We have recently been holding interviews for new apprentices to join our team. All candidates were asked to assemble a children’s dinosaur toy. We found it to be a good icebreaker but also gave us an understanding of their skill in performing basic tasks.
Some interviewers use children’s toys to gauge a candidate’s creativity, problem-solving, communication skills, and ability to think on their feet.
Icebreakers can help candidates feel more relaxed and comfortable during an interview. Beneficial for apprenticeships. Some candidates may be relatively new to the job interview process and may feel nervous or anxious. By creating a welcoming environment, icebreakers help the candidates show their true potential.
While technical skills are important for apprenticeships, soft skills such as communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and creativity are also crucial. The dinosaur toy showed an insight into the candidate’s ability to think critically and adapt. Those soft skills are particularly important for success within apprenticeships as you often work in diverse teams and face various challenges.
We also found it allowed the guys to showcase their personalities. As well as providing us with a glimpse of their character and potential fit into the company. The task allowed them to show enthusiasm, initiative, and passion. Also what their overall attitude is, which are all massive factors in selecting an apprentice.
Michelle Fisher & Danny Squibb held the interviews.
“We were quite excited to see how this would work. It was the first year we had tried something like this, and we were surprised by its impact on the day.
It helped to change the atmosphere and gave a small glimpse of the person in front of us. Those that were nervous faired the best after as it relaxed them. There was one who was given positive guidance, however, chose not to listen and changed the part anyway, reflecting their listening skills. As we timed them, we saw who was competitive, and those who were organised, who did not rush into it and placed the items out like a jigsaw before putting it together.
One individual turned the whole interview on its head because of their approach to the icebreaker. If it had not been for it, he may have slipped through the net with us. I am pleased to say they were one of the two we offered a place to!”
Originally, we had chosen the dinosaur toy because it included screws and a screwdriver to allow us to see their level of dexterity. However, it really did a lot more than just that. It will remain part of our interview process for the future!
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