Best ways to hire an effective personal trainer
Maybe you are at a point in your business where you are looking to expand your services, launching your business and needing your first personal trainer, or everything in between. Regardless, prior to hiring a personal trainer, your core services should be put in place. Equipment, memberships, schedules, and locations should already be established. If you’ve come to this point, and are ready to assist your members with more personal coaching on their goals, you will need a trainer that can take your gym to the next level. In this article, we explore best practices, what people look for in a personal trainer, and the top ten best interview questions.
Hiring a personal trainer and what to look for
According to Jamie King, founder of the Fit approach, gym members are looking for a trainer that:
- Is certified by the appropriate regulators
- Has experience and a matching personality
- Develops their program according to a tried and true philosophy
- Has a great reputation for getting results
- Tracks your progress and adjust as necessary
In a summary of the demographic study by labor board zippia, there are currently 133,181 personal trainers in America, with over half of those openings per year in the country. Due to the recent shift to remote work in the pandemic, there is high demand and a major shift to personal training as both online fitness and traditional gym training are growing. All this to say, there is no shortage of qualified candidates who have the experience you need to start booking clients.
When looking to hire a personal trainer, the top 5 criteria of how to hire a personal trainer (other than proper certification!) you must consider are:
Personal trainers are humans first, and as such, can be hired both in-house, on contract, or on a freelance basis. Because of this, they rarely hide their personality. This is good news, as you can properly gauge their culture during the interview and probation period. If your gym caters to less experienced people, and has a generalized approach to fitness, with a staff that has a sunny disposition, you may not be looking for an aggressive and abrasive trainer that pushes people to their limit. Consider your brand and public image, and if this trainer can fit that mold.
This not only means communication with the client but also communication with management. A great personal trainer will update you on the fitness progress of their clients, their goals, and the adjustments and programs they have made to suit their client’s needs. In a front-facing role, a great communicator will reduce the chance of injury to their client when attempting or adjusting exercises. When communicating with the back-end, great communication ensures operational excellence.
Contrary to popular belief, a personal trainer must be extremely well-versed in biology, Kinesiology, and other related disciplines. They must know the parts of the body and how certain exercises will affect a client, and if there are others that are more effective. Furthermore, they must have a wide breadth of knowledge on various workouts to suit their client’s needs.
- Experience with critical situations
It is no secret that the health and fitness industry poses certain inherent risks, such as injury and medical conditions. Not everyone that the personal trainer will be working with will fit the narrative of a young and otherwise healthy person who is looking to lose weight. Personal trainers receive many clients that are looking to reinforce recurring injuries or to lessen the effect of a medical condition.
A personal trainer is not the typical employee, they are akin to an account manager. This means that although they may be working for the gym, the clientele works directly with the trainer. On top of communication and proper negotiation techniques, a personal trainer must be trained in customer service and etiquette. There is a certain decorum when working in a position of authority, and professionalism needs to be adhered to in terms of scheduling, communication, and polite/professional behavior.
Top ten interview questions on how to hire a personal trainer
Now that we’ve taken a look at what clients want, and the standard your trainer should be held to, we will translate these qualifying questions into a professional interview that will help to shine a light on whether the trainer is a great fit or not. You will need someone very intrapreneurial and who has a proactive spirit in growing their client base so that you can maximize profits and satisfaction but also comply with the rules established by the gym and report progress. This is where having gym management software is important, as it will assist in the hiring process, but also build out your platform for scheduling, payment, staff management, marketing, communication, and much more. Spark Membership is the best on the market. try it now for just $1.
1. With the many clubs to choose from, what attracted you to apply to be a Personal Trainer at my Gym?
2. What was the motivating factor to becoming a personal trainer? Were you initially taking personal training as a gym member?
3. Tell me about your coaching style, and the types of clients you have worked with.
4. Are you ACE, NASM or NSCA certified? What other certifications or classes have you taken that you feel are relevant?
5. Tell me about a time you were dealing with a difficult client. How did you resolve it?
6. How do you stay current with industry trends?
7. Tell me about your proactive marketing. What is your plan on building a client base at my club? Do you already have a following?
8. If a client has an injury or medical condition, but insists that they would like to perform a high-risk workout, how would you handle this situation?
9. Tell me about a time a program had to be changed, why did it need to be changed and how did you do it?
10. Do you have any questions about management, clientele, or my studio in general?