Interview Preparation

The interview process is the most important part to securing an apprenticeship, as this is where you can show the employer why you are perfect for the position. However, to be successful you must be prepared; if you go into an interview blind, the chances of success are slim to none.

This is your chance to sell yourself and prove to the employer that you are the best for their business. If you don’t go to your interview ready, everything from nerves to mis-communication can occur and damper you chance of securing your dream apprenticeship.

So to make sure that your interview is the best it can be, we have put together everything you will need from do’s and don’ts to transferable skills. We even have pages specifically tailored to each qualification from business administration to IT (which you can view to your right).

Whether this is your first interview or your fifteenth, 360 Apprenticeships have you covered for all your interview needs.

Transferable Skills

The most important aspect to any interview is to show the employer why you are the right person for the apprenticeship; and the best way to do this is to discuss your transferable skills. Essentially, employers are looking for apprentices with the desired skills needed for the specific job role. Yet you don’t need to have any experience in that sector to have the right skills.

For example, someone has an interview for a Business Administration Apprenticeship with previous work as a waiter in the hospitality sector. Though their previous role was not office based, there are certain skills that can relate to business administration such as:

  • communication between colleagues and customers
  • time management and organisation
  • Working as a team to ensure smooth working days
  • Using your initiative to complete tasks without being asked
  • Dealing with customer queries / complaints

Whenever you are in a interview and talking about your skills, you should always elaborate and go into detail. Don’t just reel off your skills like a shopping list; employers would rather hear examples and have quality over quantity. Before attending the interview choose 2/3 experiences where you had to utilise relevant skills, write them down as notes and take them with you. They don’t need to have been in an working environment, you can always choose a time in education or an after school activity setting (if suitable).

No matter what apprenticeship you apply for whether you have previous experience or not, discussing and evidencing transferable skills will massively improve your chances of gaining employment.

 

Dos and Don’ts

If you have been to a number of interviews and been unsuccessful, or are attending your first interview; We have a list of Do’s and Don’ts to help you ensure that your interview is as successful as possible:

DO

  • Research the company – what do they do/specialise in? have they won any awards? Why do you want to work for them?
  • Go over the Job Description – Understand your daily duties and what they will expect of you
  • • PLAN YOUR JOURNEY – check bus times, traffic, distance etc. If need be see if you can have a lift from family, friends.
  • Revise commonly asked questions – familiarise yourself with questions that you may be asked
  • Write notes about the business – Many employers ask what you know about the business. Take notes with you to help jog your memory.
  • Prepare the night before – find what you will wear, get everything together. Also set an alarm to give you plenty of time to get ready
  • Bring a hard-copy of your CV – this can help you with answering questions. Can also take a note pad and pen
  • Arrive AT LEAST 10 – 15 minutes prior to the interview
  • Dress appropriately – wear smart clothing and look presentable
  • Have confident body language – eye contact, sit upright, firm handshake
  • Discuss your transferable skills
  • Ask business related questions – e.g. Can you tell me more about the job role? Who will I work with most closely?
  • Commit to the interview – this shows integrity and a great first impression.
  • Thank the employer for talking time out of their day to interview you!

 

DON’T

  • Get to familiar with the employer – be friendly but don’t be too casual
  • Bad mouth previous employers or businesses – Even if you had bad experiences, it looks unprofessional to do so
  • Overshare  – leave out irrelevant issues, your there to sell yourself!
  • Go in casual clothing – NEVER attend an interview in jeans/joggers, t-shirts, trainers etc.
  • Talk about unrelated career paths! Keep everything in line with the current apprenticeship role
  • Swear or use slang – Keep you vocabulary professional
  • Give one word answers – always elaborate on questions and go into detail
  • Chew gum or smell like smoke
  • Take your family members or friends in with you – an interview isn’t a family day out
  • Ask about your wage, holidays – gives the impression that you care more about money then the apprenticeship
  • Cancel last minute! – the employer is taking time out of their busy day to see you
  • Have your phone on during the interview – TURN IT OFF!