Kirsten works as a business apprentice. We asked her why she would recommend becoming an apprentice and what tips she’d have for apprenticeship interviews. Here’s what she told us:
(1) If you don’t want just Uni
In my experience, it feels like Colleges and Sixth Forms tend to push students to go to university if they are going to make the grades. However, there are other options available to students that are just finishing their GCSE’s or A Levels. If you don’t want to continue with full time education, make your own decisions and look into apprenticeships or other schemes.
(2) There’s on-the-job learning
Apprenticeships are a way to work and gain extra qualifications at the same time. Most apprenticeships will offer NVQ qualifications and other specific schemes will include sponsored A Levels or degrees.
(3) Often there’s a secure job at the end of it
Lots of companies that do apprenticeships offer a permanent job at the end of your scheme (if you pass your qualifications etc.). This could mean job security at a young age and also is something to work towards throughout your time of the scheme.
(4) You’ll get support throughout
You are given trained managers that understand the scheme and will help you to achieve your objectives. You also may have the chance to have a mentor that will give you help and guidance not just with your work load, but with your personal development.
(5) There are loads of opportunities
Apprenticeships give young people the opportunity to enter awards, attend events, and travel etc. that you wouldn’t be able to do if you were in full time education.
And here’s what Kirsten told us about what she’s learned about going for interviews:
(A) Dress to impress
The way you present yourself is a major part of the initial impression you set, so the smarter the better. Even if you’re not applying for an office job, suits etc. should be worn to interviews.
(B) Make eye contact
Eye contact is often hard when you don’t know someone or you’re nervous but it shows that you’re confident which employers look for.
(C) It’s okay if you’re stuck on a question
Most of the time, the person interviewing you isn’t trying to trip you up. So if you get to a question you’re not quite sure how to answer, ask if you can think about that one and come back to it at the end of the interview.
(D) Don’t be afraid to show off
Often, we show off our achievements in our CV but don’t like talking about it in person. If you have done something you’re proud off, have the confidence to show it off and tell short case studies about it.
(E) Group assessments are an opportunity to show how you can work with others
If you have to do a group assessment, it is to see how well you perform in a team environment. Don’t try and be the leader and overpower the others, encourage those who are shyer to join in and offer ideas and don’t keep quiet, if you have an opinion, say it. Remember, most tasks aren’t made to be completed; it is how you work together and how you combat challenges along the way.
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