IT Infrastructure

Everything now runs on computers and help every business run smoothly. If anything from a single computer to an offices system goes down, it can halt the day and loose business. Having someone work in IT is important to ensure that nothing like this happens by someone who can understand what needs to be done quickly and smoothly. Taking part in an IT Infrastructure Apprenticeship is a great way to learn these skills and move into a well regarded sector. In an IT apprenticeship you could be asked to:

  • Dismantle computers, laptops, towers etc.
  • Repair and/or refurbish second hand technology
  • Set up networks and systems
  • Basic software updates
  • Work on both MAC and PC/Windows
  • Go out to clients/employers to resolve issues

In IT Infrastructure each employer is looking for an apprentice who is excellent at problem solving skills and technologically minded. Some IT Infrastructure roles may also involve working in teams and first line support, so having great communication skills is a must.

 

Always Be Prepared

Before attending any interview you must always prepare! You should never arrive to an interview without doing any research into the business or job description. Attending without any prior research will damper you chances of being accepted.

One way to help you prepare is to look at practice questions ( You can view some example questions to the right side with hints and tips on how to answer ), as this will help you understand what the employer may ask.

Other ways to help you prepare can include:

  • Writing notes about the business, apprenticeship duties etc.
  • Print off your CV –  can use this to help you for answers
  • Plan what to wear the night before
  • ALWAYS plan your journey – check travel times, traffic etc.

The more you prepare, the higher the chance that the interview will be successful be on your way to start the business administration apprenticeship.

Talk a little about your personality and related interests, mentioning any awards or achievements. If you have built/repaired computers or gaming consoles in your own time let them know! This will show the employer that you are passionate about IT. Also discuss you likes and hobbies, this will let the employer know if they feel you would fit in well with the team.

Give an overview of the company and what they specialise in. Mention some facts that you learned about them whether this be awards they have won, when they were established etc. By doing this it will show the employer that you were willing to go out of your way to understand the business.

Don’t just mention how you want to begin a career in IT, speak about what you like about the business and what they have achieved. Discuss how you feel you could be a great fit and why they should hire you as an IT Apprentice.

Reflecting on an example of prioritising tasks during a heavy workload is a positive way to show competency in a role and demonstrates organisational skills. If you don’t have any work experience in the IT field, maybe discuss times in school/college when you had to prioritise work, or if you have built computers in your own time how did you complete it in a certain amount of time.

This will be a great opportunity to show the employer how you can control situations. An answer to this question requires an element of story telling and is a good time to show your positive traits and team – player qualities. You could discuss compromising and finding a solution to suit each person involved etc.

Some IT Apprenticeship roles will require some software knowledge, so go into detail about any software packages you have knowledge in; whether you learnt these in education or in your spare time.

Strengths – Mention two or three strengths (for example, communicating effectively, time management and organisational skills) and give an example of one of them.

Weaknesses – This is where you can show you are honest, can self-evaluate and are keen to improve. Choose a positive aspect of your personality and mention how this can be slightly detrimental.

Although this is slightly personal this gives the employer an insight into yourself as a person as well as the roles you may wish to progress to. For example, motivation to build a successful career in the sector or your passion to work with children and young people, mentioning what makes you want to work with them.

Be honest about your reasons for leaving your last role. However, don’t slander your previous employer if you are leaving on bad terms. Instead mention wanting a career with more opportunities for progression or how the role you are interviewing for is a much better fit for you.

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.

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 and research salary expectations in this sector based on those in positions that have similar experience to yourself.

Personal Presentation

Some IT Infrastructure Apprenticeships can be held in offices for anything such as recruitment, first line support and customer service; while others can be held in more warehouse settings. Understanding where the apprenticeship will be based is essential to understanding how to dress for the interview, but no matter where it is based you should still dress appropriately.

For example, when attending an interview based in an office setting (e.g. Recruitment Agency) you should wear attire such as:

  • Men – smart shirt (ironed) and trousers, smart business shoes, clean and styled hair (shave if needed)
  • Women – smart trousers/shirt, smart shoes/boots, clean and styled hair

(or any smart business attire that you feel comfortable in)

If you are attending a more informal interview you don’t need to look as corporate, so you can choose attire that is a bit more comfortable and casual. However, you still need to look smart so avoid jeans, trainers and casual t-shirts. No matter what role you apply/attend interview for, dressing appropriately will increase your chances of securing the perfect apprenticeship and give you the confidence to have a successful interview.

 

Make an Impact

First impressions are key when it comes to an interview; if you arrive looking unpresentable, late and with an attitude the employer will automatically decide that you are unsuccessful. Arriving in suitable attire (as stated above) and at least 10 – 15 minutes earlier will already increase your chances. Other ways to make an impact include:

  • Having a bubbly and optimistic personality – always have a smile and say hello
  • Give a firm handshake – shows confidence and professionalism
  • Don’t talk badly about previous employers – doing this can give off the impression that you are unprofessional
  • Always go into detail when answering questions – avoid one word answers, talk about processes and outcomes
  • Sit upright – never slouch when sitting down
  • Ensure you don’t fidget or mess with objects – looks like you’re bored or nervous
  • Always say ‘thank you’ when the interview is finished

Interview Preparation Tasks

 

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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. Work out which skills you have that would benefit the company and keep these in mind when you are talking about how you are the perfect candidate.

5. 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.