My Life As A Hairstylist

Salon owner, hairstylist, educator, product maker, photographer

How To Not Get That Job and How To Mildly Offend The Potential Employer In The Process

1 Comment


I’m always hiring at the entry level, and you should be too. The reason? Well, most people we hire don’t work out, so I never stop. I know that the minute I think I am fully staffed, someone is going to quit, not show up, come in hung-over and smelling bad, break a leg skiing…something is going to happen to disrupt the rare moment of calm I sometimes get to experience as a salon owner. So I have an ad on Craigslist right now and I’m interviewing.

I have now had two of the four people I’ve interviewed show up not matching our dresscode and knowing virtually nothing about me or our company other than we own hair schools and salons.

I teach a session all over Canada and the United States called How To Survive and Thrive as a Hairstylist and it is geared towards students. A huge part of this is about getting and keeping a job, so I am maybe a little sensitive when I see people doing it so wrong when it’s easy to do it right. And if you don’t know, my name is on the door of our salons, and that alone speaks to my ego. So I asked this latest person if she had taken a moment to Google me to do a bit of research once I realized she knew very little about us. She said she had but there “wasn’t much out there other than that I owned salons and schools.”

So I Googled myself and discovered I might be one of the easiest salon owners on the planet to look in to. This isn’t bragging, it’s more about the fact I never stop bitching. Like right now. This blog has given me a pretty loud voice and I clearly have little to no filter. Add to that, all my videos are run on American Salon Magazine, as well as other publications, and it’s pretty easy to find out what makes me tick and what you should do in order to lube things up a bit during an interview.

What you should do is spend a bit of time digging and then implying that you are very aware of my company and have wanted to work with me since you first went to hair school and, then list off the reasons, which you just discovered that morning. And even more importantly, you should care about your career enough to make sure my vision aligns with yours.

So I proceeded to give this applicant a probably super intense and possibly not very polite lecture on this very subject. Because I teach it all over the place, I am hyper-sensitive to when these things happen to me and once I get into “Let me give you ‘Getting a Job 101’” mode, things often get ugly for the person sitting across from me. I can’t help it, I’m sick. But in my own weird way I am trying to help them in the future. I also loudly lecture salespeople who call me “Mike” when I introduce myself as Michael. It’s ugly but I would hope they think about it the next time they have an opportunity to speak with someone by the name they are given.

Alright, who am I kidding? I’m an asshole. But I’m trying to get people who half-ass things to work a little harder. So you could say I’m an asshole with a heart of gold, doing what your hairdressing school instructor and your parents should have done.

So the search continues to find two more people to join this first team of future superstars. Thankfully I have had several applicants so right now I can afford to be picky. And for that I am grateful, because one of the worst situations plaguing our industry is a lack of new talent. I’ve had to hire people before that I wish I didn’t because I needed a warm body. And once someone is in for a while, it’s hard to get rid of them even though you know they will never do anything meaningful with their careers, and that degrades the ability to create the Utopian salon we all envision when we plan our businesses.

If I can leave you new talent stylists with one bit of advice, you have a computer in front of you right now and you carry one in your pocket all day every day. There is absolutely no excuse to not spend a little time researching the company you are trying to get a job with. You have no excuse for not knowing what their dress code might be if they have one. And for the love of God, if the owner is arrogant enough to put their name on the door, you better stroke that ego by finding out what you can about them.


One thought on “How To Not Get That Job and How To Mildly Offend The Potential Employer In The Process

  1. Hi Michael,

    I just started hairstyling school in September and I discovered your blog today. I just wanted to say thank you for your wisdom. I’ve been reading your posts and watching your videos all morning and they’ve helped me a great deal.

    Wishing you all the best!

    With love, from Montreal.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s