Do you ever get nervous for your interviews? Good! Being nervous means you care about how you’ll do which is first step when it comes to starting something new. In this article, you will learn not only how to work through those nerves but also how to nail your next interview!
A job interview is much like a first date. While it’s nerve-wracking and unlikely to go exactly as planned, it’s also your only chance to make a good impression. Fortunately, your education at Creative Images Institute of Cosmetology has provided you with the technical skills necessary to succeed in a hairstylist, esthetician or nail technician job. Now you just need to present your best professional self to land that position. Take note of these do’s and don’ts and you’ll have a new cosmetology job before you know it.
1. Do learn everything you can about the salon or spa before your interview. Whether you look the company up online through Google, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, check it out in person, or call the front desk for information, thorough research into the salon or spa you’re considering can help you decide if it’s really a place you want to work. You can also use what you learn during the research process to impress the interviewer with your knowledge of the company.
2. Do dress appropriately. While the beauty industry is a creative one, and dress code often varies by location, the outfit you choose to wear to your interview should demonstrate your respect for the opportunity. Did you happen to see any pictures of current salon or spa employees while doing your research? If so, those images can give you clues on how to dress. In general, it’s wise to avoid anything too tight, short or low-cut. If in doubt, ‘business casual’ is usually a safe option.
3. Do arrive on time. If you’re late to the interview, the salon or spa owner may assume you’ll be late to work as well. Not sure how long it will take you to drive there? Do a test run a day or two before the interview and plan your travel time accordingly. That said, you don’t want to arrive too early, either. If you get to the location more than 10 minutes before your interview is scheduled to begin, wait in your car to avoid making anyone feel rushed.
4. Do ask thoughtful questions. Yes, the interview is an opportunity for the salon or spa owner to learn more about you. But it’s also a chance for you to get details about the job that you couldn’t find online. Some of this information may even help you decide whether or not to take the job should you get an offer. Good questions to consider include:
• “What traits do your most successful employees share?”
• “How do you define success?”
• “How long do your employees work for you on average?”
• “Why did your last hairstylist/esthetician/nail tech leave the position?”
• “How would you describe a typical day in this role?”
5. Do follow up after your interview. To this day, nothing beats an old-fashioned, handwritten thank you note. Mail one as soon as possible, but don’t hesitate to follow up by email a day or two after your interview as well. Just thank the salon or spa owner for his/her time, reiterate the reasons you’d love to work there, and ask if there is any additional information you can provide to help with the hiring decision.
6. Don’t give in to nerves. Even if this is your very first salon or spa job, you need to project an aura of confidence if you want to make a good impression. Avoiding fidgeting (such as tapping your foot or twirling your hair) during the interview. Sit up straight, but don’t sit too stiffly. Keep your arms loose and relaxed rather than crossed. The right body language can go a long way towards convincing your interviewer of your professionalism.
7. Don’t forget to practice answers to difficult interview questions. To avoid rambling and keep your answers clear and succinct, it can be helpful to practice your responses in advance. Recruit a friend to help you polish your answers to common questions such as:
• “What can you tell me about yourself?”
• “Why should we hire you?”
• “Why did you leave your previous employer?”
• “What are your greatest strengths/ weaknesses?”
• “What are your goals for the next five years?”
You want your answers to show that you are honest, self-aware and passionate about the beauty industry. And you want to avoid distracting fillers such as “um,” “so,” “like” and “you know” in your responses.
8. Don’t speak poorly about previous employers or coworkers. It’s very likely that you’ll be asked why you left your last job, even if it wasn’t in the beauty industry. Even if you gave notice because every second of every day there was a nightmare of epic proportions, avoid saying this in your interview. You might also want to remove any negative comments of that sort from your public social media profiles, if you haven’t already done so.
9. Don’t ask about pay or benefits until you’ve been offered the job. Employers want beauty industry professionals who want to work at what they love, not just for a paycheck. You’ll have plenty of time to negotiate your wages and benefits after you’ve received an offer. In the meantime, however, it is acceptable to ask about the schedule and other logistics. After all, there’s no point in accepting a position with days or hours that ultimately won’t fit with your other commitments.
10. Don’t turn into a pest. Salon and spa owners are busy. Even if they’re eager to fill an available position, it can take awhile for them to make an employment decision. While reasonable follow up shows you’re proactive, professional and passionate about the opportunity, repeated phone calls and dozens of emails will cause nothing but annoyance. Remember: desperation is never attractive whether on a first date or during your job search.
By Angela Rose for Creative Images Institute of Cosmetology