Part of getting yourself onto the apprenticeship programme will include going to an interview; or various interviews with employers, to ensure that you are the right candidate for the role, and that the role is what you were looking for.
Being interviewed can be daunting, and make you feel nervous or anxious. But if you go to the interview prepared as best as you can, you are more likely to succeed, and be offered the position.
To help you prepare, we’ve listed 5 common questions that you are likely to be asked below, with some advice on how to best answer them.
Tell us a bit about yourself
This question could lead to two different kind of answers; they may want to know about your education and experience that has lead up to you applying for the role, or they could be asking about you personally: what you enjoy doing, skills and qualities about your personality that could also be of benefit in the role.
Why have you applied for an apprenticeship?
This is a great opportunity for you to discuss the apprenticeship scheme in more detail; highlighting your interest in progression and growth, learning practically rather than in a classroom, and gaining valuable experience. More reasons to do an apprenticeship can be found on our 10 reasons article, here.
It is also a great chance for you to talk about the company interviewing you; you could state why you are interested in working for that particular organisation – do some research about them, and wow them when you get chance.
What skills can you bring to the role?
To answer this question well, make sure that you read through the job description, and you CV before you go.
The job description will state all of the qualities that the ideal candidate will need to have, and you should reiterate the skills that you put on your CV. Where possible, try to include examples of times, particularly in professional environments, where you have used the skill that you are trying to demonstrate.
If you are struggling with what skills would appeal to an employer, the most common ones that get are received well are: organised, self-motivated, good communicator, you are able to prioritise workload, and that you are punctual.
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What is your long-term career goal?
This is a great chance to talk about your interest in progression. Be honest, and tell them the kind of the position that you wish to achieve. You could also state further training that you would like to do after the apprenticeship in order to achieve this, possibly with them.
This question will show the employer your determination and passion towards the kind of role, and industry. It will make them aware of what you would like out of the apprenticeship in the long run, and if you are successful, will give them an insight into how they can support you in achieving this.
Is there anything that you would like to ask us?
This is your ideal opportunity to ask any questions you may have relevant to the role; about responsibilities that you may have to undertake. You could also ask about uniform, working hours, and if not mentioned previously, opportunity to progress following the apprenticeship; whether this be the next level of the qualification or other training, or if you can get a promotion and work your way to higher positions in the company with experience.
It is a good idea to read through the job description, and research the company beforehand, and come up with three questions that you could ask. Make sure that you don’t ask about anything that is already stated in the job description, or about your salary, as this could be deemed inappropriate.
Preparing for your interview
- Be prepared – take a copy of your CV, a copy of the job description, a notepad and pen. Be really prepared by getting everything ready the night before
- Do research about the company. Look at their website and social media, and read any news you can find to get an idea of what they’ve achieved in the past and the kind of clients they work with
- Dress well for the role. Regardless of which kind of apprenticeship you’re going for an interview for, ensure you wear professional clothing such as a smart suit
- Keep your phone on silent, and avoid using it excessively whilst you’re waiting to be interviewed
- Make eye contact and smile when you meet your interviewers, a good handshake shows you’re confident
- Aim to arrive a few minutes early. You’ll feel calmer and ready to give a great interview