I am sure you are wondering if I ever heard back from the infamous Kelly Fine... and I did. I actually had landed my dream job!! Kelly and I worked closely for the next four years, and she taught me alot. I perfected my awesomely fierce cat eye and became a rockstar in sales. She also taught me how to stand up for myself and not take any bullshit in this crazy retail industry.
A few years into our working relationship, I was actually able to relive the crazy interview process with her, and we had a few good laughs about it... I asked her- "What did you say about me when you just up and left like that?? What did you tell the other girls??" and her response was something that I will never forget. "She can paint."