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Posted on May 11, 2016

What an employer looks for in an Apprentice #NAW2016

We thought it would be good to give an insight into what an employer looks for in an apprentice with it being National Apprenticeship Week 2016. And no you don’t have to be ginger!

It’s important to remember that making an enquiry is the first impression and hugely counts (you’re up against plenty of others that are after the one position). Don’t send an email that reads like a poor text; construct an official letter or email detailing why you are looking to become an apprentice including why you feel you would be an ideal candidate for the role. Think about your presentation and spelling – it will show attention to detail. Get help from teachers and parents but please be aware you can spot when your mum has written it on your behalf! This letter can be important because you’re CV most likely won’t be extensive as of yet.

Michelle Fisher said “I personally like to see the applicant has had a part-time job or they are involved in clubs or team activities. Why? This shows that they have had to get up of a morning and work alongside of others, that they can be part of a team and that they know their actions can affect the group.”

Once you’ve got offered an interview make sure you get there! No employer wants to hear excuses or how logistically you’ll be able to make it or could they change date and time (obviously there are exceptions if you’re on holiday but don’t ‘expect’ them to accommodate you, ask!) likely hood is they have shortlisted a selection and are carrying out interviews on one or two days.

Michelle said “What impressed us with Jamie was even at the age of 16, he had borrowed a friend’s bike to come to the interview as his parents worked. He was smartly presented, not in a suit but a shirt and tie still. We found out after that he had changed around the back of the building from his cycling gear into these clothes and back again. It showed us that he was taking his future in his hands and was conscious to make a good impression. There were obviously other qualities that made him fit the role but these small details made him stand out from the others that applied”

Follow this great link for details of interview tips and technique: http://www.allaboutschoolleavers.co.uk/articles/article/30/apprenticeship-interview-tips

Convey what it is about the role that interests you and why it suits you. Ask questions about the company, the role and what is expected. Don’t be surprised by a few curve ball questions about personality, there is no right or wrong answer but it gives an understanding into a person’s character.

Michelle said “One of my favourite questions is…. ‘Let’s say your family or good friend was asked “what’s the one thing that drives you crazy about (name)?” What would they say?’

“It’s a great chance to see what they think others think about them, I’m not after a stereo typical answer of ‘good time keeping’, I’m after an honest reply that lets me get to see who they are.”

A company will be impressed that you’ve researched them; most companies have Twitter and Facebook so you can get a good picture of them. They know that you’ve put out your CV to loads of companies but make your interviewer feel like you actually know who you’re sat with!

Basically all an employer really wants to see, is an applicant that they are happy to invest in, someone that will work hard, embrace learning and be committed to the next 4 years and beyond.

Good luck!


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