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why the "technical interview?"

by thatmelchick

i have been practicing massage therapy for almost ten years and i have NEVER understood why i am EVER asked to give a massage on an interview. i cannot see ANY reason why a prospective employer cannot call my references to determine whether or not i have adequate technique and experience. the "technical interview" seems like a scam to get free massage.

most interviewers haven't even been to massage school... especially spa owners. this is, of course, beside the point. what IS the point is that receiving a massage is a purely SUBJECTIVE experience as to whether or not one likes the practitioner. a prospective employer can easily call references to determine whether or not a therapist was a good student at the school s/he attended or whether or not s/he had happy/repeat clients.

can i get a witness??? i mean REALLY?

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"technical interview"
by: Anonymous

We "spa owners" do a technical interview to see if you are good as you say you are. What, we are just gonna take your word for it!! I happen to pay the girls that I get a techical interview with, for the reason that they are not working for free. However, it would not be a FREE massage if you were as good as you said, cause they would have HIRED you. So maybe you should think of it from our stand point.. Cause It is our Salon & Spa reputations not yours!!

by: thatmelchick

i don't want you to take my word for it. i want you to check my references like any other prospective employer for any other business.

Technical Interview
by: BHI

I can understand you feel as if it should be enough for prospective employers to speak to references in regards to your skills and capabilities. Unfortunately, unless your prospective employer knows intimately the reputation of your previous employer, we absolutely want to know what you do and how you go about it. Good employers invest a great deal of time, effort and money to employ and train the right people - and even then it's very difficult to get right. The technical interview is essential and part of my interview process. Having said that, as I mentioned earlier, I have just hired someone who has been highly recommended by a well respected health professional - in this case, only a face-to-face discussion was required. I was satisfied his skills and experience were exceptional.

Don't take technical interviews as 'free massages'. They are an essential part of the interview process in our industry. A genuine employer doesn't have time to be doing nothing else but 'scam' free massages.


why is massage so special?
by: thatmelchick


for the following professional interviews:
law firms don't ask lawyers to plead cases or write free briefs
hospitals don't ask doctors to perform free surgeries
corporate accountants don't do free taxes
acupuncturists don't give free needles
chiropractors don't give free adjustments

i fail to see why it's more difficult for a spa or holistic health center to check the references of a massage therapist than it is for law firms, hospitals, account firms, etc.

why is massage so special?

technical interview
by: Anonymous

As someone who hires massage therapists, I'm not looking for a free massage, in fact many of the massages I get are not that great so I actually don't look forward to that part of the interview. And it's another reason why I need to do the technical interview, to weed out the people who look good on paper.

For other professions they do often have to submit samples of their work- a friend of mine is a photographer and has to send out a portfolio to potential employers, she doesn't get paid for the photos and it does cost her money to print and send it out. So a 1/2 hour of someone's time isn't much to ask.

can I get a witness...
by: Kathryn

I concur, I too feel they are just requesting for the rub, however I would rather comply than not get the job and when I have been asked to demonstrate my abilities the prospective employer was respectful enough to suggest just a couple of minutes or their back and if they want you to continue on then you have every right to suggest a FEE!

Technical Interview is a Must!!!
by: Anonymous

As someone that has worked at spa's and massage clinics, they've always asked for a demo massage. Just like you, it seemed as if I were offering my services for "Free". During my early interviews, I gained a lot of knowledge as to how better start the massage, finish, as well as a few massage techniques that were not taught in school. During an interview at a chiropractic office, he asked for a demonstration massage. This was my opportunity to tell him that I was not interested in work for or with him.
Now that I've owned my own business for over a year, it seems that I conduct my own interview for another MT.
Getting a "Free" massage from a student or anyone else for that matter is not my cup of tea. I am VERY picky about who works on me. But, an intern contacted me to find out about interning with me. Her cridentials look outstanding, her instructor even put in a good work. Then I had her work on me. 1200 hrs of massage training and lots of volunteer work does not make a great therapist.
So, now having been on the giving and receiving side of the matter, I see where the technical interview is important.
It is your choice. If you choose not to do a technical interview, just don't expect me to refer my clients to you or help build your business. I've work extremely hard to gain the massage knowledge I have and I only want those that can do or learn the same working with me.

Try thinking of it this way. The owner of a business does need to take time away from their business to conduct your interview. Not only that, but be prepaired to get nothing else done the remainder of the day if it's a bad massage.

Accu & Chiro
by: Continued

Oh and the accupunturist that works with me did do accupunture on my mother. The Chiropractor that sees me did have to adjust her "Boss", and other positions some times have more safe guards than massage does.
You can't just walk into trial. Someone would look over your case before you even stepped into a court room. A banker doesn't just get to start passing out money to anyone, their work is checked.
Would you prefer someone to be in the room with you durning the massage to check over your work for the first few weeks to make sure that everything is alright?

totally agree
by: Anonymous

i totally agree with her cuz one time i had an interview and i was suppose to massage the spa owner only right but when i arrives at her spa turns out that i have to massage her husband too,what is this a free massage???? is it because you are having a free massage you have to include your family too to get a free massage i was like wooow...never mind.

My opinion
by: Anonymous

The technical interview should be required. Hands down. I am a spa owner and yes I am also a LMT. All of my therapists that I hire are required to give a demo. It's not about the idea of the massage being "FREE" but the allowance the demo gives me to evalutate performance, flow, body mechanics, professionalism, and customer service. If I am pleased with the massage then I am sure clients would also. I prefer therapists whose main concern is not typically the service rate of a massage vs. the quality or customer's satisfaction. References are also taken into consideration but the technical interview determines the yay or nay for me. The reward for the "FREE" massage is a job opportunity.

techincal interview is b.s
by: Anonymous

Nothing is for free! If you want a good massage you pay for it period! If it ends up not suiting your spa that is the chance you take, and you don't have to hire them. So I would make sure everythng else suits your spa before you pay for your service.Why would I give away something I charge for on a regular basis over the last 18 years? because it is not just the money it is that every massage needs to count after you have some years into it, and after massage school you don't have to practice and give free massages.For an example, when I interview an attorney for hire they get rather testy when you question their experience, especially, when it is many years. Basically, all you can do is ask the state bar if they have had any complaints.I wouldn't ask the attorney to do free work, but I would like references and if that is good enough for a multi-million dollar suit that should be good enough for your little spa and your "reputation". Stop giving away free work! That is like the illegals undercutting the citizens for work, it ruins the field.

thanks for giving us the opportunity to make you money
by: Anonymous

The "reward" is a job opportunity??? We are doing the work that makes the money!!! More valueable then money; it is our thumbs, wrists, elbows, shoulders, neck, energy that is sacrificed. So, please don't act like it is a huge favor.This is a partnership really, you bring them in and you should supply everything and we do all the work and bring them back.

free massage
by: Anonymous

Actually, asking for a demo has not always been like that, it is an increasing trend that is exploitive.

The service rate is most important
by: Anonymous

Of course, the service rate is going to be on the top of the most important list. Massage is damn hard work!!If it isn't you aren't doing a good job!!The rate of pay is very important to all people!If we wanted to work for peanuts we would join a circus.

Not that bad
by: Anonymous

I'm holding interview's for the first time and I have worked as a massage therapist myself for a few years. I would only ask for massage if I believed the person was really right for the job. It works both ways the more impressed you are by the therapist as well it is easier to recommend people to them because you have experienced their skills and liked it for yourself. When it comes to massage therapy there are a lot of people with diplomas and no natural ability. It takes a special person to be a good therapist and when it comes to business I want to have complete faith that our clients are getting the treatment they deserve.

It is unfortunate that Spa owners have taken advantage of the situation and made therapists feel taken advantage of. At the end of the day therapists should listen to their gut and if they feel the interviewer is taking advantage they can always leave but if the job is a good opportunity then doing one massage shouldn't be a big deal.

Technical interview measures much more than massage skill
by: Anonymous

As a licensed therapist & as someone who was responsible for the massage department at a busy spa, the technical interview was crucial. It measures much more than technical skill. I was able to see the level of professionalism and communication that my clients were paying top dollar for. I have interviewed people that were stellar at answering my questions but then performed a massage with shoddy, questionable draping, never checking in with regards to pressure or room temperature, and even had one interviewee wrap both her hands around my neck whilst massaging! My clients paid for the whole experience, and not all therapists are trained with our required level of customer service or professionalism. I did not want to risk my client's safety or the business's reputation by unleasing a therapist about whose work I had no idea.
As a therapist, I never felt "taken advantage of" and I have good references and interview well. I was pleased that the establishment cared enough about their clients to experience what they were experiencing.

technical interview
by: Anonymous

I am a Chiropractor, and I assure you that most DCs that interview for an associate position adjust the person hiring, and its "free."

A Private Business perspective
by: Small Business owner/Massage Therapist

I have Been in business for 11 years and find myself needing a couple of massage therapists to help me out with couples massage or fill in while i am on vacation for 3 weeks. I will be interviewing 3 therapists in the next month. I strongly believe I need to include a massage from each gal to determine if I want that person touching my clients. I interviewed a couple massage therapists 2 years ago and I am glad i had them come back to massage me as a part of my potential hiring because 1 of them wreaked with BO and I had to shorten that part of the interview because of it. The second one I would not let touch my dog let alone touch my clients. Not all massage therapists are good therapists. I definately include a massage, however it is after the interview and evaluating the points of interest of the interviewee. From my own experience my situation is not a scam. I look at it as a strong point of evaluation for the best interest of my clients.

if you want the job
by: Anonymous

If you want the job, do the massage. A true and professional massage therapist should not be able to WAIT for this part of the interview.

by: t sizzle

I heard from a very succesful therapist once, "don't be afraid to work for free." What he meant was there will be oppurtunities in your massage career where you wont get paid for your work but you could benefit from the experience. I love practicals and would not mind to give a free massage every once in a while to someone who needs it. In this situation I can proudly demonstrate a craft I have spent many years perfecting. I enjoy the criticism and advice afterwards. I want to improve always, what a great oppurtunity in my mind.

Technical Interview
by: Roberta

I agree with everyone, it is not necessary to have someone get a massage because they day it is required. I was asked to give a half an hour initially and then come back and give a second full hour massage and she never even tipped me the second time around. I did not get any work for her for two months following. What a rip off, I will never do the second one ever again.

Different strokes for different folks
by: limahana

I have to say I agree in part about the intention to have a technical/practical interview. However, I concur with others, that my 12 year licensed massage therapist career experience with references,should be enough to qualify me for employment without the technical/practical interview.

WHY?: With all due respect to my 'fellow' massage
therapists - we are all to 'judgmental' of one another,plain and simple. AND,within the Spa/Salon industry, quantity of clients equals more money(time is money). Of course,the well-being of the client certainly is primary and paramount to the mission statement. Furthermore,it would be to costly to the business if they were to,let's say,'try' the LMT out for a week to see how it goes.

What I would ask of the Manager/Asst.Managers who do the interview(s),is to asses the LMT they are interviewing applying your LMT experiences along with your intuition - 'gut feeling' about that person sitting in front of you.

In summary,I have worked on a lot of folks in the industry. Some have told me "that was the best massage I have had". Others have 'scolded' me,in a creative criticism sort of way. Different strokes for different folks.

by: Anonymous

I wouldn't have Mobile 5 star resort experience on my resume if I didn't provide excellent customer service and pass rigorous standards. That said, is it necessary to massage the lead therapist and the owner's wife at a local day spa? That does seem a bit much.

The best "practical" I performed was when the spa owner scheduled and paid for an experienced massage therapist to receive a massage as a secret shopper.

Let's not get greedy!

Get over yourself
by: A7mk

I am a CMT and a massage studio owner. I have found that applicants who hedge on giving a practical have something to hide. Have you ever purchased a car without test driving it first?? Before I opened my own studio I worked for a few other massage studios and I was proud to show off what I could do. I know I'm good. My clients know I'm good. You want me to work for you, hell yeah I'll show how good I am and why you should pay me top dollar. What do you have to hide? I will never ever hire someone without a practical. My business reputation is on the line when you are working for me and I want to know that you are good not just because your Aunt Flo said you were. Every therapist who works for me is an investment and I want to know what I am paying you for. Yeah it's your hands that are doing the work that I am profiting from but if you are so good that you don't feel that you need to do a practical then go open your own place and then you won't have to give any more practicals. Yeah there are owners who might take advantage but there just as many crappy therapists. You think I should hire you just because some schmuck I don't know says your good. If you are so good then why are you asking me for a job, why aren't you sweeping up the big bucks and working for yourself and charging a tall price for it. The clients who see me or the therapists who work for me pay over $100 for a one hour massage. I pay my staff well and I pay for their CEs because I want them to be the best. You think your skills don't stink - prove it. I could care less if you have been a therapist for a day or 20 years prove tome how good you are. When I conduct an interview with an applicant the first question I ask is if they are prepared to give a practical. If they aren't then the interview ends right there. If they are then I schedule them to come back in for the practical after they have answered my interview questions. And I pay them for it too. Don't bother me with your arrogant attitude of "I've been a therapist for 12 years and have proven my skill." So what. Cry to your mama. If you have been a therapist for 12 years and are good then you won't have a problem in demonstrating that skill to the person who is going to pay you. An attitude of "I'm too good to have to do a practical" means your customer service sucks and you have something to hide. Is an artist afraid to show their work? If you have been on a lot of job interviews and have had to give too many practicals maybe fate is telling you your skills are crap and you need to find another line of work. Oh yeah and I got a house to sell you that is awesome. You wanna buy it sight unseen for $300,000?

Relax A7mk
by: limahana

Relax A7mk,

I hear what you are spewing and I have learned a great deal about myself since writing my feelings on this forum.
I DO find that it is important to do whatever it takes to always grow as a Massage Therapist. Even if it is uncomfortable. I have been 'tested' in 10 practicals, each one of them successful. Big deal.
So demonstrate compassion to those who are dealing with this issue because unless you know them personally stop your personal persecution of us,we,them.It surprising to me, even hilarous, that there are actually 'massage therapist stereotypes'. And even though 'some' are not my type, I still have respect for who they are as a person/MT. So you go cry to your mama A7mk and muster up the courage to respect and honor the healing spirit within yourself. Then maybe your 'truth' will be accepted as words of wisdom more than those of a 'nuturing' Army drill sergeant. ( my dad was one -RIP )

Massage Interview NEW
by: Anonymous

That is just taking advantage of people. Massage is hard work and you should be paid for it. Even if a guy takes 10-15 minutes to change your tire you offer him some money. If you have 5 star hotels on your resume that should be good enough for a small day spa. Sorry that just makes sense, I would be questioning how they ran their spa if they didn't come to that conclusion. If you are an independent contractor you set the rates for the massage interview, as well, an hour is a massage JOB. According, to IRS you should be setting your fee rates. There is a lot of day spas that need to watch how much control they try to have over an independent contractor they are cracking down on that.

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