Hairdressing Interview Tips from Three Top Salon Chains

by charlottegw / last updated January 30, 2019

hairdressing interview tips

Looking for interview tips? We spoke to three of the UK’s salon chains to discover what future employers are really looking for during an interview. Here’s what they said…

lisa wheatcroft rush interview tipsLisa Wheatcroft, people director, Rush Hair & Beauty

What three qualities do you look for in a candidate?
At Rush we look for individuals who are driven. It is important for us that our staff are ambitious and have goals. We place a big focus on customer service so good people skills are essential too. It is also important to us that they have some business knowledge we want them to be engaged in growing their column and furthering their career with us.  

How should a portfolio be presented?
Having a digital portfolio on an iPad or tablet is ideal as I like it when candidates show us their Instagram page or YouTube channel. However, if someone has taken the time to put together a physical portfolio, I wouldn’t discredit that.

Do you have a pet peeve?
I don’t like candidates that are obviously under-prepared. It is crucial that as a potential employee you know Rush and understand the nature of our business and heritage.

Do you have any examples of a bad interview?
We’ve had candidates turn up inappropriately dressed and looking like they are off to a party rather than an interview. It is also exceptionally disappointing when a candidate is unable to answer a question you have asked and just says ‘I don’t know’.

How many times do you interview a candidate before you hire them?
If we’re hiring a stylist, we would usually see them twice. It is important that we see them in the salon to understand their skill level and gauge their work and they would also need to meet the area manager.


Michelle shergill interview tips Michelle Shergill, Saks Hair and Beauty, West Bridgford

Do you ask any ‘trick’ questions during an interview?
I ask questions such as ‘what would your best friend tell me about you?’ or ‘have you ever stolen a pen from work?’ I am looking to see how they approach an unexpected question. I’d like them to remain positive in the face of a challenge.

Do you have any examples of a bad interview?
My most shocking interview would have to be when a stylist told me the interview must end immediately as she had an electronic tag on her ankle and had to get back home in time for her curfew.

Do you pay attention to a candidate’s body language?
Yes, if someone has their arms crossed or gives very little eye contact, I’d question whether they’d be able to inspire and engage our customers.

Do you have a pet peeve?
When a candidate tells me they can’t sell retail hair products to clients. It means they are only skilled to do half of their job and customers will struggle to maintain their hair at home between visits.

What is the interview process at Saks?
Candidates have a telephone interview, a face-to-face interview and a skills trade test followed by shadowing our top team member.

tomm bucknell seanhanna interview tipsTomm Bucknell, director of seanhanna Putney and general manager of seanhanna salons

What should candidates wear to an interview?
I would recommend a ‘smart casual’ dress code. Looking presentable is key as we are speaking to guests all the time and what you wear will reflect you as a stylist. I would also recommend trying to show off your creativity in your outfit – wear a bright colour if that’s your personal style.

How do you like to be greeted at the start of an interview?
With a firm handshake and a smile.

Do you have any examples of a bad interview?
I was very nervous during the first interview I ever had, and this came across in my answers. I recommend practising your interview skills with someone else beforehand to prepare.

Do you have a pet peeve?
Lateness. We advise candidates to arrive at least 10 minutes before their interview time which gives them a chance to look around the salon and speak to the team.

This article originally appeared in the January issue of Hairdressers Journal.

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