How to Get Hired as an LMT


If you know about Balance Orlando, you’ve noticed how fast we’ve grown. I started with one other LMT in September 2008, and that’s just when the economy crashed.

How did we survive as a new business, when others had to downsize or give up completely? I didn’t even have any business experience. And I was new in the US.

But I found the right therapists.  

When I look back now, I shudder at the many mistakes I made, the many things that could have gone completely wrong, and the huge amount of money I invested over several years. But at the same time I’m proud that I didn’t cut the prices, didn’t change the company culture, and just hoped that high integrity will be rewarded in the end.

Winning “Best Massage of Orlando” was a good hint that I’ve been on the right track, that I found the right therapists, and managed to retain them. As far as I know, therapists at Balance don’t dream of opening their own businesses anytime soon. They pay me to take care of marketing, administration, supplies, receptionists and more, and they feel that they’re getting a fair deal.

My business plan was simple: I wanted to have some of Orlando’s best massage therapists in one place, easily available for scheduling, seven days a week.

Those are the therapists who normally would work for themselves, not as contractors in a business like mine, and certainly not as employees.
If I don’t treat them exceptionally well, if I don’t respect them as independent professionals, I will not be able to provide the high quality of service we’re known for.

By finding and retaining the best LMTs, by making the therapists the most important people in the business, I managed to grow when others shrank.

Are you one of those therapists? Do you hate marketing and administration?  Are you wondering how to find a job where your skills are appreciated and you’re well-paid?

This post is for you.
I look for attitude first, skills second.

Skills can be taught.

So don’t worry whether you have the right skillset for a medical massage business.
Usually I ask friends and clients about a therapist they know, or I just put up a post on facebook. Probably I have already heard about your skills.

What really matters is the right attitude!

My interview process starts before we actually meet. I ask for a resume by email, and the first important factors are

  • how fast do I get a response?
  • how am I being addressed?
  • are there typos, grammatical errors?
  • did you send the same email to every business owner or does yours includes a statement on why you are interested in working with me specifically?

Demonstrating the right attitude means:

  • fast answers –> show me this is important to you! Seriously… the faster your answers, the more impressed I am. Don’t play hard to get.
  • attention to detail –> if you don’t take time to be polite and check your spelling, I will assume that as a therapist you’ll be sloppy and rude, too.
  • sincerity –> don’t fake it. Only compliment me on things you really like about me and my business.

After I get a good impression from the first couple of emails, I read your resume.
Get somebody else to help you with it. Don’t rely on spellcheck. I’m sure one of your friends is an English major, right?
If you don’t know how to write a good resume, I suggest the book “Signs of a Great Resume” by Scott Vedder. 

Next I’ll ask a question about your resume, probably something about negative experiences, a gap in your work experience or something else that could be a problem.

I will invite you for an interview if:

  • you answer fast, within two days, better on the same day
  • you give me a straight answer to my question, without lengthy explanations
  • you’re not defensive, you don’t blame others
  • you offer to explain details in an interview

Here’s what I look for before and during the interview:

  • Are you on time? Or better, a little early?
  • Are you dressed casually, but professionally? No suits, since that is not appropriate for massage therapy, but no frayed jeans and old shirts either
  • I don’t mind tattoos, I don’t care about weird hair and piercings (I have a pierced nose and dreadlocks, so who am I to judge), but I expect perfect hygiene and grooming.
  • Your demeanor during the interview is crucial. I want to see open, relaxed answers, no rambling, no defense against probing questions, especially no excuses.
  • I’ll ask about how you’ve dealt with mistakes in the past. I will observer whether you blame others for problems and mistakes and I want to know what you’ve done to avoid the same mistake again.
  • When I ask about success stories, I’m looking for pride in your achievements without putting anybody else down.
  • Regarding your previous work experience, it will be important how you speak of your colleagues and your employers.

I like to see that you want to learn.

If all goes well, I schedule a tryout massage for myself or a staff member. That massage will be paid, just like you’d get paid if you were working with us.

Important points during the tryout massage:

  • Do you listen to what the client wants out of the session or do you just apply a routine?
  • How do you deal with feedback during the session? Do you try to accommodate?
  • Is the work effective? Is there a difference after the session? I expect treatments to result in better mobility, less tension, and in case of pain I’d like to see at least a little improvement, since this is what my business specializes in.
Here’s an article about my business:

Massage therapists, what is your experience with employees? How was your interview experience?

Employers, what is your process like? What do you think of mine?

I’m looking forward to your comments!

3 thoughts on “How to Get Hired as an LMT

  1. Lu,
    As you know, I ran my own business serving clients at the National Training Center (NTC) in Clermont, at one time having three independent contractors working for my company. I will tell you I found the interview process then to be one more business burden I was happy to unload by coming to work at Balance. Yes you do handle the business stuff and you do have a loyal happy staff. Thank you! Good riddance to my hiring people for myself! Kumari

  2. Great write up here! I didn’t catch this original post but you have a wonderful writing style that is very direct. These interview techniques are, like so many things, universal.

    It’s little wonder why you’re so well respected in the area as having the best business model and being the best Rolfer in the state.

Leave a Reply