So, you’ve just graduated from your dog grooming course and earned your professional certification… Congratulations! You’re now armed with all the knowledge, passion, and drive you’ll need to become an amazing dog groomer.
Now all you have to do now is get started! But this might sound easier said than done. The real question is: how do you become a dog groomer from here?
While many groomers choose to start their own businesses, others prefer the added security of working at an existing salon. Both are excellent options! That being said, working in a salon is especially great when you’re first starting out. A good dog grooming salon offers a more practical way to get your foot in the door.
Of course, that brings us to the scary part: you’ll first have to impress future bosses at an interview!
Preparing for a dog grooming interview is similar to interviewing for any other job, but there are a few key tips and tricks that will set you apart from the other groomers. Read on to discover what they are!
Dress to Impress
You probably already know that it’s always a good idea to show up to a job interview looking professional and put-together. However, there are some different guidelines you can use if you’re interviewing for a dog grooming position!
Keep in mind that, as a dog groomer, you’ll need to dress comfortably. There’s no reason to shell out hundreds of dollars for clothes that are going to be covered in dog hair! For a dog grooming interview, you should wear something that feels comfortable, without being too casual. For instance, unripped jeans are usually fine!
As a general rule, you should aim to be slightly dressier than the employees.
Show Your Passion
What’s the difference between a good dog groomer and a great one? Passion for the job!
Learning how to become a dog groomer will teach you what to do – but a genuine love of the craft can only come from within. When you love what you do, clients (and managers) will take notice.
A good dog groomer knows all the terms, handles the equipment well, and is good with clients. A great groomer knows the dogs by name, understands breed standards, and brings genuine happiness to their job!
During your interview, feel free to speak about your experience with dogs – even your family pets – and about how working as a groomer would make you feel.
With so many breeds and so many different kinds of clients, groomers need to know a LOT! When it comes to learning how to become a dog groomer, reputable grooming courses are the perfect first step to gaining that know-how.
Once you pair that with real-world experience, you’ve got a winning combination that any interviewer will appreciate!
Think about a few examples of dogs you’ve groomed, or classes you’ve taken, that you can share with your interviewer. Having stories like these are especially great if they demonstrate that you are flexible, caring, and hard-working.
After all, these are all traits perfectly suited to groomers!
One of the best ways to show off all that know-how you’ve gathered from your dog grooming course is by using industry terms to describe your work. For example, you may be asked:
- Whether you have experience with nervous or aggressive dogs
- If you know how to avoid clipper rash
- The types of products or tools you would use in a certain situation, etc.
These are all ways for your interviewer to make sure you know your stuff. So, if you have the chance to go into detail, take full advantage of it. The more you discuss, and the more groomer terminology you properly use, the more the interviewer will see both your experience and expertise!
Nearly every interview ends with the same question: Do you have any questions for ME?
Your answer should always, always be yes! Come to your interview with your inquiries on-hand. For instance, you can ask about:
- The salon’s clients
- The work environment
- The day-to-day operation of the salon
- Or anything else you’d like to know about
Remember: a job interview is a two-way street. You’re trying to decide whether you’d like to work there, just as much as they’re trying to see if you’d be a good fit!
It’s also a good idea to do some research on websites such as Glassdoor or Indeed beforehand. Often, previous applicants (and sometimes even current employees) will write about their interview experience.
This is especially great if you’re feeling nervous about the interview. You’ll be able to get a feel for what the experience will be like, and what you can expect to get out of it.
What Will They Ask?
It’s natural that before any job interview, you may have some nervousness about the kinds of questions you’ll be asked. Don’t worry, we’ve got your back!
Here are a few of the most common question, along with a few tips to put your best answers forward:
- “How do you avoid being bitten or scratched?”
- This question is really asking you to tell the interviewer about your manner with dogs. Have you been in situations with aggressive and/or nervous dogs before? Do you panic when the pressure is on, or calmly reassess the situation?
- “What made you decide to be a dog groomer?”
- Here, the interviewer is looking to see your passion. Tell them all about how much you love animals, and the dog grooming industry in particular!
- “How do you avoid injury to the dogs while grooming?”
- The interviewer will need to know – for everyone’s sake – that you understand how to properly operate grooming tools. They’ll also want to see that you understand the best practices involved with them.
Stake it Out!
If you have a dog yourself, maybe you’re familiar with the salon because it’s your best friend’s salon of choice! If that’s the case, you already have an advantage: you’ve seen this specific environment before.
You may even have a general idea about how it works, and who the employees are there. While you shouldn’t expect special treatment, and should always keep things professional, this is often a great jumping-off point for your interview.
What to Avoid
Of course, no matter what the position is, there are a few things you should always avoid during an interview, too!
Interviewers will be on the lookout for people who:
- Lack communication skills
- Lack the dedication needed to become a dog groomer
- Seem jittery around dogs
- Don’t have a solid grasp of grooming terms, practices, tools, and general knowledge
- Don’t demonstrate an understanding of animal behavior
This means no complaining about how badly behaved your dog is, or flinching away from the toy poodle being groomed during your interview!
As long as you can show the interviewer that you’re comfortable around dogs, know how to keep them (and yourself) safe, and understand the technical side of dog grooming, nailing your interview should be a piece of cake.
No matter how much schooling and training you get in your journey to become a dog groomer, it’ll always seem scary to jump into a new career! Trust us, we get it.
After all, dog grooming is all about people placing their trust in you to look after their best friends! No pressure or anything.
Thankfully, a little preparation can go a LONG way! When you combine the skills and knowledge you’ve learned through a dog grooming certification, with your own passion and professionalism, there’s no limit to what you can achieve in your grooming career!