33 Personal Trainer Interview Questions and Example Answers
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published 17 September 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Personal trainers are important individuals who help transform their clients' fitness regimes, improve their mental and physical health and overcome injuries or physical ailments. Candidates interested in becoming personal trainers may undergo an interview where they answer questions designed to highlight their skills, fitness and sports knowledge and ability to work with clients. Understanding the questions that interviewers may ask can help you prepare the relevant material for the interview. In this article, we provide 33 interview questions for personal trainers and offer some example answers.
What are personal trainer interview questions?
Personal trainer interview questions refer to the interview questions that hiring managers use to determine your personal training hard skills, knowledge and ability to work constructively with your clients. These are separate from standard interview questions that the interviewer may use to determine your character, work ethic or soft skills. Interview questions for personal trainers typically consist of open-ended questions that ask the candidate about their training approach, how they adapt their training programs for clients with disabilities or what they believe to be the most effective way of motivating their clients to work towards their goals.
These questions also consist of asking the candidate about their personal training career goals, such as their future career prospects and what motivates them to achieve these goals.
Related: How to Become a Personal Trainer
General questions primarily serve to discern your character. A hiring manager uses these questions to understand whether you have the right skills and character traits to treat your clients with respect and dignity. Here are some examples of general interview questions you can expect:
What are your hobbies?
What is your ideal working environment and why?
What five qualities do you think are important in a fitness professional, and why?
What hours of the day are you most productive?
Where do you see yourself working in ten years, and what do you hope to achieve within that timeframe?
How do you stay motivated?
How would your previous clients describe you?
What attracts you to working as a personal trainer in this facility?
What is your fitness philosophy?
How do you balance your work and personal life?
Questions about experience and background
Some questions in your personal trainer interview are likely to focus on your experience and background. This is to gauge whether you have the right qualifications or industry knowledge to train clients with diverse backgrounds. Here are some examples of questions about experience and background:
What qualifications or certifications do you have that you found the most beneficial to your personal training approach, and why?
Describe your experience in the fitness industry before this interview.
Where did your passion for the fitness industry start?
What have been your most significant achievements as a personal trainer?
When did you last lead a training team or engage in a team sport?
What about your last personal training role did you enjoy the most?
What lessons did you learn from your qualifications that you plan on implementing in your future career?
Describe the last time you managed a conflict with a client.
What has been your biggest personal training success story?
Have you ever engaged in volunteer opportunities in the fitness industry? If so, describe this and how it benefited you.
In-depth questions refer to the questions that require more detailed answers. These can be questions that ask you to respond to a specific scenario or provide examples and anecdotes of when you have previously managed a situation at work. Here are examples of in-depth questions:
What makes your approach to training unique, and how do you think this benefits your clients?
What would you do if you have a client that disagrees with your training methods?
If you could change three things about the fitness industry, what would they be, and why?
How do you manage conflicting fitness opinions with colleagues?
If a client had a certain illness that prevented them from proceeding with their training program as expected, how would you approach this?
How do you make clients feel more comfortable in the first few training sessions?
How would you approach a client who had previously found other fitness facilities didn't completely fulfil some of their requirements, and how would you try to instil a positive mindset to personal training programs?
How would you encourage a client to continue with their recommended program?
How do you design a personal training program for a new client? What steps does this involve?
How do you keep yourself informed about developments in the fitness industry?
Interview questions with sample answers
Interview questions require clear and concise answers that allow a hiring manager to determine whether your behaviour coincides with their working approach. To answer these questions, consider using the STAR approach. This approach structures answers by making candidates respond to and refer to the situation, task, action and results of their behaviour. Here are some examples of ways you can answer typical personal trainer interview questions:
1. Do you feel you work better with different people in the fitness industry, such as athletes, dancers or clients with previous injuries, or can you create a training program for all types of clients?
This question aims to determine whether candidates can cater to a wide range of clients and work with clients from all backgrounds. Interviewers ask this, as it's important for personal trainers to approach all clients with compassion and offer their services, no matter their background. To answer this question, try to draw on your experience and explain how you have worked with clients from all fitness backgrounds and can design a plan that suits their needs. Consider referring to your training approach and ethical code. From this, you can explain the benefits of your approach.
Example answer: ‘I have experience providing training plans for a wide range of clients and pride myself on my versatility. I am committed to working with clients from diverse backgrounds. I feel that this has contributed to my improvement as a trainer and allowed me to find new ways of approaching clients while positively contributing to my personal and professional development.'
2. What qualities make you the ideal candidate for a personal training role?
Interviewers are likely to ask questions such as these to help them determine your understanding of the role. To answer this question, it's important to research the role and read the job description attached to the advertisement. This is likely to explain the character traits of the ideal candidate. You can then refer directly to these traits in your answers. Consider explaining a time in your professional experience when you showed these skills for added effect.
Example answer: ‘From my research and the job description, I see that you are looking for someone who can work with all types of clients, regardless of their fitness or health background. My four years of personal training experience have allowed me to work with everyone, from professional athletes to beginners, and offer the same level of dedication and respect. I also believe that my willingness to form positive relationships with clients sets me apart from other candidates. My goal is to make my clients comfortable and enjoy their training sessions.'
3. Why do you think you would thrive here in the company culture we have at this facility?
Interviewers use questions that refer specifically to the company to determine whether you have knowledge of their company culture or have conducted any research. Demonstrating that you've researched your potential employer may reflect positively on you and improve your prospects. To answer this question, refer to your research and mention the company's most impressive qualities, such as its code of conduct, ethics or charity work. You can then mention how you embodied these qualities in your previous career, explain how this makes you an ideal match and describe your positive impact on team morale or the working environment.
Example answer: ‘From the research that I have conducted, I can see that you value collaborative working, inclusivity, empathy and trust. These are qualities that are important to me, and I incorporate them into all my training programs. In my previous employment, I focused on improving workplace culture by encouraging my colleagues to work more effectively as part of a team, leading to many experiencing better workplace relationships and a more fulfilling working environment. This is a quality that I hope I can bring to this role and develop in the future.'
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