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?
"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.)
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