Preparation and research are key to a successful interview. You will need to show that you have a good understanding of the career you wish to pursue, as well as a good understanding of your potential employer and their business.
Research your potential employer – It is crucial for the employer to perceive your genuine interest in working specifically for their organisation rather than solely seeking financial support for your education. Do a little investigation by visiting their website and social platforms to familiarise yourself with their current work so that you can confidently discuss. Strive to create an impression that you are already a part of their team.
Read the job description – Make sure that you have a clear understanding of the role you are applying for and the specific skills and experience that are required. It is not necessary to be the ideal candidate on paper, as long as you comprehend your strengths and how they are applicable to the job. For example, even if you have done a summer job mowing lawns and gardening you can provide a valuable lesson in displaying attention to detail. Make use of the capabilities you possess and refine them to highlight their relevance.
Practice interview questions – Have practice sessions with friends, family or even your dog! You could even do it in front of the mirror. Consider arranging a simulated interview with your school or college to enhance your proficiency in responding to commonly asked questions during an apprenticeship interview.
Think of a few questions to ask – Asking questions is a good way to show the interviewer that you are engaged and interested. Keep the questions to ask at the end of the interview, have some ready. The type of question you could ask is “What would a normal day look like for me?” or “What career progression could you offer me?”
Remember first impressions count!
- Arrive early – arrive at least ten minutes early. Plan your route and how you will get there with enough time. Give yourself a chance to relax before your interview.
- Be approachable and engaging – Start by offering a firm handshake and maintaining eye contact with the interviewer. Remember that it is important to establish a positive rapport with the interviewer as they could potentially become your employer.
- Be prepared – Take along a pen and paper, as well as a copy of your CV and application. It is acceptable for you to have some notes to prompt you during the interview but do avoid staring at your notepad excessively.
- Take your time – Take a moment to carefully consider your answers to questions, you don’t have to respond immediately. Where possible, remember to support your answers with relevant examples.
- Waiting for feedback – After the interview, make sure to regularly check your emails so you don’t miss any responses. Check that your voicemail greeting, and email address are professional and in working order. If you don’t succeed initially, maintain a positive attitude, and move forward to the next opportunity. If possible, kindly request feedback from the employer on areas for improvement, keeping those suggestions in mind for future interviews. Remember that this process can be challenging, so when you do achieve success, take a moment to acknowledge and congratulate yourself.
For more interview guidance – The Interview Process