Peggy Wynne BorgmanPeggy Wynne Borgman, CEO of Preston Wynne, Inc. and the director of two Preston Wynne spas, was a popular featured speaker at the International Esthetics, Cosmetics & Spa Conference, April 30th through May 2nd. This year's conference attracted a record number of attendees and top-notch education from manufacturers and industry experts.

Borgman addressed two of the industry's most pressing issues—compensation and the employee interviewing process. The Sunday lecture, Effective Employee Interviews: The Ultimate Competitive Edge, was attended by over 200 spa professionals. Offering her characteristic humorous antidotes, Borgman encouraged attendees to revamp their interviewing process and to "hire slow and fire fast."

Here are some more helpful strategies from Borgman's lecture, as well as some fantastic interview questions:

Evaluating Experience
It is better to hire for attitude and aptitude than experience, because there are many "flavors" of experience. You can train skills, but you can't train attitude. "If there parents didn't raise them right, you are certainly not going to."

Tip: Never hire people for their clientele! You can't grow a stable workforce this way

Hiring from Competitors
Preston Wynne has a 90-day "cooling off" period before they will hire an employee from a competing spa. "This avoids the impression that we are poaching," says Borgman.

Tip: "Maintain good relationships with your local competitors and workforce."

Interview Environment
Area should be comfortable and private. Allow ample time for the interview, and avoid interruptions. "Give them enough opportunity to excel, and also enough rope to hand themselves," says Borgman.

Tip: Too much rapport is as bad as not enough, because you'll get distracted.

Appropriate Interview Content
Comments should relate to the job and the interview. Interview should take you thorough methodical view of the candidate's work history. "Tell me about it." Explore tangents. Keep questions open-ended. Shut up and listen. Don't jump in when there is an uncomfortable silence. No questions or conversations on age, sex, race, religion, or marital status. (It's OK to discuss physical limitations related to job responsibilities.)

Tip: Find out what they know about you. Good applicants do research. Great applicants have had a treatment at your spa!

Red Flags Comments

"I only use Organic Tibetan Yak milk products in my facials."

"I plan to open my own spa."

"My manager at spa X was incompetent."

"There was too much backstabbing at Spa X." (nobody used that term that doesn't participate in that behavior.)

"I need to know where this is going."

Good Interview Questions

"Tell me about the best manager you ever had."

"Tell me about the worst manager you ever had."

"If you could design the perfect manager, what qualities would he/she have?"

"Is there a natural role that you take on in a team?" (Beware team "mommies.")

"What kind of behavior have you observed in the workplace that you would consider unprofessional?"

"What's the nicest compliment you've received at work?"

"What have you been criticized for?"

"What level of annual income do you expect to reach after your first year here?"

"Tell me about a time when you were asked to do something unethical. How do you handle it?"

"Tell me what you think our spa's competitive advantage is in the marketplace"

"Describe the products in your bathroom drawer."

"What do you do to manage stress outside the workplace?" (look for indicators of a healthy, balanced life.)

For more information and a schedule of Preston Wynne's upcoming classes, visit