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"I can count on one hand the number of people who wrote me a thank you letter after having an interview, and I gave almost all of them a job.”
- Kate Reardon

Best Interview Tips for #Learnerships and #Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships, Learnerships, and Internships are job specific qualifications preparing you for work in a range of or specific industries.

 Interview Tips for Job-based Qualifications and Internships 

How to Prepare and What to Say

You’ve made it through to the interview round! way to go!!! It means you’ve been shortlisted out of a couple of hundred, let that sink in and think about what it is that made you stand  out. Now build on it.

An interview is your opportunity to stand out from everyone else. Use every opportunity to gather information about the company and what type of people they are looking for.

Preparing is not a quick thing. It takes hours of research and finding people you can connect with to strengthen your place.

Be Social Media Sharp

If you want a creative career or one with a strong people focus – the ability to use online platforms to promote your work and help shape opinions in  a company’s favour can advantage you.

Social workers, religious groups and community groups all benefit from social media as they can share messages and build support for causes.

  • Set up a LinkedIn profile and transfer all your information from your CV on it. Update all information. Check your spelling and make sure your profile picture is smart and professional.
  • Set up a Twitter account, find and follow the company and as many people who work there. Like, comment and retweet their stuff. Always be positive and friendly.
  • Remove inappropriate pictures and statements from Facebook, instagram or anywhere else you shared stuff you may regret. No recruiter should know that you get drunk every weekend and have been photographed passed out on many toilet floors. Adult up now ok! 🙂

Check Out Your Competition

Arrive early. Early enough to observe your potential competition.

If you have to wait with other applicants, use the time to find out about your competition.

  1. Listen to how they communicate, are they shy, insecure, timid or bold, confident and determined?
  2. Look at their body language. Are they fidgeting, moving nervously, looking away from everyone and avoiding engaging?
  3. Pick out who you think you would want to employ if you were the interviewer.NOW BE BETTER THAN THEM!

If you don’t get to meet your competition – you need to charm the receptionist. Have a roll of sweets and offer one. Ask questions about the organisation, ask about the corporate culture and ask what’s the best and worst thing about the company. Br friendly, don’t push for information if they seem unwilling or bored by you.

It’s ok to be nervous. No interviewer expects everyone to feel confident and relaxed in an interview setting. Obviously though, it’s to your advantage if you are! Just a heads up – you could be interviewed by more than one person.

7 Steps: Present Confidence and Passion at the Interview

1. Shake the interviewer’s hand, if they are seated behind a table walk up to the table, greet, stretch out your hand to each person and then be seated.  If the table is too wide for you to do so, simply look at each person, acknowledging everyone.

2. The first thing you must do is thank them for calling you in for an interview. Make eye contact with each person there to show that you value each professional’s presence. I know…eye contact can be a tricky cultural issue sometimes, although most interviewers are sensitive to this, still try. It’s not considered disrespectful and can set you apart from others might struggle to fit into the organisation’s culture for a while.

3. Interviewers will want to ask you questions – so practice answers that explain specifically why you want this apprenticeship / learnership or internship program and what it will mean to you. The most impressive candidates are those who explain why the program is of major importance to them. You must know the name of the program and understand how it’s relevant to the company.  You can click here if you want to know more about what could be asked.

4. The interview panel’s looking for candidates who can communicate a commitment to the programme. Commitment can be witnessed through passion, and passion, in turn is about awareness.

Anyone can say “I really really want to do this.” That’s unconvincing and meaningless. Interviewers want to know why: who inspired you to pursue this career, what do you know about it, what is your vision for yourself?

For example,

“I want to be on this learnership because I’ve always imagined myself being a chef for an international hotel chain.
I know it’s not glamorous, that I’ll be sweaty and will do the worst tasks in the kitchen until I’ve proven myself!
I love cooking, seeing people appreciate my food and would like to work in an environment where I will be
pushed and one day even invent my own unique dishes. No one in my family has ever studied for a career and
they realise that this would be a real opportunity for me to be successful.”

5. Money’s important – trust me, even the panel interviewing you have financial issues! When interviewers sit back and ask you ‘is there anything you’d like to ask?’ – if your first question is related to how much you will earn while on the program – you are not going to score. You could be an applicant who’s only interested in earning – not learning.

While you have a reasonable request in wanting to know what grant or stipend you will receive, the interviewer wants to believe you are committed to exploring a viable career option for yourself.(Viable option: a career you really want for your future growth.) It’s best to call ahead, give a false name and ask about the stipend before the interview. Read our #Talkpay posts for more on this issue.

6. Career Commitment. Unfortunately, those dealing with learnership and apprenticeship interviews are familiar with candidates who ‘hop.’ These are those who have completed previous occupational training programs in different industries. We don’t like you! Too often it means you are not thinking strategically about which qualification is relevant to you gaining employment.

If however, you are managing to apply for programs that are connected – for example you have just completed a Level 3 program and have now applied for the same at Level 4  – that’s FANTASTIC – keep climbing!!!

If you are studying and taking advantageous of opportunities to keep climbing the ladder for your career purposes – then keep applying and keep pushing!:

7. Make an impression. What should you ask?

This is your chance to show real interest in a career. Ask the interviewers what they do in the industry, how they became involved etc.

Ask them if there’s any advice they could give you about how to be successful if you’re not accepted to the program.

That approach shows determination and genuine interest in the sector. It also shows that all you really want is an opportunity to follow your dreams.

Have You written Your Cover Letter Yet? 🙂

Check out our cover letter template article.

Watch our video belowLearnership Cover letter – what to write?‘  for more advice and ideas! <blessings!>

Answering Interview Questions About Past Behaviour

Attitude beats Experience in Interviews

Best wishes for your success, own your dreams!!!

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