How to prepare for an interview at a barbershop or salon

Are you gearing up to nail that new job? Weather you are interviewing in person or online, here’s 7 tips to impress at your next salon or barber interview:

1. Resume

Whether you are handing in a copy of your resume or emailing it, here’s a great TIP: highlight your skills in a section with bullets, outlining your specialties, such as, “specialized in ethnic hair” or “expert colorist” or “fade design master.” Not only will this be a quick read for the interviewer, but it will also help you prepare to talk about your key highlights when presenting yourself.

2. Portfolio

Whether you are showcasing your body of work in a physical book or digitally on instagram, make sure you have selected a variety of photos to represent your work. Oftentimes, as an artist you may want your favorites, or want to show it all, remember to edit. Have a friend review it, and provide objective feedback. Aim to present a wide range of skills that fully represents your skills and areas of expertise.

TIP: establishing a social media presence early on, even while you are training will help you gain some points too. Having followers and supporters shows you are credible and you could bring clientele through their doors too.

3. Attire and appearance

This is a field where you can not only get away with casual interview attire, but also show off some of your style, after all, you are a stylist! Your appearance is the first impression, so use this opportunity to cleverly display your creativity in a casual but professional way.

Wearing a cool shirt under a blazer with jeans or tights for example, with some comfy but fashionable shoes/boots. If you are accessorizing, make sure it’s subtle and doesn’t distract from eye contact, and avoid strong fragrances (could be irritating to clients).

4. Being questioned

As a stylist, you have to be great at customer service, so many of the standard questions will most likely be about that. In addition to, why you want to work there, where you see yourself in the future, what are your strengths and weaknesses, etc.

Being a licensed barber stylist will always give you a leg up, but there are other things that can set you apart, such as, did you win a competition? Were you featured somewhere? Or are there reviews somewhere you can show off? Even if you don’t have a lot of experience, these little things can show great work ethic and that you are eager to learn more.

5. Be Demo ready

Be prepared to wield your tools! Most salon/barber shops will require you to show your skills, also known as an audition or trade test, performed on a model or a mannequin. Plan to demonstrate a style or cut that exhibits your knowledge and skill, without over challenging yourself and taking up a lot of time. You can always show more upon request.

TIP: research industry techniques and product and style trends to plug into conversations and answers. This will show that you are on top of your game!

6. Asking questions

Don’t be afraid to ask questions! This is an environment where you will spend a lot of your time and it’s important you feel comfortable. Some questions to ask are: do you offer continued education or workshops? What type of room for advancement is there? How many hours can they guarantee?
This is also an opportunity for you to prove that you did your research on them, so reference what you have learned about them in your questions, this will show you have genuine interest.

7. Be yourself

Some people can really lock up in an interview due to nerves. It happens, but remember by presenting your true self, you will be able to gauge if this shop is the right fit for you. Practice in the mirror or with a friend, believe in your current self and your potential for great things!

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