7 Concrete Salon Interview Techniques To Ensure You Hire The Best-Of-The-Best


As mentioned recently in our Salon Team Photos article, your staff is one of (if not the) most critical element to your salon’s success! It is a must that the group of individuals you hire works as a cohesive, motivated, enthusiastic team. And the one of the best ways (besides training) to guarantee your salon’s success is to hire the right people. So today we are going to look at the very best salon Interview techniques to implement in order to hire the best-of-the-best!

The Salon Interview

1) Ask them what references they have early on what their relationship is with them. This will help them understand you mean business and are thorough. 

Let’s start with their previous experience. Find out which employer and contact in there will vouch for them. This will be instrumental later on in the salon interview process.


2) Ask them this killer question for EVERY job they have on their CV: “Who did you report to daily? What was their name? What will they tell me your strengths and weaknesses are if we get to the references stage?”

Instead of conducting a salon interview where you ask them to name their strengths and weaknesses, we make it clear that we will ask someone else. This will encourage honesty, as they can’t simply get away with having perfectionism as a weakness 😉

– “What is your greatest strength?”


3) Do a quick phone interview first!

If you get swamped with CVs, or applications (which is a good thing of course) then this helps remove time-wasters while also positioning your business as a place where you don’t just hire anybody. Don’t forget, you are looking for the very best candidates possible.

*This is also a great opportunity to invite your current team into the process. Perhaps some of your staff could even do first round phone calls to get them involved for the salon interview.


4) ALWAYS do two rounds of interviews minimum.

Partner up with two different people during round 1 & 2 of the salon interview. Get the second person to ask the exact same set of questions and compare answers from the first and second round. If people are bluffing they will often forget what they said, so it is great for spotting BS.

Some people may get irate if you ask them two sets of questions over-and-over. But that in itself is a sign that they not be the right fit 🙂

Move the venue.

How about you conduct your first salon interview in the salon (a more formal setting)? Then, move the second interview to another location altogether (like a coffee shop or a cafe).

The key here is to see if they can relax a bit you can get to know them much better and it is easier to really understand if you could work with them. Also, will they put the same level of effort in second time around. How hungry are they really? 


6) Have a practical task on the day. If you are hiring for nails, get them to do nails there and then. If they are doing hair… well you get the idea. NEVER hire on word-of-mouth salon. If this candidate really wants the job, then they should jump at the opportunity to show you what they can do.

Get their references to ring you!

Instead of asking for a reference’s details, have the candidate organise a reference to contact you. Why? Because would you honestly pick up the phone to ring on behalf of someone who did a terrible job? Probably not. BUT you might just ‘go through the motions’ if someone rang you. If they cannot get two references to ring you on their behalf then chances are something is up. 

And then you can ask all about them. We recommend you let the referee know that this is strictly confidential and then ask these four questions:

  1. What is your relationship with the candidate?
  2. What is the candidate’s Strengths (let’s see if it matches up)
  3. What is the candidate’s Weaknesses
  4. Would the reference hire this candidate again? 

That is four minimum by the way… You may have worries, concerns etc. and this is the time to raise them.

It’s… well, water-tight. Remember you can have fun interviewing people, particularly in the second round. Also, adding one person that is not for your salon can be detrimental to culture, all of the hard work you have built up and of course, your client base.

So this can seem extreme, but it is a great way to get the right person. And don’t forget, there is nothing wrong with the selling them the salon too – you have to pitch the opportunity to get the best talent.

And there you have it! The 7 concrete salon interview techniques that will ensure you get the very best candidate for your team. Soon we will cover some ways to get your job opportunity noticed online and off. 

That’s not all, we have even created this step-by-step document that you can print out and leave in your office for the next time you need a new team member and have to go through the salon interview process.

(For Desktop: Right click and press Save Image As… For Mobile: Press and hold on image)

salon interview

Thanks for reading!

And if you enjoyed this article, then I think you’re going to love Salon Staff: Why You Need To Hire a Duck

Let’s Grow