Home Blog The Top 10 Mistakes Intern Applicants Make – Part 2

The Top 10 Mistakes Intern Applicants Make – Part 2

Written on March 11, 2010 at 9:01 am, by Eric Cressey

In my last blog post, I talked about the professionalism side of things with respect to narrowing down our applicant pool for Cressey Performance internships.  Today, I want to talk about a few more things an applicant can do to separate himself/herself from the remaining pack at final cuts.

Mistake #6: Not reading – You can bet that I am probably going to ask you what the last thing you read was during your interview.  Unfortunately, required school reading and Barstool Sports don’t count.  And, don’t say in your application that you read all my stuff if you aren’t subscribed to my FREE newsletter; I can quickly check up on that.

Mistake #7: Not applying early – Generally, applications that are received on deadline day or right before it are already playing from behind the 8-ball.  Honestly, we normally have 1-2 applicants we already really like well before this final rush because they have gotten on our radar screens by applying early.  So, get your application in early; it shows you are really excited and care.

Mistake #8: Not finding a go-between of significance – Most of our internship selections are individuals who have been, in one way or another, “connected” with a member of our staff, one of our previous interns, or some industry colleague of ours.  When these individuals can speak directly to your personality, skills, and work ethic, it immediately gives you a leg up on the competition.  Obviously, people who go out of their way to visit Cressey Performance and experience our environment and culture are putting themselves in a better position as well.  However, if you’re applying from afar and can’t make it to Boston, go out of you way to visit one of our colleagues elsewhere – whether it’s at their facility or at a seminar.  These initiatives show that you care about getting better and can win people over.


Mistake #9: Not showing that you can and have coached before – We don’t care about your GPA.  The fact that you started an exercise science club at your college is nice, but it doesn’t speak to your abilities as a coach or how successful you’d be in our model.  What we want to see is that you’ve gotten out there and coached before – regardless of whether it’s personal training, collegiate strength and conditioning, previous internships, or even just your little sister’s soccer team.  It means that you’ll have gotten past the initial awkwardness of coaching someone when you aren’t comfortable with your abilities yet.  Just as importantly, it means that you are better prepared to deal with clients and athletes who may be intimidated by a new training experience.


Mistake #10: Not being energetic – For us, this is huge.  We know we can teach you everything you need to know to be successful at Cressey Performance.  The only things we can’t teach you are professionalism (as I noted in my last post) and energy.  You don’t necessarily have to be an always clapping, in-your-face, “rah-rah” coach (although there is a place for folks like that), but it is important to show excitement about working with clients, learning, and becoming a part of something special.  So, when you’re on the phone for your interview, enunciate!  Ask questions. Talk about how we fit into your career plans. Show an interest in what we do and we’ll show an interest in you.

Obviously, the attitude and energy you’ll need for a given position will depend on the facility in question, so go out of you way to learn about a facility’s culture before you apply and, later, interview.

Hopefully, these ten tips give you some insights into what we look for when we review applications and carry out interviews.  I can’t say that it’s the same across the board for all facilities in our industry, but I think you’ll find a lot of similarities between us and our colleagues.

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