Interviews are a scary but necessary part of getting the apprenticeship of your dreams. Inspire Norfolk have pulled together 5 crucial tips to make sure you excel in your interview by presenting yourself appropriately, as well as pointers on some commonly asked questions.
- First impressions
Making a good first impression can sometimes be crucial in getting the apprenticeship you desire. I always remember someone once saying that you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression; I find this saying to be rather apt, as cruel as it may seem, employers are likely to have issues overlooking an initial, negative impression. How do you avoid this? Arrive on time (in fact it doesn’t hurt to be early), dress in suitable attire, and a firm handshake when you first greet are excellent starting points.
- Body language
Research has shown that people will react more to body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice more than what is actually being said. Eye contact is extremely important; it subconsciously tells the employer that you are confident, which is always a good skill to have. Despite the fact that you are likely to be nervous in an interview, try to not let it show by fiddling too much (it can sometimes help to clasp your hands together and keep them in your lap)
Another commonly asked question in interviews is “what are some of your weaknesses?” As tempting as it is to say defiantly that you have no weaknesses, it does not actually bode well; everyone has a weakness, a flaw that can make some things challenging. Essentially, this question is asking how you overcome your difficulties, but it is also trying to decipher whether you will be able to handle the job. As a young person, a good response to this question may be “I have a lack of experience, but am hoping to learn and develop through your company” – you have identified an issue, but not one that is completely detrimental to your ability to do the job. You can of course only use this if you in fact have a lack of experience.
- Interests and Hobbies
It can sometimes feel odd when you’re asked what you like to do in your spare time in the middle of an interview. It is not a trick question, the employer is really just trying to get a feel of what you’re like as a person. However, it doesn’t hurt to tailor your interests to the job you have applied for; do not lie, just make them seem relevant. For example, you have applied for a job that requires communication skills, and your biggest hobby is amateur dramatics. This is actually relevant because it shows you have confidence and the ability to communicate with a diverse range of people. The key to answering this question is to show off your transferable skills.
- Be Yourself
The above is simply a guideline to the proper way to conduct yourself, and how to make sure you turn up prepared. The most important thing above all is to be yourself in an interview. If you are a bubbly person who likes to smile; let it shine. If you are an inquisitive person with a lot of questions; ask away. The ultimate goal in an interview is to find the right person for the job, so you need to let the employer see what you’re like as a person.