When heading into an interview, knowing what kinds of questions you may be asked is always good. These questions could be anything from general questions about your employment history, to finding out why you decided to apply there in the first place.
An apprentice interview is no different. We have devised the seven most likely apprenticeship interview questions you will be asked when applying for an apprenticeship and the best ways to tackle them.
What is an apprenticeship?
An apprenticeship is a placement that allows employees to learn skills in a skilled trade. When working on an apprenticeship, this may be full-time or part-time, as many apprentices dovetail their apprenticeships with their studies, even if you are doing an >apprenticeship abroad.
Not all industries hire apprentices, however. These are usually avenues for those who are looking to learn a specific trade or skill. Construction, IT, automotive manufacturing, engineering and financial services are the most common places to find an apprenticeship.
1.) What can you bring to the role?
This is a common interview question at any level, whether applying for an apprenticeship or for full-time employment. This is a questions that is designed to show what you feel you can bring to a company and how your specific set of skills can benefit the company or how your personality and work ethic can be of help to the company.
The answer:Highlight your unique skills, experiences, and qualities that make you a great fit for the position. Begin by reviewing the job description and identifying the key requirements of the role. Then, think about how your skills and experiences align with these requirements. For example, if the job requires strong communication skills, you might mention that you have experience working with diverse teams and have developed excellent verbal and written communication skills through your previous work experience.
An apprenticeship is a placement that allows employees to learn skills in a skilled trade.
2.) How would you rate your time-management skills?
Time management is an essential skill in the world of work and education. Employers want to know how you will divide your time and how you will carry out specific tasks. When answering this question, it’s usually a good idea to have some examples from other workplaces at the ready.
The answer: With this question, it's important to be honest and provide specific examples to support your answer. Take a moment to reflect on your time-management skills and evaluate how you prioritize tasks, meet deadlines, and handle interruptions. It's important to be honest about your time-management skills. If you struggle with time management, be upfront about it, but also explain what steps you're taking to improve.
3.) What are your biggest strengths and weaknesses?
This is a chance for you to show where you feel you are strongest and where you need to improve. This is not a trick question designed to trip you up, employers really want to know. It is tempting to list strengths as weaknesses (i.e. “I’m too much of a perfectionist”), but this isn’t helpful; employers will want to tailor your experience to improve in the areas you are weakest and build on those you are strongest.
The answer: It is important to be honest and self-aware. Begin by discussing your strengths and then move onto your weaknesses.
For your strengths, you can highlight skills or traits that are relevant to the job you are applying for. For example, you might mention that you are a great problem solver, a strong communicator, or a detail-oriented person.
This is a common interview question at any level, whether applying for an apprenticeship or for full-time employment.
When discussing your weaknesses, it is important to be honest but also to show that you are actively working to improve. Choose a weakness that is not critical to the job you are applying for, and then explain what steps you have taken or are taking to address it. For example, you might say that you struggle with public speaking, but you have been attending a public speaking course to improve your skills.
4.) What skills can you contribute to this apprenticeship?
This question is used as a good way to ascertain what level of experience you have. This does not necessarily need to be industry-related experience but more of an overview of your overall work experience. For example, working in an accountancy firm at some point may have improved your mathematical skills, which are important skills to have in any job. Maybe you have previous work experience while at school, that can help too.
The answer: With this question, it's important to focus on the specific skills and strengths that you have. What makes you a valuable asset to the apprenticeship programme?
5.) Why did you apply for this apprenticeship?
This is probably the most common question for applicants to be asked when attending an apprenticeship interview. This question, like all the others, is not designed to trip you up or to place you under pressure, it is more to gauge what your level of interest, if any, is for the role.
The answer: A good way to handle this question is by sharing your motivations for pursuing this opportunity. For example, you could explain how you are interested in gaining experience in the field. You could also discuss how you are looking for professional development opportunities and believe this apprenticeship would be a great fit for your career goals.
This is a chance for you to show where you feel you are strongest and where you need to improve.
6.) What are your future goals?
This is a good chance to get to know you in more detail. A clearly-defined plan is a good way of showing people that you have the ability to make plans and to appropriately strategize.
The answer: Be truthful and thoughtful in your response. For your strengths, highlight qualities or skills that make you a great candidate for the job. Examples could include being a strong communicator, a natural leader, or having excellent problem-solving abilities.
7.) How your school subjects develop your workplace abilities
You would be surprised how often you learn work-appropriate skills while at school, college or university. An ability to work to a deadline is a very important skill that you learn when in education, as is the ability to communicate and work with others. The employer wants to know what you have personally gleaned from education and how it has helped you.
This is probably the most common question for applicants to be asked when attending an apprenticeship interview.
The answer: Think about the specific skills you gained from your studies and how they can be applied in a work environment. For example, if you studied mathematics, you might mention that you developed strong analytical and problem-solving skills, which can be applied to analyzing data and making strategic decisions in a business setting.
You can also ask questions of your own. Whether this be enquiring about the >apprenticeship wage you can expect or finding our what tasks you will be asked to perform, employers like people who have apprentice interview questions of their own, as it shows a willingness to learn.