Just keep it about salon life and on a professional level. Stay away from answers like, "I can't get enough of Kim Kardashian," or "Oh I love Facebook."
Instead go with, "I love everything about color! I'm always on YouTube looking for fresh new looks and trying them on my friends."
She is thinking, "That's great. I need a new stylist that wants to become a master colorist. Money, money, money."
No I don't have.
You are now a professional stylist and starting your beauty career. You know good and well you now work on weekends. Don't even try it.
Hopefully if you're applying for this position you have bags of related experience, and if that's the case you should mention it all. But if you're switching careers or trying something a little different, your experience may initially not look like it's matching up. That's when you need a little honest creativity to match the experiences required with the ones you have. People skills are people skills after all, you just need to show how customer service skills can apply to internal management positions, and so on.
This is similar to the other question about what you liked least. To use the example from the last question, go in the opposite direction of salon activities. Since you will be up and active all day you could choose a job you had where you had to sit all day. Or you could choose one that was boring and didn't engage your interest.
E.G. I once worked as a receptionist in a dental office. It was difficult for me to stay put all day because I am much happier in a fast paced environment.
Notice that I don't use strong, negative, emotional words like HATE. No matter what, keep things on a positive note.
A typical interview question to determine what you are looking for your in next job, and whether you would be a good fit for the position being hired for, is "What challenges are you looking for in a position?"
The best way to answer questions about the challenges you are seeking is to discuss how you would like to be able to effectively utilize your skills and experience if you were hired for the job.
You can also mention that you are motivated by challenges, have the ability to effectively meet challenges, and have the flexibility and skills necessary to handle a challenging job.
You can continue by describing specific examples of challenges you have met and goals you have achieved in the past.
The answer you give will reflect the lens in which you see your management. She is wondering what you consider a good boss and if your views on management are something that will make her job easier or harder.
Think carefully. Don't choose the one that let the employees get away with anything!
Choose a boss that had positive qualities and provided strong leadership.
A good answer would sound something like this: "My boss at PetSmart was the best boss I ever had. He gave us ways to develop our product knowledge and encouraged us to take on more responsibility. He was very fair and gave recognition to employees who did something outstanding. He respected the employees and we trusted him to help us if we needed it."
Oh, this is a tricky one. It's a setup. It is very easy to fall into this snare. People just wait for an opening to vent. But you now know ahead of time NOT TO DO THIS.
Instead of coming back with, "OH, I really hated my boss. He was such a pig!" you want to go to a task that is harmless to what you are trying to achieve. If you worked at Starbucks you had to clean, you had very busy times, it could be stressful, people complained, you may have had a bad co-worker, etc. But if you point any of this out in your interview it will look like a negative for YOU.
So how can you overcome this? First state the positive you took away from the job followed by something like lack of opportunity, nowhere to advance my career, my heart wasn't it because I couldn't wait to start my beauty career, or I saw myself as a stylist rather than a barista.
Know the hours of the salon before you go for the interview. The best answer is always...ANYTIME.
However, life sometimes gets in the way. My advice is to work out your issues to the best of your ability before interviewing. This can be a deal breaker.
You should know by now that you will most likely be working some nights and weekends. This is a beauty career, not a bank job.
If you have a lot of restraints on your availability it will hurt your chances of getting the job a great deal. Be as flexible as possible.
Follow these three easy research tips before your next job interview:
1) Visit the company website; look in the "about us" section and "careers" sections
2) Visit the company's LinkedIn page (note, you must have a LinkedIn account - its free to sign up) to view information about the company
3) Google a keyword search phrase like "press releases" followed by the company name; you'll find the most recent news stories shared by the company
Remember, just because you have done your "homework", it does not mean you need to share ALL of it during the interview! Reciting every fact you've learned is almost as much of a turn off as not knowing anything at all! At a minimum, you should include the following in your answer:
1. What type of product or service the company sells
2. How long the company has been in business
3. What the company culture is like OR what the company mission statement is, and how the culture and/or mission relate to your values or personality
She wants to know where your attention goes on the job. If you blurt out, "I loved the people I worked with," it would lead her to the idea that you are easy to get along with and a team player.
There is not necessarily a wrong answer here, but there could be a more helpful answer to lead the interviewer in the direction you want them to go. Zero in on the quality you would like to support. In the sample above, being a team player was reinforced. And that's a good one for a salon. If you want to show customer service is important to you maybe say something like, "I enjoyed making people smile when I gave them their morning coffee drink. I feel like I made their day!"
Choose something that translates into a beauty career. Making people smile by providing good customer service is great.
Turn a negative into a positive. Don't say anything that will throw up a red flag to the interviewer like, "I have a hard time getting places on time." If a candidate said that to me we would be done with the interview. A salon manager not only needs you at work on time but so do your clients.
Don't choose anything that could adversely affect salon life. Things like being too trusting, or being too guarded with your feelings, or taking on too much responsibility are good ones to use that won't work against you.
Whatever you choose make sure to add, "...but I'm working on it." This shows you are aware of your challenges and willing to be pro-active to improve yourself. Good for you.
Note that if you say no, most interviewers will keep drilling deeper to find a conflict. The key is how you behaviorally reacted to conflict and what you did to resolve it.
For example: "Yes, I have had conflicts in the past. Never major ones, but there have been disagreements that needed to be resolved. I've found that when conflict occurs, it helps to fully understand the other person's perspective, so I take time to listen to their point of view, and then I seek to work out a collaborative solution. For example . . ."
Focus your answer on the behavioral process for resolving the conflict and working collaboratively.
It's important here to focus on the word "implemented." There's nothing wrong with having a thousand great ideas, but if the only place they live is on your notepad what's the point? Better still, you need a good ending. If your previous company took your advice and ended up going bankrupt, that's not such a great example either. Be prepared with a story about an idea of yours that was taken from idea to implementation, and considered successful.
► What do you like and dislike about being a beautician?
► What subjects were your favorites in beauty school?
► What subjects didn't you like?
► Why are you interested in working at this salon?
► What attributes or skills can you offer this salon?
► Do you have a following of clients?
► What are some newly introduced techniques and trends in manicures, pedicures and skincare?
► How do you keep up with the latest styles and trends?
► How do you suggest treatments, cosmetics and skin therapies to your clients?
► How do you greet a client if the salon is fully booked?
► How do you decide priorities when scheduling time?
Think this through and jot down some ideas in your notebook to work out a good answer.
One more tip, keep it realistic. If you say something wild like, "I see myself owning 5 high end salons throughout Chicago and franchising them throughout the United States" when you just got out of beauty school she may think you are delusional.
But let's say that really is your goal. Bring it down a notch and show her that you have some real plans laid out. That would sound like, "I have a fabulous idea for a salon I am opening in the future. However, in the next 5 years I will be honing my skills, taking some business classes and working my way into salon management."
Bottom line, keep your goals in line with the salon and show her you are all about developing your beauty career.
They are looking for your motivation here. Are you driven by your passion? OR... Are you looking for a place to just get a paycheck? If you love your work you would be an asset to the salon. If you are just trying to find a job anywhere there is no indication to a manager that you are a good fit on her team. Show them that your values, desires, passion and the direction you intend to take your beauty career are in line with the salon culture. For example, Paige is passionate about hairstyling and updo's. Her resume will state this. Going to work in a male grooming salon would not be a good fit for her and the salon manager would recognize that Paige probably wouldn't feel fulfillment only working on men. If she were to hire Paige she knows that Paige most likely won't stay long.
Answer this question by proving you are a good fit in her salon. State what you are passionate about and where you would like to grow your skills. Acknowledge their salon culture in a positive way by giving her a compliment on an element of the salon. Then say how they are everything you want in a salon.
If you are a brand new stylist starting your beauty career the manager does not expect you to come with a clientele. However, if you are in a private salon you will be responsible for building your clientele. I hope you knew this already.
Franchise salons are mostly about walk-ins. That doesn't mean you won't have clientele. You will. A client can "request" any stylist they like. As you continue to work there you continue to gather clients that request you. That is your clientele.
Private salons do not have near as many walk-ins as franchise salons do. So if you believe that you can start at a private salon and only rely on a walk-in base to make your money you are in for a shock.
Therefore, you need to be thinking about how you are going to approach clientele building. Lucky for you I have a page to help you on building your clientele.
But for now, let's get back to the question. Hmmm, thoughts on building a clientele.
Being a team player in a salon is a strength. Everyone is there to make money, for themselves and for the salon. It takes a village. If you are highly self absorbed by nature start working on that issue. You will need help in a salon and you will be called upon to help others. So if this question is asked and you are NOT a team player, meaning you prefer to work alone, fake it.
I'm not saying lie to the interviewer but you need them to know you ARE a team player. Saying you prefer to work alone in a salon environment will disqualify you. So YES, you are a team player, and you will consciously work on it in the salon. Think of a time when you worked as a team on any project. Write it in your notebook with an example of how you helped the team, just in case you are asked for one. Your beauty career will mostly be a team sport.
There are limits to the questions that can be legally asked in a job interview. An interviewer can't ask you how many kids you have, if you have a car or any other personal questions. But that doesn't mean you should try to hide pertinent information because it will only backfire on you down the road.
You are building a relationship with a manager that you hope to work for. Don't start your beauty career off on the wrong foot. Tell her what she needs to know for the good of the salon.
The best is answer is "No mam, that would not be a problem for me. I understand that it is easy to get tied up servicing a client and there will be times I need to stay to help the salon."
This question is inevitable in almost every interview. Be sure to ask at least three sensible questions related to the job you are being interviewed for. This will show that you are actually interested in their business and that you have done your homework.
I really hope by now you grasp the concept that selling retail is in your job description.
YOU ARE A SALESPERSON AS WELL AS A STYLIST.
Now that you understand this, let's have a quick chat:
► Retail brings in a 30-45% profit margin, while salon services only 5% profit.
► Without selling a client product you are not fully servicing them.
► Selling Retail builds trust with your clients.
► Selling Retail improves client retention by 30%!
► Product use in clients makes you look like a miracle worker!
Those are the highlights. It is absolutely imperative you sell product and the manager needs to know you get it.
So your answer should assure her you understand the impact of product sales on the salon cash register and know how to do it.
I know that professional product sales are vital to the life of the salon. Without product our clients (use the word "our" to plant the seed you are a part of her team) can't recreate the awesome looks we give them in the salon. Product sales also increase client retention. I prefer the "education" method rather than hard selling. I educate throughout the service, showing them how the products benefit their specific needs.
The interviewer would want to know where your beauty career is headed and if it fits the company's vision. For instance, you could say that you want to specialize in one specific area of beauty therapy within the next two years. You could also mention your plans to take courses in order to help you achieve your goals.
► Do you think you are overqualified for this position?
► What type of work environment do you prefer?
► Who has impacted you most in your career and how?
► Have you ever had difficulty working with a manager?
► How do you handle conflict amongst coworkers?
► What would your salon colleagues say about you?
► How do you handle an unhappy customer?
► How do you react to instruction from the customer?
► When given an important assignment, how do you approach it?
► How do you deal with compromise?
► What was the most important task you've ever had?
► How do you react under pressure?
► If you were hired, how long would you plan to stay at our salon?
She needs to know your expectations. She wants someone with unlimited availability, in a perfect world. Not every salon considers 40 hours to be full time. There are some franchises that consider 30 hours full time. I know of one that doesn't want a stylist on the floor over 7 hours in a shift to keep them from burnout.
If you absolutely need full time let her know this. Or maybe you can make do with 20 hours a week until you can work your way into full time.
But if you only want 20 hours a week it is important you are up front with her. She has to consider hours to make out her schedule. Be truthful with what you need.
The work of a beautician comes with many diverse challenges. The interviewer wants to be certain that you have what it takes to handle such situations in a logical, tactful and professional way. Think of a problematic situation at your previous or current job that you resolved successfully. Describe the situation clearly, mention what you did and what the results were. Make sure that you never put a negative spin on your answer.
Hiring a new employee is an investment on the part of the salon. It takes time and money to train a new hire. Stylist retention is important to owners. Losing stylists means losing clients. In a way, this question is asking "Are you worth the investment?"
That being said, ambition is a virtue.
And again, the only wrong answer is "I don't know."
Tell her how you see your professional life growth, not personal. She doesn't want to hear how you are going to be married with a new house and 2 kids, one boy, one girl.
As for weaknesses, don't say anything that would disqualify you. For example, you could say that you are prone to taking too much responsibility or being too trusting. However, don't forget to add '…but I'm working on it' at the end of your weakness or you could just mention a weakness that you managed to overcome in the recent past. This will show that you are constantly taking steps to improve yourself.
Oh, trick question again. Remember we don't want to bash former employers. The interviewer knows if you talk bad about someone to her, then you may talk bad about her one day.
So how do we handle this one?
You could say, "I've never had a really bad boss, but I have learned some things NOT to do." This way you are not directly pointing the finger while still acknowledging you are aware not everyone is a good manager.
Or you could say, "I once had someone that was thrown into management with no experience. He wasn't ready and needed more people skills." Still not pointing a finger!
It would be ok to say criminal, unethical, anger issues, etc. Just don't name names and keep it very short without going into a story. "I once had a manager that was stealing from the company." End of story. Short, to the point and answers the question truthfully.
Think about what you are comfortable with and pick the approach you feel fits you best. I want you to be at ease in the interview.
When it comes to strengths, only mention those traits that would be useful in the beauty industry. For instance, you could say that you have a strong work ethic, superior customer care skills, excellent time management skills, the ability to work with a team and a willingness to learn.
A manager would like to see that you have thought about your future and what direction your beauty career is headed.
The only wrong answer here would be "I don't know." However, she is looking for your professional goals rather than your personal goals.
If you want to someday own a salon talk about the path you intend to take. Let her know that you desire to be in management to gain the experience.
No one expects you to have your life plan laid out already. But she would like a general idea of your direction. If you really just don't know pick the hair activity you like the most and make a tentative goal of it. For example you may like doing color. You could say, "I love doing highlights and learning coloring techniques. I plan on becoming a master colorist within the next 2 years and then see where that takes me."
This is a trick question, which should be answered with utmost care. Mention that you wouldn't think of poaching customers from former or current employers since this would not be ethical. However, you could say that since you are good at your job, your clients might just follow you out of their own volition.
You will always be faced with challenges in the work place, especially in your beauty career. A manager wants to feel comfortable that you can handle a delicate situation in a professional, tactful and logical manner.
You should show off here. Think of something that happened in a previous job where you made lemonade out of lemons. Make yourself look like the hero!
E.G. A toddler got sick in the aisle of PetSmart. The child was throwing up and crying and the mother was flustered. The mother was concerned for her child but embarrassed by the situation. I ran and got a lot of paper towels to immediately cover up the mess. I also brought a clean, damp towel for the mom to clean the baby. I stayed with them and helped mom get her child and her bag to the car easily. I then cleaned up the mess as quickly as possible. She later called the store and told my manager that she appreciated how I had helped her to her car with her sick baby and that she posted it on Facebook so others would know we had great customer service at our store.
The interviewer would want to know how much work you can get done within a specific period of time. Avoid the temptation of lying in order to impress the interviewer. Give a realistic image, which you are confident you can deliver.
Now is your chance to Shine! This is what they really want. They are saying, "PLEASE tell me what you are good at so I can hire you." So tell them!.
Tell them the strengths that will add value to their salon.
If you are a good cook, good for you, but it does nothing for the salon. Write down all of your strong qualities first, then tailor your answer to include your top 3-5.
E.G. I am a hard worker, highly efficient and am able to maintain a positive attitude. I'm also very passionate about hair and am excited to start my beauty career.
When asking this question, the interviewer would want to know your motivation for applying for the job. Don't make the mistake of mentioning your desire for higher pay. You could begin by demonstrating your understanding of the company's vision, and then show how your passion and skills would be a good fit.
She is wanting to know if what you really enjoy doing is something you will enjoy doing in the salon. If you loved being a number cruncher and sitting at a desk all day you probably won't like being a creative, stand on your feet all day hairdresser. In her eyes, maybe you are not the best suited person for her open chair.
However, if you worked at PetSmart and enjoyed running around the store and helping customers with their beloved pets the interviewer could see how those activities could easily translate into beauty career activities.
Choose a job you've had where the activities are similar to those in a salon, like, customer service, sales, being active rather than sitting, and multi-tasking.
The interviewer wants to know if you did your research about the potential employer before going for the interview. You need to demonstrate knowledge about the history of the company and its vision. Talk about the retail products and beauty brands that are used in the company. In addition, you need to show familiarity with the specialist services offered such as waxing, body scrubs, hair colouring, manicure or pedicure.
More likely than not, the interviewer wishes to see how much you know about the company culture, and whether you can identify with the organization's values and vision. Every organization has its strong points, and these are the ones that you should highlight in your answer. For example, if the company emphasizes on integrity with customers, then you mention that you would like to be in such a team because you yourself believe in integrity.
It doesn't have to be a lie. In the case that your values are not in line with the ones by the company, ask yourself if you would be happy working there. If you have no issue with that, go ahead. But if you are aware of the company culture and realize that there is some dilemma you might be facing, you ought to think twice. The best policy is to be honest with yourself, and be honest with the interviewer with what is it in the company culture that motivates you.
Boy, that's a toughie, isn't it? It would be really easy to stammer through a stupid answer in an interview. What they are really asking you is "Why is it in our best interest to have you working for us?" So tell them. An interview is no place to be shy. Tell them How you will be an asset to the salon.
E.G. Because I have a strong work ethic, I'm great at time management, I understand the importance of superior customer service and I am willing to do everything I can to help the salon and myself grow.
Sounds easy, right? This is going to blow you away. They could care less about anything personal. They are NOT asking you about where you live or if you are married or your GPA. They want to know how you can benefit their salon.
They want to know what you bring to the party. So here is what you are going to do. In your notebook write out each of these questions on a separate sheet for each. For this one you need to tell them in the shortest way possible what your USP is (your Unique Selling Point).
Paige could say something like:
"I am a very quick study and use my free time to further my skills and research hair techniques. I am great with time management, have a lot of customer service experience and a strong work ethic. I am passionate about all things "hair" but my true love is in hairstyling and updo's."
The work of a beautician is very demanding and usually requires long hours. Unlike other jobs which have fixed hours, you might find yourself having to work on some weekends or even nights. Therefore, you need to assure the interviewer that you are ready to be flexible depending on the demands of the job.