How To Ace Your Apprenticeship Interview – Part 1Posted: 5th of August 2015 by
An apprenticeship is like a regular job in that you will probably be required to go to an interview in order to get accepted onto the training. However, it is likely to be the first interview you have ever been to, and you may feel that you have a lot riding on the outcome – maybe even the start of your dream career! You are likely to feel a bit nervous about the whole experience, but your interviewer will understand and expect this and will often make some allowances for this and try to make you feel a bit more at ease. It’s not like ‘The Apprentice’ on TV! In fact, the interviewer is usually just interested in finding out how well you will fit in at the company and if you have the right attitude to work for the company.
- Don’t Worry About Experience
Or rather, don’t worry about a lack of experience! Your interviewer will understand that you are just starting out and looking for an opportunity to learn and grow. They are more interested in your reasons for applying for the role than what past experience you may have. They won’t be trying to trick you with questions about your knowledge, but will be more interested in why you want to work for them in the role you have applied for.
- Look Up The Company / Job
Before you go to your interview it is worth doing a bit of research about the company you are applying for. Look them up online and get an idea of what they are all about – you can often find an ‘about us’ page or something similar – a great place to start! If you can try to find out about their apprenticeship scheme too – how have other apprentices got on in the company? If you notice that any have gone on to become managers it gives you a good starting point to talk about opportunities in the company as informing your decision to apply. You might even be able to find a picture of the person who will be interviewing you – which can help settle the nerves slightly too!
- Why did you choose an apprenticeship?
The interviewer will want to know why you chose to take an apprenticeship rather than any other route to employment. You may need to think a little creatively here – especially if you are not sure of why you decided the apprenticeship was right for you. You could point to the fact that you would get some genuine on-the-job training while learning in a structured environment, for example. Avoid saying that you choice was all about earning money, even though that may have been a factor.
- Strengths & Skills
OK, so you may not have actually ever worked in the industry you are applying for before, but there is every chance that you can show some of the skills that your employer wants from you. Being able to show you are responsible and able to deal with the demands of the job and the training will help. Perhaps a piece of school work, work experience, a part-time job, or membership of a sports team will show examples. Think about what you are good at and how these skills may be of use in the job. Keep it positive – and relevant too!
- Any Weaknesses?
The flip side to your strengths are those things that you are not so good at. It is common to be asked about your weaknesses as well as your strengths, and this one can feel like a trick question – after all, why would you want to admit to being bad at something when you are trying to impress? However, rather than telling your prospective boss that you are often late, try to focus on areas where you want to improve your skills. Think of practical and technical things to do with the job that you hope to develop during the apprenticeship. Rather than personal failings, think of gaps in your knowledge or experience!
Check back tomorrow for more advice on acing your apprenticeship interview!
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