Reader’s Request: Fitness Interview Tips

Heyyyyy :D How are you?? Hope you’re having a lovely morning!

It felt good to sleep in our own bed -well, the bed the madre is lending us since ours is in the POD- last night. It was a breathtaking trip, but it’s always nice to come home :D The best part by far was a thousand Bella kisses.

We woke up early to take her for our morning walk, then stopped by the DP so she could get some running in.

There weren’t any small dogs on Bella’s side, but she was just happy running along the fence with the big dogs.

bella running

You can tell from the pic that she was SPRINTING! Little Bell definitely got in an am HIIT workout this morning ;)

We came back to the casa and I made b-fast:

Brown rice farina for me

farina

(with decaf espresso powder, raw cacao powder, nutritional yeast, organic berries and a drizzle of maple syrup)

As I was drizzling the maple syrup, images of this came to my brain:

Buddy the Elf Source

Heh heh.

Poached egg and cheese English muffins for the Pilot:

eggs

It was my first time poaching eggs, and even though it seemed a little intimidating, I just decided to roll with it.

I brought about 3 inches of water up to a boil and added a splash of vinegar,

reduced the heat to a simmer

and using a small measuring cup, gently dropped the eggs in

eggs (2)

Covered the pot and left them in there for 3 minutes.

The Pilot said they were perfect, so I’d call it a success :D IMG00017-20100104-2028

Since I started the blog, I received quite a few questions about what to wear and how to prepare for an interview in the fitness industry (trainer, group fitness instructor, gym positions). I majored in Finance, so throughout undergrad, we were DRILLED on interview tactics and tips, but preparing for something in the fitness field is an entirely different animal. (For example, business professional attire doesn’t exactly fit the bill)

From my experience, here are some of my favorite tips for a fitness-related job interview:

1. Prepare to move. Generally if you’re interviewing for a teaching or training audition, you’ll be expected to do some sort of audition in the process. I’d double-check with your interviewer beforehand, but chances are that they’ll expect you to show your stuff. Make sure to have some material ready in advance:

-Group fitness instructors: have songs loaded on your iPod, and a combination prepared to teach during your interview.

-Zumba instructors: If the gym or studio is new to Zumba, bring your promotional DVD. Feel free to dress the part—deck yourself out in Zumba gear!

-Personal trainers: brush up on your basic training knowledge (you know, those tiny muscles we tend to forget) and have some sample workouts in mind.

2. Dress to impress. This is a little more challenging because the general rule is to dress like you want to own the business you’re interviewing for. If you’re expected to audition or teach, I’d wear your most professional-looking gym attire. New (or non-faded) black pants or crops –I wouldn’t roll with shorts in case you have to do some flexibility and don’t want to flash your interviewer- a modest tank top and a lightweight jacket are a winning (uh, winning) combo. Make sure the tank top doesn’t show too much cleavage or have too many crazy straps—you want to look clean and professional. For hair, pulled back out of your face is perfect, with light makeup and minimal jewelry.

I’d also recommend doing some research to see what the current employees in your desired position wear to work. Dress like you would fit in with them.

Tips for ANY job interview:

3. Do lots of research on the company you’re applying with. What’s their background and history like? If it’s a larger company, enter the company name into Yahoo Finance. Tons of background info and current news stories will appear and you’ll be able to ask educated questions and participate in company-related conversation. During your interview, be sure to throw in your new nuggets of information when it’s appropriate.

4. Know why you want to work for THAT particular company. What separates them from their competitors? What makes you believe that you’re a good fit?

5. Be ready to talk about your strengths and weaknesses. This one always pops up in interviews! A great tactic for this question is to think of a “weakness” that can also be seen as a positive. For example, I always say that my weakness is that I’m too much of a perfectionist. I focus so much on every single detail, but when you’re on a deadline, you may have to focus on the big picture instead of the tiny little things.

6. Ask questions. One of the biggest mistakes an interviewee can make is at the end of the interview when the interviewer asks, “Do you have any questions?” and the interviewee says, “No I think you covered it extremely well.” FAIL. This is your last chance to prove your interest in the company. Ask the interviewer some questions like how long they’ve been with the company, what is their favorite part about their job, what their career path was like within the company, etc etc. Another great question is to ask about the next step of the interview process—they’ll let you know if there will be another round of interviews or when you can expect to hear back from them. AFTER the interview is your chance to get in some bonus conversation and prove that you’re genuinely interested in the position.

7. Be thankful. Always send a hand-written note to your interviewer to thank them for meeting with you. Let them know that you enjoyed speaking with them and look forward to hearing back regarding the next step in the interview process. Reiterate your interest in the position and the possibility of working with them.

I think that’s it!!

weights

Do you have any general interview tips or one for a fitness-related job?

I have an interview at noon to teach group ex again… any good luck vibes you send would be mucho appreciated :)

See ya later this afternoon!

xoxo

Gina

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Comments

  1. I have a (probably stupid) question regarding the hand written note. I always hear to do this but like… what kind of note? On a fancy piece of paper? On a post-it? (lol) Luckily, I haven’t had to do this for awhile but in a few months I’m going to be doing the interview rounds so I better get this note business down.

  2. I hope your interview went well! But based on how great these tips are, I’m sure you rocked it! :D

  3. Love the tips – interesting how it’s different from a non-fitness related role!

    I’ve never poached eggs- they look great though – love that arugula!

  4. Never tried poaching eggs, but i’d be a little worried to try it, hehe :)
    Sending good luck your way for interview!

  5. I loved the great tips! I used “perfectionism” for my weakness until I started to feel like too many people use that one. So, now I say that I can be misconstrued as unsocial when I’m focused hard on my work (e.g., deadline), but that I just try to mention to my coworkers around me that I need to concentrate on getting a big project finished.

    Gina, I absolutely fell in love with Viesa when I started following your blog. After researching Shibas for almost a whole year, my husband and I are taking the plunge! Our Shiba baby was born this weekend, but we don’t get to take her home until she’s 8 weeks old. :’(

  6. Great tips! When I had my interview to be a spinning instructor, there were so many situational questions which were really intimidating!! For those one’s, you just have to use common sense and combine one’s knowledge re: anatomy/physiology and care giving/nurturing disposition. But still, interviews are always scary and can be super awkward, especially when you just have to do a sample spinning class for just you and the interviewer like I did! Ha!

  7. I’ve interviewed candidates before ( and definitely agree with #6 and #7. It is so important to ask questions to demonstrate interest in the job and the company, but also it’s important to ask questions to find out if the employer is a good fit for YOU. Definitely send a thank you note PROMPTLY after the interview.

  8. I am currently interviewing candidates for an opening in my department – here is a great tip. Turn off your cell phone. I’ve had three people actually answer a call in the middle of an interview – I honestly could not believe my eyes/ears the first time, but 3? And one more – firm handshake. Believe it or not, it really helps. My pet peeve is men who go to shake my hand and ease up just because I’m a girl – I think I surprise them when I squeeze harder than they do! Take care Gina, Pilot and puppy – excellent post.

    • Fitnessista says:

      such a valid point!! i’m pretty sure that there’s nothing worse than having a phone go off at the wrong time.

  9. great tips! I used to manage a fitness center and so I would to the interviewing, hiring, and unfortunately firing.

    I would say the three things I looked for were:

    1) friendly, outgoing personality

    2) willingness to do the “dirty work”

    3) punctuality and lack of absenteeism

  10. oh my gosh I am cracking up over that picture of Bella. SO funny! lol. Good luck on the interview!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. I’ve got another tip for the Strengths and Weaknesses question that always gets asked. Last year when I was unemployed I ended up getting recruited by some technology staffing companies, and one of my recruiters told me that in the interview if they ask for a weakness they usually aren’t interested in the weakness turned into a strength because everyone says that, it’s better to say you are weak in something that will not affect your job performance in the least bit. So, I was interviewing to be a programmer so I told them I wasn’t that great at graphic design. It’s true, and it didn’t affect my chances any because that’s not what I was interviewing for. Same could apply to fitness jobs too. If you are applying for spin you could say you aren’t really a runner or not really into yoga. The interviewer will appreciate not getting a canned answer, but won’t use that weakness against you because as a spin instructor you will never need to throw down some yoga or run around the building.

  12. Hi there! I run one of the largest outdoor BootCamp companies in San Francisco with my brother. I definitely agree with all of your tips, the main things that are important to me when I interview is having the interviewee have a sense of what we are about as a company! There is so much information on our website and online, that it really easy to get a sense of our philosophy. When someone comes in without knowing anything in that regard, it’s very hard to take them seriously.

    I also second the dressing the part tip. Look like a trainer! I once had a girl show up in stilletto heals and it looked like she was applying for a job in the Financial District…not someone applying for a job which requires you to be outside and get dirty! We’re an all outdoors program, after all. Again, research in advance!

    Also, definitely ask in advance about the performance part of the interview. We don’t do that, we do a sit down interview and we are very focused on the science of fitness, so we ask a series of physiology questions. We think it’s super easy to overlook the science of fitness, but it’s something we value and this part of the interview process weeds out many applicants because I think it’s easy for trainers to get by in many companies without it, but we value it quite highly!

  13. Oh, also, know what YOU want. I can’t tell you how many interviews I’ve had with people who didn’t necessarily have time in their schedule for new classes or had just moved here and were settling in and wanted to know more about us. If this is the case, I’m very happy and will be stoked to do an informational type interview (small biz owners tend to love to to talk about their businesses, it’s our passion after all!), but just tell me that before we take to meet. When I post an ad and am looking to fill some hours, I’m under a TIME crunch and want to get it taken care of. So, if you’re interviewing, esp. with a small business be ready to work :) It kind of seems crazy, but I can’t tell you how often this happens.

  14. I am scared to poach eggs, but I might have to get over it and try this out… I love them so! :)

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