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Tips - Interviews

If your application is successful you will be interviewed and you may be asked to take tests to see if you’re the right person for the job. You’ll need to sell yourself and convince the employer that you are right for their apprenticeship.

  • Research the employer and what the apprenticeship will involve.
  • It’s important to prepare what you will wear for the interview before the day, just in case you need to wash clothes or clean shoes.
  • Prepare answers to interview questions. These are likely to be around the skills/strengths you need to do the job.
  • Create a list of relevant questions that you could ask in an interview.
  • Get someone to do a practice interview with you.

Interview tips

  • Location - Make sure you know exactly where you’re going and work out the best transport options.
  • Confirm attendance - Let the employer know that you will be attending the interview or assessment.
  • Check date and time - Make sure you know when you're meant to be attending and who to ask for.

On the day

  • Arrive early - If you're unable to make the interview or you're going to be late, get in touch with the employer as soon as you know. Arriving early makes a good impression.
  • Bring relevant information with you - Always take a copy of your qualifications, and identity documents such as a passport.

During the interview or assessment

  • Body language - It’s good to look upright, alert and keen, rather than slumped. Eye contact is important too. It’s natural to feel nervous. Taking a few deep breaths can help calm you.
  • Think first - After each question, it’s OK to pause and think before you answer. Feel free to ask an employer to repeat a question if you don’t understand it.
  • Be positive in the examples that you give in your answers. It's about what you say and how you say it.

Ask for feedback

If you’re not successful on your first application, keep applying and ask the interviewer for feedback. It will help you work out what areas you can improve on, whether it’s interview technique or new skills you need to acquire.

Barclays Lifeskills is a free, excellent website designed to help you develop your employability skills and find a great job or apprenticeship. Watch their top tips video below on how to [or how not] to prepare for interviews.

Interviews - what would you tell your 17 year old self!?

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