Top Salon Interview Questions

So you're looking for a new member of staff and you want the best person for the job: someone who will represent your business and hopefully stay with you. But how do you decide which candidates have the most potential? Here are some questions to help you decide which candidates would be best for your business.

Why do they want to work for you?

What do they know about your salon? Have they done their research? Why are they sitting in front of you right now? This is their opportunity to let you know what they like about the business and why they will be good for your salon. 

This question will also give you an insight into your salon’s reputation and how other people perceive it. Obviously as it is an interview they are more than likely going to be complimentary about it but it will allow you to find out if the main focuses of what you are trying to put out there about your business are coming across to other people.

For example if you are trying to market yourself as a nail bar or the top place to go for facials, and they are unaware you offer these treatments, then maybe you need to change your marketing strategy (and they should have definitely put more effort into their research!)

What is their favourite treatment and why?

This is a perfect opportunity for the candidate to show you their passion for their job. Hearing them talking about treatments will give you an idea of how good they are at talking to clients about treatments and promoting them. 

It will also give you a good indication as to how well they will fit in to the salon and if they themselves would enjoy the job. For example, if their favourite treatments are facials, they are absolutely passionate about skincare and this is your top treatment then fab! If they love waxing but you are more spa-based and rarely have any call for waxing treatments then it may not be for them.

What do they like about the beauty industry?

Again this is a question where they can really show their passion. Is it just a job to do to get paid or do they enjoy it and have enthusiasm for it? Remember, enthusiasm is infectious; it will come across to your clients and other staff members. If they love their job and beauty treatments this will motivate other staff and also gain you more business through upselling and promoting to clients.

What do they like and dislike about their current job?

This question will let you know what is important to your candidate within their working environment and what motivates them. They might dislike or like their current hours, colleagues, sales pressure, management etc. This will help you to decide if the job you have would suit this candidate or if they may be unhappy with some aspects of the role.

What are their targets/goals, current retail and treatment figures/wages?

Money isn't everything, however it is important to most people and is important to you as a business. Can you meet their financial expectations and will they be able to meet your goals and targets? If you know the hourly rate you can offer them is a lot lower than they are on now or if the targets they are currently working towards are much lower than yours then you need to address this. Think about whether you think this person would be willing to work for less or in the other case if they could work towards a much higher target.

What would they like to train in?

The candidate might not be currently trained in one of your popular treatments but they might be interested in it. It will also show you how keen they are to learn new things and refresh their skills. This will show you how much enthusiasm they have for the job.

What CPD have they done /plan to do?

This shows you how involved they are in the industry and if they are really immersed in it, with an interest to improve themselves as a therapist and gain more knowledge. Having knowledge of the industry is also important when talking to clients. If the therapist knows their stuff this will impress the client, giving the client reason to trust in them and take their advice and boost the reputation of the salon. 

Where would they like to be in 5 years?

This question will give you an indication of how ambitious the candidate is, how long they may stay with you and if they could potentially progress at your salon. You may be looking for someone who you would like to work their way up and eventually run the salon for you, in which case you will be looking for someone ambitious. Perhaps you’d like someone who is happy to stay at the same level and can be a reliable therapist for you for years to come. 

Perhaps you have someone that you think can learn from you, but you don’t have the room to promote them further. They may move on after some time but you are happy to teach them what you know and have them in your business for a while, despite knowing they’ll eventually move on. 

The beauty industry can be quite fast paced and you are very lucky to have a therapist that stays with you for a long time as some do move on quite quickly; even the ones who aren’t going to stay with you for years can still make a great contribution to your business.

There may be other questions that you want to include in your interview about their experience and maybe a few personal questions or practical questions, such as availability. It is a good idea to have a list of all of your questions with space to make notes on each candidate’s answers.

This way you won’t forget to ask things and you won’t forget what people said or who said what; after so many interviews it’s easy to get people mixed up! If you get some really good answers you could make notes of these and highlight or star them then when you’re looking back on your notes; it’s easy to see who said the most that impressed you. 

Hopefully after asking all of your interview questions you’ll have a few candidates in mind that stand out and will want to invite them back for a trade test. Finding someone for your business can be difficult, especially if they are replacing a very good therapist, but try not compare them to who they are replacing and don’t expect them to be perfect straight away. 

These questions are to help you find someone with potential who you think will be good for your salon and who you think will enjoy working for you. Hopefully, after asking them it will become clearer who the right person for you is.

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