42 Personal Trainer Interview Questions (With Example Answers)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 5 July 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.

A certified personal trainer is a fitness professional who has received training in developing and implementing safe and effective workout programmes for their clients. They assist their clients in exercising properly and making other lifestyle changes to achieve their fitness objectives. When preparing for a personal trainer position interview, it's beneficial to expect what questions interviewers may ask, so you can prepare answers to increase your chances of success. In this article, we review some common personal trainer interview questions and how you can respond to them with tips to help you succeed in your next interview.

Related: How to Prepare for an Interview

General personal trainer interview questions

Interviewers may ask the following general personal trainer interview questions to assess your personality, work ethic and suitability for the organisation and position:

  1. What inspired you to become a personal trainer?

  2. What qualities distinguish you from other fitness trainers?

  3. Do you set fitness objectives for yourself?

  4. What is your approach to personal training?

  5. What is your class schedule, and can you lead me through a class from beginning to end?

  6. How essential do you believe client service is in this position?

  7. Why do you want to work for our company?

  8. How do you manage disagreements with colleagues?

  9. What are your professional objectives?

  10. What inspired you to become a fitness trainer?

  11. How do you stay current on your fitness training knowledge?

Questions about experience and background

Here are some questions that interviewers may ask to learn more about your education, training and previous job experience:

  1. What certifications do you have?

  2. Have you received any diet or nutrition education?

  3. Do you have any experience teaching group classes?

  4. Did you major in health science or anything relevant?

  5. What is your academic background?

  6. Why did you quit your previous job?

  7. Do you have experience selling fitness packages to clients?

  8. What are the backgrounds of clients you've worked with?

  9. Can you describe how you accommodate different fitness levels in your group classes?

  10. Have you worked in a commercial gym before?

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In-depth questions

In-depth questions usually involve testing your specific fitness knowledge and skills. Here's a list of some common in-depth questions for a personal trainer interview:

  1. How would you coach a cricketer?

  2. Could you give me three fundamental exercises you recommend to all clients, and why?

  3. How essential is nutrition to you when developing a regimen for a client?

  4. How many quadriceps muscles are there?

  5. How would you develop a nutrition plan for a new client?

  6. How would you arrange a training plan for a new client?

  7. What exactly is metabolism?

  8. Do you value physical fitness or nutrition more?

  9. How would you design a fitness class?

  10. Describe how you addressed a dissatisfied client in the past.

  11. Do you suggest dietary supplements to your clients?

  12. Can you show me how to execute a curtsy squat?

  13. How do you keep clients motivated?

Personal trainer interview questions with sample answers

To help you prepare for your next interview, here are some example answers to common personal trainer interview questions:

1. What about this position appeals to you?

Interviewers want to know if your values and objectives align with an organisation's. Be specific in your response and show that you've researched the company and are familiar with its mission statement, vision and values.

Example: "I like how this gym caters to a broad clientele. I'm really interested in teaching clients of different backgrounds about the importance of appropriate diet and exercise. I'm especially interested in increasing accessibility for people with physical limitations, which this gym also focuses on."

2. What is your approach to gaining new clients?

Client recruitment is a common duty for personal trainers. Interviewers want to know that you're familiar with best practices for acquiring new clients and expanding the business. Describe any methods you've found to be effective.

Example: "I previously depended significantly on recommendations, as I found favourable reviews were very effective in attracting new clients. I just finished a recruitment training course and want to implement the strategies I learned, many of which entail leveraging social media and other online strategies to approach and secure new clients."

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3. What are your approaches to establishing rapport with clients?

To retain clients for personal fitness services, it's essential to establish rapport with them. Interviewers want to know that you can keep long-term client relationships.

Example: "During training sessions, I make it a point to learn about my clients' tastes and preferences and engage them in polite discussion. I aim to have a cheerful and happy attitude at all times. As a personal trainer, I tailor my workouts and success plans to each of my clients based on what motivates them."

4. Describe how you work with a new client.

The demands, objectives and history of each client can influence the details of the workout and fitness plan you design. The interviewer wants to see if you consider these things when taking on a new client.

Example: "When taking on new clients, I often utilise a comprehensive written questionnaire. This allows me to have a written record of the client's history and expectations I can refer to. My questionnaire includes questions about a client's objectives, prior injuries and current training routines. During the discussion, I explain my position as their trainer and how we can work together to reach their objectives."

5. How can you assist a client that complains about persistent discomfort that prevents them from exercising?

Training in human anatomy and safe workout routines is essential for personal trainers. Some interviewers may mention a particular injury or demographic for you to develop a training regimen for. Be specific in your response about how you can assist a client with their injuries or other health issues.

Example: "Chronic pain is often an indicator of weakened muscles or improper skeletal alignment. I usually start with performing diagnostic test exercises on clients to determine which muscle groups need strengthening and to understand what their limitations are. I try to identify the core cause of their discomfort, so I can suggest the most appropriate exercises to help them."

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6. What can you do if your client is determined to follow a diet that varies from what you recommend?

This question assesses the candidate's adaptability. The interviewer wants to see whether you can listen to what the client wants and assist them in developing a diet that fits their lifestyle.

Example: "I first make a list of a client's various preferences to identify the most suitable options that can help them meet their goals and I try to suggest any alternatives for a client to try. I also try to plan more gradual changes to help them become more accustomed to being on a different diet."

7. What are your best three exercises for a client and why?

This question is strictly to see whether you can defend the benefits of a particular exercise to various clients and assess your general fitness expertise. Explain that no workout is appropriate for all clients and that it's important to evaluate each client's previous experience, age, current fitness levels, medical conditions and fitness goals.

Example: "Although there's no one-size-fits-all approach to any exercise, because of large variations between people, my go-to exercises are deadlifts, crunches and pull-ups. The reason is that they're resistance-based complex movements that help enhance metabolic rate and improve blood circulation and muscle tone. They're also appropriate for most clients' fitness objectives, such as fat reduction, muscle tone or muscle growth."

8. How do you handle group fitness sessions to ensure everybody is satisfied?

This question assesses an individual's ability to multitask. For example, if a gym offers group training sessions, they may want to recruit someone who can pay attention to all students. This question also assesses a candidate's ability to work under pressure.

Example: "I enjoy leading group workout sessions, and I normally make sure that everyone begins at the same time and that I attend to each client at five-minute intervals. I often start classes by asking students about their level of experience so I can identify which may need more help. I also try to check with each student during any breaks to ensure they're not having any issues."

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Personal trainer interview tips

Here are some tips to consider that can help you prepare for your next personal training interview:

  • Research the company. Familiarise yourself with an employer, such as how they operate, how long they've been operating, their basic principles and their mission statement. This can also assist you in determining if an employer's values match yours.

  • Consider your attire. While it can be appropriate to wear gym wear to a personal trainer interview, it's essential that your attire is clean and well-fitting. Hiring managers may ask you to perform certain exercises, so it can help to wear clothing that doesn't limit your movement.

  • Bring your portfolio. When you attend the interview, you can bring the exercise and fitness regimens you've developed for previous clients and any videos of you performing exercises. This can assure hiring managers of your expertise in the fitness industry.

  • Review workout routines. An interviewer may ask you to create a client workout plan during an interview, so it can be helpful to study common routines.

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