It’s a totally normal reaction to an experience that can be a bit challenging. At interviews, we often feel we have to ‘perform’ and present the best version of who we are. Of course, showing off how great you are is important. But it’s also important to be human too. It’s all about the balance - the Yin and Yang, as the wise often call it.
So, here are our top tips to help you find some balance when it comes to an apprenticeship interview:
Do Your Research
Andwe don’t mean a quick scan of the company website!
Check their social media, industry news websites, and their website. Read key sections including company values, strategic plans, careers and ‘work for us’ sections, staff and latest news pages.
You'll be suprised with the amount of useful information that you could get. And if you're on Springpod (we hope so!), why not use our 'Ask a Question' feature to get some unique insights directly from company ambassadors who may already be doing your dream role?
Get Some Practice In
With mum, dad, a sibling, a teacher, a careers advisor, or the dog (okay, maybe not the dog - they’re great but probably not very helpful in this context).
Practicedefinitely makes perfect. Rememberto reflect on what your skills are and back them up with examples from yourstudies or previous experience.
Plan Your Journey
Don’t just Google map it the night before. Do a trial run at the same time as your interview (traffic changes throughout the day so if your interview is at 3 pm, make sure you do your trial run closer to this on a previous day).
Check traffic updates the night before for disruptions and always wake up early to do the same so you have plenty of time to factor in any potential delays.
Prepare Your Outfit
Neverunderestimate how much looking sharp can help your interview nerves!
Make sure you pick something clean, ironed, fits well, and you feel comfortable in! No point wearing those super smart trousers if they’re too tight when you sit down and will have you fidgeting the whole time! Sounds like one of those straighforward tips - but you'll be surprised how many people overlook this when it comes to an apprenticeship interview.
Prepare Some Questions to Ask
Avoid anything around salary, time off or benefits! Focus on your apprenticeship programme, the projects you’ll be involved with, your team, and the work culture. Questions around these topics show you’re interested and invested in the opportunity at hand.
For instance, you could ask: 'What kind of support do you offer degree apprentices to help them balance studies and working more effectively?'
Oh,and don’t be afraid to ask when you’ll hear back about your interview. It’salways good to know!
Eat a Good Breakfast
Or lunch, or both! (Okay - maybe don't overeat)
Whatevertime your interview is make sure you eat a good healthy meal beforehand.Because you know what’s terrible for interview nerves? A growling empty stomachat the interview table!
Get there on Time
Being late stresses everyone involved out and creates a terrible first impression. Always arrive 5-10 minutes early (but no more, arriving too early puts pressure on the employer who might be with another candidate. Also tardiness doesn't really make a great first impression!)
Ifyou’re running late because something happened, make sure you phone ahead andlet them know and apologise.
Send the ‘Thank You’ Follow Up
If you’ve done the research, preparation, practice and followed some of our tips, you should (fingers crossed) find the apprenticeship interview a less daunting experience!
Onceyou’re done, make sure you send the follow-up email. Thank the interview panelfor their time and opportunity to meet with them. Express you’re stillinterested in the role after learning more about it and you look forward tohearing about their decision.
And then we’ll all cross our fingers for you for a positive outcome!
PS: Don't forget to take a look at our handy little checklist of what to take to an apprenticeship interview.