An Employers Guide to the Interview Process

A recommended process is to conduct a first interview to get to know them, discuss their CV and get a feel for whether they are the right person for the job.

If you are happy with their 'fit' then proceed with the second interview.  The second interview is designed to determine their skill and motivation levels.  Ideally this interview should get the candidate 'in situ' so that you can assess their ability in the job. 

For example, you may ask them to prepare a brief presentation outlining their recommendations and ideas of how they would conduct the role. 

The final stage of the interview process is a trade test.  This is usually combined with the second interview to avoid unnecessary time delays.  The trade test is a practical assessment of a candidate's ability to do the job. 

First Interview Questions

Ice breakers

Q. Did you find us OK?

Q. How long did it take to get here?

Q. What was your experience on entering reception?

Previous work history

Q. Which companies have they worked for?

Q. What did they enjoy about their previous roles and why?

Q.  What did they least enjoy and why?

Q. What would their previous employers say about them?

Q. How long had they been considering leaving before they finally resigned?

Q. Why did they leave?

Their knowledge of your role / company

Q. What do they know about your company?

Q. What do they know about the role they are applying for?

Q. Why do they want the job?

Their skills and competencies

Q. What are their 3 main strengths?

Q. How confident are they in¦?(whatever your job requires them to be confident in)

Give an example of a difficult situation they had to handle.

Q. What areas would they like further development in?

Q. What are they most proud of?

Give an example when they have had to perform under pressure

Q. What training courses have they attended?


Q. What 5 words most describe you?

Q. What makes you happy?

Q. What makes you angry?

Q. How would your best friend describe you?

Q. What is the most daring / exciting / challenging thing you have ever done?

Q. What do you do in your spare time?

Motivation and career aspirations

Q. What motivates you within your job?

Q. When have you felt highly motivated within your job?

Q. What de-motivates you? Give an example of a time when you have felt de-motivated.

Q. What are the 3 most important things to you within your job?

Q. What are your career aspirations?

Q. Where would you like to be in 3 years time?

Q. Why do they want to leave their current role?

Counter offers

Q. What is your reason for wanting to leave your current employment (dig deep, and¦.)?

Q. What would your current employer need to do to keep you?

Q. What other irons do you have in the fire?


Q. What package are you seeking?

Q.  What is your notice period?

Q.  What is your sickness record in the last 12 months?

Q.  Do you drive/ have own transport?

Are they the RIGHT person for the job?

Q. Why should you choose them ahead of other candidates?

Q. Why do they think they are suitable for the job?

Q.  How long would they anticipate being in the job?

Second Interview

Give your candidate the opportunity to ask questions and speak to members of the team they would be working with. 

Suggestions for 'projects' to give to your candidate to prepare for the second meeting:

  •  'Mystery Shop' the salon / spa and write a brief report on your findings
  • Prepare a 5 minute presentation on a topic of your choice
  • Put together a mini presentation on why you are best person for the job
  • Prepare a 5 minute presentation on your ideas for great customer service

Trade Test Guidelines

Give clear instructions prior to the trade test ie; what to wear, what treatments they will be doing, what products they will be using

Before starting the trade test, make your candidate feels comfortable in their new environment and orientate them so they are clear on where everything is.

Set a time frame.  A trade test doesn't need to take hours.  A 10 minute facial or back massage plus a one leg wax and a one-hand nail paint can all be done within an hour.

Things to check during a trade test

  • Check contra indications or problem areas
  • Customer service
  • Pressure
  • Technique
  • General feeling / emotion
  • After care / home care advice including product recommendation
  • Tidiness / efficiency

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