Why are Man Hole Covers Round and How Does Your Answer Affect Your Fitness Career?

If you’ve read this blog recently, you know that one of my staff members quit abruptly and unprofessionally about a week and a half ago.  No big deal.  I’m over it, hired someone new and the steam engine keeps puffin’ out that pretty white smoke.  You can read the full story about by clicking here.

Of course, any time something like this happens it’s an excellent opportunity to re-assess on many levels all of the systems that take care of staff management, etc.  These systems are NEVER perfect and ALWAYS need more work, especially in my case.

You may have already heard the expression that “People Respect What YOU Inspect.”  And if you’re a studio owner or manager of anyone, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.  For me, this part is difficult…there are so many other more interesting things I’d rather do than check-up to see if you washed the toilets last night.

Managing a lot of people is NOT what I do best and is NOT my preferred activity, EVER.  This might sound a little brash or insensitive.  Tough!  Over the last year I’ve worked very hard to contract my business model down to the point where it feels much more manageable, and where I can spend good productive time building my way into more and more information marketing.  From the day I started my first paper in graduate school, I have been madly in love with the work of researching, reading, and then writing about what I know.  This is what I like to do best.  I always will…

Still, I realize that I will always need a small number of staff members to help run my operation (which will always include the fitness part).  As such, like it or not, I’ve got to get better at managing my people.  But first, I need to make sure and hire the right ones.

Which brings me to my point…

Far too often in my own career I’ve experienced the job interview as a potential candidate and realized something very profound – most people doing interviews have absolutely no idea what they are doing.  Really, it’s true.  I learned early on that if I took advantage of my strong and intense personality, that I could easily take control of the interview and end up asking more questions than my potential employer.  Great for me, but not for the employer.

Remember, the person who is asking the most questions and talking the least is the person who is in control of the conversation.  So, as an interviewer, your first job is to Shut Up!

To keep you interested, I uncovered a list of really cool, fun and interesting questions that I encourage you to work in to your interviews.  It is just these types of questions that will tell you more about a candidate than any of the other basic ones.

In fact, my favorite question to ask, which tells the best story about a person is this one…

“What is your most powerful personal asset?”

You would be surprised at how this one weeds out the weanies.  I actually had one girl tell me that it was her “good looks.”  That experience told me that I needed to do better with my screening process but that’s a different blog post I’ll write another time.

In the mean time, be sure to check out these interview questions from Microsoft, Google, and IKEA.  They’re awesome!

Interview Questions from Microsoft, Google, and IKEA.

And here’s the one I promised that’s not written into that article…

“Why are man-hole covers round?”  I’ll look for your answers in the comments section of this post.

In the mean time, here’s a list of simple questions I use.  They get the conversation started and then I look for places where I can dig for gold…

“Tell me about yourself?”

“What are your strengths?”

“What are your weaknesses?”

“Have you worked with clients before. If so, What’s your favorite part of the work?”

“What do you like about working with people?”

“Why did you choose fitness as a career?”

“Why aren’t you in better shape than you are now?  And what do you plan to do about it?”  And how do you think this will affect your work with clients?”

“What is your most powerful personal asset?”

“Why should I hire you?”  (This one always tells me a lot about how good a salesman this person is and how well they can or cannot promote their personal brand)

OK, now go find some great people….ExerciseCareers.com is a great place to start



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