Selling yourself at a Business Apprenticeship interview

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Business Apprenticeships have become some of the most popular programmes we offer at Themis, so how have our Apprentices been securing their new jobs?

Businesses around East Lancashire have woken up to the huge benefits that Apprentices can bring and we’re seeing more and more employers looking to take on Business Administration and Business Apprenticeships. So with this in mind, we want our potential Apprentices to get these exciting new jobs. Here are some of our top tips on how to impress employers at your interviews. Now go forth and get employed!

business apprenticeship“So tell us a bit about yourself.”

This is your opportunity to show how well you cope in unstructured situations. Often the first thing that’ll be asked of you, what’s expected here is a brief summary of your experience, likes and strengths. It’s totally acceptable here to talk a little about any hobbies or interests that’ll make you stand out from other candidates but it’s not really the place or time to talk about things you dislike. Be as positive and clear as you can,

Be interesting to the employer

Before you go in to meet your interviewer, think about what they’d be interested in. Speak about things that prove your capabilities and interests, and make sure you talk about any work experience you’ve had first. No matter where the conversation goes – and often interviewers like to steer interviews to more casual conversation-type meetings – make sure you try to stay on track. Don’t be afraid to say, “but to answer your original question…” if you feel you’re both going off-topic; it shows you’re keen to stay on task and that you’re taking the interview seriously.

Be honest about your weaknesses

If you are asked “what would you consider to be your biggest weakness”, the incorrect answer is, without doubt, “I don’t have one”. Spend some time thinking reflectively about how you’ve performed in previous roles and think about what you could perhaps be stronger on. Maybe you’re a little prone to procrastination. Maybe you don’t take direction from peers as well as you could. No matter what your own personal weaknesses are, always be sure to offer up at least two examples of how you’ve dealt with them and how you keep them at bay. Working hard to overcome your own personal weaknesses is a strength.

Be smart

Simple checks to stay smart:

  • Be a little early but don’t overdo it. Punctuality means getting being reliable and being somewhere you need to be on time. Turning up too early might say to the interviewer that you’re not used to time-keeping and are often late
  • Make sure your clothes are smart and appropriate for the company. Most businesses employ a smart casual dress code for everyday wear, but in interviews will expect a more formal approach. Iron your best shirt, polish your shoes and make sure your nails are clean, hair is tidy and that you’re not wearing noticeably odd socks
  • Keep a check on your tone of voice – do you sound interested or have you let yourself sound flat?
  • Are you smiling? People like people who smile!
  • Don’t pick or bite your nails, play with your hair, tap your feet or wring your hands! A little bit of nervousness is understandable but letting nervous habits get the better of you can make you seem a little lacking in self-control. Also, try to keep nervous giggling to a minimum
  • Speak clearly and confidently
  • Praise yourself. You’re doing great!

business apprenticeshipsAsk two great questions

At the end of your interview you’ll be asked if you have any questions. Absolutely do not say “no”. This is your opportunity to show how well suited you are for the role, so don’t miss out. According to business magazine Forbes, some great examples of the type of questions that interviewers like being asked are:

  1. What skills and experiences would make an ideal candidate? This is a great open-ended question that will have the interviewer put his or her cards on the table and state exactly what the employer is looking for. If the interviewer mentions something you didn’t cover yet, now is your chance.
  2. What have you enjoyed most about working here? This question allows the interviewer to connect with you on a more personal level, sharing his or her feelings. The answer will also give you unique insight into how satisfied people are with their jobs there. If the interviewer is pained to come up with an answer to your question, it’s a big red flag.
  3. Can you tell me about the team I’ll be working with? Notice how the question is phrased; it assumes you will get the job. This question also tells you about the people you will interact with on a daily basis, so listen to the answer closely.
  4. What is the next step in the process? This is the essential last question and one you should definitely ask. It shows that you’re interested in moving along in the process and invites the interviewer to tell you how many people are in the running for the position.

Ask gutsy questions like these and the interviewer will be impressed by your preparation skills and you’ll also stick in their mind as somebody they enjoyed engaging with. If you’d like more information on our business administration vacancies, visit our Apprenticeship job vacancies page http://www.themis.ac.uk/apprenticeship/ Good luck with your job hunt!

Source Url: http://www.themis.ac.uk/selling-yourself-business-apprenticeship-interview/
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