How to prepare for an apprenticeship interview
25 March 2022
An apprenticeship interview is your chance to convince your potential employer that you are the right person for the role, while also checking that the company is one that you’ll be happy to work for.
It’s an opportunity to find out more about the company, the job role and the people as well as showing that you’re willing to learn, interested in the company and the sort of person that they would want to join their team.
When you are applying for a financial services apprenticeship, you’re sure to go through at least one interview. It’s normal to feel a little nervous about the interview and a few nerves aren’t anything to be worried about. However, a little preparation can go a long way to help you feel confident about the interview and show the employer your best side.
Preparing for an apprenticeship interview
Staying calm and confident for your apprenticeship interview will give you the best chance of receiving an apprenticeship offer. Preparing for an interview in advance will help you to feel more relaxed on the day so that you can highlight your skills in the best possible way.
Check the interview details
Make sure that you know exactly where and when the interview will take place, and work out how you are going to get there. You should plan to arrive about 10 minutes before your appointment time and allow a little extra time for delays along the way.
Also check that you have contact details for your interviewer so that you can let them know if you do get delayed on the journey.
Read the job specification
Make sure you know exactly what role you will be interviewing for and the specific requirements for the job. You might not have the exact skills and experience that they are asking for, but this is a chance for you to tailor your strengths to suit this particular position.
Research the employer
It’s important to make sure that you are familiar with the company you’re hoping to join. Your interviewer will want to be sure that you really want to work for their company, so make sure you do your research before the interview.
You could start by looking at the company website but also look at their social media accounts as well as local and national news websites. For example, try to find out what the company is currently working on, any major new clients or charitable donations that they’ve made.
Practise apprenticeship interview questions
Rehearsing some popular apprenticeship interview questions and answers will make you feel more confident on the day so try to fit in some mock interviews before the real thing. Practise speaking clearly and confidently and remember to check that your body language is confident as well.
You could ask a friend, parent or teacher to act as your interviewer but if you’re struggling to find a mock interviewer, you can always work through some questions on your own.
Prepare your own questions
Interviewers often end an interview for an apprenticeship by asking if you have any questions of your own. So it’s a good idea to prepare some questions to ask at the end of an apprenticeship interview.
Good options include questions about your apprenticeship like:
- What will a normal working day look like?
- How many apprentices stay on at the company after their apprenticeship?
- What opportunities for career progression are there?
Prepare a few questions in case your first choice has already been covered earlier in the interview.
What to take to an apprenticeship interview
Make sure you take along some copies of your up-to-date apprenticeship CV and the cover letter or email that you sent with it. You should also take a copy of the apprenticeship description, a notebook and a pen.
If you’ve been asked to take along anything specific, such as your exam certificates, make sure you remember to take it with you. Double check your bag the night before your interview to make sure you have everything prepared.
What to wear to an apprenticeship interview
The last thing you need is to wake up on the day of your interview and panic over what you’re going to wear. So make sure that you’ve decided in advance what to wear to an interview and get everything ready the night before.
You want to show your interviewer that you will easily fit into the company, so try to find out what the company dress code is. The company website will usually give you a good idea of the image they like to present.
If you’re still not sure, a smart casual outfit such as a pair of trousers or skirt with a smart shirt or blouse is the safe option. Avoid denim, make sure that your clothes and shoes are clean and that you look presentable.
On the day of the apprenticeship interview
It’s normal to feel nervous on the morning of your interview, so make sure you have breakfast and give yourself plenty of time to travel to your interview. Give yourself enough time to get comfortable before your appointment.
When you go into your apprenticeship interview, greet your interviewers in a friendly and confident manner. You want them to feel that you could easily fit into the team at their company.
Remember to take your time over your answers, consider your response carefully and if necessary ask them to repeat the question. Try to back up your answers with examples of your experience wherever possible.
After the interview, make sure that your voicemail is working and check your emails regularly to make sure that you don’t miss a response. If you aren’t successful, it’s a good idea to ask for feedback to help you prepare for your next apprenticeship interview.
Using these tips and guidelines will help you to feel well prepared for your apprenticeship interview – good luck!