Whether you’re an employee, booth renter, or commission-based technician, there are a few questions that you will certainly ask when considering signing on at a new salon. In Booked Solid: a Nailtech’s Business Guide, salon owner Paula Gilmore has compiled a list of important topics that a new nail technician should focus on in an interview situation. Here are Gilmore’s Top 10 Questions You Might Not Think to Ask a Prospective Employer, But Should.

1. Will I be given a key to the salon? Booth renters should always have their own key. Commission-based nail technicians may or may not. If you are only allowed to work specific hours, this can definitely affect your income.

2. Who collects the service fee from the clients? This may have to do with your status as an employee or booth renter. How are bounced checks handled? Does the salon take credit cards or run in-house customer accounts, and is there a fee for that?

3. What is the business telephone policy? Can you use the business telephone for personal calls and/or for calling clients? Are you required to provide your own phone and listing? Are clients allowed to use the phone? Is there a monthly charge for phone privileges?

4. What type of retail arrangement is in place? Who selects the products offered and maintains the retail area? What is the commission plan for retailing? If the salon does not retail nail care products, can you do it yourself?

5. What kind of marketing plan does the salon have? Hopefully there is an ongoing plan. Will the new employer advertise for you? Are marketing pieces available? Will you be required to participate in salon specials, and is there a shared cost for salon ads? Can you use the salon logo?

6. Does the salon have monthly meetings? When are they and are you required to attend? How does the salon handle problem-solving and disputes? What about customer complaints?

7. What amenities does the salon provide? Is there coffee, wine, munchies, or flowers? What extras are offered (jewelry cleaning, for instance), and who pays for these items?

8. Is any storage area provided? Is there a place to secure your personal items and backup supplies? Will you be required to supply your own storage cabinet?

9. Does the salon offer any in-house services? Can you get other salon services for yourself or a family member and is there a special time allotted for this? Is the any charge?

10. What is the parking situation for customers and nail technicians? Make sure there is ample safe parking. What are the time limits and fees? No client likes to get a $22 parking ticket on top of her service fee.

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