You’ve done it! You have completed school and have your Cosmetology license. You are ready to hit the ground running and join a salon where you can start working on clients and hone your skills as a hairstylist. While this is an exciting time in your career, it’s important to not only be prepared for interviews, but to also understand what you should be looking for when choosing to join a salon. We have put together a list of helpful tips for new hair stylists to consider as you prepare for your first job.
We interviewed Lisa H. and Pandee, two of our Alline Salon Group Region Leaders, who have provided helpful advice and important topics to keep in mind as you interview and eventually, select your first salon!
When interviewing with a salon, what are questions to ask that would be particularly helpful for a new stylist?
Lisa H. “You should definitely ask if the salon offers any benefits, and if so, what are they?”
Pandee “It’s important to understand the culture and environment you’ll be working in. Ask about the overall culture, and what the average turnover rate is. This will give you a good idea of the working environment, particularly if stylists leave often. You should also ask how managers demonstrate appreciation for a job well done, and how the team works together. These will be important factors in your day-to-day work.”
What are some red flags to look out for during the interview process?
Lisa H. “When you’re interviewing, be sure to notice the overall vibe of the salon. Is it a quiet place, super busy or chaotic, well-organized? How many stylists are working there? You want to make sure that the people and environment will also fit with your personality and work style.”
Pandee “Take note of how you were greeted initially by staff – was it welcoming, or negative? Another major red flag is an unkept or dirty salon atmosphere.”
What can you expect your first year (realistically) out of school and working in a new salon?
Lisa H. “You can expect to learn new techniques that you didn’t learn in school, which is always exciting! It’s important to be open to always learning, accepting feedback, and constructive criticism.”
What are a few essential things to know that school didn’t teach you/prepare you for when entering the workforce?
Lisa H. “Many stylists are unaware that they have to market themselves in order to grow their business. Also, be prepared to work weekends as that’s where the money is. And lastly, understand that there will be many personalities coming into the salon. Your job is to provide the best customer service to every guest.”
What are hiring managers looking for in new hires?
Lisa H. “We’re always looking for team players who are excited to be part of the salon’s success.”
Pandee “To echo what Lisa H. said, we are always looking for team players! Also, punctuality is very important as is having job integrity and being reliable.”
What are the main differences in working for a privately-owned salon vs. a franchisee like Alline Salon Group?
Lisa H. “A franchisee like Alline Salon Group can provide many tools for your business and financial success that private salons are simply unable to do. For instance, ASG offers benefits, PTO, discounts, free education, and the use of salon supplies at no charge. Most private salons charge for backbar and color use, which can be up to 40% of your commission.”
Pandee: “Most privately-owned salons do not have marketing dollars to promote new employees, which means walk-in business can be nonexistent. They also don’t normally offer a guaranteed wage or comprehensive benefits package, and typically education must be completed by and paid for by the stylist.”
The best way to select a salon that will work for you in the long run is to do your research and fully understand what elements are most essential for you. In order to succeed you must always be willing to grow, learn, and care deeply about your craft in providing the best service for your clients. Interested in a career at an Alline Salon Group location? We own and operate nearly 400 salons throughout the United States. Click here to apply or learn more.