An interview is not a situation that you should fear or worry about. If you prepare, remain professional, polite and remember to be yourself you will give yourself the best chance. Treat the interview as a time to highlight your abilities and show why you deserve the job but also use the opportunity to learn about the company that you could be working for. Keep a smile on your face and don’t worry if you need to pause and take a breath while you arrange the words to answer any questions.
There are many topics that are likely to be covered during an interview, the questions could be worded in many different ways but they generally cover the following type of questions:
Tell me a bit about yourself?
This question gives the interviewer the chance to learn a lot about you. It is best answered by talking about any qualities you have that relate to the role you have applied for (include; personality, qualifications, work experience, voluntary work, awards and relevant hobbies that have enhanced your skills). The Interviewer is trying to find out how you will fit with the role/company so try to be specific but also don’t ramble about your infatuation with a particular musician or football team etc!
Why are you interested in this apprenticeship?
This is a question that gives you the perfect opportunity to talk about the key parts of the apprenticeship that interests you and why you would like to work in the particular company. If you have a career plan that relates to the type of Apprenticeship then do talk about how the apprenticeship will help with your career ambition. This type of question gives the interviewer a chance to judge your commitment and understanding.
How would your friends describe you?
Describing yourself as your friends see you is a tricky question but keep it professional! You can use any qualities that express who you are and that are relevant to the role. Examples of how you have helped friends in difficult situations, how honest they think you are, how they can rely on you or how dependable you are. Try to give specific examples.
What would you say are your weaknesses?
This is always a difficult question to answer but everyone has at least one weakness! Again research the company and read the job description so that you understand the strengths that the Interviewer is likely to value, these would be best avoided as weaknesses. This is also an opportunity to talk about any past weaknesses you have experienced and how you overcame them.
What would you say are your strengths?
Again this is a tough question to answer without over selling yourself. Use the personal qualities and skills aspects of the job description and think of some examples that can back up any claims that you make. You could always ask friends / family / colleagues or refer to school reports to see what strengths they identify you with.
Describe a time you have worked as part of a team?
The interviewer wants to know how well you are likely to fit in with the rest of the staff in the company. If you have had previous jobs then try to think of a situation when team work conquered a problem. If this is your first job then try to relate an example from a project at school/college, any voluntary experience or clubs/awards you have participated in. As before try and make it relevant to the role you are applying for.
Describe a time when you have overcome a problem?
Problem solving skills are essential in the workplace so being able to give an example of how you can ‘think outside the box’ to deal with professional issues is important. Be specific, briefly explain the situation relating to the problem, talk about how you decided on possible solutions and finally how you actually resolved the issue. If possible it is great to be able to explain the lesson that you learned from the situation.
There are many questions that you can be asked but just remember that the interviewer is only trying to gain an insight into your personality, how you will fit in and whether they feel you are suited to the role. Research the company and pay attention to the requirements, skills and personal qualities that they are looking for. If you know these details thoroughly then you should be able to answer any questions you are asked in a believable and professional manner with relevant examples to support your claims.
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