When employers search for a customer service apprentice, they look for someone with great communication and interpersonal skills. Customer service is an important part to any business, as this is where you can gain new and returning customers. So good communication and problem solving is key for this role.
Before you attend your customer service apprenticeship interview, you must be prepared. Below are some tips which will help you to have a successful interview.
An essential part of making a good impression at interview is dressing smart. Dressing formally shows that you are serious about the role, are ambitious and are respectful of the business itself. Wearing a shirt and tie with trousers and polished black shoes or a smart blouse and trousers/pencil skirt is a good way to go.
Making sure your body language is open and confident is another method of communicating that you are reliable. Nodding your head occasionally shows that you are actively listening.
Interview Preparation Tasks
- Read the Interview Confirmation email thoroughly. Familiarise yourself with the location that your interview will take place at. Check transport times. Read through any extra details or helpful advice in the email ton help you prepare.
- Research the company you are interviewing for the position at. Look at their website and social media accounts. Find out who founded the company and when, what the company does, who their clients or customers are. The employer will ask what you know about the company, so find out as much as possible.
- Have 2 open questions prepared to ask the employer about their company.After you have researched the company prepare at least two questions to ask the employer about the company. Make sure you aren’t asking questions that are already answered on the website. Don’t asked closed questions (questions that can be answered with a yes or no).
- Study the Job Description and think about what your transferrable skills are.
Consider what would be expected of you in the role on a day to day basis and review your work experience and the skills you have previously gained. Work out which skills you have that would benefit the company and keep these in mind when you are talking about what you can bring to the company.
- Research the company’s competitors if they have any. Being able to give suggestions and ideas for improvement at the company is a great way to show you are informed and proactive.
Don’t be afraid to talk about yourself when asked. Talk about your hobbies and interests, what you like to do on weekends etc. Mention awards and achievements you have gained over the years, whether they are from school or clubs. Make sure that you don’t overshare, but don’t give too short an answer.
Give an overview of the company whilst mentioning some facts that you learned about them to show you researched the company before the interview.
Implement your research on the company into your answer, for example, mentioning any recent projects the company have undertaken or company ethics. Also look at their forms of customer service, and why they are effective.
Use an experience that shows you are polite and willing to go beyond customer’s expectations to help them. Discuss a situation where you made a customer feel valued without them having to ask for your help.
Reflecting on an example of prioritising tasks during a heavy workload is a positive way to show competency in a role. This will help demonstrate your organisational skills and problem solving. Explain how and why you made the decision and why it was the right one.
This will be the perfect opportunity to show how you dealt with or could deal with this situation. If you don’t have any previous experience, try and find a situation that is similar. You could also discuss compromising and finding a solution to suit each person involved etc.
Strengths – Mention two or three strengths and talk about how you’ve applied them in your past work experience. (for example, communicating effectively, time management and organisational skills) and give an example of one of them.
Weaknesses – This is where you can show honesty, self-evaluation and are keen to improve. Choose a positive aspect of your personality and mention how this can be slightly detrimental.
When an employer asks this question be as honest as you can. Employers get an understanding of who you are and what drives you. For example, motivation to build a successful career or gain experience etc. are both acceptable answers.
Be honest about your reasons for leaving your last job role. But if you are leaving a position that you were not happy in, don’t slander the business. Mention how you want a career with more opportunities for progression or how the role you are interviewing for is a much better fit.
Think about the business as a whole and positions you could progress to within, taking into account your wider ambitions. Most employers want to hire someone with drive and determination so don’t be afraid to set your goals high.
Before the interview be aware of how much the role offers on the job description. Research salary expectations in this sector based on those in positions that have similar experience to yourself.
Use this time to ask questions about the business, daily operations or their expectations of you as an employee in this role. Do not ask questions about the company that could have been answered previously with an online search. Aim to ask open ended questions that won’t result in the employer just giving a yes or no answer.