10 interview questions to ask when hiring a new team member for your spa

interview questions

When assessing talent to join your staff, some interview questions will tell you more than others. Here are 10 questions to ask when interviewing a new team member for your spa.

Interviewing for a new hire? What questions should you ask to ensure you find the best person?

By the time you get to the interview stage, you already know a few things about the candidate. If you’re hiring a massage therapist, for example, you should know what type of massage they’re proficient in, their work history, education, and more. You know enough to think this candidate might be a good fit for your open position. 

Now, it’s time to assess whether they possess skills and qualities required to succeed in wellness, fit in with your team and, most important, help your business reach its strategic objectives. 

How do you do that? By asking the right questions. There are some obvious job interview questions that are most commonly asked. These include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Why do you want to work here?
  • Why are you leaving your current job/did you leave your last job?
  • What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
  • What motivates you?
  • Tell me about a time you solved a problem.
  • Why should I hire you?
  • Do you have any questions for me?

These are common because they tell you a lot about a person. There are also good questions more targeted towards assessing whether the candidate embodies certain skills and qualities important in spa and wellness. When hiring the newest member of your wellness team, you want them to possess the following. 

  • Listening skills
  • Communication skills
  • Empathy
  • Decision making skills
  • Problem solving skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Ability to handle conflict
  • Attention to detail
  • A strong work ethic
  • Creativity

Here are 10 interview questions to ask when hiring a new team member for your spa.

1. Why did you choose a career path in spa and wellness?

You want to know why this person chose this career and what drove them towards spa and wellness. Is it a desire to help and to heal? This will help you figure out where this person fits in your organization.  

Assesses: decision making skills, communication skills (do they tell this story effectively?).

2. Tell me about a time you encountered a problem with a guest and how you handled it.

It’s crucial that a customer-facing employee knows how to handle conflict, especially in spa and wellness, where people often feel vulnerable. Moreover, when people are paying high prices for luxury services, guests can be demanding, sometimes overly so. You want an employee who knows how to handle people with grace and kindness.

Assesses: interpersonal skills, ability to handle conflict.

 3. Tell me about a time you encountered a stressed or anxious guest and helped them feel comfortable. If this hasn’t happened yet, talk about how you would do this.

Spa treatments can be emotional experiences and a therapist with the ability to put anxious guests at ease can be very valuable. This is even more important now, as spas are navigating the new world in the wake of the COVID lockdown.

Assesses: listening skills, empathy, problem solving, communication skills.

4. What would you do if you encountered a guest with an unrecognizable skin condition?

This can happen and can be a very delicate situation. How would the therapist handle the situation and what would they say? Even if you have your own protocols for handling this situation – which you should – it’s a good idea to find out how the service provider might handle it on their own, as it gives some insight into their personality.

Assesses: communication skills, empathy, problem solving.

5. What steps should a service provider take to ensure guest safety, and their own safety, before, during, and after treatments and services?

This is the candidate’s opportunity to showcase their industry knowledge and understanding, and is particularly pertinent now that safety protocols in most places have increased. 

Assesses: communication, industry knowledge, attention to detail.

6. What are some of the things you would take into consideration before making a skincare or wellness recommendation to a guest?

Therapists are expected to recommend products, and even lifestyle changes. The answer should tell you how the candidate comes to a decision, and give you an idea of the depth of their knowledge and training.

Assesses: decision making, listening, ability to process information.

7. Have you encountered a situation in which a guest or colleague was having trouble communicating something and how did you handle it?

Spa guests may not always be able to effectively communicate their wants and needs. The ability to figure out what someone is trying to say, rather than to simply take their words at face value, is a valuable one in a wellness employee that requires combining intuition with critical thinking.  

Assesses: listening, empathy, critical thinking.

8. Tell me about a big change to which you’ve had to adapt and now you handled it.

Adaptability is going to become increasingly important going forward. At the moment, nobody knows what the future has in store and things are subject to change very fast. Most people think they handle change well, but you’re better off asking for an example.

Assesses: Adaptability, problem solving.

9. Are you comfortable learning new technologies?

With wellness tech on the rise and more high-level luxury companies embracing technology, you want to know that a new team member will be comfortable growing with these changes. Ability to embrace and adapt to new technologies demonstrates a candidate’s willingness to learn and grow.

Assesses: willingness to learn, adaptability.

10. Tell me about a time you went above and beyond for a guest?

This is one of the keys to creating a guest experience that will set you above the competition. This question assesses more than half of the skills and qualities you’re looking for. If they can’t think of a time they went above and beyond that’s potential cause for concern. If they can think of several, that’s a great sign. 

Assesses: empathy, creativity, work ethic, decision making skills, problem solving skills, interpersonal skills, attention to detail.

These are a few examples of questions to ask when hiring a new member of your wellness team. You will have your own questions that provide insight into what you need to know for yourself and your business. Be creative and remember that the interview is a two-way street – you and the candidate are assessing each other to find the best fit. Relax and have a conversation, and you’ll find the right person for your business.


Spa Executive is published by Book4Time, the leader in guest management, revenue and mobile solutions for the most exclusive spas, hotels, and resorts around the globe. Learn more at book4time.com.