Apprenticeship / Job Interview Advice: It’s Not All About You!

If you are being interviewed for a job or an apprenticeship opening you will want to do your best to impress the interviewer. You may also have been spending days or weeks thinking about how this job or apprenticeship could progress or even launch your career. You may be thinking about the opportunities that will open up for you for promotion, training, or even a sideways move within the company. These are all perfectly reasonable thoughts and aims, and some might say that they showed forward-thinking, dedication to improvement, and a can-do attitude. However, you might be better off keeping these aspirations under your hat – at least during your interview.

This is certainly true for a regular job interview (as opposed to an apprenticeship interview). Speaking about what you hope to get out of the job is not what a potential employer really wants to hear. They are far more interested in what you can offer them and the company itself. An employer doesn’t want to hear that they will have to mentor you through your first few weeks in the job, they want to see that you have the skills, experience, or dedication to do the job.

There is every chance that your future boss needs you to do a job, filling a gap in the workforce and thereby making their lives easier. They won’t want to think that you will need them to keep covering for you as you find your feet. Of course, they may well understand that you will need some training – especially if this is to be your first job, but that is not really their focus.

Speak about what you have to offer the employer – whether that is simply dedicated hard-work, or a set of already-acquired skills and experience. Having got to the interview (see here if you are struggling to get an interview), you will want to show what you can offer, rather than what you hope to gain – unless they expressly ask you, of course!

Selling yourself at a job interview involves a number of things, including your posture, your clothes, your manner, and your skills and work ethic, but an apprenticeship interview is usually just slightly different.

When it comes to getting accepted on an apprenticeship there is an expectation that you will be learning as you work. In return for accepting an apprenticeship wage, which may be lower than that earned by qualified employees, you should expect to receive training and support.

Therefore it is perfectly acceptable to ask about this side of the opportunity - what can you expect by way of training and support during your apprenticeship? You have every right to find out – although you should always be aware of any information that you were given as you applied – you don’t want it to look like you haven’t read about what you are signing up for! However, even with an apprenticeship, it is still worth speaking about what you can offer as an apprentice and then hopefully as a full-time employee.

Showing that you are ready and willing to make a strong contribution in your work is always a good thing, as nobody want to pay a lazy or ineffectual worker. This is part of what makes you employable, and that is what an interview is really all about.

While you’re here, you might also want to see this article on how to be more employable too!

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