It’s an exciting time, getting your qualifications. You’ve posted your Certificate on Instagram, and are pumped to start your new career and take on the fitness world. First things first, you’ll probably want a nice job to help you get paid for your new skills and gain some good quality experience from more experienced personal trainers.
Some of you might want to jump straight into starting your own business, but even if you want to take this path, I believe it’s a good idea to work in a gym, or an environment you plan on creating a business in, to gain a fuller understanding of the business as a whole. It’s also a great way to build a reputation and loyal client base too.
Whatever your end goals, you need to get that first personal training job. So to help you prepare, we’ve made a list of ways to prepare for a PT interview.
- Research the company
It is a good idea to familiarise yourself with the company you plan on working for. This is good for two reasons, firstly it will help you decide if you actually want to work there, and secondly it will show your interviewer that you are genuinely interested in the company and working there. Turnover of staff can be an issue for some gyms, and so having someone that already know and is on board with the company culture will go a long way.
By researching the company, you will know how they work, their core values and generally if you’ll be a good fit. It will also help you answer questions in a way that will ensure you have the same approach as they do.
- Prepare all of your documents and qualifications
Make sure you have hard copies of your Certificates III and IV in Fitness to show your interviewer, as well as those essential qualifications, also have ready your First Aid and CPR, and any other qualifications that may be applicable. Make sure you’ve already applied for and have an ABN and bring along any evidence that you are covered for liability and suitably insured. This is especially important when applying for jobs where you will work as a contractor for a gym.
If you have any additional and related qualifications or evidence of further study, have that ready to present too. We have numerous CEC workshops and even created an Industry Ready Package, 8 additional qualifications, that will give you a head start on your competition and really make you stand out.
- Prepare some answers for any potentially difficult questions
You’ll be asked some obvious questions and in normal circumstances you’d be able to roll answers out off the cuff, but when you’re put on the spot, under pressure and if you’re nervous, it’s best to be prepared with some answers.
When being asked a question, also make sure you listen carefully to what is asked, and answer the question thoroughly, without going off on a tangent.
To help you prepare, we’ve collected some of the more common ones.
- Why did you want to become a personal trainer?
- How to you keep up to date with your fitness training?
- Take me through how you would run a fitness class
- What diet and nutritional education do you have?
- How important do you think nutrition is to a client’s fitness plan?
- Imagine you have a demotivated client. What would you do to motivate them?
- What evaluations would you undertake on a new client?
- Do you have any fitness goals yourself? And how will you reach them.
- What are you top three essential exercises you’d suggest to all clients? Why?
- What experience do you have with customer service?
- Would you describe yourself as being good with people? Give me an example.
As well as being prepared to answer questions about fitness and the job itself, you should prepare a number of real life example cases. Nothing answers a question better than experience, but only if you have it, this isn’t license to make stuff up. So think of times you’ve been in the gym helping friends or taken time to go and help a stranger. You can also use the experience you gained from your time on placement.
- First impressions are vital
As with most jobs, your first impression really counts, and this is even more evident in this fitness industry. You’ll be the face of the gym and the gym owner/manager will want to ensure that face and personality are going to resonate with the clients. This means you’ll have to shine in front of them to convince them you’re the person for their gym.
To do this, make sure you arrive a good 10-15 minutes early. Take some time to have a look around the gym and show interest. Your first impression is often taken before you realise, and long before open your mouth. If you look bored, lost or disinterested, that’s not going to leave a great impression on the interviewer. Always try to focus on showing enthusiasm and friendliness, before, during and after the interview, this attitude is vital for the job, and setting a good impression in almost any circumstance.
- Dress appropriately
No, you probably shouldn’t turn up in a suit and tie, unless it’s a very corporate gym and even then it might not be appropriate. If you’re really unsure, ask the interviewer. They’ll likely say to come in gym gear, so you should try to look as presentable as possible. This means wearing your best gym kit, and not some old smelly runners with a singlet. You might be asked to give some practical demonstrations, which is also a good thing to prepare for.
- Ask for the job
If you really want the job, ask for it. It might feel uncomfortable, and even seem a bit too assertive, but it goes a long way to showing just how interested you are. You could say something like “I really enjoyed meeting you, and I would love to work here. Can we take this to the next step?”
The interviewer will no doubt either be impressed and offer the job on the spot, or if they are seeing other people, they’ll say they will get back to you. Don’t take offense if the latter is the case, and certainly don’t assume that it was a “no”. They probably will be seeing others, and trust me when I say you’ll stand out, as hardly anyone else will ask this question.
With that said, make sure you leave the interview on good terms and don’t push too hard, else it could backfire.
The fitness industry can be competitive, but if you’re prepared and ready to stand out, you should have no problem beating those that aren’t. Once you get that first job, you’ll be set up nicely. You can then spend time building up your experience and rapport with clients, giving you will have a long and successful career as a personal trainer.
Remember, if you really want to stand above the crowd, consider taking some additional CEC workshops to really expand your knowledge and employability. We have created an Industry Ready Package that is aimed to do just that; get you ready for the industry. You’ll be able to show an additional 8 qualifications that your competition will unlikely have!