Tips for Hiring For Your Fitness Department

Hiring for your fitness department is no light task. Instructors and personal trainers are the faces of your business, so it’s vital that the people you hire are great representatives of your brand.

To ensure the hiring of top-notch personal trainers and instructors, require trainers and instructors to have a degree in an exercise related field or a nationally recognized certification. In addition, during the interview process, gauge the prospective employee’s personal healthy lifestyle. If you don’t practice it, you shouldn’t preach it.

Also, if you ask them why they want to pursue a career in the fitness field and they don’t say something about wanting to “help people,” don’t consider hiring them. Staff must want to make a difference in people’s lives in order to fit within the mission and vision of many companies in the health and fitness industry.

When asked what they’re passionate about, you hope the answer revolves around positively influencing people’s lives. If they just talk about themselves, you know they’re not in this field for the right reasons.

While interviewing a prospective trainer or instructor, there are some things to keep an eye out for. The prospective employee should dress professionally for the interview. No matter what position you’re interviewing for, you should show up in business casual at the very least.

During the interview, a great question to ask is, “What are you passionate about?” This question allows you to see if they’ll say something about exercise, helping people or changing lives. Also, “If time, money and talent were not a part of the equation, what would you do with your life?” This question tends to throw people off and it gives insight into who they really are as a person. “Do you feel lucky?” The answer to this question lets you know whether the person has a positive or negative outlook on things.

Finally, pay attention to a prospective trainer or instructor who goes the extra mile during an interview. Have they researched your company, talked to employees and are aware of the culture? It’s always impressive when people take the extra step of learning about the company. You’d be surprised to know how many people have never stepped foot in your door until their interview, or don’t even know what your mission is.


Lisa Groft is the fitness co-director of Baptist Health Milestone Wellness Center in Louisville, Kentucky. She can be reached at

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