Getting an internship at the world’s largest beauty company may seem like a distant dream to some students and graduates, but the dream is totally in reach if you’re willing to work hard for it.
With more than 50 global brands, including Giorgio Armani, Lancôme and Urban Decay, the success of the beauty business relies on the people behind the brands, which is why the company is keen on recruiting fresh and young talent by offering a large amount of intern positions.
If you want to get a chance at shaping your career and being part of a thriving industry, discover how to get a spot on an internship programme at L’Oréal by following the tips below.
1. Know the Basics
L’Oréal offers a large variety of internships to university students in over 29 countries across a wide range of departments: operations, marketing, sales and business development, digital, HR, finance, research and development, PR and communications, marketing, retail, and IT.
In order to be eligible for an internship, you will usually need to be a university student in your second or third year of your degree. However, the terms do vary from position and country, so it’s advised to check the specific requirements for each position on the L’Oréal Talent website.
It’s also important to note that many of the internship programmes offer a competitive salary, which is unusual for a beauty brand, as so many of its competitors only offer unpaid internships.
2. Focus on Your CV
Your CV is the make-or-break part of the application process; it’s the one thing that can get you noticed and onto the next stages of the L’Oréal internship programme. It’s your chance to showcase your skills, experience and passion for the industry, which is why it’s vital that you spend a lot of time reviewing and tailoring your CV to the position you’re applying for.
The recruiter will only have 10 seconds to skim over your application before they move onto the next, so you need to ensure that you have the correct keywords that will catch their attention. And if you have relevant experience through a module or prior work experience, try to quantify your results to prove that the statement you are making is true.
In addition, it’s important to triple-check your CV for any careless mistakes or typos. While it’s good to use a spellchecking tool, they can often make errors, which is why it’s vital to get another pair of trained eyes to proofread your CV.
3. Meet a Recruiter
Once you have your CV up to scratch, you should consider attending a L’Oréal event where you can meet recruiters, get noticed and, ultimately, get one step closer to your dream.
Now, we aren’t telling you to throw all your eggs in one basket and rely solely on this event. You still need to make sure you complete your application online, which brings us to the next point.
4. Submit Your Application
The initial application process for the L’Oréal internship programme is quite straightforward. You simply need to identify what role you wish to apply for, click on the ‘Apply Now’ button and follow the on-screen instructions. Be sure to double-check all the details before submitting, including any references and personal details.
If you’re interested in a marketing position, you should also partake in the Brandstorm competition that L’Oréal hosts once a year which challenges undergraduates to invent a marketing strategy for a new product launch. This opportunity not only offers hands-on experience with the industry-leading beauty business, but it also gives you a chance to land a full-time job at the end of it.
5. Complete an Aptitude Test
In most cases, you’ll be asked to complete a series of online aptitude tests after submitting your application, including a numerical reasoning test, a verbal reasoning test and a logical reasoning test.
During these three tests, you’ll be given approximately a minute to answer each question, which is why you’ll need to practise beforehand in order to successfully pass this stage of the application process.
Although it sounds challenging, there’s no need to be afraid of psychometric testing; this is done to assess candidates, alongside their skills listed on their CVs. You just need to ensure you’re aware of what you might be asked so you can answer in the calmest mindset possible.
6. Ace the Interview
The Telephone Interview
If you’ve aced your aptitude test, you’ll then be invited for a telephone interview with a professional from the department that you’ve applied to work in. During this conversation, you’ll be asked a number of common interview questions to test your competency, from ‘what are your strengths and weaknesses?’ to ‘tell me an obstacle you faced and how you overcame it’.
The Assessment Centre
The next stage of the L’Oréal internship recruitment process is the assessment centre, also known as ‘Taste of L’Oréal”, which is where you will be invited to the L’Oréal grounds to participate in a series of group exercises.
The first, a communication exercise, will involve asking and answering a series of questions in a group. The main aim of this is for recruiters to see if you can work well in a team and if you’re able to communicate clearly and effectively.
During the second exercise, you’ll be required to give a presentation (on a subject that has already been given to you) to the rest of the group. While presenting your ideas, it’s essential to be aware of your body language and the way you project your thoughts. The recruiters at L’Oréal will be looking for confident speakers that can deliver a clear and captivating presentation.
The Final Interview
The final stage of the interview process involves another competency-based interview, but this time face-to-face with a member of HR and the department that you’ve applied to work in.
This interview will usually last around half an hour and will involve a discussion about things like your CV, university degree and personal interests. During this stage, it’s ideal to memorise all the details listed on your CV and have answers already prepared for common questions – especially if the nerves begin to kick in!
7. Get an Offer
If you’ve managed to impress the interview panel, you should receive an offer within the following two weeks with details on your start date, salary (if it’s paid) and working hours.
And once you start your internship, you’ll be assigned a mentor and immediately thrown into real-life projects, giving you the opportunity to develop your skillset and shine as an employee with innovative ideas.
If your mentor and manager feel that you’ve exceeded expectations at the end of your internship programme, you’ll most likely be offered a full-time position! L’Oreal is keen on taking interns on as full-time employees, with a staggering 85% of L’Oréal’s staff being former interns.
The L’Oréal assessment process is far from easy, but with the right attitude and a lot of determination, you can get that one step closer to your dream career with the beauty industry leader. And, if you happen to unsuccessful, the experience will still be worthwhile and will help you with future applications.
Have you been through any of the above stages with L’Oréal? If so, join in on the conversation below and let us know about your experiences.
This article is an updated version of an earlier article originally published on 13 November 2014.