Interviewing for an Apprenticeship

Tips to prepare for and ace the interview with an employer

Congratulations on getting an interview! From here, there are a few things you’ll want to do to prepare yourself for the big day, and some things you will want to make sure you don't do. This will give you the best chance of doing well in your interview, and getting the job.

Before the Interview

DO

  • Dress appropriately. First appearances absolutely count, so whilst going for an interview for a trade will not require you to suit up – clean and neat attire are a must for any job interview.
  • Try on your outfit ahead of time. You want to make sure everything fits, that you look presentable and that you feel comfortable.
  • Prepare your outfit and put it aside in the lead up to your interview. The last thing you want is a last-minute rush because you can’t find your trousers.
  • Make sure your hair is tidy. You don’t necessarily have to cut-off all your hair or shave your beard, however, it helps to consider the industry you are applying for and the best way to present yourself.
  • Practice greeting your interviewer. The best way to greet your interviewer is with a friendly smile and a firm but not too tight handshake.
  • Consider common questions, and how you might answer them. Ask a friend to hold a mock interview with you, alternatively you can write down your answers to any common questions.
  • Research the company. Whilst you probably already did this in the application phase, it’s a good idea to refresh your memory on the background of the company you want to join and think about some answers as to why you want to work there.

DON'T

  • Wear unclean or ripped clothes. Even if it is a designer rip, you want to be presentable to your potential employer.
  • Forget what you put on your resume. Most interviewees will bring a copy of the candidates interview with them to the interview, so make sure you have read over your resume prior to the interview.
  • Memorise your answers. Having a good idea of how to answer interview questions is great, but if you memorise them word for word they might come out sounding rehearsed and deceitful.
  • Be late. Make sure you get directions to the interview location well ahead of time so you can guarantee that you have enough time to travel there. It’s always a good idea to aim to reach the venue at least 15 minutes prior to the scheduled interview.

Here is a snippet of an infographic prepared in collaboration with Ai Group that gives you all the tips for preparing for a job interview. You can also download the full infographic below.

Infographic on do's and don'ts to keep in mind while preparing for a job interview for an apprenticeship or traineeship.

Download the full infographic here

Download

At the Interview

DO

  • Arrive ahead of time. This will give you time to relax and go over your resume and any other notes you might have brought.
  • Greet your interview with a smile and a handshake. This shows them that you are confident, and someone that they may want to work with.
  • If you’re nervous, tell them. Most employers understand that interviews can be a stressful time, so if you are feeling nervous it’s okay to let them know.
  • Be honest. It’s okay if you don’t have direct experience in the role, and you can say this. You can also tackle this by letting them know of related work you have completed that is related or your ability to adapt and learn new skills.

 

DON'T

  • Chew gum. Whilst it can be good for nerves, it can make you look unprofessional and even rude to your potential employer.
  • Look at the ground. Whilst is can be challenging to make eye contact at times, just be sure not to look directly at the ground or in a downward direction.
  • Interrupt the interviewer. Let them finish the question before you begin to respond. You might miss some key information, and by listening you are showing them your ability to learn. 
  • Lie. Whilst you want to put your best foot forward, you don’t want to get a job based on lies and not being able to complete the tasks require for the role.

 

You will find below an infographic prepared in collaboration with Ai Group, that gives you all the tips to do well on the day of the interview for an apprenticeship or traineeship. You can also download the full infographic below.

Download the full infographic here

Download

What next?

Congratulations! You made it through the interview. Now that you have finished the interview, it’s time to play the waiting game. The first thing you will probably want to know, is how long it will take to hear if you were successful.

The hiring process can vary from employer to employer, with some employers wanting second interviews with the shortlisted candidates. You can ask the employer at the end of the interview what the next steps are, and when they are likely to contact candidates.

However, prior to hearing if you have been successful, there are a few things you might expect.

References:

Make sure that your references know to expect a call, especially if you have put their numbers down on your resume. If you have not put references down on your resume, your potential employer may contact you to get those numbers.

Following up:

Some candidates may wish to email their interviewer after the interview to thank them for their time. This email might also reinforce your willingness to work at a certain company, and any further information you were not able to provide during the interview.

When to call?  It’s always hard to know when is the right time to follow up with an employer if you have not heard back from them. Whilst these calls are not likely to influence the outcome of your interview, it might help you get an idea of timeframes and if anything has changed in the organisation that might impact the role.

You should always wait at least a week between an interview and calling your interviewer.

If you are not successful

It can be a bit of a knock being unsuccessful from a job interview. However, don’t let it get you down.

It is always a good idea to ask the interviewer why you were unsuccessful and if they had any tips that might help you secure a job in another company within that industry. If they don’t have the answers for you there and then, you can ask them if you can send through a follow up email requesting this feedback.

For yourself, remember that every interview you attend is good practice – so even if you were unsuccessful this time, you are on step closer to employment.

If you are successful

First off, congratulations. If you are starting an apprenticeship, you will need to sign up to a formal training contract. This must be administered by an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider (ASSN). You can find your local provider here

If you do not already have an Australian Tax File Number, you can register through the ATO. This is a requirement from your employer that enables them to pay you.

A few other things you will need to organise are your start date, working hours, uniform/attire and induction paperwork. Your employer should be able to assist you with this, and if you need further assistance you can contact your ASSN.