Beauty Employers

Five Interview Questions to Ask Your Next Hair Stylist

Finding a hair stylist who is talented and you trust enough to cut your hair is no simple feat. Just ask any person who has suffered a bad haircut. The good news, however, is that once you find a stylist you like, you’ll remain loyal to them for life. It’s a win-win-win situation for you, the stylist, and your salon.

Which means, as a salon owner, your No.1 priority should be to hire the best stylists for your business. While talent is crucial, there are still a number of other qualities you should consider before recruiting a new stylist to your team. Below are five questions that will help you determine which stylist candidates should make the cut.


1. Explain brief work stints.

Did you know that the salon industry sees about 40% turnover every year? If you’re not careful, you could find yourself trapped in a perpetual state of hiring new stylists or scrambling to fill booths, losing clients and revenue along the way. This is why employee retention is just as important as client retention. If a customer’s favorite stylist leaves, you can bet that customer won’t be too far behind.

During the hiring process, dig into your candidate’s previous experience and be aware of extremely brief stints in salons. Dig into why they left those jobs and why they are drawn to your salon.


2. Can you sell?

While your stylist’s primary job is to give her client a fantastic haircut or color job, it doesn’t hurt if she can also sell products. Experts advise salons should aim to earn 20% of revenue from product sales — that means that someone needs to be marketing the goods. Who does a client trust more than her stylist?

Find out if they have previous experience selling or recommending salon products and if they would be comfortable doing so. If a stylist refuses to endorse your products or isn’t willing to try to them out, this could reflect poorly on your salon.


3. Can you work Saturdays?

Depending on your perspective, a flexible schedule can be a blessing or a curse. In the salon industry, the busiest day of the week is Saturday, not to mention, appointments can occur in the evening or be scheduled last minute, so your new stylist should be comfortable with inconsistent and/or non-traditional work hours.

Before hiring, it’s important to discuss both the salon and your potential hire’s ideal work schedules and make sure you are able to accommodate both parties’ needs.


4. How will you make this salon better?

The best way to find out if your potential hire understands your salon culture and mission is to ask them how they might contribute to it. Ask them about their strengths and what makes them the ideal candidate. This answer should go beyond “giving a good haircut.”


5. Are you open to feedback?

It’s one thing to have a natural talent for cutting and coloring, it’s another talent to deal with criticism. Be aware of hiring someone who is sensitive to negative feedback. As part of the interview, discuss how they might handle irate or unsatisfied customers and ask them about challenging customer experiences they have had to resolve in the past. And, when interviewing references, be sure to delve into the candidate’s ability to receive criticism and solve customer issues.

Once you’ve found the right hair stylist or colorist to join your team, be sure to check in regularly with them and monitor their performance — as well as their satisfaction with the job. After all, it’s just as important to your business (and bottom line) to keep your stylist as happy with you as you are with them.