Here are my 5 best interview techniques when choosing a barber/beauty shop to work in!

You’ve just finished your beauty/barber school training now there will be a state board exam to pass, and from there you will be looking for employment. I want to share my 5 best interview techniques when choosing a Barber/beauty shop to work in! If you’re anything like I was you may be asking yourself will “this shop” help me thrive or will it leave me stagnant. Just because you are brand new to the field doesn’t mean you have to settle for what ever comes first. You have a choice to ensure you get your career off to the proper start. Sure a job was offered to you, but it doesn’t make it a fit for you to work. Before saying yes/no, I recommend using a checklist to find out what shop you should choose or accept to work in. First you should investigate the reputation, Ask questions about the vision, Communicate properly, Dress appropriate, and lastly Scout the business. Using these 5 techniques will help you make your decision, and ease your nerves before meeting with your potential future employer. These are techniques that I am sharing with you based on my own experiences, and what I look for when I am hiring a new individual for my shop. You can test out these techniques before even graduating from hair school to get comfortable with the process. Leave a comment below or share with a barber/beauty school graduate to help them on their way to finding a place to start a prosperous career.

Investigate

This can be vital when going for work as a pro because you need Intel to use as leverage. You’ll need to have information before the meeting to find out how transparent your potential shop is. If you know the answer before asking it will be a lot easier to spot an untruthful owner from an honorable owner.

With today s advancement in technology there should be no surprises when going for an interview. Doing a quick Google search you will be able to get information on the type of establishment you are entering. What kind of reviews are they getting? Pay close attention to the bad reviews, this is where you will find out the integrity of the owner/manager or whoever is in charge of public relations.

How well do they respond to critiques? A negative review should be addressed with concern to make the situation right giving the customer a satisfying experience even if they weren’t pleased with services.

Does this shop specialize in certain services? Do they educate employees? Do they have a heavy online presence where new clients can reach out for services?

Let’s just say for some reason this shop has no Online presence, and a google search brings up nothing. You may not be entering a progressive business where there may not be any room for growth leaving you with a career that will not flourish. This is not always the case so we can’t judge alone on online presence so there must be another form of research used to reveal the truth.

The best way is to scout the business which I will explain later in the article so you’d want to stick around and read my thoughts on how to perform this step.

Ask questions

Meeting face to face with shop owner/manager can be intimidating for a newbie because you don’t know what to expect. To break up those nerves it’s best to gain a feel of some sort of control. This can be done by asking simple questions to make small talk “how long have you been in the industry?” or “What is your least favorite service to do?”

These questions are all industry related and show your interest in getting to know your employer. Just keep these filler questions to a minimum as you don’t want to come off nosy. It never hurts to break up the discomfort (if any) with questions or statements, This shows personality. Just be sure never to ask personal questions unless you are asked personal questions first.

Maybe during your investigation you found out the shop does an annual breast cancer event. This information can be used to compliment the gesture giving yourself some brownie points to show the attention you have given the shop before even beginning a shift.

Save any work related questions for when they ask “is there any questions or concerns?” at the end of the interview. Here is where you can ask about time off, call out procedures, and compensation plans. Keep in mind that you should be interviewing the shop just as much as they are interviewing you.

Be Open

Honesty is always the best option when making first impressions. This is the time to put it all on the line about your shortcomings, or anything else that would be better known upfront. Childcare issues on a Wednesday, you’re monthly doctor check ups to control an ailment, or you have a hard time with wet shaving/blow-drying. It’s better to be known up front rather than later when put on the spot to perform, and you definitely don’t want to spring on your new job any issues with babysitting during your first 90 days of employment.

There is nothing worse than someone does a job when they have no idea what they are doing, or unable to properly get the job done. However, it is better to be open about becoming better at whatever it is you may fall short in. Be open for further training in the areas you may need work in, and I’m sure the person you are being interviewed by will find you more valuable.

Dress proper

This should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyways. First impressions cannot be made twice so make your first impression your best impression! What I mean by that is simple. During your investigation you should have discovered what type of shop environment you will be heading into.

Laid back shops usually allow a more casual look where you will not want to overdress giving an impression of being too fancy for the shop. For instance if the vibe is casual and you show up in a 3pc suit or 12 in stilettos you may disrupt the feel making others feel uncomfortable.

It works vice versa as well! You can’t show up in jeans and a t- shirt to a shop that requires a more strict dress code of slacks and dress shirts. Find out what you’re heading into before you go being prepared, and dressed accordingly.

Dressing neutral either way in all black or a black and white variance is usually the way to go. This shows you are willing to have the attention off of you, and ready to place sole attention on the customers.

Scout

I promised to explain this earlier and here it is, what I believe to be a very useful technique before going on an interview. The “scout” is when you visit as a customer and have a friend visit as a customer. One of you guys will complain about the service to see how well the stylist will overcome this obstacle or if assistance will be given by the manager/Sr. personell.

For instance, you can totally complain about your style not being as you wished, and how you are not satisfied with the outcome. I know this sounds quite peculiar, however it’s important to know what type of customer service is given in this shop. Not just by what they claim, but what they practice.

Do they get upset with you, and project major attitude not addressing your concerns? or does a manager or Sr. stylist come over to find a way to solve your issue to the best of their ability until you are satisfied. Keep in mind it’s just a drill so if they are genuinely trying to make an effort to satisfy you just give them some slack.

It doesn’t end just there because now there is what I call the aftermath.

Your friend will come in after you to have a service done or vice versa just to see if there will be any gossip about the client who had a complaint about his/her head. Does the head barber keep the other barbers in line while the shop still has patrons or does he join in on the verbal assaults?

Will the Master stylist have a lot to say about not being able to please such a picky client or does she use that moment to teach her colleagues how to approach the next obstacle that may arise? Now that you know the nature of the working environment you can decide if it’s a possibility to begin your career here or keep looking for the right shop to work in.

Are you ready to interview?

Giving these tips the only thing left to do now is go out and start interviewing, and looking for the proper place to begin servicing the public with your creative skills. There are many types of shops to work in, and if you need some ideas on what they are you can take a look at my article asking What type of shop do you work in? Here is where I categorize the different shops out there, and what they are about. Searching for work in this field does not have to be a worrisome task if you just use my 5 best interview techniques when choosing a beauty/barber shop to work in. Be confident, Be positive, Be professional, and start your career in the right direction.

Til next time!

Shannon Kamal

Any concerns or questions? leave a comment and let’s talk about it!

4 Replies

  • Hello ShannonKamal,
    What a great article! I found the steps you describe are very valuable for the market you are sharing about. I also see how these five steps can be used for any occupation. As I continued to read I instantly thought of how each step can be used for another occupation that I have been in or want to be in. The reading was easy to follow and drew my attention to focus.
    The idea of having a friend go in as a guest to receive services, and report back to you is what i would do as well. We often take reviews of restaurants, movies, etc from our friends and family therefore this would be the same.
    Wonderful job on the article, i wish you continued success

    • thank you for finding interest in the article! Any industry this can work for as the customer service industry Is on a very broad scale. 

      Thanks again

      Shannon kamal

  • Thanks for letting me know that you should meet face to face with a barbershop owner and ask some simple questions to show interest and get a feel for their personality. My husband and I just moved into a new area, and we need to find a barbershop for him to go to because he’s looking really shaggy. I’m sure he would like to find a place where he can keep going regularly to, so I’ll try and find an owner who is amiable when answering questions so they can build a good relationship.

    • Well this article is for those looking to work in a Shop. If you’re looking to find a barbershop to make your own I would suggest just to keep trying until you find the shop that suits his personality best. Sometimes barbers can lead a potential client on with conversation but fail to back up the talk with a satisfying service.

      However I wish your husband the best of luck finding a shop to attend on a regular. Maybe I can send you a referral if you don’t mind telling me your location. I may know a barber in the area.

      Thanks for sharing

      Shannon Kamal

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