There are 5 cardinal rules that I feel strongly about, and all 5 of these need to be observed when someone comes to interview with me, or any spa owner, for that matter. If any one of these rules is broken, then I am likely to have an extremely negative impression of the prospective candidate and their chances of being hired are just about nil.
Rule #1: Be on time. This may seem like the easiest of rules to follow, but to me, if you're not even able to show up on time for the interview, which is the FIRST CHANCE you have to make a good impression, then you're not going to show up on time for your job. I've had candidates come as much as 30 minutes late, with no phone call. If you're lost, or stuck in traffic, or find that you cannot come because of an emergency - that's understandable. But at least give the courtesy of calling ahead to let me know - by the way, nail technicians are the worst offenders when it comes to not showing up for interviews. They are so in demand, they don't even bother calling to cancel.
Rule #2: Bring your resume. Don't assume that just because you sent it to the spa owner by mail, email, or fax that she will have it ready and available. We get tons and tons of resumes and applications each day, we rarely have the time to print out your resume, and if you show up without one, then we'll need to take the time out of your interview to search for it and print it out. NOT a good way to spend the first 10 minutes of your interview. I myself have made the mistake - twice! - of not bringing a resume to an interview, assuming that the prospective employer already had it. Well, both times, I did not get the job, and guess what? That's 100% my fault, and I accept responsibility for that. I would never do that again.
Rule #3: Be prepared for common interview questions! Have your answers thought out beforehand. Okay, you got yourself there on time, you brought your resume. Great! But when asked, "What are your three major strengths and weaknesses," don't just give a blank, cowlike stare. Or worse yet, you say 3 positive things about yourself, but then say you have no weaknesses. Um, WRONG ANSWER. Everyone has weaknesses. I have a list of weaknesses a mile long, and I am not afraid to share it. This lets prospective employers know I am self-aware and open to improvement. I'll even make it easy - this is what I ask in every interview:
* Tell me about yourself.
* What motivates you to work in the spa industry?
* Why did you choose to become a ____________ (insert esthetician, massage therapist, nail technician, etc.)?
* What are your three greatest strengths and weaknesses?
* Where do you see yourself in 5 years? In 10 years?
* What goals do you hope to accomplish in your first year at Pavia?
* Why did you choose to apply to Pavia?
* Why do you think I absolutely need to hire you?
Rule #4: Don't ask about compensation right off the bat. So one time, we had barely sat down and introduced ourselves, when the candidate cuts me off in the middle of my first question (which was, "Tell me about yourself") and says, "How much do you pay? I want to make sure it's worth my while to even interview." Okay, gong! Thanks for playing. If a candidate asks about compensation immediately, then it turns me off and tells me he/she is only in it for the money. I will know right away that this person is not a fit, and end the interview on the spot.
Rule #5: Dress appropriately. You know, I don't know where some people get their interview wardrobes. I have seen so many inappropriate outfits, I don't even know where to start. Here is a list of things I do NOT like seeing at a first interview: tank tops, denim anything (jeans, jackets, etc.), tattoos, flip flops, low-cut tops, T-shirts, short skirts, hot pants, tennis shoes, skintight leathers, chaps, stiletto heels, nose rings or body piercings, and my favorite: sweats! Ugh! Just remember you are meeting someone for the very first time, that it's your one and only chance to make a favorable first impression. You don't have to wear a suit, but what's wrong with a button-down shirt and khaki pants or skirt? I'm just saying...I think it's important to be inoffensive when you don't know what the interviewer's personal tastes are and when you want them to concentrate on you and your talents, not your clothes.
That's it! Next time I'll talk about the qualities of my favorite kinds of employees...