Interview Hints & Tips

by Katherine Hindhaugh

First Impressions Count!

  • Dress professionally in simple business attire; definitely no jeans or trainers, we recommend that you wear smart shirt and tie with smart trousers or skirt
  • Have your outfit ready the night before & have clean shoes & ironed clothes so you look the part
  • Do not smoke directly before an interview – the smell of smoke lingers
  • Remember to give a firm handshake at the beginning and end of your interview
  • Maintain eye contact throughout the interview
  • Always remember – You never get a second chance to make a first impression.


Be on time

Aim to be early – you can always find a somewhere nearby to wait. Arrive minimum of 10 minutes before your interview time so you are calm and relaxed as possible. If the worst happens and you are going to be late, then you must ring and let the employer know. Whatever method of transport you use; practise getting to the venue to see how long it will take and so you know where the building/employer is rather than getting lost on the day.


Be Focussed

Before beginning the process of applying to become an apprentice, take some time to consider where it is that you want to be. Your role will involve developing a wide range of skills and knowledge, however having a sense of direction will help both in the initial stages with your interview and when carrying out your training


Research the Company

Look at the organisations website and learn something about the company before you attend your interview. This is essential as a lot of companies will ask the question ‘What do you know about us?’ and saying ‘nothing’ will show a lack of interest/enthusiasm. When it comes to interview preparation, making sure you carry out a sufficient amount of research about your potential future employer is another must. This will allow you to answer any questions they may have at ease, and give you further confidence when sharing your knowledge on the company


Curriculum Vitae (CV) & Certificates

Make sure you know how you are going to explain any time gaps on your CV.

Take a spare CV and your certificates with you; your interviewer won’t be expecting it so you will impress them. It also helps them remember you after the interview.

During the Interview

  • Don’t talk too much or too little- Communication is a two-way thing so ensure you are answering questions fully whilst also making sure you allow your interviewer a chance to ask them.


  • Be enthusiastic, positive and confident Don’t criticise previous employers. Focus on positive achievements and views. Make sure you communicate positively, professionally and with a pleasant manner.


  • Talk about specific achievement- Interviewers like to know how you felt about a particular success. Some will ask for specific examples of things you’ve done that you’re particularly proud of; how you solved problems; how you learned – and improved – from difficult situations.


  • Be honest- There really is no point lying about your background and/or skills. Job interviews are about matching needs – if there isn’t a good match, then there is a good chance that the job won’t work out.


  • Ask questions – It is always great to ask questions throughout the interview, an employer will usually ask at the end of an interview if you have any questions you would like to ask. It is advisable NOT to ask about wage because an employer will assume you are only interested in the money not the actual job, if you ask a question like: What are the potential career opportunities? This will show you are interested in your progression in the company. You can write these questions down to make sure that you do not forget when it gets to this point. Taking a list of questions into the interview is absolutely fine.


And finally, don’t give up

The fact is that you will not be offered every job however perfect you think you may be for it. If you have been unsuccessful contact the employer to ask politely if they can give you any feedback for the future