Applying for an apprenticeship is a great decision and if you’re selected for interview, even better. Interviews are stressful and nerve-wracking for almost everybody. The fear of the unknown can be overwhelming, especially if it’s your first interview but there are ways to keep calm, be organised and do your best. Here are some practical tips for succeeding in your apprenticeship interview.
1. Know yourself (and your CV)
Your apprenticeship application will have included your CV so make sure you know it inside out. You should have a good and clear understanding of every section of your CV so you are ready for any CV-based questions that come your way.
2. Understand the Job Description
The job or apprenticeship description should be available, and you should have taken a look at it on applying. Now is the time to look more closely and fully digest its content. The better you know the job description, the more impressive you’ll be in interview. Use it to help inform your answers to interview questions and be ready with examples of how you fit the description perfectly.
3. Practise Interview Questions
A quick search online will bring up pages of common interview questions. Testing a few of these out and having prepared answers ready means you can deal with the less difficult questions in interview without worrying. Questions such as your strengths and weaknesses and why should we hire you should be something you practice at length so you don’t need to improvise on the day.
4. Research the Company
You may be drawn to the apprenticeship because of the job description but it never hurts to gain better insight into the company too. Your interviewers will appreciate any time you take to research their company and their history, especially if you manage to work this information into your interview answers. Showing no interest of having no knowledge of the company doesn’t look good and is extremely off putting for interviewers.
5. Organise yourself in Advance
Everything from ironing a shirt to knowing what you’re going to do with your hair should be planned the night before. You should get your bag ready and ensure everything is ready so you can get up in the morning and simply get dressed, get ready and go. Adding the stress of looking for your tie or polishing your shoes the morning before the interview is an added pressure you don’t need and if you’re stressed or flustered, it will show in the interview room too.
6. Wow with your First Impression
Arrive on time, be enthusiastic and professional. Make sure you make eye contact with your interviewers and be as positive as possible from the moment you arrive at the premises. A positive attitude never goes unnoticed and will help impact the company’s impression of you.
7. Pace Yourself
Once the interview begins, it can be hard not to try to rush through it and get it over with. There is no need to stress or panic. You have plenty of time to give your answers and if a question is a little trickier than expected, allow yourself time and pace yourself before giving your answer.
8. Always Ask Questions
Almost every interview ends with the words: “Any questions?” and you should always have some prepared in advance. This is your chance to show your interest in the company and your keenness to find out more about them. Simply saying “no” leaves the impression you’re not particularly interested in the company or the role.
Even the most experienced professionals can find the interview process stressful so give yourself a break. Preparation and organisation are vital tools for succeeding and bagging you that apprenticeship.