What to Wear for a Salon Interview
So your portfolio looks great, your blow-drying skills are second to none and the interview date is in the diary – now, what are you going to wear?
We spoke to style consultant Michelle Blake for her advice on what to wear for a salon interview to guarantee a good impression.
What are the golden rules for making a good impression at an interview?
First impressions are extremely important. In the hair industry, it goes without saying that there will be high expectations with your own hair. This should be freshly washed, styled and cut and coloured well.
People make up their minds very quickly – they say within the first 60 seconds – so it is a good idea to pause just before you sit down then smile and make sure that you make good eye contact to engage with your interviewer. Non-verbal communication accounts for 70% of communication, so remember to smile when you speak and display open body language. Ask relevant questions; be animated, open, warm and friendly.
Are there any definite do’s and don’t’s in terms of outfits?
Show respect for your future employer and remember to dress accordingly to fit with their brand and expectations. Too much flesh on show is always a definite no. You will be working in an artistic and creative world and clients will take inspiration from what staff wear, so bear in mind that you are on display and there to inspire. Your nails should be completely perfect or not at all, nothing in between.
Should I research the business I’m applying to and dress accordingly, or is smart always the way to go?
Yes, definitely research your prospective employer. It is always better to be an informed candidate then know nothing about them. If you are successful you will represent the company and the industry. Most salons will have worked on their brand and image and will want you to be a reflection of that.
Are there any colours that I should avoid?
Although the majority of salons use black as the colour of choice for their uniforms, this can be incredibly draining on some skin tones. Therefore I advise individuals to personalise this in some way to reflect their personality and enhance their skin tone and eye colour. This can be in the form of an accent colour in an accessory of your choice.
Is it OK to show off tattoos and piercings or should I keep them covered?
In some salons, particularly upbeat and trendy ones, it may be appropriate to display piercings and tattoos. However, it is generally better to stay slightly safe and be discreet about displaying them at interviews.
Any advice on what to wear if I’m going to have to do a practical hair test at my interview?
Remember clothes reflect the way we feel. We are in the hair and image industry, a creative art environment, where self-expression is acceptable, unlike industries such as finance, where dress and image is expected to be conservative.
Michelle is an expert colour and style consultant, specialising in hair colour consultation. She has been involved in the hair industry for 30 years, firstly as a hairdresser and then as a L’Oréal Professionnel technician. For the last 20 years Michelle has run the successful MB Colour and Style Consultancy, while still continuing to work with L’Oreal Professionnel as a consultant.
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