How to Pass a Hairdressing Job Interview (2)

Hair stylist who loves her job
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Styling your hair for an interview is just as important. If you don't style your hair, not only are you missing out on an opportunity to show off your creativity, imagination, and skills, but you're also not conveying your passion for styling hair. You are your own walking advertisement. Avoid styles that lack creativity such as ponytails and plain buns.
Statistically speaking, it doesn't matter in the hiring process if you have luscious long hair or a short pixie cut. What matters is that you have your hair styled and that it shows a level of creativity. Your portfolio will show your work and all of the other skills that you have and hairstyles you have created.
Keep your makeup neutral and light, and limit your accessories to one per area. This means one necklace, one ring on each hand, and one earring in each ear. You will have plenty of time to wear bolder colors and more accessories, but the interview is not the time to do so.
Keep it friendly:
In large salons, it is rarely the owner who conducts the interviews. They usually have managers that do that. Remember that once the interview is over and you are gone, the owner or manager (perhaps both) will likely make some inquiries to the other stylists. If they do, they will most certainly ask what they thought of you. You want to make sure that you greet the potential coworkers with a warm smile and are friendly in any light conversation that may take place with them. More than likely, you will be greeted by a stylist or receptionist as soon as you walk into the salon, so be sure to make that moment count.
Now that we have covered what you should do, let's discuss some of the don'ts.
Do not bring your purse and cell phone to the interview with you. Your hands will already be full with your portfolio, and you will need a free hand to give a proper handshake. If you must bring your cell phone, make sure to silence it.
Do not loiter in the lobby on your cell phone. With today's generation of smartphones, people seem to always be on their phones, and you do not want to give that impression to your potential employer.
Do not wear anything too flashy, too short, or too tight. You want your professionalism and skill set to be on display, not your attire or physical attributes.
Do not exaggerate your skill set (they will find out as soon as you start to work). Instead, be open and honest about what you can do and what you will learn to do. They will appreciate your candidness and enthusiasm and willingness to take on and learn new skills. You might mention that you are willing to come in on your own time to observe more experienced stylists to learn new skills.
Hair stylist with her own hair in a pixie cut
Photo: Bigstock
We want to leave you with a quick recap of how to make things go smoothly:
- Research what kind of salon you are interviewing at (upscale, mom-and-pop, chain). Take note of what kind of clients they cater to. Note what kind of services they offer and compare what skills you have to offer to the services offered, so that you can properly answer any questions the interviewer might have about your compatibility with the salon.
- Make sure to arrive 10 minutes early (the day before, map out how to get to the salon) and take traffic, stops for coffee, or gas into account.
- Select a professional ensemble. Make sure to pay attention to the details of the outfit. Is it too tight or just right? Get a second opinion on the outfit. Make sure that shoes and nails are polished. Limit accessories (earrings, necklaces, rings). Remember it is easy to underdress and over-dressing for an interview is practically unheard of.
- Greet with a smile, handshake, and introduce yourself and why you are there. Once the interviewers arrive, shake their hands and give them a friendly, "Nice to meet you."
- Remember to be honest about your skill set and tell them why you are a good employee. Remind them that you are eager, passionate, and excited to be working with them. Passion goes a long way.
- Save any questions that you might have for the salon (you should always have at least one) until the very end. They are interviewing you; you are not interviewing them.
- In the end, shake hands again and say, "Thank you for the opportunity to interview and for your time."
If you do strategic research on the salon (find out what their vibe is, who they cater to, what services they offer) and have a well-developed portfolio to showcase, you will be halfway there. Now, if you show up to the interview wearing a professional outfit (such as a suit or conservative dress) and bring with you a warm smile, firm handshake, and enthusiasm for the industry, there is no reason why the job can't be yours for the taking!