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Cosmetologist interview questions and answers

This Cosmetologist interview profile brings together a snapshot of what to look for in candidates with a balanced sample of suitable interview questions.

Nikoletta Bika
Nikoletta Bika

Nikoletta holds an MSc in HR management and has written extensively about all things HR and recruiting.

cosmetologist interview questions

10 good cosmetologist interview questions

  1. How has your experience/training prepared you for this role?
  2. What do you find exciting in this job?
  3. What’s your experience in manicure/pedicure?
  4. How do you stay up-to-date with fashion and beauty trends?
  5. What cosmetic products do you use and why?
  6. Do you provide beauty services for special occasions (e.g. weddings)?
  7. How much time do you need to do a haircut?
  8. How do you decide how to style the hair of a client who’s indecisive?
  9. What questions would you ask to find the suitable skincare product for a client?
  10. Imagine a client isn’t happy with your services and threatens to complain to management. How do you respond?

Here are 10 essential interview questions and sample answers to help identify the best candidates for this role.

1. How has your experience/training prepared you for this role?

This question evaluates the candidate’s foundational knowledge and hands-on experience in the field.

Sample answer:

“My training at XYZ Beauty School provided me with the technical skills, while my two years at ABC Salon honed my hands-on experience, especially in understanding client needs and preferences.”

2. What do you find exciting in this job?

Understanding what drives the candidate can provide insights into their passion and dedication.

Sample answer:

“I find it thrilling to transform someone’s look and boost their confidence. Every client is a new canvas, and creating a look that they love is immensely satisfying.”

3. What’s your experience in manicure/pedicure?

This question assesses the candidate’s expertise in specific beauty services.

Sample answer:

“I’ve been offering manicure and pedicure services for over three years. I’m trained in various techniques, from basic manicures to gel and acrylic extensions.”

4. How do you stay up-to-date with fashion and beauty trends?

Staying updated is crucial in the beauty industry.

Sample answer:

“I follow top beauty influencers on social media, subscribe to beauty magazines, and attend workshops and trade shows to stay updated with the latest trends.”

5. What cosmetic products do you use and why?

This question gauges the candidate’s product knowledge and their reasons for choosing them.

Sample answer:

“I primarily use brands like MAC and Urban Decay because of their quality, longevity, and the wide range of colors they offer.”

6. Do you provide beauty services for special occasions (e.g. weddings)?

Special occasions require specialized skills.

Sample answer:

“Yes, I’ve styled numerous brides and bridal parties. I offer trial sessions to ensure the bride is satisfied with her look for the big day.”

7. How much time do you need to do a haircut?

Efficiency and time management skills are essential.

Sample answer:

“It depends on the style and length, but typically, a basic trim takes about 30 minutes, while a more intricate style can take up to an hour.”

8. How do you decide how to style the hair of a client who’s indecisive?

This question tests the candidate’s consultation skills.

Sample answer:

“I ask them about their daily routine, show them pictures for inspiration, and suggest styles that would complement their face shape and lifestyle.”

9. What questions would you ask to find the suitable skincare product for a client?

Understanding client needs is crucial.

Sample answer:

“I’d ask about their skin type, any allergies, their current skincare routine, and specific concerns they want to address.”

10. Imagine a client isn’t happy with your services and threatens to complain to management. How do you respond?

This question assesses the candidate’s conflict resolution skills.

Sample answer:

“I’d apologize for any inconvenience and ask for specific feedback. I’d then offer to rectify the issue or provide an alternative solution to ensure their satisfaction.”

What does a good Cosmetologist candidate look like?

A proficient Cosmetologist is technically skilled, updated with the latest trends, and possesses excellent interpersonal skills. They should be able to understand and cater to diverse client needs while maintaining professionalism.

Red flags

Beware of candidates who lack technical knowledge, have poor communication skills, or are not open to feedback. A reluctance to continue learning or adapt to new trends can also be concerning.



Cosmetologist Interview Questions

Cosmetologists work in a beauty salons, hairdressing studios and other venues. Their duties range from hairdressing to skin care to nail services. Depending on the size or the organization, different educational requirements may apply. Usually, they have diplomas from vocational schools or training programs.

If you’re looking for a junior position, ask them about their education and the skills they have gained. It may be a good idea to ask whether they have a portfolio with work they have done so far. You can ask about their experience in sales too. For experienced candidates look for years in the business as well as the setting in which they have gained experience. If you expect them to do esthetic work, a license may be mandatory depending on the state. Ask also about their experience in sales.

Cosmetologists should demonstrate their work on their own person. They should be presentable and stylish. Social and customer service skills are very important in their profession as well as patience and attention to detail. Try to assess their skills through situational or behavioral questions.

Let’s summarize some of the questions and add a few more divided into specific types.

Operational and Situational questions

  • How has your experience/training prepared you for this role?
  • What do you find exciting in this job?
  • What’s your experience in manicure/pedicure?
  • How do you stay up-to-date with fashion and beauty trends?
  • What cosmetic products do you use and why?
  • Do you provide beauty services for special occasions (e.g. weddings)?
  • How much time do you need to do a haircut?
  • How do you decide how to style the hair of a client who’s indecisive?
  • What questions would you ask to find the suitable skincare product for a client?
  • Imagine a client isn’t happy with your services and threatens to complain to management. How do you respond?
  • How do you ensure your workstation is clean?
  • Describe a time you persuaded a client to buy a product you recommended
  • Have you worked in a team before? Did that help or hinder your work?

Frequently asked questions

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