How to Get that Job as a Personal Trainer
I remember my first interview as a personal trainer – I had no idea what to expect! And I definitely didn’t want to ask my potential employer any questions. What if they thought I was ignorant or inexperienced? Of course, I was inexperienced, but looking back, I realize that my confusion wasn’t entirely unwarranted: in many aspects, the fitness industry is vague, unpredictable, and just plain messy. The hiring process can be especially confusing as each gym and employer seems to demand different skill sets and types of experience from their trainers. Because fitness is a fairly new and fast-evolving field, the industry hasn’t yet developed a ‘set standard’ for the hiring and interview process. So, if you’re facing the prospect of a personal trainer interview and you’re feeling stressed and/or overwhelmed, you are definitely not alone!
That being said, there are a few points that are generally considered ‘essential’ to any successful personal trainer interview.
- If you’re unsure of what to expect in an interview, don’t be afraid to ask. Asking questions of the hiring manager ahead of the interview shows that you are curious, engaged, and enthusiastic–and they can help you to avoid some potentially-messy situations. Even long-time industry professionals will not always know what to expect in an interview. And, in my opinion, if a gym or potential employer judges you harshly for asking questions, you may not want to work for them.
- Remember to also ask questions during the interview as well. Why should you pick them? How are they a good fit for you? Though it sucks to not get a call back, it is much better to find out sooner rather than later of any potential incompatibilities.
Here’s an insider tip for you: determine as soon as possible if the gym would be hiring you as an employee or as a contractor. If you’re an employee, they would be paying you a wage. If you’re a contractor, you would be responsible for finding your own clientele and you would pay the gym for the privilege of using their space and equipment.
- Do your research. This is related to all the above points. Knowledge is definitely power and not all gyms are made equal. The internet is a big, beautiful world and you should definitely use it to educate yourself on your potential future employer. If you can, I would recommend working out at the gym and experiencing the environment firsthand.
- Pump up your resume. Do not lie – but don’t be afraid to put down past positions that were not fitness-related if they were leadership roles and/or people-centred. This is where Infofit is a huge help; as we all know, it can be difficult to get a job if you have no prior industry experience–Infofit gives you experience before you even land your first job. Infofit is a well-respected name within the industry and being a part of our team will definitely give you a boost when starting your dream career as a fitness professional.
- Dress code! This is one of the most confusing aspects of personal trainer interviews. If you’re unsure of what to wear, refer to point number 1. If you’re reluctant to ask, I would recommend wearing business casual clothing and packing a set of gym clothes in case they ask you to demonstrate a workout. Bring a set of indoor shoes–ones that won’t scuff a gym floor. And I would avoid wearing branded clothing–your gym may have an affiliation with a specific brand and they may not look favourably at other competitor brands. Best to just avoid that messy situation! Plus, overt branding on clothing can appear a little cheesy and unprofessional (in my humble opinion).
- Demonstrate your social skills. Personal training is primarily a people The relationships you build with clients–and the way that you make them feel during their sessions and afterwards–may be more important than knowing your stuff (obviously, it’s best to have both). When in the interview, the phrase ‘Fake it ‘til you make it’ can be applied here. Even if you’re not feeling confident, remember to make eye contact. Sit and stand up straight. You don’t have to be the bubbly, cheerleader type of personal trainer, but conveying self-confidence and calmness when dealing with people is a skill that cannot be understated and will get you far as a professional in any industry.
“What questions am I going to be asked?”
It’s nice to be prepared! Below are some questions that I’ve been asked in interviews and that are common to the industry. Do you know how you would answer?
- What inspired you to pursue a career as a personal trainer?
- What do you like about being a personal trainer?
- What is your personal trainer certification?
- What do you do for exercise?
- What are your own fitness goals?
- What would you say to a potential client who is hesitant to commit to a workout plan with you?
- How do you motivate your clients and keep them consistent?
- Why do you want to work at our gym?
- How would you add to our gym culture?
- What are your strengths as a personal trainer?
- What do you want to improve upon as a personal trainer?
- What are your goals for your career?
- Where do you see yourself in five/ten/fifteen years?
Infofit Graduates are in High Demand
I hope these tips helped! If you are looking for more advice and support on your journey as an elite personal trainer, please do not hesitate to reach out to our helpful Infofit staff. Our diploma BCRPA and ACE fitness courses will guide you through the process of certifying and gaining experience as a personal trainer–and we’ll connect you with local gyms looking to hire Infofit grads!
Wishing you all the best on your journey to optimum health–and to an amazing career!
Written by Theresa Faulder, Master’s in English, Certified Personal Trainer and Infofit fitness blog writer.