So, you look the part, you’ve got that shiny new Personal Training qualification on paper and an attitude that says “Fitness career.. here I come!”
When it comes to nailing that first job interview, sadly, a well-toned physique and a piece of paper won’t necessarily bag you the job!
Whilst you of course have significant knowledge of personal training and a great personality, the bottom line employers look for when hiring is if you can help make them money!
Selling yourself as someone who not only works with clients, but also helps obtain them, will stand you in good stead to land that Personal Training job within the gym of your dreams!
A few tips on handling the job interview…
Do Your Research
Don’t wait until after you’ve finished your course or bagged your qualification to start contacting potential employers. Visit gyms or health clubs you fancy working and try out the facilities for a day to get a feel for how they conduct their business.
Sign up for a fitness class and work out next to other trainers to see if the gym has a training style that suits your own. Make note of areas you could add value, as well as elements you were impressed by (interviewers like compliments as well as suggestions!)
Meet with the club’s manager if you can. Introduce yourself and let them know you’re currently studying for your Personal Training qualification. Ask what it is they look for in a potential employee. Knowing the club’s culture and employee characteristics will help you to position yourself as a suitable addition to the business.
Think Up A Few Marketing Ideas
A Personal Trainer must know how to obtain new business for a health club or gym chain. Aside from having a killer personality and the ability to make new friends, you’ll need an amount of marketing savvy behind you.
Offer your own ideas for marketing Personal Training for the club. Ask how they currently market their Personal Trainers to get a feel for what they like, what works for them, and what will be expected of you. This way, you’ll be able to present the most appropriate ideas to your interviewer.
Whip Out The Client List
If you have a list of clients who you’ll be bringing with you to your new club or gym, let the interviewer know.
This isn’t an opportunity to brag about your extensive client list – it’s a selling tool to demonstrate the loyalty of your clients due to your ability to form string working partnerships. It’s also additional business for the club. Outline the training programmes your clients currently have, an overview of the prices they pay and the frequency of their sessions. A potential recruit with a number of regular clients on the books has much more value than a Personal Trainer starting from scratch as far as a gym manager is concerned.
Whilst many folk leave the references until after the interview, and only if they receive an offer, sharing your references is an easy way of selling yourself! Gather a few testimonials from previous employers, current clients and fellow Personal Trainers who can vouch for your credibility.
Try to gather a list of varied references which include details of your skills, experience and credentials, as opposed to a list of folk that would “Highly recommend you due to your excellent skills blah blah blah…”
Whist working within a gym setting will likely mean coming into work in your sweat pants, make the extra effort for the interview itself. Rocking up in your tracksuit doesn’t scream ‘professional’, ‘interview’ or ‘career-driven’. We’re not saying to go for the full blown suit and tie, but first appearances make a lasting impact, and you want to be remembered!
And finally… be you. An interviewer will want to see the person that will be working with their valued club members, not the formal interview-style bundle of nerves.
Stay relaxed and maintain a professional but friendly tone. If you come across as approachable and patient to the interviewer, this will signal your approachable and patient manner with clients. Think of your interview as a consultation with a potential new client – what makes you the very best Personal Trainer to work with them? What do you have to offer that others don’t? And how can you ensure that you’re a valuable long term investment?