What is IT Infrastructure?
IT is a driving force in both personal and business worlds, without it business wouldn’t be able to run. Previously, everything was paper based and stored in files; now it all can be accessed via online systems. However, if they go down, everything comes to a holt! IT Infrastructure is where anything technical can be altered, improved or fixed; so the IT Technician is who to turn to.
Having someone work in IT is important to ensure that nothing like this happens by someone who can understand what needs to be done. The daily duties of someone in IT Infrastructure can include:
- 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 if required
IT Infrastructure is needed more now than ever, so having a passion and understanding of IT is vital to a position such as this. Some IT positions (whether they are full time or an apprenticeship) do require someone with some experience whether it’s through education or previous work; even building computers in your spare time is an advantage! as long as you can show the drive to learn more, IT is the perfect place to build on your skills.
Why can IT Infrastructure Lead?
IT Infrastructure is constantly changing and evolving to meet the standards of technology. Whether it be with computers/laptops, softwares or applications; You will continue to learn each day. With that, it means that they future of IT Infrastructure is safe from becoming redundant. Similar to digital marketing, you could be the sole IT specialist for a company, work within an IT business who visit clients and accounts, open your own IT business and much more.
With this in mind each employer looks for an apprentice with excellent transferable skills and a great work ethic when it comes to interviews. So before attending any business administration apprenticeship interview, you must be prepared. Below are some tips which will help you in having a successful interview.
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.
Always Be Prepared
Before attending any interview you must 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 above with hints and tips on how to answer ), as this will help you understand what the employer may ask.
Other ways to prepare can include:
- Writing notes about the business, apprenticeship duties etc.
- Print off your CV – can use this to help you for answers
- Find 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.
An essential part of making a good impression in an interview is dressing smart. Dressing formally shows that you are serious about the role, ambitious and respectful of the business itself. Even if the interview is informal you still need to make a good impression; so always research the type of company you are applying for.
For example, when attending an interview for a corporate business (e.g. Law Firm, 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, dress or skirt, 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
- Always go into detail when answering questions – avoid one word answers
- 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 – 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 – 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.