Hair stylist interview tips and questions

Top 30 Hair Stylist Interview Questions | Expert Tips

For those seeking a career in the salon industry, the hair stylist job can be both challenging and rewarding. To help candidates prepare for their dream job, we have compiled a list of the top 30 hair stylist interview questions along with expert tips. In this article, we will provide an overview of the interview process and offer advice on how to ace your hair stylist interview. From researching the salon to discussing product knowledge, we will cover all the essential aspects that will help you secure your dream job.

Before the Interview

Prior to attending a hair stylist interview, it is essential to do some research on the salon you are applying to. This research can help you understand the salon’s style, clientele, and products and services, which will enable you to tailor your responses and showcase your knowledge and understanding of the salon during the interview. Here are some essential tips to prepare for your hair stylist interview:

Research the Salon

Take some time to explore the salon’s website and social media profiles to understand the salon’s values, mission, and culture. Additionally, visit the salon in person to get a feel for the work environment, observe the stylists in action, and assess their approach to customer service and professionalism. By conducting thorough research about the salon, you will be better equipped to answer the interviewer’s questions and demonstrate your enthusiasm and commitment to the salon’s brand.

Understand the Salon’s Style and Clientele

Every salon has its unique style and clientele that sets it apart from others. Find out the type of clients the salon serves, including their preferences and interests. This information can help you tailor your responses to suit the salon’s clientele and demonstrate how your skills and experience align with the salon’s brand.

Familiarize Yourself with the Salon’s Products and Services

Most salons have their product lines and services. It is essential to know the salon’s offerings and demonstrate an understanding of their products and services. This knowledge can help you answer questions related to client consultations, product recommendations, and customer satisfaction, among others.

By preparing adequately before the interview, you can differentiate yourself from other candidates, demonstrate your passion for the salon industry, and increase your chances of getting hired.

Dressing for Success

Dressing appropriately for a hair stylist interview is crucial as it reflects your professionalism and attention to detail. First impressions matter, and your attire can influence the interviewer’s perception of your suitability for the role. Follow these tips to ensure you dress for success:

  1. Research the salon’s dress code and style to fit in with their brand image.
  2. Dress in business attire that is comfortable, well-fitted, and clean. Avoid overly casual clothing or revealing outfits.
  3. Choose a muted color palette that complements your skin tone and hair color.
  4. Pay attention to grooming and hygiene, including clean and styled hair, trimmed nails, and minimal jewelry.

Remember to keep your outfit simple and polished, allowing your skills and personality to shine through during the interview.

Common Hair Stylist Interview Questions

Preparing for a hair stylist interview involves understanding the most common questions asked by employers. This section will provide insights into the most frequently asked questions during a hair stylist interview.

Hair Cutting Techniques

Employers will test a candidate’s knowledge of hair cutting techniques, such as razor cutting, scissor over comb, and clipper cutting. Prepare by researching and practicing different techniques to showcase your expertise in this area.

Client Communication

Effective communication with clients is key to achieving their desired look. Employers will ask how you communicate with clients to ensure their satisfaction. Prepare by discussing your approach to consultations, listening to their needs, and providing guidance on the best style for their face shape and lifestyle.

Customer Service Skills

Exceptional customer service skills are vital for building a loyal client base. Employers will ask about your experience and approach to customer service. Prepare by discussing how you build rapport with clients, handle complaints, and ensure overall client satisfaction.


A successful salon relies on effective teamwork. Employers will ask about your ability to work in a team environment, and how you contribute to the overall success of the salon. Prepare by sharing examples of past experiences where you collaborated with others to achieve a common goal.

Time Management

Working in a fast-paced salon requires excellent time management skills. Employers will ask how you prioritize tasks and manage your time effectively. Prepare by discussing your approach to scheduling appointments, managing multiple clients, and ensuring timely delivery of services.

Client Retention

Retaining clients is crucial for the success of a salon. Employers will ask how you maintain positive relationships with clients and encourage repeat business. Prepare by discussing your approach to follow-up appointments, building loyalty through exceptional service, and offering additional services or products to meet their needs.

Technical Hair Stylist Interview Questions

Technical skills are essential in the hair styling industry. Aside from creativity, a hair stylist must be proficient in various technical skills. Here are some technical hair stylist interview questions that you might encounter:

Interview Question Explanation
Can you explain and demonstrate your knowledge of color application? The hair stylist should be knowledgeable in color theory, techniques, and application methods. Be prepared to discuss and demonstrate your abilities.
What is your experience with styling techniques? The hair stylist should be adept at various styling techniques that include blow-drying, curling, and straightening. You should be ready to provide examples of your work and demonstrate your knowledge.
What is your experience working with different hair types? As a hair stylist, you should be familiar with various hair types and textures. Be prepared to discuss your experience with different hair types and provide details on how you approach working with such hair types.
Can you explain your knowledge of hair treatments? The hair stylist should be knowledgeable about various hair treatments such as conditioning, deep conditioning, and keratin treatments. Be prepared to discuss your experience with these treatments and their benefits.
Can you explain your knowledge of hair cutting techniques? The hair stylist should be proficient in various hair cutting techniques and styles. Be ready to demonstrate your skills and provide details on how you approach cutting different hair types and textures.


Technical hair stylist interview questions are designed to gauge your technical abilities and how you approach different hair types and textures. Being adept in technical skills is essential in the hair styling industry, and you should be well-prepared to discuss your knowledge and experience with the interviewer.

Handling Challenging Situations

Working in a salon can be stressful at times, and hair stylists are often required to navigate challenging situations. During the interview, the hiring manager will be looking for candidates who can demonstrate the ability to handle difficult clients, manage their time effectively, and deal with any unexpected issues that may arise in a salon environment.

Dealing with Difficult Clients

One common challenge that hair stylists face is handling difficult clients. During the interview, be prepared to discuss how you would handle a client who is unhappy with their haircut or color, or who has unrealistic expectations. Show that you can remain calm and professional, and that you are able to communicate effectively to resolve the issue.

It’s also important to highlight your conflict resolution skills. Discuss how you would approach a client who is angry or upset, and how you would work to find a solution that satisfies both the client and the salon.

Managing Time Effectively

In a busy salon, time management is crucial. During the interview, demonstrate that you have the ability to prioritize tasks, work efficiently, and stay organized. Give examples of how you have managed your time effectively in the past, such as scheduling appointments or managing a high volume of clients.

Dealing with Unexpected Issues

In a fast-paced salon environment, unexpected issues can arise. Whether it’s a power outage, a client arriving late, or a last-minute cancellation, hair stylists need to be able to think on their feet and adapt to changing circumstances. During the interview, be prepared to discuss how you would handle unexpected situations and show that you are able to remain calm and focused under pressure.

By demonstrating your ability to handle challenging situations during the interview, you will show the hiring manager that you have the skills and experience necessary to succeed as a hair stylist.

Demonstrating Creativity and Trend Awareness

Along with technical skills, creativity and trend awareness are highly valued in the salon industry. Demonstrating your ability to stay updated with the latest hair trends during the interview process can set you apart from other candidates.

One way to showcase your creativity is by bringing a portfolio of your work, which can include photos of hairstyles you have created, before-and-after shots, and any other relevant examples of your work. Be prepared to discuss the inspiration behind each style and how it was achieved.

Another way to demonstrate your trend awareness is by discussing any classes or workshops you have attended to improve your skills and stay updated with the latest techniques and styles. Employers want to see that you are committed to continuing your education and growing as a stylist.

During the interview, it’s important to show your enthusiasm for the industry and your passion for creating unique styles that suit your clients’ personalities and preferences. You can also ask the interviewer about the salon’s approach to creativity and how you can contribute to its overall style and aesthetic.

Discussing Product Knowledge

Employers in the salon industry often seek candidates with extensive knowledge of salon products, including product lines, ingredients, and their benefits. During the interview, candidates should be prepared to discuss their understanding and experience with these products.

One way to demonstrate product knowledge is to research and familiarize oneself with the salon’s product offerings before the interview. Candidates can also speak to their experience using specific products and how they have achieved desired results for their clients.

It’s important to note that while product knowledge is essential, candidates should also be transparent about their limitations and willingness to learn. Demonstrating a willingness to continue learning and expanding one’s knowledge will show a commitment to growth and development in the industry.

Highlighting Customer Service Skills

Customer service skills are essential for success in the salon industry. During a hair stylist interview, it is important to highlight your exceptional client management and communication skills.

Building rapport with clients is a crucial aspect of customer service. Be prepared to discuss how you have developed strong relationships with your clients, making them feel comfortable and confident in your abilities.

Additionally, addressing client concerns and ensuring overall client satisfaction are important components of customer service. Be ready to talk about how you have received and resolved feedback from clients in the past, and how you have gone above and beyond to exceed their expectations.

One way to demonstrate your commitment to customer service is to discuss any awards or recognition you have received for your outstanding client management skills. Bring tangible examples to the interview to showcase your abilities and experience.

Overall, showcasing your ability to provide exceptional customer service will be a key factor in impressing potential employers and securing a job in the salon industry.

Showcasing Adaptability and Flexibility

As a hair stylist, being adaptable and flexible is essential. Clients may need to reschedule appointments, new products may be released, and you may be assigned new tasks on the fly. During the interview, it’s important to highlight your ability to handle unexpected changes and demonstrate your flexibility.

Discuss past experiences where you had to think on your feet, and show how you adjusted seamlessly to changes in the workplace. Explain how you prioritize tasks and remain organized even when the salon is busy or facing unexpected situations.

Examples of interview questions:

1. Can you describe a situation where you had to adapt your workflow to meet a client’s demands?

2. Have you ever had to switch your priorities during a busy day at the salon? How did you manage your time and complete all necessary tasks?

  • Tip: Provide specific examples of times when you went above and beyond to meet a client’s needs, even if it caused a disruption to your schedule. This shows that you are customer-focused and willing to be flexible to ensure customer satisfaction.

Additionally, flexibility may involve adjusting your schedule to work overtime, weekends, or holidays. Be open to discussing your availability and willingness to work outside of regular business hours.

By demonstrating your adaptability and flexibility during the interview, you will show potential employers that you are a valuable team player that can handle any situation that comes their way.

Discussing Continuing Education

Continuing education is essential in the beauty industry. It shows your commitment to staying updated with new techniques, products, and trends. During the interview process, it’s essential to discuss your plan for ongoing education and professional development.

You can mention any workshops, seminars, or courses you’ve attended or plan to attend. Be specific about the skills and knowledge you gained from these programs and how they will benefit your work as a hair stylist. Additionally, you can discuss any professional organizations you belong to and the resources they provide for professional development.

Continuing education shows that you’re dedicated to your craft and driven to improve your skills continually. It also demonstrates that you’re committed to providing the best possible service to your clients.

Asking the Right Questions

Asking the right questions during a hair stylist interview is an excellent way to demonstrate your interest in the role and to gain a better understanding of the salon’s work environment. Here are some questions you might want to consider:

  • Can you tell me about the salon’s team structure and dynamics?
  • What training opportunities are available for hair stylists?
  • What is the salon’s approach to client satisfaction?
  • How does the salon stay updated with new industry trends and techniques?
  • What type of career growth opportunities are available for hair stylists?

It’s essential to ask relevant and meaningful questions that show your interest and preparation for the interview. Asking these types of questions can also help you decide if the job is the right fit for you and your career aspirations.

Discussing Past Experience and Portfolio

During a hair stylist interview, discussing past experience and showcasing a portfolio of work are crucial in demonstrating your skills and capabilities to potential employers. Here are some tips to help you effectively discuss your past experience and showcase your portfolio:

  1. Describe your work experience: Be prepared to discuss your previous experience in the salon industry. Highlight your areas of expertise, including hair cutting and coloring techniques, styling skills, and customer service experience. Use specific examples to demonstrate your abilities and how you have successfully met the needs of clients.
  2. Showcase your portfolio: A portfolio of your work is an excellent way to showcase your expertise and creativity to potential employers. Bring a well-organized portfolio that includes a variety of styles and techniques. Your portfolio should reflect the type of work that the salon specializes in, so be sure to tailor it accordingly.
  3. Highlight relevant achievements: When discussing your past experience and portfolio, be sure to highlight any relevant achievements, such as winning awards or receiving positive feedback from clients. This will help to demonstrate your commitment to your craft and your ability to provide excellent service to clients.
  4. Be prepared to answer questions: Potential employers may ask you specific questions about your portfolio or past work experience. Be prepared to provide detailed answers, and use this as an opportunity to showcase your skills and expertise.

By effectively discussing your past experience and showcasing your portfolio, you can demonstrate your skills and capabilities to potential employers and increase your chances of securing your dream job in the salon industry.

Body Language and Communication Skills

In addition to verbal communication, non-verbal cues play a significant role in a hair stylist interview. Maintaining confident and professional body language can leave a positive impression on the interviewer.

When entering the interview room, greet the interviewer with a firm handshake and a smile. Sit up straight and maintain eye contact throughout the conversation. Avoid fidgeting or slouching as this can convey nervousness and lack of confidence.

Active listening is also critical in effective communication. Pay attention to the interviewer’s questions and respond thoughtfully. Take a moment to gather your thoughts before answering to ensure your response is clear and concise.

Clear communication skills are vital in the salon industry, where stylists need to understand and communicate client’s needs effectively. During the interview, articulate your responses in a confident and concise manner. Use specific examples to showcase your communication skills and how you have dealt with challenging situations in the past.

“Good communication is the most important aspect of any hair stylist’s job. It’s important to listen carefully to what clients want and communicate effectively with them to ensure they achieve their desired results.” – Stacy Collins

Handling Salary and Benefits Discussions

Salary and benefits discussions are a critical aspect of the interview process. It’s important to approach this conversation with confidence and a clear understanding of industry standards. Here are some tips to help you handle salary and benefits discussions during your hair stylist interview:

Research Industry Standards

Before the interview, research the average salary range for the position and location you are applying for. This information can be found through industry associations, job search websites, or by speaking with industry professionals. Having a clear understanding of the industry standards will help you negotiate a fair salary.

Wait for the Right Time

During the interview, wait for the interviewer to bring up the topic of salary and benefits. Bringing it up too early in the conversation can make you appear too focused on compensation rather than the job itself. Wait until the interviewer has had a chance to assess your skills and qualifications.

Be Confident

When the topic of salary and benefits arises, be confident in your negotiation. Based on your research, provide a salary range that is reasonable and within industry standards. Be sure to highlight your relevant experience, skills, and accomplishments that justify the salary range you are requesting.

Understand the Benefits Package

Along with salary, it’s important to understand the benefits package offered by the salon. This may include health insurance, retirement plans, paid time off, or product discounts. Make sure you understand the details of each benefit and discuss them with the interviewer. Consider the total compensation package when negotiating salary.

Thank the Interviewer

After discussing salary and benefits, thank the interviewer for their time and consideration. It’s important to maintain a positive and professional attitude throughout the entire interview process, including salary negotiations.

FAQ: Hair Stylist Interview Questions

Q: What should I wear to a hair stylist interview?

A: It is important to dress professionally and appropriately for a salon environment. We recommend wearing salon-appropriate clothing, such as black pants or a skirt, a white blouse or shirt, and clean, polished shoes. Additionally, make sure your hair and makeup are well-groomed and understated.

Q: What are some common hair stylist interview questions?

A: Common interview questions include questions about your experience and skills in hair styling, your ability to communicate effectively with clients, your knowledge of hair products, and your customer service skills. You may also be asked about your willingness to work a flexible schedule and your ability to handle challenging situations in a salon environment.

Q: What is the best way to answer technical hair stylist interview questions?

A: The best way to answer technical questions is to provide specific examples from your experience. Be prepared to discuss your knowledge of different hair types and textures, as well as your experience with different coloring and styling techniques. Demonstrate your knowledge of hair products, ingredients, and their benefits.

Q: How can I highlight my creativity during a hair stylist interview?

A: Be prepared to discuss your inspiration and creative process for different haircuts and styles. Bring a portfolio of your work to showcase your creativity and versatility. Discuss your willingness to keep up-to-date with the latest trends and techniques in the hair industry.

Q: Is it necessary to discuss continuing education during a hair stylist interview?

A: Yes, continuing education is important in the hair industry to stay up-to-date with trends and techniques. Discuss your commitment to professional development, including attending workshops, seminars, and courses. Highlight any certifications or licenses you have earned, and be prepared to discuss how you have applied what you have learned in your work.

Q: What kind of questions should I ask the interviewer during a hair stylist interview?

A: It is important to ask questions about the salon’s work environment, team dynamics, training opportunities, and career growth. Ask about the salon’s products and services, and any other questions that will help you understand the salon’s culture and goals.

Q: How can I negotiate my salary and benefits during a hair stylist interview?

A: Research the industry standards for hair stylist salaries in your area and come prepared with a salary range that you are comfortable with. Discuss your experience and skills, and explain how you can contribute value to the salon. Be open to negotiation and willing to compromise, and make sure the benefits package meets your expectations.

Remember to stay calm, confident, and professional during your hair stylist interview. Preparation is key to ensuring a successful interview and landing your dream job in the salon industry.

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