You’ve worked hard and are ready to graduate and find your first salon. Congratulations! Learn how
to take the steps to turn that interview with your dream employer into your dream job with tips
from salon owners.

Getting an interview…

  • Research the salon. Salon owners are impressed by the stylists who do their research know
    something about us.
  • Go to the salon dressed and looking your absolute best.
  • Ask for the owner or manager by name if possible
  • Have your resume in hand, introduce yourself and state your interest
  • Ask for an interview
  • Spell check your resume. Nothing says “ I don’t pay attention to details” like a resume with
    misspelled words
  • If you call the salon, act like the professional you are with everyone you speak with on the
    phone. Quite a few people treat the front desk staff with a lack of respect, but are on their best
    behavior when they speak with the owner or manager. Remember, the first person to answer the phone
    just may be the person you will end up interviewing with.

Before the interview…

  • Call to confirm the interview time the day before the interview
  • Have a copy of your resume and the completed application (typed whenever possible) to bring with
  • Dress appropriately. Sandals, Capri pants, jeans, and t-shirts do not make a good impression
  • Do not wear perfume or cologne, as many people are scent sensitive
  • You’re in the beauty industry, so make sure you look like it (I had more than one person show
    up with their hair in a messy pony tail and no makeup)

During the interview…

  • Smile! Relax and be yourself.
  • Introduce yourself and tell a little about yourself-your interests in the cosmetology field and
    what led you to apply at this particular place.
  • Answer all interview questions truthfully and with the most poise and professionalism possible.
  • No gum chewing.
  • Speak clearly and use proper grammar.
  • Make a conscious effort to leave your nail biting habit at home and slouching doesn’t make the
    best impression either.
  • I just want to like you. I want to know you as a person and I want you to be genuine. I will
    most likely hire the student that’s nervous, honest and kind rather than the one that comes in
    overly confident.

After the interview…

  • Email the salon the following day, thanking them for their valuable time and mention what you
    observed that day, whether it be the ambience of the salon, the team members, and mention that you
    look forward to hearing from them.
  • An email is a great quick way to follow-up, but really impress the salon with a hand-written
    thank you note, that references something you discussed during the interview or that you really
    like about the salon.
  • Follow up with a phone call. One a week is not out of bounds however, don’t call 2-3 times a day
    every day.

When you have the job …

  • Show up on time (find out what on-time means to your employer)
  • Come prepared for your first day with all tools necessary
  • Always dress in a professional manner-find out what your salon’s dress code is
  • Make-up, if you wear it, should be applied tastefully and should always be applied BEFORE you
    enter your workplace
  • Your hair should be styled BEFORE you enter your workplace
  • Always look for opportunities to pitch in
  • Ask questions
  • LEARN: Show that you are interested in learning and are an active participant in wanting to be
    the very best you can be
  • Follow through on everything you said you would do during the interview and make sure you are
    who you say you are. Don’t tell us you can complete a full set of hair extensions in 2 hours if
    you know it takes you 4 hours.
  • Try and make a commitment to stay out of the backroom for your first 6 months other than to
    fold towels and eat lunch. There is nothing to learn back there. The successful people stay on the
    floor or help behind the desk when they have downtime.
  • You will get extra points however for cleaning out the refrigerator once in awhile.
  • Most importantly, go to your owner or manager when something feels bad. You are important and we
    want to help you so don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Special Thanks to the PBA Members who contributed to putting together these interview tips:

Antoinette M. Jaycox & Robin R. Corey | JaCar Beauty Lounge | Gilbert, AZ

Carole LaBute | The Mane Connection | Northville, MI

Jeanne Lennon | Lennonheads Salon and Spa| Worthington, OH

Jan Seybold | Carenza Color.Cutting.Experience | Brookfield, WI

Sondra Thrasher | Appearances Hair Color & Design Studio | Westminster, CO

Keith Williams | Keith Kristofer Salon and Spa | Austin, TX

Jill Wiltberger | Perfections Salon | Cincinnati, OH