Audition Tips: When You Only Have a Few Minutes

Over the past 20 years, I’ve seen instructors ask what they should do in a 3-minute audition. I am incredulous that this minuscule time slot to get hired as a cycling instructor is even a “thing,” but because so many have experienced it, I guess club managers think they can assess an instructor’s knowledge and skills in 3 minutes. While it’s possible that a club may also have other parts to the interview/audition process (resumé, written assessment, verbal interview, etc.) it’s in front of the classroom that an instructor’s role is the most important.

When you have an audition this short, it’s important to optimize every second. You need to let them know that you really do know what you are talking about, not just during those 3 minutes but also during other parts of the class.

I hate to say it, but intervals are all the rage and may be more likely to land you a job. So, my suggestion is to use an interval profile as your audition (unless they specify a particular type of class). However, try to sneak in a mention about the other types of profiles in your repertoire so that you make it clear you understand not all classes should be high-intensity intervals.

If it were me, I’d be a little sneaky with my allotted time and do some explaining to those in the studio prior to hitting start on my music so I can set the stage. It should take about 40 seconds. 

Before class starts, I would glance around the studio to see if anyone needs help with setup and ask if anyone is new to cycling. Those riders will get more guidance from me. During the warm-up, I explain the objective of the ride and if it’s an interval profile, let them know the intensity and duration of the intervals. I always let them know how much recovery they can expect and, of course, give them permission to modify the effort or to stay seated if needed.

For my audition today, I’ve chosen to join the class just as the warm-up is ending and we are about to do our first interval. Forgive me for squeezing a lot of talking into this short period. I normally wouldn’t talk as much, but I do want you to see my coaching.

Then hit start on your song and begin your 3-minute audition. If you have MixMeister skills, you can blend the end of a recovery song of about 85–90 bpm (about 1 minute, allowing time for your coaching) to a 2-minute segment of a hard working song at about 140 bpm in which you can do a 90-second high-intensity push at 70 rpm.

If you don’t have MixMeister, that’s OK. Find a 3-ish-minute song that starts out more mellow, but has a beat drop (a high-energy break) about 1 minute into it where you can begin your high-intensity effort. Use a longer song if needed, and simply turn it off after your allotted time.

Below is a sample of coaching for the 3-minute audition. This can obviously be stretched out if you have been given more time. I also give you eight additional auditioning tips that will help you wow the people in the room. If you don’t get hired after this, they’re the problem, not you!

1 Comment

  1. Very informative! It helped me focus on an expected 3 song audition that quickly TURNED in to a 3 minute audition. I nailed it! ps: positive self-talk is a must. Thank you 🙂

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