Congratulations, you’ve got yourself an Apprenticeship interview! It might seem daunting but it doesn’t have to be the nerve-wracking experience you think it will be. Follow our top tips to help you prepare and nail that interview:
1. Research the company
Taking the time to research the company you’re interviewing for is really important. It shows your interest in the company beyond the job and ensures that you’re ready if they ask you the common ‘what do you know about us?’ question. Check out their website and read the ‘about us’ section. Look at their social media pages too as they’ll be posting things that are important to them. Check if they’ve recently opened a new location, won a new contract or received an award – these are the things to mention in your answer. You only need to drop in a few comments to get brownie points with the interviewer; they won’t expect you to know everything.
2. Practice and prepare
Firstly, make sure you have carefully read through the job description and ensure you understand what is expected of you should you be successful in getting the Apprenticeship. If there’s something you don’t fully understand, you can always call the employer beforehand and ask ahead of the interview so you’re fully clued up.
One of the best ways to prepare is to practice answering some potential questions. Although you will be asked a range of questions in the interview, you want to be clear in your head of the answer to these two key questions: ‘Why do you want this particular role?’ and ‘Why are you the best candidate for this role?’
Refer to the job description and highlight or jot down key things they will be looking for e.g. team work, organisational skills. Make a list of your strengths and interests with examples and experience to back each point up. For example, if they’re looking for an organised person, think about times when you have been particularly organised and paid good attention to detail. This could be the way you organised exam revision, the organisational skills you demonstrated whilst on work experience or the time you arranged a charity fundraiser. Back up your answers with evidence.
3. Ask questions
At the end of the interview, you will inevitably be asked if you have any questions for the interviewer. Asking a well-thought out question or two will highlight your genuine interest in the role and company; the key is not to ask something that you have already talked about or that you could easily find on the company’s website. For this reason, it’s good to prepare a few specific questions in advance. If you somehow forget your prepared questions, a good one to ask is what the interviewer likes about working for the company.
4. Get ready ahead of time
Plan your interview outfit in advance. The role you’re going for will determine your outfit choice but it’s better to go more formal if you are unsure. If you need to iron a shirt for example, then do this the day before so you’re not rushing on the day of the interview.
Things to take with you: a copy of your CV, the job description and your questions for them.
5. Be early
Plan your journey in advance, and make a good impression by being on time, and by this, we mean early. Ideally, you want to arrive around 10 minutes before your interview, but if you do arrive much earlier than that, walk around the block until it’s time to head in. Getting there with time to spare tells the employer that you’re punctual and gives you a chance to compose yourself before the interview.
Sometimes things go wrong: the train is delayed, your car breaks down or you’re stuck in traffic. It’s not the end of the world but it’s important to call ahead and let them know you are going to be late.
6. Stay calm on the day
Even though you will be nervous, try to be friendly and confident as soon as you get through the door, make eye contact and shake hands with the employer.
Be yourself and don’t be afraid to tell the employer if you’re nervous – they’ll try and make you feel as comfortable as possible.
Finally, good luck with your interview. Follow these tips and you’ll be sure to nail it!
If you haven’t got yourself an Apprenticeship interview just yet, apply for one of our live Apprenticeship vacancies today!