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You have your license and now you are ready to find your best, first job.  There are several important things to consider before embarking on your journey to salon employment.

    Do you need a job with a guaranteed hourly wage right from the start? Do you need to support yourself and a family or can you afford to work in a salon with an 18-month or longer assistant program?  For some people the long-term benefits of an assistantship program might not be enough to outweigh the short-term financial ramifications. An assistant program gives you the chance to learn the salon culture and values.  The intensive training is an investment in your future.  You will learn cutting techniques and color theory on the salon’s color brand.  Perhaps you need to support yourself immediately.  Many corporate or chain salons offer a guaranteed hourly wage until you build your business and make enough to commission.   What does the salon’s compensation look like?  Are you paid hourly or on commission?  What does the commission scale look like?  Do the stylists commision on the retail products they sell?  Is the scheduling flexible? What is the salon’s time off policy? Does the salon provide or pay for continuing education? What are the incentives and expectations for pre-booking, retaining and retailing to your clients?  

Once you have secured an interview, its important to prepare correctly for that.  What is the salon culture and dress code like?  How do the styists dress?  How do the clients dress?

Treat the interview with the respect it deserves.  Be certain your appearance is in keeping with the style and culture of the salon you want to work in.  Your clothing should be clean and neat. Even if the stylists are wearing jeans; jeans are not appropriate interview attire.  Black is always a good choice. Be sure your nails are polished or manicured.  Your hair should be styled and trendy. Makeup is also important.  The beauty business is a head to toe industry. 

You should prepare for interview questions.  Be ready to answer questions like “Why do you want to work here?  Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Why should I hire you?” Salons invest in their stylists’ training so they want to know you will be happy and successful.