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Cosmetologist Interview
Questions

25 Questions and Answers by Elisabeth Walter

Updated August 20th, 2018
Job Interviews     Careers     Health    
Question 1 of 25
Tell me about your strengths.
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How to Answer
Your strengths can be anything from your character qualities to skills that you have been working to perfect during your training. It can seem a little overwhelming to answer a question so broad, so try to narrow your focus to just a few things. Share at least one trait that is unique to you, like your ability to listen and empathize with your customers. When thinking about these traits, keep the job description in mind. What strengths will be most helpful to do this job well? You will need a steady hand and attention for detail when doing hair, makeup or nails. This would also be a great quality to share! What are some other strengths that will make you a great stylist? What are some skills you've learned that will help you be the one that will keep your clients coming back?
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Answer Examples
1.
Tell me about your strengths.
Your strengths can be anything from your character qualities to skills that you have been working to perfect during your training. It can seem a little overwhelming to answer a question so broad, so try to narrow your focus to just a few things. Share at least one trait that is unique to you, like your ability to listen and empathize with your customers. When thinking about these traits, keep the job description in mind. What strengths will be most helpful to do this job well? You will need a steady hand and attention for detail when doing hair, makeup or nails. This would also be a great quality to share! What are some other strengths that will make you a great stylist? What are some skills you've learned that will help you be the one that will keep your clients coming back?
Christine's Answer
"Answer example, "My strengths are creativity, experimentation and detail in artistic expression. They serve me well in cosmetology."
2.
Tell me about your experience coloring hair and working with color-treated hair.
This may or may not be your specialty. Coloring hair is a science that requires practice and understanding of the right blends of chemicals and tones. Share your experience, focusing on techniques and principles you've learned that have helped you achieve the desired results. Color-treated hair can be very processed and damaged. What have you learned to remedy the worst split ends and breakage?
Christine's Answer
"Answer example, "When interning at a top salon in NYC, I was the color stylist. I have experience preparing hair for coloring and working with the stylists throughout the process. I also change my color all the time based on my mood."
3.
What excites you about designing hair styles?
"I love being creative and finding ways that will be more flattering to enhance my client's eyes or jaw line. I get a lot of ideas from clients and I love making them happy."

Is it the creativity? Is it customer satisfaction? What gets you going when you get to try new styles on your clients?
Elisabeth's Answer #1
"I love being creative and finding ways that will be more flattering to enhance my client's eyes or jaw line. I get a lot of ideas from clients and I love making them happy."
Christine's Answer #2
"Answer example, "There is so much you can do with styling and designing hair. It excites me that you can make a statement by simply designing hair in a certain style."
4.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Now that you have achieved your goal of becoming a cosmetologist, it may seem overwhelming to think about the future. You've been working hard to get to this point, but take heart! The interviewer doesn't expect a detailed answer. They just want to get an idea of how this position fits into your future goals. Do you plan to do hair for a salon for two years and then start your own? Do you plan to get more certifications to focus on color and color correction? What about skincare? Do you want to add on more certifications? Think about some of these questions if you're not quite clear on your goals. Offer up a couple of things you're interested in doing in the future and show the interviewer that this position will help launch you into your dream career!
Christine's Answer
"Answer example, "In five years, I see myself with my own cosmetology practice and servicing private, high end clients for special events."
5.
Tell me about a time when a customer was not satisfied with the service you provided. How did you handle it?
Unfortunately, sometimes you just can't seem to get it right. Some customers will just never be satisfied, no matter how hard you try. Give an example of a time when you had a hard time meeting the customer's needs. Be sure to talk about what you did to remedy the situation and what you learned from it. Here's an example to get you thinking in the right direction:

"I had a client who wanted to color her hair much darker than her natural color. I advised her to stay with warmer tones since it would complement her eyes and skin tone. She insisted on going more on the ashy side, so I gave her exactly what she requested. In the end she wasn't satisfied. I did a color correction towards what I had originally recommended, but I could tell she was frustrated about the situation. I gave her a complimentary blowout in return, and learned that sometimes it's better to use your best judgement, even if a customer wants something different."
Elisabeth's Answer #1
"I had a client who wanted to color her hair much darker than her natural color. I advised her to stay with warmer tones since it would complement her eyes and skin tone. She insisted on going more on the ashy side, so I gave her exactly what she requested. In the end she wasn't satisfied. I did a color correction towards what I had originally recommended, but I could tell she was frustrated about the situation. I gave her a complimentary blowout in return, and learned that sometimes it's better to use your best judgement, even if a customer wants something different."
Christine's Answer #2
"Answer example, "It rarely happens because we talk a lot as we go, but if/when it does, I offer to redo the service or provide them with a discount on the service. Most of all, I listen and make sure their concerns are heard."
6.
Do you have any experience with men's hair styles?
When the salon manager asks you about a specific style or type of hair, they are curious because it is something they may be expecting you to be familiar with. If you don't have experience with men's hairstyles or any other specific style, let them know, "I haven't had much experience with male clients, but I look forward to getting more! I feel confident in my skills, judgement and understanding of what clients need and want. I know I can improve quickly."
Elisabeth's Answer #1
"I haven't had much experience with male clients, but I look forward to getting more! I feel confident in my skills, judgement and understanding of what clients need and want. I know I can improve quickly."
Christine's Answer #2
"Answer example, "Absolutely! I have worked on a wide age group of women and men's hair including children and elderly."
7.
How do you build relationships with customers?
Your business is dependent on having solid relationships with customers. Draw from your experience. What have you learned about building these relationships? Your customer service skills are essential. Your sales and marketing skills will be helpful as well. If you can give an example of a good relationship with one of your customers, the interviewer will have a much clearer picture of your skills in action.
Elisabeth's Answer #1
"My customer, Helen, has continued to come back for facials and waxing. We get along great, and I make a point to ask her how she's doing and follow up with her every time she comes in about different topics we discuss. I run specials and keep her updated by sending out emails and calling to make sure she is informed and can schedule her next appointment."
Christine's Answer #2
"Answer example, "I pride myself on building effective relationships with my clients and I do so by asking questions to learn about who they are as people. I take note of important people or events going on in their life and wherever possible, incorporate things they like into their style."
8.
How do you communicate with clients who are introverted or shy?
Give an example from your experience. Here's an idea of how to approach this:

"I had a new client who wanted her haircut but had trouble communicating what she really wanted. I showed her pictures and gave her time to think it through. I described what I recommended based on her current style and the pictures she showed me. Once we figured out what she needed, I asked her questions to get to know her and told stories I thought she might like. It can be hard to break the ice, but I've learned ways to communicate with even the most shy individuals."

Some people get tense in social settings. Helping your clients relax will help them to feel more comfortable and might also help them know better what they really want.
Elisabeth's Answer #1
"I had a new client who wanted her haircut but had trouble communicating what she really wanted. I showed her pictures and gave her time to think it through. I described what I recommended based on her current style and the pictures she showed me. Once we figured out what she needed, I asked her questions to get to know her and told stories I thought she might like. It can be hard to break the ice, but I've learned ways to communicate with even the most shy individuals."
Christine's Answer #2
"Answer example, "I consider myself an ambivert and am therefore easily adaptable to both extroverts and introverts. I ask a lot of probing questions and build a relationship with a client to ensure they are comfortable to connect."
9.
Tell me about your experience styling hair?
Think about your clients, their hair, colors, and ways you have helped them get the look that they want. Even if your clients were all from hair school, talk about the ones who kept coming back. Those client relationships show you are competent in your skills and knowledge. What are some of the best moments from your experience? What were some of the challenges and how did you overcome them? Give the interviewer a brief summary of your experience and what you have learned.
Christine's Answer
"Answer example, "I went to school for cosmetology for 4 years and interned at one of the top salons in the NYC area. I have worked with clients privately for events and have gained 5 years experience in the salon I currently work with."
10.
What aspect of doing hair is most challenging for you?
Are you new to color? Do you have trouble with ethnic hairstyles? How do you feel about client interactions? Doing hair can be one of the most fun and challenging aspects of working as a cosmetologist. If you are new to the career, you may still feel a little shaky about making conversation with your clients. You may feel nervous about creating certain styles or big changes on a person. As you talk with the interviewer, explain the challenge but focus on what you're doing to overcome it. When you're new, it can be hard to have confidence in your skills. Practice makes all the difference! Answer with confidence about what you already know and then reassure them you are working on perfecting those areas where you're not as strong.
Christine's Answer
"Answer example, "I am always trying to challenge myself to explore hair and makeup styles that make me a better cosmetologist. Keeping up with latest trends and be at the forefront of fashion is a great challenge for me."
11.
How do you help clients choose the best hair style?
When a client comes to you looking for a change, how do you help them make the best decision? Do you ask them to look through magazines to find their ideal haircut? Do you make sure they're not making a last minute emotional decision? Your job is to help identify what clients like and make sure that you are both on the same page about expectations. Explain that you know how important it is to have clear communication with your clients in order to give them what they want.
Christine's Answer
"Answer example, "I work with clients to find out what look they are going for. If they are looking for a classic look, we will explore statement up-do or if they are looking to stand out, we will talk large wavy curls. I ask clients about the event or occasion they are styling for and we work from there."
12.
Tell me about your customer service experience.
You will be working one-on-one with clients and building relationships with them. Your prior customer service experience will help you to communicate effectively with customers and understand their needs.
Elisabeth's Answer #1
"Before doing hair and makeup I worked in a restaurant where learned how to handle difficult customers and keep a positive attitude. Since I started working with clients in school, I learned even more how important it is to be patient and listen to customer needs. I strive to give them consistent service and make sure they walk out happy."
Christine's Answer #2
"Answer example, "Customer service is a large part of what we do before, during and after working with clients for their hair and makeup needs. I try to understand what they are looking for early on in our work together and utilize this as a guideline throughout the client experience."
13.
When did you decide to become a cosmetologist?
Do you remember the time in your life when you were most inspired to pursue this career path? Explain how you use to do makeup on your sisters when you were young or how everyone wanted you to do their hair at prom. When interviewers ask this question, they want to hear about your passion. They also want to know that your decision to become a cosmetologist was well thought out, not just a last minute decision because you weren't so sure about college. Share a brief story about how you decided to choose your career and don't be afraid to express your passion!
Christine's Answer
"Answer example, "Early on as a child, I was always interested in fashion and beauty. I admired how makeup can transform a person and help them make a statement to match their mood or a style. I decided then I wanted to be a cosmetologist."
14.
Do you work well on your own?
One of the nice things about working as a cosmetologist is that you have the freedom to work independently. This freedom also comes with responsibility. If you are renting a chair in a salon, you have to pay a monthly rate and report to the salon manager. If that salon uses a particular product, you will need to attend trainings to learn about the products and how to use them for different styles and hair types. To answer the question, how do you feel about the responsibility of working on your own? Here's a sample response:

"I enjoy working independently and with others. Even though I'm very team-oriented, I also enjoy the responsibility of managing my own clients and my chair. I love learning about new products and take initiative to find opportunities to grow in my skills."

Initiative is the key word. Being a go-getter, proactive type of person shows you can handle working on your own.
Elisabeth's Answer #1
"I enjoy working independently and with others. Even though I'm very team-oriented, I also enjoy the responsibility of managing my own clients and my chair. I love learning about new products and take initiative to find opportunities to grow in my skills."
Christine's Answer #2
"Answer example, "Very much so! Part of what I enjoy about being a cosmetologist is that I can work independently, along with being a part of a larger team. At the end of the day, I am here to work with clients and that is something I enjoy very much."
15.
Do you have any experience with events?
Have you ever done hair or makeup for weddings, concerts, galas or other big events? Having the skills to quickly apply makeup and design hair styles for models, actors or brides-to-be will help you branch out beyond the salon and spa. Describe any experiences you've had where you worked on big events. What were the challenges? What did you enjoy about it?
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25 Cosmetologist Interview Questions
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Interview Questions
  1. Tell me about your strengths.
  2. Tell me about your experience coloring hair and working with color-treated hair.
  3. What excites you about designing hair styles?
  4. Where do you see yourself in five years?
  5. Tell me about a time when a customer was not satisfied with the service you provided. How did you handle it?
  6. Do you have any experience with men's hair styles?
  7. How do you build relationships with customers?
  8. How do you communicate with clients who are introverted or shy?
  9. Tell me about your experience styling hair?
  10. What aspect of doing hair is most challenging for you?
  11. How do you help clients choose the best hair style?
  12. Tell me about your customer service experience.
  13. When did you decide to become a cosmetologist?
  14. Do you work well on your own?
  15. Do you have any experience with events?
  16. Describe your typical day at work.
  17. What hair styles do you believe look the best for women?
  18. Describe your dream job.
  19. Tell me about your training. What did you like most about it? What didn't you like?
  20. What techniques do you enjoy while styling hair?
  21. Where do you gain your inspiration for trying new trends, styles?
  22. Are you a team player?
  23. Why do you want to work for us?
  24. Tell me about an area you could improve upon.
  25. Tell me about a difficult work situation. How did you handle it?
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