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A HFE instructor working with their client by showing an iPad tablet.
A HFE instructor working with their client by showing an iPad tablet.

Personal trainer guaranteed interviews and jobs

5 minute read

In an attempt to get you to enrol on their personal training courses, there are a handful of training providers that now promise a guaranteed interview with a fitness industry employer. There are even some that are now going so far as offering guaranteed jobs. 

To the uninitiated, this proposition seems like a win-win situation, almost too good to be true you might say – the qualification you need and an opportunity to secure your dream job. If you scratch beneath the surface however, things aren’t all as they seem!

What are guaranteed interviews and jobs?

Before we pull the curtain back on the often-murky practice of offering guaranteed interviews, you should be familiar with the options available to qualified personal trainers. We’ve produced an in-depth article to clarify the differences between working on an employed or self-employed basis.

The number one thing to bear in mind with these guaranteed interviews offered by training providers is that they are almost exclusively for self-employed positions, so you would effectively be working for yourself.

The real kicker is that there’s nothing actually stopping you from approaching gyms directly or using an active leisure recruitment site to apply for these same positions yourself.

Another thing which often catches people out is that the self-employed positions being advertised would require you to pay weekly or monthly rent in order to actually work and try and earn a living on the gym floor. This part of the equation isn’t often made clear by the providers in question, who know it isn’t something that would cross your mind when you see a ‘guaranteed job’ offer.

Personal trainer working with a client on the gym floor

Now, there are countless examples of personal trainers who really thrived being self-employed, and many will choose this option out of preference. However, if you’re brand new to personal training, being self-employed could put yourself under considerable pressure to secure enough clients to make a comfortable living, all while still finding your footing and establishing yourself in the industry.

Another disingenuous practice that training providers often engage in, alongside guaranteed interviews, is touting large and very attractive salary opportunities.

Of course, there’s no denying that the fitness industry is booming and there’s money to be made. But what isn’t really explored with these large salaries that are tied to the guaranteed interviews is the work actually involved to achieve these handsome returns.

If the guaranteed job opportunity purports that you could earn £45,000 in your first year, how do you go about that? Is it that purely by working on the gym floor? Maybe a mix of one-to-one clients covering clients? Or something else entirely?

What are the other downsides?

Aside from the potentially great financial commitment involved with being tied to a guaranteed job, there are other downsides and points you should consider before you commit to such an arrangement.

Ultimately, if being in the fitness industry is your dream career move, why should you make compromises with where you’ll actually be working? With many guaranteed interview schemes, the choice will often already have been made for you and you won’t have a say in which brands or organisations you can work for.

You might strike lucky as the guaranteed interview might be for a large budget chain and that’s exactly what you’re looking for. However, what if you wanted to work for a luxury club, your local council-run leisure, or a specialist independent gym? These simply won’t be on offer.

Fully equipped gym with resistance equipment

As we’ve previously stated, there are many PTs who enjoy really successful careers being self-employed, so if you are still tempted to enter into a guaranteed interview scheme, just be sure to ask the right questions.

If you’ve been offered a position at your local gym, you’re well within your rights to do some independent research – there’s no harm in asking how many PTs are currently working at the gym and if is there any evidence of their income, as these are legitimate concerns to have before accepting a job offer.

Perhaps even visit the club, if it’s local to you, and speak to some of the trainers yourself. It’s only by weighing up the pros and cons, and doing research yourself will you truly know if a guaranteed interview is right for you.

What are the alternatives to guaranteed interviews and jobs?

The beauty of the fitness industry is that there are always options and alternatives, and this includes being involved in a guaranteed interview scheme.

One way to go about things is to find a training provider who truly suits your needs, budget and location. Then, once you’re qualified, apply for one of the hundreds, if not thousands of personal trainer jobs advertised on the likes of Leisure Jobs, Indeed, Leisure Opportunities, Reed and many more. If the positions are self-employed anyway then you stand exactly the same chance of getting the role as someone in a guaranteed interview scheme.

If you’re a HFE student then an exclusive alternative to guaranteed interviews is CV Connect. This game-changing solution will instantly connect you with thousands of fitness and leisure operators from the moment you complete your qualification.

Welcome to CV Connect

1 minute

The beauty of the system is that everything is completely in your hands. As soon as you’ve completed your course, you’ll have the option to upload your CV and send it directly to chosen employers in your area. All the big names you’d expect are there, including David Lloyd, Your Personal Training, Ultimate Performance, JD Gyms. Nuffield Health, Pure Gym and hundreds more.

If you have any more questions on CV Connect, job opportunities after you qualify or any other concerns of a similar nature, feel free to reach out to our Careers Team.

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