How to Interview an Apprentice

May 23, in Employer Help

Interviewing the apprentice is an important step in the apprentice hire process. It’s your best chance to speak to the applicant and find out firsthand more about their personality, interests, skills and experience. Making sure that you read the applicant right can be the difference between hiring a fantastic applicant and one that doesn’t work too well for you.

This blog will give you a couple of tips on how to interview an applicant and some sample interview questions for employers to ensure you’re asking the right questions.

1. Read the Resume Beforehand

Some employers make the mistake of not reading the applicant’s resume beforehand. This poses major problems, the biggest being you won’t know a thing about the applicant. Perhaps you were only tasked to interview the applicant while someone else from human resources scanned the resumes and cover letters. Not reading the resume beforehand can actually hinder the interview process as you will be unprepared and unable to maximise your opportunity to gain real insights into the interviewee.

Before the scheduled interview, read the resumes thoroughly. Spot possible problem areas and good points about the applicant. Make a list of things on their resume that you would like to know more about and think about some specific questions you would like to ask the applicant, referencing their resume.

2. Be Approachable

This isn’t an interrogation. So remember to be approachable and cordial. While every employer will develop their own style when it comes to how to interview an applicant, you need to foster an open dialogue between yourself and the interviewee. The more difficult you are to talk to, the harder time the applicant will have in answering your questions. Do you really want to scare the applicants away or do you want them to work for you?

3. Remember Whom You Are Talking To

You’re going to be interviewing young apprentices, mostly between 17 and 21 years old. Remember you are talking to young adults and tailor your questions appropriately. Don’t give them questions they have no chance of answering.

Some Example Questions You Could Ask

Now that you have some tips on how to interview an apprentice, here are some good interview questions for employers that you could ask apprentices.

What do you know about our company?

This is one of the best interview questions for employers, as employers can find out how interested the applicant is about their company and how they have prepared for the interview. It’s a good sign when applicants know a bit about your company. It means they’re interested in working in your company specifically and not just getting a job. Being prepared shows they are serious about working for you and keen to join your team.

Why do you want to work for our company and what makes you a qualified candidate?

By putting the applicant on the spot, you will be able to see how they react when posed with a problem. The information that you get from watching them answer your questions is just as important as the answers themselves. This makes this question on of the important interview questions for employers.

What are your main strengths and weaknesses?

An oldie but a goodie; this is a great question to really challenge interviewees and learn more about their skills and competencies. The strengths part should be pretty standard and easy for the interviewee to answer, but many people find it quite difficult to state their weaknesses. Don’t accept answers like “My biggest weakness is that I am a perfectionist” – that’s not what you’re looking for. What you are looking for is for the applicant to state their weakness and explain how they are working on improving them. After all, no one is perfect and it’s good to find out up front what their weaknesses may be.

Interviewing the applicant correctly is a great way to make sure that you are hiring a valuable addition to your team. Pay close attention to your questions, their answers and their reactions. You can glean a lot of information regarding a person this way.