How to Bag Your Dream Salon Job in Six Easy Steps
Tito Nath is a lawyer and business consultant who has specialised in the hair and beauty sector for 30 years. Here he shares six salon interview tips to try next time you’re up for a new role.
1. Fail to prepare and prepare to fail
Check exactly where your interview will be held – will it be at head office or at the salon? Plan the journey and give yourself adequate time to get there, including a margin for unforeseen delays.
Make sure you arrive ten minutes before the start so that you are calm and composed. Don’t be late, as this sends a message that you’re unreliable and will dramatically reduce your chances of a job offer.
Make sure that you take the contact details of the interviewer with you, including their telephone number, so you can get in touch if you are unexpectedly held up.
2. Think about how you look
Dressing for success very much depends on the salon you are applying to. The key is to look fashionable yet professional and give the impression that you’ll fit in at the salon.
Working in the hair and beauty industry, it’s crucially important that you project the right image. You are the interface between the brand and the customer, so your appearance will be key in the evaluation process.
Demonstrate attention to detail with your clothes, hair, nails, shoes and appropriate makeup.
3. Research the company
If you rock up to an interview with only the tiniest knowledge of the company, they are not going to be impressed. Swot up on the organisation, research their website, the services they specialise in, and get clued up on hair and beauty trends in general.
Try and get a real sense of the salon’s culture and values through their website and social media, as well as the salon itself. It’ll really demonstrate your enthusiasm and passion for the role and to work to work for that organisation.
4. Rehearse questions
One of the qualities that a salon owner will be looking for is good communication skills. Research some of the questions commonly asked at interviews – such as ‘tell me why you have applied for this job’ then stage a practice interview with a family member or friend.
Make a list of your interests and specialities, and strengths and weakness, then come up with accompanying examples or evidence to back up each one.
5. Get a grip on interview nerves
Being prepared should assist in dispelling any nerves, but if you find yourself feeling shaky, try taking slow deep breaths and slowing down your speech.
Most interviews are more like a formal conversation then an interrogation, so do ask an interviewer to repeat a question and say if you need to take a few moments to think before replying to a question.
Be aware of your body language. Try and make eye contact with the interviewer when you talk to them and make sure your arms are uncrossed, your shoulders are back and you are sitting up. Slouching with your arms crossed won’t exactly make you look like a model employee. Perhaps most importantly, remember to smile.
6. Have questions ready
Asking questions shows that you are genuinely interested in the role.
Often at the end of interviews, interviewers like to say: “Do you have any questions?” What they actually mean is, “ask us an intelligent question”.
It’s easy to get caught out, so prepare some questions in advance. Safe questions will relate to the apprenticeship or the role in question – e.g. how much time will I spend training? What opportunities are there for growth within the salon?
You might also want to bring copies of your CV, certificates of courses and training and – most importantly – a portfolio (digital or printed) of hairstyles you have created demonstrating initiative and a genuine passion for hairdressing.
Tito Nath is a lawyer and business consultant, who has specialised in the hair and beauty sector for 30 years. He works with salon owners and managers to optimise salon performance, develop their team or simply assist in the day to day running of the salon. Get in touch with him at firstname.lastname@example.org