As a personal trainer, you know only too well that preparation is directly aligned with performance. You wouldn’t advise a client to have a Big Mac, fries and a milkshake before an intense training session – so why would you go into a vital job interview without having made the necessary preparation to help you stand out from the competition? Such scenarios are nerve-wracking enough without feeling like you’re unprepared and unable to showcase your strengths.
You might have just got qualified and are itching to get some clients under your belt, or you might have years of experience in your field but are looking for a new challenge. Whatever your situation, Insure4Sport has you covered. Here are our top interview tips for personal trainers.
Read up on the company
This is one of the fundamental job interview tips which is overlooked far too often – but with the presence of the Internet, there’s no excuse for not doing your research. Try and find out as much as you can about the values and culture of the company you’ll potentially be working for and consider how they relate to you. Where do you fit in terms of the workplace culture? Are they flexible in terms of shift patterns? How do they treat their staff? Job sites like Indeed will give you a good steer on this.
If your interview is at a gym which is part of a franchise – like LA Fitness or DW Sports, for example – it’s worth investigating the history and ethos of the franchise, how many fitness clubs it owns and what facilities its clubs offer. Backing up why you want to work for the company by referring to any of these points will help you come across as enthusiastic, engaged and enterprising.
Let your body language do the talking
If you’re going to be tasked with coaching, motivating and reassuring clients, your prospective employers will want you to demonstrate that you possess the characteristics to do this. You’ll need to show that you’re personable, friendly, positive and above all, in control.
A smile and firm handshake, both before and after the interview, is a great way of displaying self-confidence and approachability – just don’t squeeze the interviewer’s hand too hard! When you’re answering questions, look the interviewer(s) in the eyes, use hand gestures to back up your points and sit up straight (as a personal trainer, you know the importance of proper body alignment). This will give off an air of authority, while showing that you’re adept at communicating effectively.
Let’s use a real-life example. If you’re working in a gym and a client asks you about how to perform an exercise, or what else they could be doing to get more out of their workout, you don’t want to seem hesitant or unsure of your response. It’s exactly the same in a job interview situation. You’ll have a strong knowledge of all things personal training from your hours of training and your previous places of work, so be confident in yourself and really show the interviewer that you know what you’re talking about.
As we explained above, your approach to a job interview should mirror how you would approach clients you were training with. If someone joined a gym, one of the first things you would ask them is what their goals are and how you can help them achieve these goals.
Think of an employer in the same way – you might want to ask what facilities and equipment they have. So, whether you’re a cardio and conditioning coach or a strength coach, do they have the right equipment to help you implement your training plans effectively?
You could also ask whether they are looking at hiring other personal trainers and what kind of customers you’ll be assigned to initially, depending on your specialisms. Asking the right questions not only allows you to assess the company culture and work out whether it’s the right fit, it shows that you’re pro-active in wanting to progress your career.
Show your credentials
You might be asked to give examples of exercise plans you’ve put together for clients and demonstrate the results of these plans. This is where those before and after pictures we see constantly on Instagram come in handy – if you work or have worked with clients who are comfortable with you sharing such pictures, why not take a few along with you in a folder, almost like a portfolio?
On the other hand, the interviewer could test your ability to think on the spot by asking how you would create a tailored programme from scratch. To prepare for this, consider how many different types of clients you’ve worked with, what their individual needs were and how you got the best out of them.
If you’ve just got fully qualified, don’t forget to take all the relevant certificates and qualifications along to the interview. You don’t want all the hard work, caffeine and late nights of revision to have been for nothing!
Dress the part (and bring your workout gear just in case)
This is quite a self-explanatory point, but an important one nonetheless. Make sure your outfit is clean, smart, fits well and looks professional. Establishing the dress code prior to the interview certainly won’t do you any harm. If anything, it shows your willingness to make a strong first impression.
You might also want to pack your gym gear just in case. As unusual as it may sound, in some personal trainer interviews the employer will ask you to do a mock workout as if you’re working with a client. So, to ensure you don’t get caught out and can perform the perfect push-up in front of your new boss, bring your training top and gym shoes. Maybe do one or two pre-interview stretches while you’re at it!
Get advice from other personal trainers
While top tips pieces like this are (hopefully) beneficial to help with basic interview etiquette, it’s also good practice to find out what other personal trainers recommend. They might have examples of questions they’ve been asked, or practical assignments they’ve been given, which will give you a steer in the right direction.
If you don’t know many other personal trainers, the Internet is full of great resources. YouTube, as in most instances, is an ideal platform for getting interview tips from leading professionals in your industry.
Take a look around
Before you go to the interview, why not ask if someone can take you on a tour of the gym or fitness studio beforehand? It’s a little like being with a potential customer who’s thinking of signing up. This will allow you to get a feel for the environment and figure out whether it looks like the kind of place you’d want to work – as well as showing confidence and curiosity!
Hopefully reading these interview tips will help you land the personal trainer job you’ve always wanted. However, whoever you’re working for, it’s essential to give yourself peace of mind by taking out specialist insurance in case anyone suffers injury or illness following your advice or instruction.
Insure4Sport offers a range of quick, flexible insurance policies for personal trainers, including up to £5 million of Public Liability cover. What’s more, you can create a tailored policy, which means you only pay for the cover you need. So what are you waiting for? Get an instant online quote today.