Advice for an apprentice trial


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New Member
Jun 21, 2020
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Hi! I had an interview for an apprenticeship on Friday and was contacted later that afternoon about doing a trial shift next week. I said yes and really hoping I am successful, the apprenticeship is at one of the best salons in my city and they have a great reputation for their training.

During the group interview a few of us asked if we could get any further info on what will be expected of us if we get to do a trial. The hiring manager said they are looking (aside from the usual being punctual, well dressed, smiling etc) to see if we get along with the current staff and the main thing is just to see our initiative. She said we won’t be given any instructions and it will mostly be up to us. This makes me nervous because I have been to a trial at a different salon previously and they did not show me around or where anything was, gave no instructions and didn’t even introduce me to any of the staff. I tried my hardest to introduce myself, offer help, not get in the way and stay busy but the staff were very dismissive and cleaned up after themselves. It was a very difficult and awkward day and I felt horrible by the end of it.

I understand why they need to see our initiative but feel awkward just going through cupboards, cleaning and offering drinks to clients when I don’t know where anything is and am not familiar with the way the salon works. I’ve never spent much time in salons even as a client so I have no clue as to the usual procedures and how things run. I’m never sure in these situations if it’s better to do something wrong and possibly get in trouble or do less and not stand out. Any advice on what to do and questions to ask would be amazing! Thank you in advance x


Super Moderator
Staff member
Premium Geek
Aug 11, 2011
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West Cork, Ireland
As someone who used to be involved in employing and mentoring new staff, I’m appalled at the way your previous interview/trial was carried out. I can only conclude that the manager in that situation had zero training in recruitment or they already had a candidate lined up and were just going through the motions with the remaining candidates, which I hope is the real reason for their appalling treatment of you.

Either way, it wouldn’t be a good place to work, so consider yourself lucky to have missed out on that place.

Honestly, I’m sure your next experience will be much better.
Don’t forget that whilst you want to gain an apprenticeship, you also want to work somewhere where you’re valued and a proper plan goes into your training. Getting the best from your staff involves nurturing them carefully, not treating them like dirt. If the local salons have a mentality of ‘treat ’em mean, keep ’em keen’, then don’t waste your time and risk your mental health but enrol on a college course instead.

Generally, I’d say show enthusiasm for the role, ask relevant questions (research the salon via their website and social media presence) and don’t let your previous experience knock your confidence.

Best of luck!


Well-Known Member
Jan 22, 2020
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Good morning klouise,

I do hope you weren't up all night stressing about this.
First off- they invited you to the trial, they like you already. However you came across in the group, it worked!!

I admit, I'm not sure of the idea of ' not given any instructions ' as that sounds very iffy- some guidance is needed for anyone even if you'd worked on 20 different salons in as many years.

You probably will get some guidance, but if you dont then ask- that's using your initiative to get it right.
Get someone to demonstrate how they * set out the drinks trays * roll the clean towels * cut and fold foils * check in clients etc.

Also, everyone remembers polite and friendly, which you sound as if you are.
And if they aren't to you, then dont ever feel it's a reflection on you personally.
We work in a person centric industry, smiling, a welcoming and helpful attitude should be automatically extended to all people in the salon.

The very best of luck to you.

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