28 Personal Trainer Interview Questions with Answers

Table of Contents
28 Personal Trainer Interview Questions with Answers

When looking over some common personal trainer interviewer questions, it is easy to get overwhelmed. Those wishing to become physical therapists might become nervous and even miss opportunities as a result of improper preparation.

If you want to avoid these negative outcomes, good news! There are simple and efficient ways to do this. Interview preparation does not necessarily have to be a stressful or complex process.

In fact, by just learning about the most commonly asked interview questions for personal trainers and forming your top responses to them, you will be far ahead of your competition.

28 Personal Trainer Interview Questions with Answers

In this article, we will cover what questions you should focus on learning about and the best ways to prepare for your trainer interview.

What Skills Are Needed for the Personal Trainer Role?

There are thousands of organizations across the globe currently searching for personal trainers. Each of them has unique requirements for their candidates.

This is due to each organization serving different client bases, having different teams, and unique goals, and are in numerous other ways different.

Still, there are some qualities that stand out to employers seeking personal trainers, regardless of which specific organization you applied to. They include:

Fitness certification/s

To have a successful time working as a personal trainer, you need to have certain technical skills. One of these requirements is fitness certifications.

Most organizations require their trainers to be certified by a reputable outside organization. This allows them to ensure your skills have been validated by an outside party and that you have the knowledge to meet industry standards

Motivational skills

Personal trainers will need to motivate their clients on a consistent basis. Many clients will want to quit their workout programs very quickly. The average individual’s motivation is very prone to waning, and being a motivator is one of the primary roles of the personal trainer.

You can become a better motivator by reminding clients of why they want to do this work, how it impacts their and their loved ones’ lives positively, and more.

Leadership skills

Knowing how to lead others is crucial if you want to be the best personal trainer you can. While being a leader may not be the first skill that comes to mind when thinking of this profession, it is necessary.

You will be leading clients to meet their goals. Sometimes, you will work with classes, which involve leading a much larger group. If you plan on owning a training business, you will also need to lead your employees.

Knowledge of the human body, muscles, and nutrition

Another hard skill that is required for this career is knowledge of essential health facts, such as how the human body works and how nutrition impacts this.

Many clients hire a personal trainer primarily due to their knowledge of how to combine fitness and nutrition to help the client meet their goals. You must be able to use your knowledge to create personalized plans and help individuals achieve their desired results.

Organization skills

Organizational abilities are useful in nearly any career. This is certainly true for personal trainers as well. The best personal trainers often have a plethora of clients to take care of. The question arises: how do they find enough time in the day to do that, and still provide quality advice?

The answer: they use organizational and time management skills. Try to prioritize your tasks in order of importance and impact. Eliminate distractions from the workplace whenever possible and organize your digital as well as physical spaces.

Problem-solving skills

Try to avoid conflict and unnecessary trouble whenever possible. Still, it is important to be realistic and realize even the greatest trainers occasionally do not see eye to eye with their clients, their colleagues, or their bosses.

They might make mistakes on workout programs or give someone a subpar nutrition plan occasionally. You must recognize these errors or conflicts whenever possible, and act quickly to resolve them so they do not spiral out of control.

28. Operational Analyst Interview Questions and Answers

General Interview Questions

1. Why is being a personal trainer your dream career?

There should be a strong motivating factor behind choosing your career as a personal trainer. You might have to work under stress or with difficult clients. Something deep within you needs to motivate you to keep going. When answering this question, tell the interviewer what this motivation is. Show you truly have a passion for fitness.

A sample answer is: “I was always overweight when I was a kid. It led to lots of bullying in school, and I lost many friends, my confidence, and my personal identity due to being overweight. I could not control my weight, and no matter what I tried it never came off.

That was until I got to work with a personal trainer. The results of working with him were so stark and so impactful that I decided I needed to give this gift of health to others as well.”

2. Do you have goals for your personal fitness? If so, describe them.

You should never stop your self-improvement journey. Employers want to see that you are still practicing what you preach and have a growth mindset yourself. This is why they may inquire about your personal fitness goals. Show that you are still trying to improve your fitness and why your particular fitness goals are meaningful to you.

You could say something like this in response: “My top fitness goal at the moment is to gain muscle. I want to be able to lift more than 50% of my body weight, and I have usually struggled with muscular endurance the most in my fitness journey. Thus, I am putting an extra emphasis on this aspect of my fitness.”

3. Tell me about your strongest and weakest abilities.

Being self-aware is an important aspect of your job as a personal trainer. Many trainers expect their clients to recognize their strengths and weaknesses, and it is crucial for you to do so as well.

When answering, you could reply with something along the lines of: “My top strength is motivation. I know how to deeply connect with clients because I have had my own negative previous experiences with body image and health, so I can remind them of the importance of activity and nutrition in a meaningful way.

My top weakness would be empathy. I strongly encourage clients to push through their hard times, and I might sometimes overlook their unique circumstances that make pushing through the pain difficult. But, I am becoming a more active listener.”

4. Which types of fitness classes do you know how to teach?

A great personal trainer is also a fantastic teacher. If you have experience with teaching numerous different types of fitness classes, you can stand out as a candidate. It will show you have a diversity of different skills and a large breadth of knowledge.

Note that you can almost always use fitness knowledge, extra certifications, and experience to your advantage.

A sample answer is: “I know how to teach several different types of fitness classes. For instance, I have a certification and over 3 years of experience teaching cycling classes. I would often also work with crossfit athletes in group sessions during my last career.”

5. Tell me about your nutritional knowledge.

Employers want their personal training team members to have an immense amount of knowledge on nutrition. Nutrition is, after all, as important to health than working out. You should bring up any nutrition courses you took throughout your education and if you have any nutrition plan making experience.

You could say something along the lines of: “Yes, I have lots of experience with generating nutrition plans and I have taken numerous nutritional classes as well. I had a minor in nutrition when I graduated from college.

During my last job, I would always accompany my fitness advice with a nutritional plan. People were able to consistently meet their goals with this approach.”

6. Are customer service skills important to your work as a personal trainer? If yes, how important are they?

Your answer could help them see how you would work with clients and what type of communication and coaching style you use. If you do think customer service is important, note any experiences that made you realize this.

When answering this question, you could say: “Yes, I believe customer service skills are important to this career. We are ultimately trainers to serve our clients, and thus, we must listen to them and deeply understand their goals, backgrounds, values, and desires. Doing so can also help us build stronger bonds.”

7. What makes you interested in working for our organization in particular? 

There are thousands of companies hiring personal trainers across the country, and likely dozens just in your local community. The interviewer wants you to be loyal to their company, though.

So, something should specifically attract you to them. Note what sets them apart from the crowd and how your goals and values align with the company’s goals and values.

For instance, you could say something such as: “I am interested in working for this organization because I have been going to the gym here since I was a teenager. Your company has given back to the community in many ways, whether it be helping the football team with drills or donating food for end-of-the-year sports parties.”

8. Tell me about your career goals.

Interviewers want to hire candidates who are constantly trying to learn, grow, and improve. They like individuals who not only have lofty goals but have a means and a deep desire to achieve them. Thus, state the specific career goals you have.

Mention what you would like to achieve in the near future (1 year), intermediate future (5-10 years), and long-term.

A sample answer could be: “My number one career goal is to help as many people as possible achieve their fitness goals. I would do so by committing myself to my work and writing detailed nutrition as well as fitness plans. I would like to potentially start my own organization that focuses on helping the youth with sports as well.”

9. Describe your personal training mindset or philosophy.

Everyone has a unique approach to personal training. They have unique personal experiences, struggles, and mentors that shape their perspectives on how to teach others about fitness. Share your unique outlook on personal training.

One way to respond is the following: “My training style includes the use of a positive growth mindset (and a positive attitude in general) to find ways to improve slowly over time. This way, I can ensure clients do not get overwhelmed and thus do not quit the workout program early on.”

Experience and Background Interview Questions

10. Are you certified in any instruction methods?

One of the common technical requirements for acquiring a job as a personal trainer is having fitness training knowledge and nutrition expertise. You can prove you have this knowledge by showing you are certified or accredited by a reputable outside organization that focuses on this field.

A sample response could be: “Yes, I am certified in numerous instruction types. For instance, I am a certified nutritionist, as this is why I completed my Bachelor’s degree. To add to this, I am also certified as a spin instructor.”

11. What was your major in college? Were your studies focused on health science and/or fitness?

Having a college major or recent experience in studying health or fitness can put you at an immense advantage over other candidates. It shows you have been certified by an educational institution and that you have the knowledge it takes to be successful at performing essential aspects of this job.

For instance, you could reply with: “My major in college was nutritional science. I got a very solid understanding of how the human body works and how to make proper nutrition plans for different clients. I also minored in exercise science, which allowed me to further understand how fitness and nutrition can be interwoven.”

12. What education have you gone through?

Having a strong educational background can help separate you from the likely dozens of other applicants wanting to acquire the job. Ensure that when you respond to this question, you highlight what makes your education unique and how it would help you in the career you have begun.

One way you could answer is like this: “I have gone through 4 years of college education, where I specialized in nutrition science. I also spent time getting a minor in physiology, and got several relevant certificates from a local organization noting my exercise teaching abilities.”

13. What made you want to switch jobs?

Company managers and interviewers alike want to make sure the employees they hire are committed to their work. Hiring and rehiring quickly can be very costly for teams. Thus, they want to see how committed you were to your last job, and that you had a legitimate reason for leaving in the end.

A sample response could be: “I needed to leave my previous job because the organization I worked for was shutting down. The fitness center was going to relocate to a much larger location, but it was going to be outside the state. My family wanted to stay here and I wanted to serve the local community, so I left the job.”

14. Do you have recruitment experience?

Some trainers will need to work with the HR staff to uphold the company. They might also be tasked with helping the marketing team by pitching their services. This is where having some recruitment experience can be useful. It would show you have excellent communication abilities and interpersonal skills, too.

When answering, you could respond with something along the lines of: “I do not currently have any recruiting experience in this industry. However,I have had experience recruiting new employees to work at a local supplement store, and I have encouraged new clients to join my prior workout group.”

15. How do you stay updated on the new trends in the fitness and nutrition industry?

Both the fitness and nutrition industries (as well as personal training specifically) are rapidly changing. There are often client trends and changes you need to stay aware of. This will allow you to best care for your clients and give them the best service possible.

You could respond with something similar to this: “I try to read fitness-related journals and news. I have subscriptions to numerous research journals. Another way I ensure I know about industry trends is by listening to my customers.

If they note that something is popular (or if many clients talk about the same exercise method, diet, etc), then I can assume it is a trend.”

16. Do you have expertise in working with a particular demographic? If so, which one?

Being specialized in your training can be an excellent way to show off your unique knowledge and abilities to the interviewer. If you have extra experience coaching a certain group of people, then you should use this to your advantage.

Your answer could look like the following: “Yes, I do have extra experience with helping coach young people. I coached many younger individuals during my last job, and it was even my focus during college. Outside of my work, I also have experience training younger kids for sports games in their school teams.”

Role-specific interview questions

17. What process do you follow when writing nutrition plans for clients that are new?

Every individual will need a unique and specialized nutrition plan. They have unique goals, backgrounds, athletic abilities, and more. This should all influence how you write your nutrition plan and exercise programs.

Show how you do not follow a cookie-cutter approach to nutrition coaching, and highlight that you are willing to devote time to personalize each nutrition plan.

For example, you could respond with something like this: “What I usually do when writing nutrition plans is first meet with the potential clients. I hear their goals, background, and nutrition history.

From there, I craft a plan that suits the goals and is not too large of a change. I try to give clients flexibility when possible and consult with them again before making it the final plan.”

18. How do you create new workout plans for your clients?

Just like making a nutrition plan takes lots of personalization, the same is true for crafting workout plans. Factors such as age, workout experience, goals, and more all impact how you should create the workout plan.

Your response can be similar to this: “When creating a workout plan for a client, I consult them to figure out what their top goals are and to get an understanding for their current fitness level. We will focus on a specific type of workout based on their goals. From there, we slowly increase the intensity of workouts to help them achieve their goals.”

19. Which do you personally value more: physical fitness or nutrition?

Both fitness (regular exercise) and nutrition are certainly important. Almost every personal trainer will recognize that. This question helps the interviewer not only understand your values but also understand what you will prioritize when teaching clients.

You could reply to this query by answering: “I personally believe both are extremely important for living a healthy life, but nutrition is still more important. By eating healthy, your body can work very well. The nutrients, vitamins, and proteins all add years to your life. Plus, eating in a calorie deficit alone, even without exercise, can help someone reach a healthy weight.”

20. How do you structure your fitness classes?

The interviewer wants to get a sense of the type of teacher you would be as a physical trainer. When you answer this question, they can assess whether your structuring methods align with what they want for their classes. If they align, you will make for a great trainer in their organization.

Be authentic and emphasize why you structure it in the way you do.

You can respond like this: “I structure my fitness classes by starting off with a warmup. We stretch and then do some light activities. From there, we do our main training, which is usually a combination of resistance training and cardio. Finally, we cool down with some stretches and light cardio.”

21. Have you ever worked with an unsatisfied client? How did you respond to them?

Even the greatest personal trainers of all time are not perfect. Even they will have some complaints and unsatisfied customers. The key is to address their concerns and move on from any tensions you have. Note how you have already done this throughout your career.

A sample answer is: “Yes, I try my best to satisfy clients, but I have worked with some individuals who were still unsatisfied with my work. To address their concerns, I scheduled a separate meeting to discuss what they would like changed. We reviewed their goals and in the end, I had to make the plan more realistic. After that, they were on the path to success.”

22. Do you think nutrition supplements belong in most people’s nutrition plans? Why or why not?

There are lots of debates in the fitness community surrounding supplements, even simpler nutrition pills. Some believe that clients should solely get their nutrition from food, while others encourage the use of supplements. Regardless, state what your opinion is, and why.

You could state something such as: “I believe it is important to take nutrition supplements, and I often recommend them to my clients. A large portion of Americans do not get enough vitamins and minerals (especially when in a caloric deficit), and supplements can help with that. They are not a replacement for nourishing food, but can definitely help clients.”

23. Explain the entire process of doing a curtsy squat.

This niche question is testing your knowledge on how a common exercise such as the squad works. However, the query is also deeper than that. It also tests your ability to communicate, how clearly you speak, and whether you are a good coach.

When responding to this query, you could state something along the lines of: “First, get in the right position: feet shoulder width apart, hands in front of you. Put your right foot out to the side, bend your right knee, and keep going down until your left thigh is essentially parallel to the floor. Then, slowly go back to the starting position, and do the same with the left side.”

Behavioral interview questions

24. How do you ensure your clients stay motivated?

One of the top reasons individuals hire a personal trainer is to ensure their motivation stays high. When people work on their own, they often lose passion and interest quickly, which causes them to give up. You need to have a strategy in place for reacting to a client’s urge to quit and ensuring they stay focused on the goals.

You could say something like this in response: “I get a very clear understanding of why my client wants to improve their fitness before starting our partnership. Then, when they feel like quitting, I remind them of that reason to keep them motivated.”

25. How do you mitigate and manage conflicts with your coworkers?

Conflicts are inevitable in the workplace. Even the most positive and team-oriented personal trainers occasionally get into conflicts when they do not see eye to eye with their colleagues. Recognize this reality, and work to better understand how to overcome conflicts. Make note of the strengths you would use when dealing with a conflict.

A sample answer is: “It is very rare for me to get into conflict with my colleagues. However, when it does rarely happen, I will try to see things from their perspective. I actively listen and recognize their potential concerns. From there, we try to compromise on a solution. If it is a very heated discussion, I may try to calm down away from the colleague before discussing further.”

26. Describe your customer service experience to me. Could you please explain your style of managing tough customer service situations with difficult members or potential members at the fitness center?

Having excellent customer service is fantastic if you want to impress the interviewer and show you have the skills it takes to communicate effectively with clients. It is not always easy to work with customers. You will work with a diverse array of people, some more tough to help than others.

Your response could look like this: “I have over 5 years of training customer service experience in my last job. Throughout those years, my style of customer service focused on listening to clients and working within their schedules and needs to achieve their goals. I plan to continue doing this in the future as well.”

27. What do you think of strictly organic or vegan diets? Suppose you have a client who is set on following a certain diet that is not similar to yours. How do you ensure you can still offer them objective advice?

Now more than ever, more and more people are becoming vegan, paleo, fully organic, keto, or gluten-free. People might be set on following these diets for ethical reasons or because their doctor recommended them to the client. You should respect the client’s decision while still working to optimize their diet within their set requirements.

When responding to the question, you could say something along the lines of: “I always respect my client’s decisions to follow a certain diet. We will work together to create a nutrition plan that focuses on their goals while still fitting within the diet. For example, if I was working with a vegan client who wanted to build strength, I would have him or her eat lots of protein from beans, lentils, nuts, and other products.”

28. Suppose a client tells you they are unsatisfied with their results or your approach. What would you do in response if you knew the root cause of the lack of success was the client’s lack of motivation?

Ultimately, you will have some clients that do not feel satisfied with your work. However, you should take ownership of any mistakes you made along the way, and listen to the client when they give you criticism. This will show you are willing to learn from them and from your own mistakes.

For instance, you could say: “At the end of the day, even if the root cause of the issue was the client’s motivation, I am responsible for helping the client deliver results. Thus, I will be open to listening to the client’s concerns and learning about how I can improve my training approach.”

Questions for You to Ask in an Operational Analyst Job Interview

The conventional perception of a job interview is a stressed candidate being questioned by the interviewer. While most of the questions in a job interview are directed towards the candidate, there are also opportunities for the interviewee to ask their own questions.

Asking questions can have various benefits, such as showcasing your passion and dedication to the profession. You can ask several questions during your interview, and here are a few examples:

  • When would you like to hire your next personal trainer?
  • Who is considered my boss? Who do I report to, besides clients?
  • Do you have a training program that newly hired individuals must go through?
  • How do you measure a personal trainer’s performance? How often do you review performance?
  • What management style do the leaders of this organization use?
  • What skills and qualities do you believe an ideal personal trainer for your company should have?

How To Prepare for the Personal Trainer Job Interview

By now, you likely have a solid understanding of some of the questions you could be asked during your personal trainer interview. This should give you some comfort and confidence before the interview.

However, reading over those questions should not be all you do to prepare for your interview. Other techniques can help boost your odds of interview success even more.

Start off by reviewing the questions you already looked through in this article. This time, though, do not just passively read the queries. Write down short answers for each question.

Think about potential narratives and examples you could bring up during the interview. Also, recall any major career moments (both successes and failures) as well as what they taught you.

In addition to this, you should ensure you have done thorough research on the organization you are applying to. You want to have a strong understanding of the company’s customer base and values in particular. This can help you form responses that resonate with the interviewer more.

Finally, plan for the interview day ahead of time. Print out any documents such as your resume or CV a day in advance. Plan what you will wear and when you should leave your home.

All of this can help decrease your anxiety on the day of the interview. It ensures you will not be left scrambling and stressed hours before the interview.

STAR method

While the above-listed methods are all very effective and important, there is another technique you should also consider employing during the interview.

This technique is called the STAR method. STAR is an acronym, which is short for Situation, Task, Action, and Result. It is used when answering queries related to stories or when you give personal examples.

For example, if you wanted to bring up a story of how you led your team to prove you have good communication skills, you could use the STAR method.

In general, the (S) Situation means describing what was going on at the time of the story occurring. Who was with you? What was going on? What was the issue?

Next, the T or Task stands for what needed to be done and why this needed to be done. After that, the A or Action are the steps you took to overcome the problem. Lastly, the R or Result is the ultimate outcome of you making those decisions.

Personal Trainer Interview Questions FAQs

What does a personal trainer need to know about a client?

Personal trainers are most effective and produce the best results for their clients when there is a strong trainer-client relationship between them. For this to occur, the trainer needs to know about many different aspects of the client’s goals and personality.

For instance, a personal trainer needs to know not just what a client’s goals are, but why they want to achieve them. They should understand the client’s health history and workout history. The trainer must have an understanding of their diet as well.

How do you motivate fitness clients?

At the end of the day, one of the most important personal trainer roles is that of the motivator. Every personal trainer employs a different approach when it comes to motivating clients.

Some remind clients of the reason they started their fitness journey, such as by reminding them about the health benefits this brings and how they can better spend time with their family once they are fit.

Others provide motivation by giving clients some sort of reward, although it is not food-related. Trainers may encourage clients to work with one another and have friendly competition. If a trainer’s approach is successful, seeing the pounds drop or muscle build can serve as motivation in and of itself, too.

Your test result:
In less than 15 min, discover what you are great at using our science-backed strengths assessment.
Blog Feedback
Not at all Likely Extremely Likely
Join +3 million people from leading companies in discovering what they are naturally great at