Top 10 talking points for an apprenticeship interview

The key to a great interview is preparation. If you’ve got an interview coming up, check out these top ten things that your potential employer is dying to hear.

You’ll impress most if you…

1. Have done your research. The minute you hear you’ve landed an interview, get on the company’s website and start swotting up. Learn about how the company began, how long it’s been running and any particular projects going on that interest you.

2. Know your CV and covering letter inside out. Be ready to answer any questions about your CV and application, such as employment gaps, travel, or qualifications.

3. Talk about your transferable skills. These will sell you, particularly if you have little direct experience.

4. Understand the job spec. If you’ve applied for everything and anything, there’s a good chance you might not even know what you’re interviewing for! The employer wants you to know what will be asked of you, and if you are capable of doing it. Don’t be scared to ask for more information about the role before the interview.

5. Talk about your motivations. Why have you applied for the job? What attracts you to the industry? Let the interviewer know how enthusiastic you are about getting the job.

6. Discuss how the job fits into your career plan. If it’s not an obvious step up in the same industry as your previous employment or education, you’ll need to explain why.

7. Have a positive outlook. No one likes a negative Nancy. Whatever has happened, whether you’ve been unemployed a while or have gaps in your CV, be prepared to explain with a positive attitude that shows you’re keen to get back into the swing of things.

8. Wow them with your personality. Employers hire people who they think will fit in with the company and other employees, so having a great personality is just as important as what’s on your CV. Inject a bit of personality into your answers to make yourself stand out.

9. Are honest about availability. Don’t say you can start immediately if you have to give a month’s notice at your current job, or if you have other commitments at college or school.

10. Ask questions! The interviewer will almost always ask if you have any questions. Be ready with one or two. Don’t bombard them, and avoid questions about pay or holiday. It’s probably safest to stick to questions around progression within the company, to show you are genuinely interested in working for them.