Without Software Development we wouldn’t have websites, applications, frameworks, or other software components. Designing, programming, documenting, testing, and bug fixing are all part of software and a Software Development Apprenticeship is a great way to learn and understand everything. But to do this you do need to have a good understanding already about software, as you could be asked to:
- Create and update websites
- Identifying areas for modification in existing programs
- Researching, designing, implementing and managing software programs
- Testing and evaluating new programs
- Developing clear, maintainable code that will scale across the website
Software development roles can be held in many different areas such as design agencies, health sectors and can even tie in with IT Infrastructure roles. This apprenticeship requires an apprentice who is quick thinking and great with problem solving. Many employers will look for an apprentice who has some experience whether this is in work or personal use, so when going for a Software Development interview make sure that you have the skills needed (relate to the job description).
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.
- Write down your skills that relate to the apprenticeship role
- 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 created websites for family/friends in your spare time, discuss that and tell them what they were for. This will show that you enjoy software and that it is a passion of yours.
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.
Tell the employer in detail why you feel that this Software Apprenticeship is the right one for you. Mention how the business had your interest and where you can see yourself in the future with them. If they are a creative business, mention any recent projects the company have undertaken and why they peeked your interest.
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. This question can also give an indication of how well you react in an urgent situation.
HTML, Java and C++ and Python are all advantageous coding languages in software development. Any other skills in this sector can be mentioned here. If you have created a website discuss how you went about it and the different coding applications you used.
If you don’t have an work experience under you belt in software or in general, you can still find experiences (whether this be in education or personal experience) that can relate to this question. 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.
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.
For Software Development interviews our employers are looking for someone who is organised and hard working. By turning up to an interview looking presentable and put together will give them the feeling that you have those two qualities.
Smart attire will increase your chances of being successful in an interview (as stated above). For example, suitable clothing can include:
- 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.