5 skills that build a successful professional lifeguard

Blog: 5 skills that build a successful professional lifeguard

It’s that time of year again: Summer’s creeping in, and that means we’re hiring lifeguards all across the country! 

If you’re reading this blog, you might already have an idea of what you need to do to start lifeguarding. That’s a great first step, but then comes the dreaded interview process (dun dun dunnnn!!) Nervous? That’s OK! But you don’t really need to be. Our interviewers are kind, caring, and love what they do. We’ve put together a list of good qualities we look for in a professional lifeguard. Here’s how you can show us your strong side and ace that next lifeguard interview.

Skill #1: Know how to swim


We know … setting the bar kinda low here, huh? But we get asked (every season) whether we also conduct swimming lessons for beginning guards. While we appreciate that enthusiasm, we recommend you take lessons at your local pool before you’re ready for the next step with us!

Skill #2: Attentiveness


We like to schedule your first interview as soon as possible after you apply. This is your time to shine and have a conversation about whether working together is the right fit. If that sounds vague or unclear, here’s a few things we look for during the interview:

  • Do you seem genuinely interested in lifeguarding, or is this just another summer job? “Just looking for something to do” isn’t exactly a stellar answer.
  • Can you hold a conversation with us about your qualifications and interests? That’s a good sign! We like engaging with you about this awesome opportunity, and we want to know you’re just as excited about it.
  • Has swimming been a part of your life in some capacity? People who are passionate about being in the water usually make great professional lifeguards, too.
  • Sometimes we hold virtual interviews over Zoom. If you decide to interview this way, it’s best to have your camera on! It shows us you’re not just a voice on the other end of the line, and that you’re invested in this opportunity. 

Skill #3: Positivity


Want to know the easiest way to pass lifeguard training? Have a good attitude about it! Even if you’re a strong swimmer, lifeguarding training isn’t exactly a walk in the park, or a swim in the po— well, nevermind. 

Ask yourself this, because we’ll definitely ask you: How willing are you to make an effort? Can you show up to all your training classes? Complete the reading assignments? Are you willing to learn from your mistakes so you can correct them in the future? Putting in work toward your goals isn’t exclusive to lifeguarding — it’s something every employer and teammate will expect at every job in life. 

Skill #4: Communication


Jokes aside here, lifeguards deal with critical situations, like swimmers in distress. But then there’s the day-to-day operations — tasks like scanning your assigned zones, chemical upkeep, or facility cleanup. 

Guards need to be able to speak up to both guests and other guards to ensure a successful summer. But you don’t have to be a Chatty Kathy to be an excellent communicator! You just need to know when and how to be heard. Phrases like, “No running!” and “No food on the pool deck!” are going to become part of your daily vocabulary, after all.

Skill #5: Flexibility


We do our best to go the extra mile for you. After you pass your lifeguard training, we work with you to find the best pool location for your skill level and location, as well as determine an appropriate schedule that fits your availability. If we know about any vacations well in advance, we can plan for those, too!

Usually everything works out great. But even the best plans need some tweaking once summer rolls around. Sometimes another guard gets sick — or don’t show up at all, which is the absolute worst — and we need some help to ensure the pool opens safely that day. The more willing you are to pitch in and be a team player, the more we want to sing your praises from the top of a guard stand!

Still think you’re ready for the best summer job in the world? We’d love to hear from you!

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