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5 Cosmetologist Interview Questions and Answers

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What previous experience or study has prepared you for this cosmetology role?


You want to make sure that the cosmetologist has the required schooling and work experience for the job. You can then decide if these sources of study and knowledge are deemed reputable enough to offer a position. You can also find out how long of a time period candidates have committed to previous jobs, which is a good indicator of their commitment level. What to look for in an answer:

  • Completed study at a reputable cosmetology school
  • Can recount work experience effortlessly
  • Stays at one workplace for a long period


"When I was 18 years old, I enrolled in cosmetology school. After I graduated, I found a job at a wonderful company where I stayed and worked for three years."


How do you ensure a clean workstation while jumping from client to client?


Pay attention to the habits of the cosmetologist. A professional keeps the workstation clean at all times and performs a deep clean of all equipment before and after each client. If the candidate does not seem to understand the need to keep a tidy work area, then this should be cause for concern. The safety of the clients should always take priority over personal habits. What to look for in an answer:

  • Understands the need for a tidy workstation
  • Candidates can easily describe their cleaning regimen
  • Values clients' health and well-being above everything


"I have a cleaning routine after cutting hair. I clean the surfaces, the chairs and the equipment. Then I sweep and mop the floor."


If you cut a client's hair and found out that the person complained to someone about the quality of the haircut, how do you fix the situation?


Methodical situation diffusing is what you need to look for as the answer to this question. You will be able to tell how well the candidate interacts with people and how he or she deals with difficult situations. Applicants should be able to tell you exactly how they would handle a dissatisfied customer because more than likely they have had one. The candidate should be able to demonstrate proper de-escalation techniques. What to look for in an answer:

  • Understands the need to methodically diffuse a situation
  • Knows the value of each and every customer
  • Open to finding solutions


"I had a dissatisfied customer who hated her nail job. I offered to redo them and promised a free nail session the next time."


Can you tell me about a time that you recommended a hair product based on a client's need?


Answers should reveal whether the cosmetologist is a good salesperson and a good listener. Having a keen eye and ear for sales and helping people solve issues in the cosmetology world is an indispensable skill. There is nothing more disappointing to clients who state a problem and then discover that their cosmetologist doesn't try to find solutions. Not only do you lose a sale, but you might also potentially lose a customer. What to look for in an answer:

  • Excellent listening skills
  • Seeks to solve problems that will benefit the clients
  • Knows how to sell products effectively


"A client said her hair broke when she brushed it. I recommended a leave-in conditioner. She came in the following week saying it worked!"


How much creative liberty do you allow yourself to use while styling someone's hair?


This could be a tough question because hairstyles are so personal. Look for a cosmetologist who both understands a client's vision but who also knows how to use his or her skill to create a unique look and style. Without taking too much liberty, most professionals can craft a hairstyle from both what a customer wants and what they think is best. Most of the time, the clients love their choices. What to look for in an answer:

  • Understands that the client’s vision comes first
  • Knows how to safely use their creative license to style hair
  • Communicates effectively with customers


"I usually use creative liberty if my clients are comfortable with me doing so. If they know exactly what hairstyle they want, then I try to stick to exactly what they want with no surprises."

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