Land That Job! Tips for Interviewing at a Salon

Tips to Remember When Interviewing at a Salon

You did it! You completed cosmetology school! You’re ready to take on the world – to cut, color and style your way to the top. But first, you’ll need a job. Interviewing as a stylist may seem intimidating, but if you’re prepared and you follow interview etiquette, it’s not as scary as it sounds. As you begin your career in cosmetology, keep these tips in mind during your introductory salon interviews. You’ll be ready for whatever your interviewer throws at you.

salon interview
photo by markus spiske

1) Before your interview, do your homework. As you put together your resume and cover letter, target it towards the salon you’re interested in. Know what beauty products the salon uses, what they sell as retail, if they offer any specialties and other facts about your potential employer. Your interviewer will likely ask what you know about their salon, and you should be ready with a response.

2) Dress for the job you want. In the cosmetology industry, you can probably guess what the stylists at any give salon wear without even entering the building – black. However, it is still important to note how the stylists dress so you can dress in a similar fashion. Even if the stylists are casual, you should still wear a dress, skirt or suit for your interview. It is always best to be overdressed than under. Because you want to work in the beauty industry, it is important that your hair is done, you’re wearing makeup (if applicable), and you’re clothes are fresh and wrinkle-free. Dark colors are always appropriate for an interview, no matter where it is, and keep your interview attire on the conservative side. Again, it’s better to err on the side of caution than throw away your chance at an amazing career because you didn’t dress for the part.

3) Bring your resume and portfolio (if you have a portfolio). Your resume should be around one page. Try to fit everything on one page, but if you need two, make sure the second page is also filled. A two-page resume with only a few lines at the top of the second page looks sloppy. If your interviewer does not have a copy of your resume in front of them when the interview begins, you’ll look prepared and ready to go when you hand them one. If you have a printed portfolio of your work, keep it in a high-quality album. If you take pride in your work, you should take pride in how it is presented. Why bring photos of your work if you will have to undergo a technical interview that shows your skills? A book of your work allows you to show your range and gives you the opportunity to explain each experience.

4) Know what your goals are and what you’d like to accomplish at the salon. A common interview question is “where do you see yourself in five years?” Do you have an answer? Interviewers want to make sure you have ambitions because you’ll work hard to achieve them. You should also have an expectation of what you can accomplish at that salon. What can you bring to the business that they don’t already have? This is a chance to show your value!

5) Say thank-you. After your interview, send a thank-you note in the mail, type out an email or give your interviewer a phone call. Send the email or call within 24 hours of your interview. Dave Hagemeier from Signature Two says that this shows the genuine kindness of a person. It’s easy to fake nice during an interview, but take a few moments to sincerly thank your interview, and that kindess will go a long way.

These quick reminders should help you feel confident going into your next interview. Once you land the introductory interivew, you’ll be able to show off the skills you gained at our beauty schools in the technical interview. If you’re looking for more interview tips, check out these resources:

Prepare for an Interview at a Salon

Interview Questions to Ask a Beauty Salon Manager

What to Expect When Interview at a Salon