ISSA, International Sports Sciences Association, Certified Personal Trainer, ISSAonline, Tips for Your Personal Training Interview

Tips for Your Personal Training Interview

Reading Time: 6 minutes 18 seconds


Date: 2021-09-30T00:00:00-04:00

Preparation is key for any job interview. During an interview for a personal trainer position, you'll often need to discuss your fitness goals, workout knowledge, and background in personal training.

By researching the fitness company and updating your personal trainer résumé, you can walk into your interview feeling confident and composed.

How to Prepare for a Personal Trainer Interview

Preparing for a personal trainer interview starts with research. The more you research the personal training position, the better equipped you'll be to answer different questions.

What Information Should You Know About the Organization for Your Interview?

First, research the gym. Review the mission statement to understand the company culture. This will help you explain how your skill sets fit their workplace.

Different gyms have their own approach to fitness and training. While some companies focus on CrossFit training, other gyms run boot camps. Thus, it's important to familiarize yourself with the type of gym, so you can outline fitness goals that fit their approach.

You should also research aspects of the organization that set the gym apart. Perhaps the gym offers team-building events on the weekends or focuses on group fitness. Understanding how the gym is unique will help you explain why you're drawn to their fitness instructor position.

What Should You Put on Your Résumé to Stand Out for a Personal Trainer Interview?

Your personal trainer résumé should outline your relevant credentials and experiences. List any fitness certifications you have. If you're a certified personal trainer, place that at the top of your résumé.

You should also use your résumé to highlight your experiences as a personal trainer. Briefly list and describe any positions you've held at other gyms.

You can also list leadership positions outside of a fitness organization. Any type of leadership role demonstrates your ability to work with clients. New personal trainers with less professional experience can emphasize this aspect of their résumé.

Also, use your résumé as a mini portfolio. Outline any exercise programs you've created to show your ability to curate different workouts for a diverse set of clients.

How Can You Practice Interview Questions?

Practice answering interview questions with a family member or friend. This will help you get used to answering a series of questions on the spot.

You can also reach out to fitness professionals and personal trainers for interview tips. They can share advice from their personal experiences and explain what most organizations are looking for in a new hire.

What to Wear for a Personal Trainer Interview

Along with researching and writing your résume, dressing professionally for your personal trainer interview can help you give a good first impression.

What Should You Wear to a Personal Trainer Job Interview?

For most job interviews, prospective hires are expected to wear business professional attire. This includes dress pants, a collared shirt, and dress shoes.

For most fitness trainer interviews, potential new hires are expected to wear business professional clothes. However, if you're unsure about the dress code, reach out to the hiring manager. Some gyms may ask you to wear business casual attire or even workout clothes.

Packing a set of workout clothes and sneakers is also a good idea. Some personal trainer interviews require you to complete a mock workout.

Why Should You Avoid Logos during Your Personal Trainer Interview?

If possible, avoid wearing logos during your personal trainer interview. Certain gyms may have a sponsorship with a brand. Wear plain clothing to avoid showing up with a competitor logo.

Big, bright logos can also be distracting during an interview. You want the interviewer to focus on you and your experiences, not the colorful logo or design on your workout clothes.

What Body Language Should You Be Aware of during a Personal Trainer Interview?

As a personal trainer or fitness coach, it'll be your job to motivate and encourage your clients. Your body language contributes to your characteristics as a coach. The interviewer will be reading your body language to see if you exemplify the type of coach they want at their gym.

Be confident and relaxed in your posture to demonstrate you're a personable and approachable personal trainer. Appearing stiff or unsure of yourself can have the opposite effect.

It's important to show that you feel comfortable around other people. As a personal trainer, you'll be expected to interact with clients and demonstrate workouts during training sessions. If you're uncomfortable, then your clients may feel uncomfortable as well.

Lastly, when answering interview questions, look the hiring manager in the eye. Avoiding eye contact can be distracting and unprofessional.

What to Expect During a Personal Trainer Interview

The goal of a personal trainer interview is for the hiring manager to assess whether you're a good fit for their gym. Many of the interview questions will be centered on your fitness experiences, training style, and personality.

What Questions Will You Be Asked during a Personal Trainer Job Interview?

During a personal trainer job interview, you will be asked a variety of questions. The interviewer may ask you general questions relating to your personal training experience. Examples of these background questions include:

  • Why did you become a personal trainer?

  • What experiences do you have as a fitness instructor?

  • Do you have any personal training certifications?

  • What are your fitness goals?

  • What other gyms have you worked at?

The interviewer may also ask you questions that directly relate to the organization. For instance, you may be asked:

  • Why do you want to work at our gym?

  • How do your skills relate to our mission?

  • What will you add to our company culture?

  • How do your fitness goals align with our gym?

Finally, you may also be asked general questions relating to your personality. Some examples of these types of interview questions include:

  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?

  • How would you describe yourself?

  • How do you motivate a new client?

  • How do you achieve your fitness goals?

How Long Do Personal Trainer Interviews Usually Last?

In general, most personal trainer interviews last 45 minutes. However, your interview may be longer or shorter than this time frame. Some personal training interviews can be 30 minutes long, and some may take an hour depending on the conversation.

As you answer each question, be conscious of the hiring manager's time.

How Do You Keep Your Fitness Training Knowledge Up to Date for Interviews?

To keep your knowledge up to date, research trends in the fitness industry. Many sports science journals publish the latest research papers on health and exercise science. Familiarizing yourself with new exercise routines and nutrition plans can help you grow your knowledge in the field.

Consider scrolling through social media as well to learn about trending workouts. This is a simple way to see what types of workout and nutrition plans appeal to different sets of clients.

Common Interview Guidelines for a Personal Fitness Trainer

Whether you're a certified personal trainer or a new fitness instructor, following some basic interview guidelines can help you impress the hiring manager.

Why Is It Important to Understand Fitness Trends during a Personal Trainer Interview?

It's important to know fitness trends, so you're well prepared for the interviewer's questions. In most cases, the hiring manager will ask you questions about health and exercise science. You can provide better answers if you have a strong background in the fitness industry.

Demonstrating your knowledge can also help you make a good impression. Organizations are looking to hire personal trainers who have a wide range of expertise so they can work with different clients. You're more marketable to gyms when you have a background in different types of fitness and workout regimes.

What Experience as a Personal Trainer Might You Be Asked About during a Personal Trainer Interview?

During a personal trainer interview, the interviewer might ask you to elaborate on your experiences as a fitness instructor. This will help the hiring manager access your fit for the position.

Oftentimes, interviewees will be asked to describe a workout routine and nutrition plan they created for a client. Be prepared to also discuss the results of your workout plans. This will show the hiring manager how you helped your clients achieve their fitness goals.

You may also be asked to share a time you worked with a difficult client. By explaining how you overcame this challenge, you can show the hiring manager how you handled the situation.

Why Might You Be Asked Questions About Soft Skills during a Personal Trainer Interview?

Gyms rely on clients, so they want to ensure you can not only keep existing clients but also bring in new clients. Your personality plays an important role in how you interact with clients.

To see if your personality aligns with these characteristics, the hiring manager will ask you questions about soft skills. This will help the hiring manager determine if your personality fits their company culture.

Additional Resources

Preparing for a personal training interview takes time and research, but helping your clients achieve their fitness goals makes it worth the effort.

You can ace your interview by practicing questions beforehand and brushing up on your fitness knowledge.

Having personal training certifications on your résumé can also help you stand out amid the competition. Kickstart your fitness instructor career with ISSA's certification programs!

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