From the MASSAGE Magazine article, “Spa Success: From Resume to Interview, How to Land the Job You Want,” by Natalie Tessler, in the December 2008 issue. Article summary: Learn how to determine what spa employers are looking for, choose the spa you want to work at, and polish your resume and interview skills in order to land the job of your dream.

There are specific ways a prospective employer can tell when a massage therapist is inexperienced, especially during the practical portion of the interview. Here,  learn how to boost your interview skills.

These are some of the ways an employer can tell you’re a new (inexperienced) massage therapist during a practical interview.

• You fail to give the interviewer instruction about where to put her robe or clothes and whether to lay face-up or face-down on the table.
• You ask the interviewer whether she wants a bolster, rather than simply sliding it under her legs and checking on her comfort.
• You have awkward draping techniques or jam the sheet under the interviewer’s body when tucking.
• You repeatedly ask about pressure and whether it’s enough or too much.
• You don’t notice if the interviewer tenses up when you address a tender area.
• You initiate conversation during the massage rather than letting the interviewer drift off.
• You don’t sufficiently engage the tissue.
• Your massage lacks fluidity: Your transitions from one area to the next are awkward or choppy.
• Your massage is uneven: You perform certain strokes or techniques on one side of the body but not the other.
• You seem to follow a routine without following your intuition: A seasoned therapist will recognize an area that needs further attention and provide it.
• You are unable to give a complete massage in the time allotted by the interviewer.

Natalie Tessler