Expert explains what employers want from an accounting apprentice

Danielle Davis, a programme leader for accountancy and payroll apprenticeships at BPP, shares her thoughts on key attributes that employers look for in apprentices in the interview process and in the workplace.

  • First impressions count. Being well presented and appropriately dressed makes a huge impact. However it’s not just about dressing smartly but also being engaged, having the right body language, asking questions and genuinely showing real interest in the position. Employers are looking for professionalism right from the start.
  • Knowledge is King.  There is no excuse not to come armed with information about the position you have applied for or to have little understanding about the organisation. The internet is a hub of knowledge at the end of our fingertips. Employers expect candidates to have done their homework and to continually be interested in learning more about different parts of the organisation.
  • Understand what you are getting yourself in for.  Employers expect 110%. An apprenticeship is not an easy option. Apprentices are expected to work hard and study hard. Those that understand that, put the time in and have clear goals will get the most from the programme and in their careers.
  • Go the extra mile.  Grab every opportunity that comes your way. Take on more work, don’t see it as a burden but as a way to learn more and acquire new skills. Be a team player and put yourself forward for extra activities. Employers want to see apprentices that become advocates of the organisation and are liked by colleagues.
  • Don’t give up when the going gets tough.  While it’s important to pass exams and to do well on all tasks – employers are human. They understand that we can’t be good at everything. It is more important to be seen to be continually striving and putting in the effort in than being negative and giving up. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you’re struggling and spend more time on the areas of work you struggle with to bring up your expertise and knowledge in these areas.