5 Reasons your Job Interview was Unsuccessful

  1. You weren’t on time

This is more common than you think! Showing not only makes you look unprepared it also makes you look uninterested. Show up on time, or better yet, early.

2.  You didn’t dress to impress

Remember to dress for success! The recruiter will judge you on your outfit before you’ve even opened your mouth, make sure you look the part – we’ve got a great blog post about it!

3.  Your body language let you down

Your handshake was weak, you fidgeted way too much, and you made virtually no eye contact. Each of these things can harm your chances. Sit up straight, look interested be aware of your body language! Give our post on Interview Etiquette a read for some useful tips.

4.  You didn’t ask any questions

Asking no questions at the end of an interview shows a lack of enthusiasm for the position on offer – if you do ask questions, ask about important aspects of the job role rather than holidays, salary or employee perks. We’ve got some great questions you can ask here.

5.  You never followed up

It’s important to follow up your interview with a thank you note, this will make a great impression & reiterate your interest in the position. We have loads more useful tips on what to do after an interview here.


7 Brilliant Questions to ask in an Interview

Asking questions at the end of an interview is a must, it shows enthusiasm and reiterates your interest in the role but since we shouldn’t ask about salary, holiday or employee benefits what on earth are we meant to ask?!

  • Do you have any doubts whether I’m suited to this position?

This is a brave question to ask but it shows that you’re confident in your skills and abilities, it gives you the ability to emphasise your strengths and one last chance to ‘fight you corner’. This question will show that you’re open to constructive criticism and will give you the chance to address and concerns the employer may have.

  • How is performance measured and reviewed?

This question will show that you appreciate the importance of delivering results.

  • What are the most enjoyable and least enjoyable aspects of the role?

This could show that you like to be prepared for what challenges you’d face but it will also allow you to get an insight on the least enjoyable aspects of the role too!

  • What types of training opportunities do you offer?

A common yet effective question; asking about training opportunities shows you’re keen to develop your skills and add value to the organisation.

  • Where have successful employees previously in this position progressed to?

Another common yet effective question which emphasises determination to be successful and progress

  • What’s your favourite thing about working here?

Asking questions about your interviewer shows you’re interested in them and builds a great rapport – as well as getting an insider’s view!

  • What are the current goals the company is focussed on?

Don’t just show interest for the interviewer, show it for the company too – this will show loyalty and enthusiasm as well as proving your interest for the position.

Bonus question: How has the company changed since you joined?

This question allows you to show an interest in the interviewer and the company, as well as gaining an insight into how the company is developing!

Day in the life….Social Media & Digital Marketing Apprentice

A day in the life of a Social Media and Digital Marketing Apprentice at Steadfast Training Ltd is always varied but never boring, every day in thick with communication, creativity and strategy.

Digital marketing is fairly new which means not a lot of people understand what you do and no matter how much you explain everyone still assumes you just play around on the computer all day.

Before I even get to work I check the headlines and trending topics on Twitter to monitor what happened the night before.

9:00am: As soon as I get into work I catch up on emails and complete the small tasks I have to do, I then reply to any social media messages we may have received since I last checked.

9:15am: I then schedule all Social Media posts to go out throughout the day, to do this I use tools such as Hootsuite and Tweetdeck. Throughout the day I will be communicating and building relationships with existing and potential customers via Social Media sites such as Twitter.

10:00: This time is used to create content  (anything from graphics, to blog posts, to content schedules) This task is often the most time consuming as it requires time to brainstorm, research & create quality content

13:00 Lunch – During this time I usually browse Mashable, Social Media Today and Adweek to keep up to date with digital news

13:30: I usually use this time to search our keywords and mentions to monitor what is being said about the brand and gives me the chance to get an insight into what is happening within the industry

14:00: After this, I analyse the social media data to measure the effectiveness of our Social Media efforts, including any PPC advertising, I do this daily however I create a detailed report from all the data once a month. I do the same for Google Analytics to measure website traffic and other useful metrics. I also use the afternoon to grow our communities, use Feedly to catch up on industry news and monitor trends and schedule Social Media posts to go out through the evening.

17:00: This is hometime! While I’m at home I use Hootsuite to monitor all Social Media accounts and reply to any urgent Social Media messages.

Case Study | Demi

Demi started an IT apprenticeship with Drive by Websites in 2013 and shortly become South Holland Apprentice of the year.

Christine of Drive By Designs says “it’s quite refreshing to have young people in the office and to hear young people’s ideas. From day one Demi was making money for the company because of the design work”.

Drive By Websites director Christine says “If companies are thinking of having an apprentice I would say it is a very good idea. It has worked very well for us”

Drive By Websites appeared in  ‘Spalding Guardian’ with a full page story about their apprentices from Steadfast Training Ltd, which was very well received.

South Holland Apprentice of the Year 2013 Demi Blackbourn. Photo: SG100214-121NG

South Holland Apprentice of the Year 2013 Demi Blackbourn. Photo credit to Spalding Guardian

Apprenticeships : Myth busting | Edition #3

Its really bad pay

By law Apprentices cannot be paid under £2.73 an hour and this will often increase when their productivity and experience develops. According to government assessments of the future earnings potential of apprenticeships those who complete a Level 2 apprenticeship will earn between £48,000 and £74,000 more during their lifetime than people who don’t have similar qualifications.

And that those who have completed a Level 3 scheme (equivalent of A-levels) will earn between £77,000 and £117,000 more.

Don’t forget you won’t have a pesky student loan to pay back either!

Apprenticeships : Myth busting | Edition #2

You’re turning your back on University

This isn’t true at all, you can still go to University to study for a higher qualification after completing an apprenticeship (it will even help your chances of being accepted), however Apprenticeships are a great way to further your career without university, there are routes to getting a degree through apprenticeships…which means no student loans and more experience!

Apprenticeships: Better alternative to Uni?

University is great, it opens up a world of opportunities and allows you to study a subject you’re passionate about but so do Apprenticeships and they also allow you to jump straight into the world of work.

Although the times are changing some people still have some misconceptions on choosing Apprenticeships over University, so let’s clear them up;

  1. You’re turning your back on University
    This isn’t true at all, you can go to University to study for a higher qualification and some Apprenticeships can be developed into University level qualifications.
  2. Apprenticeships are for those who ‘can’t get the grades’ for Uni
    There are very challenging apprenticeship schemes out there with strong competition and tough applications, remember Uni isn’t for everyone! Our Digital Marketing Apprentice received unconditional offers from her top choices but felt an Apprenticeship environment would be better for her career. Just remember is you do achieve ‘top grades’ don’t feel pressured into going to university – many top companies are eager to recruit bright school leavers!

Career Aspirations
Let’s be logical, your choice is dependent on your career aspirations for example if you aspire to be a doctor your best route is probably University. However many other jobs offer the same chances as graduates by achieving an advanced or higher apprenticeship and you’ll have added experience too!

We all know university comes with a high cost, the tuition fees are hefty and additional living costs are added on! Obviously there is plenty of financial support in the forms of loans, grants & bursaries but earning your own wage whilst receiving training and a qualification is obviously advantage?

No Hurry
If you’re currently doing A-Levels, or finishing school there is nothing stopping you from applying to Uni/college and for an Apprenticeships simultaneously – don’t narrow down your options straight away – during the application process you will gain an insight into both routes which may help you decide.

How do I get into the Care industry?

If you enjoy helping people and want to make a difference in their lives then maybe the care industry is for you. In the event that you lack experience and training within the Health and Social Care industry then the road to getting a job may be difficult but that’s where we come in!

Steadfast Training Ltd offer two options into care, the first being an Apprenticeship. A Health and Social Apprenticeship is for anyone aged 16 or over looking to work in the care industry or eager to develop their skills and gain a nationally recognised qualification. An apprenticeship gives you the opportunity to earn a wage and build experience! Find out more about our Health and Social Apprenticeships and take a look at our Health and Social Vacancies!

The other option would be to attend our ‘Level 1 certificate in Preparing to work within the Adult Social Care Sector’ a short course designed for people who want to work within the Adult Social Care Sector with little or no knowledge about the industry. The course will cover information, types of care and the skills and attitudes required to work within the industry. This award is a strong stepping stone towards the qualifications required within this sector & will allow you to move into an entry level job in the Adult Social Care world. For more information give us a call on: 0845 223 2401 or speak to your Jobcentre Advisor.

Apprenticeships : Myth busting | Edition #1

Apprenticeships are only for those who can’t get into University

Let’s make this clear; Apprenticeships are purely an alternative to University not a second-rate option! There’s very challenging apprenticeship schemes out there with strong competition and tough applications.

Just remember Uni isn’t for everyone! Some people may find that an Apprenticeship environment will be better for their career. If you do achieve ‘top grades’ don’t feel pressured into going to university – many top companies are eager to recruit bright school leavers!

Next: An Apprenticeship means no degree

How to use the Vacancy Matching Service

Finding an Apprenticeship might seem extremely daunting but it really isn’t. Head to the Apprenticeships’ website (www.apprenticeships.org.uk) – register your details, and search for the vacancy that suits you; it’s that simple!

If you apply for a vacancy and you are successful/ unsuccessful in your application, then you will be alerted of this on your ‘Home Page’; where you can also manage your pending applications.

If your application is unsuccessful, then the manager of the organisation that you applied to may contact you via phone or email to give you feedback on why you didn’t get the vacancy. This gives you the opportunity to improve your details in order to give you a better chance of beating other applicants in the future.

However, if successful in your application, your employer or training provider will contact you and arrange a meeting with you. This may be an interview, assessment or formal meeting, depending on what the vacancy is far; but there is no need to be intimidated by it.

They will not be trying to catch you out, but they will want to get to know you in depth as they will be paying your salary.

So visit the Apprenticeships Website and embark on your career as an apprentice.


Vacancy Matching

There is a single, central website that you can use to search all of the Apprenticeship vacancies that are available at any time. Their service can be used freely by anyone who is searching for an Apprenticeship.

Remember you can always call us directly and we will help you to find the right vacancy for you. To use the National Apprenticeship matching service, you can follow the simple steps below:

Step 1 – Register your details

Go to: http://apprenticeshipvacancymatchingservice.lsc.gov.uk and register your details by clicking on ‘Register Now’ under the ‘New User?’ tab.

Create your username and password. Remember to keep all information safe, you’ll receive a confirmation email. Click on the link in the email to activate your account. You’ll be taken to the ‘My Home’ page.

Step 2 – Create your ‘My Home’ page

Your ‘My Home’ page is your secure space. You can use it to:

  • Search for Apprenticeship vacancies and save your search results
  • Log your areas of interest
  • Manage your applications

Step 3 – Search for your match

Search for apprenticeships that match your interests by:

  • Occupation/Job Role
  • Employer
  • Keyword
  • Learning Provider
  • Location/Postcode

Step 4 – Browse your results

You can click on any of the listed vacancies for more information. Each one gives detailed information about the job, including the employer, training, pay and the qualifications you will be working towards.

You can save your search results so they are easy to access at any time, or start a new search.

Step 5 – Managing your future

Once you’ve found the job you want, applying is easy!

The application form is simple, secure and reusable, so you can respond to as many vacancies as you like and save your application forms. (You must make sure that your personal information is correct; such as phone numbers and email addresses)

You can view that status of your applications and manage them online.