10 Esthetician Interview Questions You Should Be Asking Potential New Hires

Your spa is only going to be as good as the estheticians you hire. You’ve done the work to build your brand and to cultivate a unique and memorable client experience – it’s up to your staff to execute your mission effectively.

It’s an esthetician’s job to administer facial treatments and other spa services, but it’s also a customer service role. A skincare professional needs to be able to connect with the client to make them feel welcome and at ease from the moment they step into the treatment room. An esthetician must be able to balance the client’s concerns with the reality of their skin’s condition to recommend and perform treatments that are safe and effective.

As a spa owner, hiring is one of your most important tasks. Make the right choices and your spa might nearly run itself without headaches and fires to put out. Make the wrong choices and you’ll find yourself regularly wasting time on damage control. Even worse, the hiring process will become an ongoing thorn in your side.

To ensure you staff your spa with the ideal estheticians, here are a few questions you should be asking during interviews:

How would you define the role of an esthetician?

All licensed estheticians go through similar training, but every spa is unique. It’s important to find candidates who are thoroughly trained and experienced in the work but that also mesh well with your spa’s mission.

What do you do to make every client feel special?

Return business relies on positive customer experiences. Your spa will have its own standards and practices, but it’s a good idea to determine that each candidate understands the importance of the esthetician-client relationship and the spa experience as a whole.

How do you keep your working environment properly sanitized and organized?

Sanitization and orderliness are key in a spa environment, so this question will give the candidate an opportunity to demonstrate their ability to meet business standards. It may also help you determine the candidate’s ability to start and finish treatments on time.

What do you do to keep your knowledge and training up to date?

Trends come and go but they rotate particularly fast through the spa and wellness industry. It’s important to hire candidates who have a passion for the work and who will keep up to date with the latest trends so they can adjust when you change your spa menu.

What does inappropriate client behavior look like to you and how do you address it?

Your staff reflect directly upon both you and your business, so it’s important to know how a candidate will respond in difficult situations. Ask the candidate what they consider inappropriate client behavior and take the opportunity to share your company policy. It’s important to hire those who are able to diffuse situations rather than escalate them.

What factors do you consider when making product recommendations?

Product recommendations are an important part of any esthetician’s job, both for in-treatment use and take-home purchases. They can also make up a decent portion of your spa’s revenue. This question provides a good opportunity to have the candidate walk you through their process from intake and skin analysis to treatment and at-home care instructions.

How would you respond if a client had an adverse reaction to a treatment you recommended or administered?

Estheticians work independently during treatments, so you need to be able to rely on your staff to handle challenges as they arise. This question will help you ascertain the candidate’s knowledge as well as their problem-solving abilities.

How would you explain (X treatment) to a client?

Education is a key component of any esthetician’s job, so it’s essential to evaluate how well a candidate communicates with clients. Pick a popular treatment or service from your spa menu and ask the candidate how they would explain it to a client. This also allows you to see if they did any prior research on your company before the interview, allowing you to gauge their interest and motivation.

How do you see your career progressing over the next three to five years?

It’s unrealistic to think that the estheticians you hire will stay with your spa forever – nor should you want them to. Growth is important and it’s wise to select candidates who have enough passion to further their own careers. At the same time, it’s helpful to know whether the candidate views this a short-term employment option or not. This question also allows you to talk to them about how they can grow in the role (e.g. training programs).

Do you have any questions?

This may seem like a simple question but it’s not just about clarifying details about the position – it’s an opportunity to gauge the candidate’s overall interest in the job. It’s not necessarily a detriment if the candidate doesn’t have any questions, but a strong candidate will want to make sure your spa is a fit for them just as much as you want to make sure you’re a fit for them.

While it’s important to gather the above information about potential new hires, try not to view the hiring as a regimented, set-in-stone process. Each interview is an opportunity to learn more about the candidate, of course, but it’s also a chance to get to know their personality. Weigh each esthetician’s experience and skill against their manner – how well an esthetician performs a treatment is just as important as the face they present to the client.

If you take the time to interview candidates thoughtfully, you’re more likely to end up with a staff that suits your business. Don’t forget, however, that hiring isn’t necessarily a one-and-done process. As your business grows, you’ll get a feel for your employee needs. If you find yourself in need of more help down the line, don’t forget to include these questions in your interviews!