Sep 2, 2019
Interviews are tough in all industries and especially for those apprentices who have never experienced them before. So, what is good practice to ensure you succeed at your interview?
Similarly, to my other blog ‘Writing an effective CV’, the aim of your interview is to showcase your skills, knowledge and personality to the employer. However, this time it is face to face and not on paper.
There are not many out there who can say that they enjoy being interviewed, but unfortunately this is a vital step in the process to achieving your apprenticeship position. Some people are naturally talented when it comes to interviews, say the right things and leave feeling positive. Then there are others who are less confident, get flustered easily and struggle to get their answers across well. This blog will hopefully assist you with a few pointers to boost your chances of being successful.
It sounds straight forward but looking into the location of the interview is vital. You don’t want to be rushing, getting flustered as you can’t find the building and potentially being late. Some locations can be tricky to find so going to look at the location or using google maps should put your mind at ease.
You may be asked by the interviewer questions specific to the job role so ensure that you have thoroughly read through the job description so there will be no surprises on the day.
There may be some parts to the role that you are relatively new to or only have basic knowledge in. Ensure that you spend some time researching these so that you can provide a strong answer if required.
One of the more important steps whilst preparing for an interview is researching the company. You will either be asked what you know about the company or given an opportunity to ask questions, either way, you MUST complete research.
You can never do enough research with this so ensure that you review their social media pages, website, locations, size, history, owners and their product. I would also recommend using LinkedIn to view the interviewer as this will let them know that you are taking the time to complete the research.
Prepare for common questions
You will never know beforehand what questions you will get asked during an interview so make sure you have covered most of them in your preparation, especially the most common ones;
- Tell me a little about yourself
- Why do you want to get into the industry?
- Why is an apprenticeship the best route for you?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- What is your dream job?
Keep up to date with relevant news within the industry, you never what you may be asked.
Another basic one but also very important. I would recommend 10- 15 minutes arrival before your interview. You certainly don’t want to be late and there is such a thing as being too early.
You will always be asked at the end of an interview if you have any questions. Always have at least one question prepared and preferably two. This is a perfect opportunity to ask specifics. Avoid questions like pay or the number of holidays you get, this can be discussed later down the line. Asking about the company, the job role, their history or something you have seen on the website are all great questions to ask.
Remember, you are there for an apprenticeship, so keeping your answers relevant to this will bring you across stronger and more in line with what they are looking for. Its hard I know but be yourself, the interviewer is wanting to get to know you in the short amount of time they have and must try to ensure that you are a right fit for them and their team.
You won’t know what sort of interview you will be walking into; will it be formal/informal, will they want to just to get to know your personality or will they want to ask lots of questions about your skills and previous experience.
My advice is to plan for lots of questions and be prepared. The bottom line is the more you practice and prepare the stronger your answers will get and the more confident in providing your answers you will become.
Practice, Practice, Practice!!
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