Most massage therapists are self-employed freelance agents in the health management and pain management industries. Still, some do find employment in any number of institutions. Chiropractors offices, hospitals, nursing homes, and spas, just to name a few, all employ professionally-trained massage therapists. The hardest part is nailing the job interview. Though you may have gotten in to massage therapy because of its relaxed, casual atmosphere, the majority of hospitals, salons, and other institutions are businesses and expect a certain level from their applicants. Here are some tips to help you conquer that job interview.
1) Be on time. It seems silly to reiterate it, but many applicants to professional health industry positions are eliminated simply because they did not show up or showed up late to the interview. This looks bad to the prospective employer because it projects an image of unreliability; something they desperately want to avoid.
2) Be professional. Do not be too familiar with the interviewer, but don’t be too stiff either. It’s okay to be yourself, but remember that this is a business relationship and the contact between you and this prospective employer should remain at all times professional.
3) Bring only a few things. You will not usually be asked to demonstrate your techniques, nor will you need everything you normally carry with you. Leave purses, backpacks, bags, and briefcases at home. Bring a small folder with some sheets of paper, a pen, and some extra copies of your necessary paperwork. That is all you will need, ever.
4) Make eye contact and give a firm handshake. Some people have a hard time looking other people in the eye, but a technique to overcome that is to look at a person’s eyebrows or the bridge of their nose, or similar. Most interviewers automatically disqualify many applicants just because they seemed overly nervous and would not meet their eye. As for handshakes, both men and women should have a firm, but not crushing, grip when shaking the hands of whomever is meeting you.
5) Keep it simple. If you are asked questions, try to be as brief and to the point as possible. Long stories make the attention of the interviewer wander or make them think you are making things up as you go along. Relax, be friendly and talkative, but not overly verbose.
6) Follow up your interview. A day or so after your interview, you should send a thank you card. A plain, simple design and a very simple message along the lines of why you liked the company and that you can not wait to work for them, as well as contact information, will go a long way toward making the interviewer remember you; this gesture alone may bump you up a notch or two in their eyes.
Also, if you are thinking that as a freelance massage therapist, you won’t have to do these things, think again. Most massage therapists find their work through referrals. How else do you get referrals than talking to the professionals who do the referring?