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Massage Therapist Interview Questions

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  1. What types of massage techniques are you most proficient in? See answer
  2. How many massages can you comfortably do back to back? See answer
  3. Do you typically interact with clients throughout your massage services? See answer
  4. How would you handle a client who makes an inappropriate comment during a massage? See answer
  5. What is your general philosophy about how healing and massage work together? See answer
  6. What would you do if a client asked for a deep tissue massage but started making sounds as if they were in pain when you administered deep pressure? See answer
  7. What do you do if your hands start to get tired partway through a massage?
  8. Some clients will want silence during a massage while others enjoy having a conversation. How do you determine what level of interaction the client wants?
  9. Do you have experience giving hot stone massages and heating the stones to the correct, safe temperature?
  10. How do you set a relaxing ambiance in your massage room to make your clients feel at ease?
  11. Do you have experience administering massage to people with disabilities and health concerns? How do you modify your techniques to accommodate them?
  12. How would you plan a 60-minute massage for a first-time client who didn’t identify a specific area they wanted to work on?
  13. What are the best practices for sanitizing the massage area and setting up again for another client in between massage sessions?
  14. What would you do if your client was unhappy with the outcome of the massage?
  15. What should you do if a client falls asleep during their massage?
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6 Massage Therapist Interview Questions and Answers

Q:

What types of massage techniques are you most proficient in?

A:

Depending on how specialized your spa or massage center is, you may be looking to hire a massage therapist who is an expert in a specific massage modality or one who is experienced in only a few. Asking this question early will allow you to determine if the candidate’s skill set matches up with the needs of your facility.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Skills that match up with the needs of your facility
  • Level of training and experience
  • Specific massage styles they are proficient in

Example:

“I’m trained and certified in hot stone and Swedish massage, but I have over five years of professional experience in deep tissue massage.”

Q:

How many massages can you comfortably do back to back?

A:

If you run a busy massage center, you may want to hire a massage therapist who is comfortable massaging multiple clients consecutively. In a smaller locale, this may not be a concern. However, getting an idea of a prospective applicant’s physical limitations will allow you to see if they’re a good fit for your facility and work out the best way to fit them into your schedule.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Capabilities that match your facility’s needs
  • Readiness to work with your scheduling practices
  • Experience with the number of clients your center sees daily

Example:

“I can usually perform three hour-long massage sessions consecutively before needing a short fifteen to twenty minute break. Five to six hours of massage a day was my norm at the last center I worked for.”

Q:

Do you typically interact with clients throughout your massage services?

A:

While some clients like to have someone talk to them during their massage session, many other clients prefer silence so they can close their eyes and relax. Some massage therapists are great about respecting these boundaries while others need some more prompting to stop with the small talk. This question will let you determine whether the applicant’s level of sociability is appropriate for your facility.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Good communication skills
  • Awareness that the client may want some quiet time
  • Friendly and professional demeanor

Example:

“I’ll usually ask clients a few questions before we begin in order to determine where to focus my massage and what they’re looking to get out of the session. After that, I’ll stop talking to let them relax and fully immerse themselves into the massage experience.”

Q:

How would you handle a client who makes an inappropriate comment during a massage?

A:

While not common, there is always a chance that a rude client will make an inappropriate comment towards a massage therapist. It’s important for the therapist to know how to handle such a situation quickly and professionally. The therapist should know to de-escalate the situation and follow company policy on how to handle such situations.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Readiness to take professional yet assertive action
  • Knowledge of company policy to avoid legal liability
  • Willingness to report and seek help if needed

Example:

“If such a situation were to arise I would let the client know right away that their comment is making me feel uncomfortable and to please stop. If the situation continues, I would stop the session and report the incident to my supervisor immediately.”

Q:

What is your general philosophy about how healing and massage work together?

A:

If you run a holistic or integrative massage center it will be important for you to find a massage therapist that shares your philosophy on healing and can express that message with your clients. Many massage therapists believe that healing one aspect of the body requires a proper balance of all body systems. Others may see massage as simply a physical art form without any spiritual foundation. It’s important that the applicant’s philosophy fits in with your own.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Ability to accept and respect other’s beliefs
  • A strong motivation to help others
  • A viewpoint that fits in with that of your practice

Example:

“I believe that a holistic approach to physical dysfunction is important in order to achieve real results. By combining massage with other healing modalities, it’s possible to really make a difference in the lives of our clients.”

Q:

What would you do if a client asked for a deep tissue massage but started making sounds as if they were in pain when you administered deep pressure?

A:

Massage therapists have to give many styles of massage depending on their client's requests, from gentle and relaxing massage to targeted therapeutic massage designed to eliminate muscular knots and realign the posture. Massage therapists should be able to balance feedback from clients with the results they want from the massage. Good candidates have an idea of when they could be hurting a client beyond what is normal and use communication skills to monitor the client's comfort level.

Look for these attributes when assessing a candidate's answer:

  • Perceptiveness and awareness of their surroundings
  • Checking in with the client
  • Understanding of massage techniques

Here is one possible answer:

Example:

"With a deep therapeutic massage, some pain is normal as the massage therapist has to work through serious muscular tension, causing discomfort and a feeling of intensity. However, the massage should not be unbearable for the client, and as a massage therapist I am always mindful of each client's limits. If the client seems especially uncomfortable or sounds like they are in pain, I touch base with them about how they feel about the pressure level, making adjustments as necessary. With clients who move around due to pain, I always reduce pressure to avoid damaging their muscles."

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