At some point during your Apprenticeship journey, you will need to attend an interview. It’s a great opportunity to show the employer that you’re right for the role, that you’re interested in the company and ready to learn.
It’s perfectly natural to find the process daunting and many people feel anxious going into an interview. A good way to help ease your concerns is to make sure you’re prepared and have an idea of what questions might be asked.
Your interview will depend on the type of employer the apprenticeship is with. For example, you may only have one interview with a small employer but up to three with a larger employer.
Interviews for an apprenticeship are usually similar to interviews for any other job.
They could be:
Face to face
With a panel (multiple interviewers)
Over the phone
Online - for example, on Microsoft Teams or Zoom
Just remember, it’s nothing to worry about. The employer wants to know more about you and to understand that you will fit in well with the rest of the team. We’ve put together a few of the most common apprenticeship interview questions and top tips on answering them to help you prepare.
They’ll work best if you combine them with your own research into apprenticeships and the employer you want to work for.
Why did you apply for this apprenticeship?
Employers will want to know your motivation for choosing an apprenticeship rather than other routes into employment, as well as getting an idea of how much you know about your chosen industry.
When answering this question, explain how you think the apprenticeship will help you work towards your career goals and highlight your interest in the progression offered. Think back to the job description and what attracted you to apply. Was it the company, the content of the apprenticeship, or the opportunity for on-the-job experience?
Top Tip: Talk about what research you have done into the company and what stuck out to you, employers always want to hear feedback and will appreciate your enthusiasm.
What skills can you contribute to this apprenticeship?
This question gives you the opportunity to discuss your work history and any experiences that may help showcase valuable skills. Don’t worry if this is your first potential job or first interview, your previous experiences don’t have to be based on work. Employers will be aware that you are applying for an apprenticeship and won’t have lots of experience.
Think about your unique strengths when it comes to answering this question:
Are you a creative person?
Do you work well with others?
Are you a team player?
You will have plenty of scenarios of applying your skills outside of work, for example working to deadlines when getting your schoolwork done on time, working with others during team sports, and volunteering at local events.
Top Tip: Avoid just listing your skills and buzzwords you’ve seen online. Try linking every skill you mention with a real-life scenario to make your answer seem less generic.
What are your weaknesses?
Employers ask this question to help them understand areas where you can improve – it’s not a trick!
Being honest about your weaknesses shows you are willing to learn and can reflect on your own performance. Don’t try to answer this question by turning every negative into a positive, for example ‘My biggest weakness is that I’m too efficient and always finish my work before the deadline’. As with the previous example, this doesn’t sound realistic and doesn’t show your ability to self-reflect.
Talk about areas you would like to improve on during your apprenticeship. Public speaking is a good example, as a lot of people don’t do this very frequently and it takes a lot of practice to be confident with it.
Top Tip: Make a list of the areas of study or skills you would like to get better at and think of practical experiences which would help you achieve this. This will help prepare you for the weaknesses interview question but also give you a general idea of where you need to improve.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
This is another chance for you to describe how the apprenticeship will help you work towards your plans for the future. Look at websites such as Prospects to see examples of job roles in your chosen industry and think about what you would like to do once your apprenticeship is completed.
Since this is an apprenticeship interview, you can also research what qualifications you would like to receive. In five years’ time, are you a specialist in a certain field? What do you need to study to become that specialist?
Explaining your specific plan to get you into a certain role shows your ability to strategize towards goals as well as proviing your commitment to the apprenticeship.
Top Tip: No one can predict the future, so once again honesty is your best policy. Be honest about what you do and don’t know about the future but always link it back to how you hope the apprenticeship will help you achieve your goals.
Is there anything that you would like to ask us?
You might think the interview is already over when the employer asks this question - but it’s actually one of the most important. Make sure you end the interview on a high by seeming engaged, positive, and eager to learn more about the company.
Never answer this question with a simple ‘No’. There is always something you can ask and is a great opportunity for you to see if the apprenticeship is a good fit for you.
Here’s a few questions to remember if you’re stuck for what to ask:
What would a typical day be like?
How will my time be divided between working and learning?
Do you have a dress code?
What have previous apprentices gone on to do once they have completed their apprenticeship?
What extra training or development is available?
Top Tip: Remember your employers wants to know as much about you as possible, so ask as many questions as you can so they can understand you better.
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Hopefully this blog has given you the confidence to start applying for Apprenticeship roles and you’re ready to impress in your interviews.
Visit our Apprenticeship Menu to browse the courses on offer or contact us for more information on the training opportunities we have available.