It was a bit like a TV reality show.
A group of local salon owners recently interviewed students from the cosmetology program at Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School. The owners included one woman who graduated from Whittier and became a successful business owner.
The students were nervous, but they were ready. Eight of them had already passed the state test to earn their cosmetology operator’s licenses. They knew color, cuts and curly updos. Now, an impressive group of salon owners was in a conference room waiting to interview them.
After a quick pep talk from their teacher Carolyn Williams, the first students to be interviewed checked their makeup, smoothed their clothing and then walked into the conference room to introduce themselves.
Senior Alyssa Payos of Haverhill was exuberant when she returned from her interview.
“The owner of Zephyr wants me to do make up with her for her son’s play,” Alyssa said of the salon in Haverhill. “She’s a colorist, so I can pick her brain while we work!”
Joining the students for two mornings of interviews were salon owners from Zephyr of Haverhill, Amelia’s of Merrimac, Salon Forza of Andover, J. Mari Hair Design of Bradford, Spani’joli of Methuen, Essence of Amesbury, Runway of Newburyport, Ocean Zen & Sea Spa in Newburyport, Bliss Salon and Spa of North Andover, The Black Daisy in Methuen, Family Affair in Groveland and Crown Salon & Spa in Merrimac.
Student Aly Krisandra of Merrimac interviewed with Crown Salon & Spa.
“I couldn’t think of any questions,” she said. “I think I did okay, though.”
School officials said the girls waiting for their turn in a back room asked questions of those who went first, such as “how was it?” and “what did they ask?”
“Once you get in there and start talking, the nervousness goes away and you can answer their questions,” said Meghann Hailson, a student from Haverhill. “And they asked the same questions Ms. Williams has been going over with us.”