Too Good to Be True Interview?

Updated on August 10, 2013
E.S. asks from Hackettstown, NJ
24 answers

Hi mamas!

I have a funny feeling that I want to run by everyone.

Yesterday, I sent in an application for a job at a health club and was contacted hours later. The application also asked if I was under 40, which was a voluntary segment but it left me with a bad feeling. (Nope, not under 40!).

Anyway, I called them back today and the guy on the phone said "hey, wussup?, what's going on!" He wanted to interview me tomorrow which to me was too soon. I even explained that I don't have my credentials at hand yet but he still wanted to meet me to "onboard me."

I'm thinking this is too good to be true and after talking to my husband about it, the place is probably too far away.


ETA: I read a lot of reviews online and most of them said that the environment is demanding, 10-12 hours day, and very sales-driven. I bet they want to meet me to gauge my age!

What can I do next?

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answers from New York on

I really don't understand the "too good to be true". You applied for a position and now they want to have an interview. This is a normal business practice. However, the company doesn't sound very professional, so you may need to evaluate if this is the type of organization that you want to work for. Go on the interview.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I'm guessing that this position is a revolving door and they will take whomever they can get. I wouldn't bother with it. Call back and back out.

And tomorrow is not too soon. When I find someone I want to meet, I call and get them in as fast as possible.

Good luck with the search!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Go to interview. You don't have to take the job, and you can always quit if you take it and don't like it.

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answers from New York on

My husband has an expression he calls 'duty dating.' This is when you are a bit rusty and the nice old lady sets you up with a niece with whom you will likely have nothing in common. Go on the date. Go with the best intentions. The nice old lady made an effort. You could use the practice, and perhaps something golden will come out of it. You might like the niece, she might introduce you to a new restaurant, or to your future wife. If you don't go, you will never know.

By analogy, if you could use some practice interviewing, and have the time, by all means go. It might be good to work out the kinks in how you present yourself in jobs that you don't necessarily pine to land. You might actually surprise yourself, land, and enjoy the job.

In the future though, if you aren't desparate, and don't have the support to take a job too far away, apply to those positions which are nearer to you.

Good luck to you and yours,
F. B.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I wouldn't even go talk to someone who answered the phone the way the guy did. Sorry, but it's no where near professional, and I wouldn't even want to work at a gym that wasn't only leads to problems.

And you already have your answer - I'd save everyone the hassle and not go, honestly.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

So even though you thought you wanted the job and applied, now you don't want it because you think you are too old and didn't like how casual the man setting up interview is??

And this was after you applied that you researched and found out it was long shifts and sales driven?

So it really isn't that it is too good to be true that they want you sight unseen ( more or less, since I realize they are brining you in to "see " you), but it's more not what you are looking for in a job??

personally, I think I would advise my sister or friend to still go and use it as interview practice for a job you really do want.
I guess situations like this is why it's important to research companies first.

and I guess i'm still a little hazy on what the details of the job would be anyway, you taking people on tours of the gym?? and trying to get them to fork over the money for memberships?

sorry I guess i'm not very helpful with this one

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Roanoke on

After a call like that one I would not expect a professional environment, or even a real "interview" process. It sounds like they bring everyone on board, and likely have high turnover. I don't think it sounds too good to be true. Doesn't really sound too good period. Sorry :(

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Go with your gut on this. If they are wanting to hire you on right away and get you "on board" without seeing any background information or references, then know that this is how they hire *everyone*. And that, in itself, usually is a problem because there's less discretion.

Or it could mean that he just wanted to see that you would fit in with the work culture they have at the gym and would ask for a second interview if you passed muster.

Ultimately, if the place is too far away and you don't think it will work for you to be employed there, call back, thank the guy for the opportunity to come in and don't give it any more thought.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I am not sure what your question is.....

Why would it be "too good to be true" that someone looked at your application and then wants to interview you soon thereafter? I have often handed a manager my application and been interviewed on the spot. Maybe there are hiring.......

I can understand your concern about the under 40 question - bad move on their part to have such a question on an application. But maybe they don't have the best HR/legal group!

The guy who answered your call doesn't seem to be the most professional, however, I think you need to consider the environment. In my experience working out at health facilities, the men working there talk similarly! If you called a doctor's office and someone answered that way, I would be a bit more concerned.

It seems like you've already decided against this place based on bad vibes and far distance. So good luck applying for your next jobs!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I think you already know the answer, but yes, it does sound a little too good to be true.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

What, he said "wussup?" If he is doing the interview, does that mean HE would be the boss? OY.

If you think it's too far, I would not bother. If it's within a reasonable vicinity, what's the hurt in checking it out?

If you think it's to determine if you are a vibrant, young, sexy little not even consider that place!!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

Well, between the age question and the reviews online, you know the score. The job is for you to look buff and cool and push everyone who walks in the door of the health club to buy a membership.

The way the guy talks on the phone would creep me out. Maybe it's just me. Not sure why you think it's "too good to be true"... what's too good about it? Do you want to work 10-12 hours a day doing this? (I admit that I wouldn't...)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

In all honesty, that's the kind of job that burns through employees.
So I wouldn't be surprised of most applicants get a look/see.
I don't mean that in a harsh way, but is that what you want to do? Hawk memberships and clean up? Because that's what I see the "associates" at my club doing!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

I don't understand what it means that you "don't have your credentials at hand yet". If you submitted an application online why are you not ready to interview for the position? Why would it be "too soon" for them to interview you? This thinking is quite rigid and I don't understand the logic behind it.

Additionally, as others have said, it is illegal for their application to ask ANYTHING about your age (even *voluntarily*) WITH ONE EXCEPTION..... "are you over 18?". So, I would wonder about their business practices - clearly they do not have a fully formed HR / Legal dept. Which means who is going to be there if something happens after you start to work there.......

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I agree w/ what CoMoMom said. It is illegal to take any employment action (hire, terminate, promote, etc) based on age. And the culture sounds unprofessional. It is also important to be ready to interview as soon as you decide to contact a place about employment opportunities. If you are not ready to go when they are, they may pass you by. It also tells them if you have a sense of urgency, which may be an important trait for a particular position (as in sales...).

While this place may not be the job you are looking for, it could be a great opportunity to brush up on your interviewing a skills for a job that you may not be disappointed if you don't get it. Better to be truly practiced and prepared for when the right opportunity comes along. Not only that, talking to them could lead to other prospects. You never know who you're going to meet today and where they may be tomorrow (that's networking!)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I would go with your gut. Totally weird they asked if you're under 40 on the app. And his casual manner of convo on the phone is also a little weird--also strange that he still wanted to meet when you indicated you weren't ready--almost like, if you take this job, you won't have personal boundaries?

I once worked for Bally Total Fitness. I was fresh out of college and looking for a job--they hired me on the premise of being a personal trainer and selling memberships. It was a horrible, high pressure job. I was paid a tiny hourly rate, and the rest was commission. The sales tactics were high pressure and misleading, to say the least. As a member of the sales team, I had to spend my days cold calling, or setting up appointments with contacts, or going out and setting up sales materials in other places. Whatever time was left, I was allowed to "train" members on the floor. We were supposed to ask for the sale FIVE times. If we still got a "no," we were supposed to give our manager (outside a glass window) the "high sign," which was tugging on our shirt collar. He would come in and take over the sales job. Not fun and I could never bring myself to do it. I was finally about to quit my job when they fired me for not selling enough.

Not to say you'd be in that same situation, but just to let you know my experience. And that you should definitely go with your gut on all of this. Good luck to you!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Young people have no idea how to do proper job interviews and to do things the way they should professionally be done. It sounds like a laid back easy going place. At least check it out.

You may find a great job with little stress. You may also find a job that is a lot more laid back and too easy going for your credentials too.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

Perhaps they want someone who would appeal to the over-40 crowd. Also, it's a health club, not a regular office.

Just go check it out. If you can, get a 24-hour free pass and come in to "work out" and check out the lay of the land.

I think you're overthinking this at this point. You really don't have much to go on.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on


No, 24 hours is not too soon for interviews.

However, the application is basically illegal - it CANNOT ask you your age - well, let me clarify - they can ask if you are over the age of 18. Sorry.

What does the health club want you to do? Sales or teach?

What do you want to do?
How far of a commute are you willing to make?
If you already believe it's too far - call him back and tell him that you need a location closer to home.

You need to figure out what it is you want to do. Go for jobs that are in your commuting radius. Be prepared to interview with 24 hours notice.

If you are not sales driven - this might not be the job for you. Why not go and find out what is expected of you - how the commute is and if it's what you want to do.

Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

It sounds like a potentially lousy workplace. If they're hiring you sight unseen, with no apparent concern for seeing references, taking time to check you out, etc., then they probably hire everyone that way. Do you want to work at a place that does not perform due diligence on all its employees? You could end up working with, at best, unqualified nitwits, and at worst -- people with criminal backgrounds that could have disqualified them for the job IF the employer had bothered to check....

And by the way, the age question was entirely illegal. They are not allowed to ask that. I'd love to tell them, "I've decided that this position is not the right one for me. By the way, for your own future reference, it is against the law to ask an applicant's age. Asking that sets you up for possible lawsuits on the basis of age discrimination." Say it with a BIG smile in your voice. I almost hope they get sued by someone when they deny a job to someone over 40....they deserve it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

My husband always says it can't hurt to go on an interview, worst that happens is it doesn't work out and you move on to the next.
While job searching after getting laid off he went to any interview that was offered. Even if it was to see how bad it was going to be. It became a joke of sorts for some of them.
It keeps you in practice and shows that you are serious to other potential employers.
Calling for an interview the next day is not completely out of the ordinary. It doesn't happen all the time but it does happen.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

There's a lot of turnover in those health club sales positions. If you love sales and working for commission I would say go for it. That kind of job really doesn't require any education either, they just want someone in there who can sell memberships or personal training sessions and supplements (and I imagine they want a person who looks somewhat "fit" as well.)


answers from Boston on

Unprofessional environment. It is illegal to ask someone's age (only if they are over 18, and in some cases 21 for things like bar tending). The person on the phone says "Wassup?" Not sure what you mean about having credentials - are you waiting to receive the paperwork on some certification for personal training? Then it's okay to be interviewed if they know the paperwork is pending. If they are rushing to get people in there, they probably have to interview a lot to get a few people to accept, or they go through people rapidly (perhaps due to the high pressure environment you suspect) and they are constantly re-filling jobs because people quit or don't work out. It could also be, as you suspect, that they want a "visual" to see if you are young enough or fitness-driven enough (meaning "acceptable-looking in workout gear") or if you are driven enough to hustle in there and therefore willing to work long hours.

I say, trust your gut. Or, go in for the experience - but if they are unprofessional, the "practice" may not help you in other interviews.



answers from St. Louis on

Someone contacting you within a 24 hour time window is not too soon or uncommon these days for an interview process, especially if they like your resume or if they found your qualities and job experience to be a very good match. However....two things concern me here. One, it is ILLEGAL to ever ask a person's age, voluntary or not. That is discriminatory behavior and is never okay. Two, the fact that this guy called you back and literally said, "wassup, what's going on?" could also be a red flag. He could just be very laid back and personable or could be immature and unprofessional. You really wouldn't know until you saw him in person for a face-to-face interview. What I know about working at health clubs is that it is all about customer retention, signing up new members, adding on to an existing membership, or preventing membership drops. Sales...sales...sales and customer retention. If this is what you are good at and love the industry then this is a perfect fit! Keep in mind that these fitness clubs are not nine to five and require you to be very flexible with hours and days that you will need to work. Some are open around the clock. Make sure you also ask if the position has a stable base salary to draw from or is it all straight commission? Most of these jobs are heavily commission based which is a feast or famine situation when you work like this. I, myself, have worked in sales or a form of sales and marketing all my life. The economy dictates how well I do in my job all the time and when that tanks, so does my opportunities to stay gainfully employed. In the recent economic downturn, I lost 2 jobs in a span of four years. Horrible. However, like I said before, when things are stable and our economy is booming, I make a boatload of money! I have a very nice chunk of base salary and also a percentage of commission I get each month as well. Best of both worlds. If you think this place is a sham, don't even bother with it. They have already violated a major HR golden rule....I hope that's all they do!

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