This guide will fill you in on apprenticeship interview questions and what you can expect.
You’ve nailed your apprenticeship application and now you’ve been invited to an interview. You’re probably feeling many mixed emotions… From excitement to worry, happiness and nervousness! But don’t worry, those feelings are all completely normal.
Here is a guide to help you take a step closer to securing your dream apprenticeship. We cover:
What Apprenticeship Interview Questions Might You Be Asked?
Q1. Tell Me About Yourself…
This is often one of the most dreaded questions in an interview. It can be easy to share too little information about yourself and then on the other side of the scale you can share too much and ramble on.
Look at this as a question for the employer to get to know a little bit more about you. They don’t want to hear about your holiday in Spain back in 2011. Your potential employer will want to know what type of person you are and what you enjoy doing to decide whether their position is right for you.
Keep it short but not too short. A minute is roughly the amount of time you need to answer this question without cluelessly rambling.
Q2. Why Do You Want This Apprenticeship?
This apprenticeship interview question should be easy to answer. If it isn’t, why would you apply for it in the first place?
Don’t fall at the first hurdle. Make sure you recognise your reasons for applying for this particular apprenticeship. We’re sure you scrolled through many apprenticeships but why did you choose this one in particular? Once you know the answer to that you need to convey it to the interviewer.
Think about all the things that drew you to the apprenticeship to begin with. Did you like what the company stands for? Are you interested in the course content? Like the idea of being able to gain a qualification while developing work-related skills and experience.
Q3. What Are Your Strengths?
When answering this question it can be so easy to drivel on about a lot of buzzwords you’ve seen online. This makes your answer sound generic. Try talking about your strengths and link them to past experiences.
Linking your strengths to past experiences can be difficult when you’re applying for an apprenticeship. This might be your first ever potential job but remember your previous experiences don’t have to be based on work.
You have experience of working to deadlines when getting your homework in on time. Experiences of completing a project at school as a team. Or arriving at school on time shows you are able to be punctual.
These are all skills that an employer will look for when hiring an apprentice. Many employers realise that you won’t have tons of experience but that doesn’t necessarily matter!
Q4. What Are Your Weaknesses?
This is the question often most dreaded by those attending an interview. Your employer doesn’t want to trick you and make you fall at the final hurdle. It’s a simple way of getting to know which areas you recognise that you need to improve on.
Admitting to weaknesses shows strength. And by recognising these weaknesses and explaining how you plan to improve on them is a way of showing you are honest and able to reflect on your own performance.
Don’t attempt to answer this question by turning a negative into a positive like ‘I’m too efficient and end up completing my work before the deadline’. It doesn’t look good. Also, don’t answer with ‘I’m not a morning person which made me frequently late to school/college/work.
Whether we like it or not we all have weak points, it’s how we react and aim to improve on these that’s the strength. Additionally, you should ensure your weakness isn’t something you’re required to have to fulfil your job role and that the weakness is fixable.
For example, you could answer this question with, ‘I get nervous when speaking in front of large groups, this is something that I am proactively trying to improve on through practice, research, podcasts and any opportunities which arise. Despite getting nervous when speaking in large groups I am keen to develop in this area and learn by challenging myself. However, I am able to communicate effectively in smaller groups.
Q5. Why Do You Want to Work for This Company?
Do your research on the company. Is there a value that you and the company both share? Do they have charity events? What is the company culture? Do you see this being a place where you feel you would genuinely fit in and enjoy working?
Remember you’re not the only person going for the interview. By doing your research and finding out more about the company you will stand out from the crowd.
Q6. What Skills Would You Like to Improve During this Apprenticeship?
Apprenticeships are all about learning on the job. They are about developing your skills and career. This is a common question and you need to think about where you would like to be once your apprenticeship is over.
Would you like to learn more about networking? If you feel uncomfortable when approaching people and talking to them then this is a great opportunity to build your confidence and develop excellent communication skills.
Looking to give your presentation skills a boost? Maybe you speak too quickly or quietly and you need to develop voice control. You can then go on to explain how you are going to overcome the challenge. Perhaps you’re considering a course to teach you the skills you need to successfully present in front of people.
Do you need to work on your organisational skills? Perhaps you’re easily forgetful during high pressurised times. These are all skills which can be taught. You could say that to deal with this you write everything down and make a plan each day on how you’re going to manage your workload and prioritise. These are skills which can be improved throughout your apprenticeship.
Now you might be asked about personal skills you’d like to improve. Here are some what personal skills would you like to improve example answers:
‘I would like to improve my skills in the area of being flexible. Sometimes I struggle with swapping from one task to another but I have already shown a huge improvement in this area in how I handled my revision for my A-Level/GCSEs. During my revision I scheduled my workload and switched to different subjects to ensure I built my knowledge in a range of areas.’
‘I would like to improve skills in the area of problem solving. I believe that paying close attention to detail will allow me to build upon my current skills in this area so I can find the solutions to my problems. I have already highlighted my abilities to problem solve when faced with a troubling maths question. I would like to continue learning personal skills so I can thrive in this role.’
Apprentice interview question can seem daunting but with preparation it really doesn’t need to be!
What to Avoid Doing When Attending an Interview?
There are a few things which you should avoid doing when going to an apprenticeship interview. Some of these go without saying. These include:
What Questions to Ask at an Apprenticeship Interview?
Now it’s over to you to think of apprenticeship questions to ask the employer. This is your chance to find out whether you think the apprenticeship you’re applying for is perfect for you. An interview is a two-way street and it’s your turn to find out more about the company and potentially your role there.
Here are a few questions which you could ask: