How should I prepare for my interview?

Posted in Apprenticeships on March 08, 2017
Author: Sam Reed


It's day 3 of National Apprenticeship Week! If you have been applying for apprenticeships you may have a few interviews coming up. Below we take you through our top tips and how to ensure you secure that call back. 

Preparation is everything for interviews, from the initial research into the potential employer to polishing your shoes. Take some time to prepare and consider these tips for your interview.

  • Have a think about the questions that you may be asked at the interview and how you are going to answer them. Some of the more common questions that employers ask are outlined below.  If you have thought about the questions and your answers in advance, you won’t be stuck for something to say
  • Make sure that you research your potential employer. Being able to talk about their products and services is a must
  • Consider your appearance. Most businesses expect their people to look smart clean and tidy.  Think about what you are going to wear, even if your chosen employer has a relaxed attitude, going with conventional office wear can create a good first impression
  • Allow plenty of time to get to your interview and take everything you need with you, such as; notebook, pens and a copy of your CV.
  • Remember to smile – it’s a powerful tool at a first meeting. Sure you’re going to feel nervous but a smile will make you come across as friendly and relaxed. Don’t forget to look your interviewer directly in the eye, and listen carefully to what they are saying
  • Make sure you ask something yourself. It helps you to look interested and engaged – have a few pre planned questions on your notebook – if the interviewer answers them along the way, no problem, just refer back to these at the end of the meeting
  • Try and make some notes, again it creates the impression that you are paying full attention. This is one of the best interview techniques for people who want to come across as conscientious.
  • End on a positive note - this could be as simple as saying something like, “I look forward to hearing from you.”

Common questions interviewers may ask

There are a huge amount of possible questions that an interviewer may ask you, so we’ve looked at the national careers service website, which helps pick out some of the more common questions and has a wealth of information for the job seeker. Click the link below to have a look at their site, in the meantime we have captured a few of the common questions below:

  1. What do you know about the company, its products and services?
  2. What will the main tasks and responsibilities be in this job?
  3. What can you tell me about yourself?
  4. Can you list your strengths?
  5. What weaknesses do you have?
  6. Why should I consider hiring you?
  7. What experience have you got from previous jobs?
  8. Where do you see yourself in five years’ time
  9. Why do you want to work here?
  10. What is your salary expectation?
  11. What motivates you?
  12. What makes a good team player?
  13. Is there anything that you would like to ask me?

You might not be asked every one of these questions at an interview or you may even be asked other, more bizarre ones, like 'if you were an animal, which would you be?' so do think about what your answers would be for each. Such questions are designed to see how good you are at thinking on your feet so you cannot truly prepare for them but just try to relax and say something sensible.

Coming soon: "How to prepare for an Assessment Centre".

If you are looking for an apprenticeship opportunity today then click on the "Find apprenticeship vacancy" button to see if we have anything in your area.