How Not to Interview: A Lesson for Fitness Professionals

I nearly didn't get a job here at Core Advantage.

Back in 2012, I was playing basketball with the Nunawading Spectres and was part way through finishing my degree in Sport Science at Deakin Uni.

Part of the degree is you have to do placement. One of my teammates, BJ, was training with Durham and so he suggested I get in touch to see if there's anything going on.

I contacted Durham in November 2012. Meanwhile, I started my actual practicum at the Oakleigh Chargers with the under 15's program. It didn't look like anything was going to happen in Core Advantage because I didn’t get a reply straight away.

Fast forward to January 2013, I got cut from the Spectres.

But righty so, a 6'3" power forward who can't jump? I mean, come on.

Anyway, so Durham calls me to let me know there's an official internship starting the next semester and if I want to come down for an interview.

I was a bit hesitant at first, because I already had my hours covered with the Oakleigh gig, plus I was going down to Mornington two times a week to train with the youth league team.

Durham told me about the vision he had for the company, and I was really curious.

The day of the interview was in the middle of a heat wave, we had five or six days all in the mid-thirties, all in a row.

The interview's at 11 AM. I go for a workout before hand and then, given the heat plus the metabolic effect of the workout plus the effect I was nervous and the office back at the old Core Advantage was like this tiny shoe box, I was in for a rough 30 minutes.

The interview kicks off, there's Durham, Rob Blinkhorn, who's running the internship at that stage, and myself in this tiny little office. I'm dripping with sweat, nervous as hell, and I'm interviewing terribly. I was so arrogant back in those days. I'd read like three T Nation articles, I could squat 120 kilos, I thought I knew everything.

The interview ends, they send me into another room to deliberate. Durham only told me afterwards that I came this close to not getting a gig because I was so arrogant and so overconfident and cocky during the interview.

But, thankfully, they gave me a chance and I spent the next six months eating as much humble pie as possible, asking all the probably, stupid, ridiculous, and obvious questions I could, but now here I am, back at Deakin at the DUSSC Annual Evening, being a mentor and presenting to the next group of graduates coming through the Deakin program.

I guess the moral of the story is I got lucky. But I gave myself every chance to not be lucky. If you're just starting out in any industry, be prepared to be a rookie, take a step back, check your ego at the door, and be patient. There's a lot to be learned if you're willing to listen to the right people.