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Blog > Top 10 questions to ask before hiring a salon staff member and likely answers expected

Published 27th September 2016

Being a Beautician can be said to be a psychological job because you deal with people from all walks of life, with different character and dispositions. It is hard work because it requires creativity, friendliness, good organization skills, ability to multitask, detail oriented, being diplomatic, and the highest level of professionalism. As an Interviewer you will need to find at least 90% of the above mentioned skills. It is not just a test of on the job skill but how well to handle situations, balancing all aspects of personality to ultimately fit the needs of the client and also what is best for the business. These are likely questions to ask when Hiring.

1. Tell me about yourself: Here you want to know if you are gaining an asset or liability to the business. Response gives a hint about character, resilience, temperament, beliefs and how these may affect work ethics. You want to know the individual strengths and weakness, if it is aligned with your salons. The business is about customer satisfaction and selling products.

2. What education and experience do you have in this field: Education means something entirely different in the beauty industry than in other jobs. Education as a hair stylist or beautician could be working as an apprentice under a professional who taught first hand or attending a beauty school which is a more formal form. This question addresses every form of learning in relation to the field, also any continuing education received over the years as trends come in and out of style, new techniques, styles and use of new tools. Experiences gained during the period of education such as working in an apprenticeship or in an on-campus salon. If there are lots of short time jobs and switching of careers, you need to find out why because it may mean that there is a lack of commitment to things on the applicant’s part.

3. Why did you leave your present salon and why do you want to work for us? As a Salon manager/owner you want to know why the applicant left the last place of work. When you ask this question you need to take note of what the person is not saying than what is been said, the bodily actions tend to say more than the mouth is saying. If it was due to conflict with last boss, lack of professionalism or being laid off due to incompetence, there will be a level of discomfort and decrease in confidence. In a case where it is due to the need to improve and explore other growth opportunities there will be a level of enthusiasm, a willingness to invest in your salon, readiness to learn and improve more on skills. About why your salon was chosen, you want to know what motivates; passion or paycheck? Hence the applicant should be able to tell you something about the salon history, clientele, services offered and its specialties and through this, you will get a glimpse at work values, desires, passion and if it is in line with the salon culture.

4. What challenges are you looking for in this position? When the going gets tough, the tough get going you need to know that your workers won’t bail on you, hence you need to determine how your applicant would react under pressure. The best way to ascertain this is to ask questions on difficult situation that may have been experienced and how it was sorted. You want to hear how skills and experience will be effectively utilized if hired for the job, highlighting that ability, flexibility, strong work ethic, great time management and team work skills would effectively meet challenges and lead to the smooth running and growth of the salon.

5. Explain Your Consultation Process: As a salon manager you can’t speak to every client that visits your salon hence highly good communication skills is to be assessed. Hairdresser/beautician will need to talk with your client about what sort of style they are searching for, likely questions to ask a customer, suggestions and why, how to manage a customer who disagrees with your suggestion. For Example, A situations where a lady with silky jet black Arabian type hair wants to dye her hair blond, which may not appropriate for her hair type, how will she handle it? Will she give into the customers’ whim/desire and put the reputation of your Salon at stake and hope for the best or explain the reason why it can be done politely and suggest likely styles that may appeal to her. It is ultimately the customer’s decision what she wants done to her hair but at the end of the day it is the reputation of the Salon that is at stake.

6. How Would You Handle a Dissatisfied Client? When you work in a creative profession, it can be difficult to know when a client feels you’ve failed to give them what they wanted but in some cases they speak up. How do you handle a dissatisfied customer? The answers to be expected are listed below

• Follow the salon redo policy.

• If the salon/spa currently does not have a redo policy, being diplomatic, not arguing or disagree but listen to client complaint, offer to restyle the client’s hair or offer additional services to make any changes the client requests.

• Getting a second opinion from a team member, it is a salon where team work is encouraged and sometimes a neutral party can help remedy the challenge.

• If the customer had unrealistic expectations, do whatever can be done to make them happy that day but that you would not offer any money back on the services.

• Offering a refund would be the last thing to do after exhausting all options because keeping the salon in the black is your second goal after customer satisfaction

7. What hours are you available/ How many hours a week do you expect? This is a beauty career, it requires time and effort. Salon/spas are most productive during what is considered "leisure time" for other people. This means working nights, weekends and sometimes Holidays. As a Salon manager you want someone with unlimited availability and flexibility. To avoid conflict with new hires, you need to know how late or how early your applicants can work hence someone with a lot of restraints on availability time factor can be a deal breaker.

8. Name the top three things in your styling kit that are must-haves?

9. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Hiring a new employee is an investment on the part of the salon. It takes time and money to train a new hire hence it is important to know what are the long term goal of the applicant. Stylist retention is important to owners, losing stylists sometimes means losing clients. In a way, this question is asking "Are you worth the investment?" That being said, ambition is a virtue but it shouldn’t be at the cost of your own business hence you need to analyze what you can see on the Resume with her goals and ambitions to decide and how it affects the business. It should be an overall win-win situation

10. Can you bring any clients with you from your former place of work? This is a question that determines sense of loyalty, team work and integrity, while you do know that some clients would prefer the services of a particular stylist over time, you want to know what would be the actions of that stylist when it is time to move on. Hence it is important to ensure that it is never about a stylist but the Salon, If Team work is encouraged there will be no need for clients to stick like glue to any stylist.