3 Need-to-know Job Interview Tips

 

  • Preparation
    While there is no way of knowing what questions the interview will ask you it’s a good idea to have some answers to common interview questions prepared. Stumbling over a question such as ‘What are you biggest strengths?’ does not bode well for you, write down some answers and try to memorise them before your interview!

    Don’t forget to research the company too, a quick Google search will give you all the information you need about a company so you can go into the interview with an understanding of what it does, it’s values and its audience/clients.

 

  • Be confident
    We know it’s easier said than done but try to trick the interviewer into thinking you’re confident, simple things such as body language and eye contact will help you achieve this! Avoiding eye contact and fidgeting will give off a ‘nervous’ vibe while good posture and eye contact will help you exude confidence.

 

  • Dress the part
    You only have a short amount of time to impress your interviewer, which means appearance can play a huge part in how you are perceived. For some great interview style tips check out our tips on dressing for interviews.

 

Interviews can be very daunting but being prepared can make the whole process a lot easier, our online Interview Skills course will develop your communication and interview skills!

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10 Style tips to help you nail an Interview

Apprenticeships, internships, and jobs (part-time and full-time) all require interviews, in some form or another – giving the right impression is vital to securing your place on some sort of ‘shortlist’ in the employer or interviewer’s mind. Of course, appearance isn’t everything, but if you are one-in-100 being interviewed, you need to stand out for all the right reasons.

Below, I’ll talk you through some of the basics for dressing for an interview.

  1. It’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed.
  2. Linked to Rule 1, dress appropriately for the role. If you arrive at an interview for a Business Administration role dressed in khakis, steel toe-capped boots, and a shirt, you’re pretty much guaranteed to not get the job. However, if you arrive at a Construction or Building job interview wearing a suit and brogues, your chances of getting the job are not affected. Research (and common sense) is required.
  3. If in doubt, ask the employer! If you’re not sure what is expected of you, then an email to HR of the company asking about the correct interview attire for the role will not go against you, and may actually show the employer that you’re serious about giving them the right impression and that you’re eager to please.
  4. Don’t go overkill on accessories and distracting items of clothing – bright colours and lots of jewellery are generally a no-no. Jingling your way into the interview room isn’t professional, or necessary.
  5. Have a facial piercing or visible tattoo? Cover it up or take it out. While some companies are more forward-thinking than others, you can’t always be sure, and you don’t want that tattoo from ‘Maga 2k10’ ruining your chances at that dream job.
  6. Along the same lines as Number 5, if you have bright hair or a wacky hair-style – make it conservative for your interview. If you’re successful, then you may ask about what’s acceptable and what’s not.
  7. If you’re a man, you don’t necessarily have to be cleanly shaven, due to the acceptability of facial hair in the work place nowadays, but make sure your beard or moustache is well-groomed and neat.
  8. Make-up should be ‘natural’ and not showy. If you’re wearing too much make-up, chances are it’s going to have moved from how you originally applied it – smudged lipstick or eyeliner does not look good. Don’t take that risk!
  9. In terms of your clothing itself – wear ‘traditional’ suit colours; black, navy or grey – and make sure your jacket and trousers/skirt match. A well-fitted suit is best, too baggy or too tight can look unprofessional, and may make you feel uncomfortable. The situation is nerve-wracking enough, without worrying whether your trousers will split when you sit down. Your shirt should be buttoned to the top, with a tie and for women, never wear a low-cut top or a shirt with buttons that could pop open. A good suit is an investment, and having one ready for any short-notice interviews may be a good idea. Shoes should match your clothing, and should be formal. Don’t wear high-heeled shoes, falling over isn’t a good start, and again, you don’t want to be focusing on how to walk or on that foot-pain, more than on the interview itself.
  10. Keep cologne and perfume to a minimum, don’t wear overpowering scents – your interviewer could be allergic, or just might not like the smell, it could be very distracting.

Now your outfit has been sorted, you can focus on company research and perfecting that handshake – good luck!

If you need anymore help on preparing for Job Interviews, our online Interview Skills course is only £10.00.

Words by: Lauren Bycraft

Best Apprenticeship Vacancies this Month: January 2016

Vacancy Email

Operations Team Apprentice
Anglia (UK)
Spalding
Weekly Wage: £132.00
Closing Date: 10/02/16
Apply here

Anglia (UK) Limited are looking for operations team apprentices to join them in Pinchbeck, Spalding, to do general office tasks, administering credit checks and DVLA checks when required, completing of daily reports, etc.

Anglia (UK) Limited are specialists in commercial auditing, credit management and responsive repossession solutions for valuable and highly mobile assets.

 

 

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Apprentice Business Administrator
Jaava Ltd
Peterborough
Weekly Wage: £192.37
Closing Date: 10/02/16
Apply here

To assist the manager with general admin and accounts duties including but not limited to: Answering the phone in a polite and professional manner, taking customers’ orders over the phone, chasing customers for payment of invoices, typing up quotes, All general admin duties, filing, updating the database etc.

This is a very busy dairy, delivering milk and associated dairy products to shops, companies, fast food outlets in Lincolnshire, Bedfordshire and surrounding area.  The diary trades as Peterborough diaries and is based in Werrington, Peterborough.

 

 

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Apprentice Clerical Assistant
Willoughby School
Bourne
Weekly Wage: £122.10
Closing Date: 11/02/16
Apply here
To provide clerical support to Willoughby School. Main duties of the role are: to carry out data input – word processing/spreadsheets, to assist in creating materials to support teaching and learning – display work, to carry out filing and stock taking, to carry out photocopying, to assist the arrangement of routine in school activities such as; medical/dental examinations, school photographs, induction evenings etc.

Willoughby is an all age (2 – 19) Special School, for pupils with profound, severe and complex learning needs.

The Willoughby School Vision is to inspire every child to achieve excellence in their learning and personal development through creativity and innovation in a happy and safe environment.

 

 

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Apprentice Administrator/Receptionist
Mason Thomas Limited
Stamford
Weekly Wage: £132.00
Closing Date: 10/02/16
Apply here

Role includes answering telephones and dealing with calls appropriately, taking messages and passing on relevant information. Monitor and order office supplies. Set up meeting room. This role will lead to further Administration duties in due course.

Bluebird Care (Peterborough & Rutland) & (East Northants) is a care franchise. They provide domiciliary care to a wide range of customers within Stamford, Peterborough and Rutland.

Chloe’s Story | Social Media & Digital Marketing

Hello, it’s Chloe.

If you’ve ‘liked’ our Steadfast Training Ltd page on Facebook then you’ve probably seen the occasional ‘Chloe Update’ that is posted onto Facebook to keep everyone informed on what’s going on in the life of Chloe.

For those of you who don’t know, I’m a Social Media & Digital Marketing Apprentice at Steadfast Training Ltd. I’m writing this blog post share with you how I came to work for Steadfast and if I’d recommend an Apprenticeship – I’ll try not to tell you my life story but I do have a habit of digressing.

After finishing my GCSE’s I went on to New College Stamford to study A-Levels in Media, Film Studies and Photography with the dreams of becoming the new David Bailey, however during the time I spent there I started to recognise I was enjoying Media more, I found Media straightforward yet still enjoyable, it made me think but I found it easy to understand, everything just clicked – after completing a module on the effects of Social and Digital Media I became increasingly interested in how it was used for marketing and how you can influence people through the use of language, video and image via online platforms. In spite of appreciating Media more I still applied to study Fashion Photography at University however the closer it came to September the more I realised that it wasn’t want I aspired to do anymore, my ambition had changed, I wanted a career in Social Media.

So, that’s when I entered the working world and managed to secure myself a Level 3 Social Media and Digital Marketing Apprenticeship with Steadfast Training Ltd in December. I finished my Apprenticeship more than 6 months ago now and I’m still here at Steadfast Training Ltd. A lot of my friends have left Univeristy now and are finding it hard to find work whereas I have nearly two years of experience under my belt and a qualification in my desired industry, I can safely say I still don’t regret turning down University..

An Apprenticeship has helped me develop old skills and learn new ones in a working environment, I’ve learnt how to deal with real working life problems, not theoretical ones – what’s even better is I’ve been earning money instead of growing the dreaded debt that comes with a student loan and the overdraft that most students have learnt to love.

To me Apprenticeships allow you to not only learning how and why a subject like Social Media works but you are also given the chance to put it into practise and gaining experience as well as a qualification. So, to answer the question everybody asks ‘Would you recommend an apprenticeship?’ The answer is yes, I believe this is the right route for me and I’m glad I chose an Apprenticeship over Uni. It’s not only helping me develop my career, work ethics, qualifications and portfolio it’s also helping me develop myself as a person.

If you’re interested in an apprenticeship then check out the vacancies here or call us on 0845 223 2401

I’m looking forward to see what the future brings and of course I will keep you all up-to-date on what happens, so follow Steadfast’s blog to stay in touch!

Chloe

Chloe Robinson

Jade’s Story | Business Administration Apprentice

Hi, I’m Jade and I work for Steadfast Training Ltd. I’ve been asked to write a little about my time as an apprentice and what it has been like for me. I’ll try not to overload you with my story, but I hope that it gives you some more knowledge on the whole deal about apprenticeships.

After I finished my GCSE’s at the Sir John Gleed School, I decided to go on and study A-Levels. I’m one of those people who never really made a decision about where I wanted to go in life. I was trying to broaden my horizons by studying a wide range of subjects. Although I did okay in my exams, I found that I wasn’t enjoying sixth form as much as I enjoyed working. This pushed my decision to leave the sixth form at the start of my second year, and leap into the world of work.

I trundled along as a waitress for just over a year before I realised that I wasn’t going to gain anything but money from it and at the end of the day a career is what I really wanted. I began to search for a new job, and found myself accepting a Business Administration Apprenticeship with Steadfast Training in October 2014.

As I worked through my apprenticeship, I enjoyed learning new skills and refreshing old ones. I’ve learned a vast amount with the company, for example pure administration work to sales, which has given me the experience I need. I’m not just learning about business, I am also kick-starting my future career. Also, I’m being paid to earn a qualification – something so simple to others but is fairly important to me.

I do not regret going down the apprenticeship route, because it has given me the flexibility to earn and learn and if I do choose to go to Uni, it is still available for me to do through the apprentice scheme. I would recommend this route to anyone who is like me: not sure on what they want to do and preferring to work than sit in a classroom. Doing an apprenticeship isn’t a second class route, it’s as good as going to university – it’s just a different option.

What are Traineeships all about?

Traineeships are giving 16-24 year olds the opportunity to develop the skills they need to find, secure and succeed in employment.

A Traineeship is a programme aimed at helping young people to become ‘work-ready’, if you’re lacking experience this education and training programme will bring you up to speed with the world of work.

A Traineeship will help you gain the appropriate skills and experience you may be lacking as well as providing you with the essential work preparation training that’s needed to help you secure an apprenticeship or employment.

Who are traineeships for?

Traineeships are ideal for you if you want to find work but your lack of experience and skills are holding you back.

To be considered for a Traineeship you must be;

  • Unemployed or work less than 16 hours a week and have little work experience
  • Aged between 16-24 and qualified below level 3

For more information on Traineeships get in contact with us!

Find out more about Traineeships!

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

5 Worst Things about a Job Interview

  1. The nerves
    It’s normal to be nervous about a Job interview, just don’t let your nerves get the better of you – make sure you’re prepared and try to relax and it will be a-ok!
  1. The planning
    We all know the way to ace an interview is to plan, plan, plan but we also know that it’s hard work. Planning a normal outfit is hard enough let alone one for an interview! Check out our interview outfit guide and preparation tips!
  1. The group interview
    This one might not relate to you but group interviews, or panel interviews, are becoming very common! Just make sure you stand out and present yourself well from your appearance to your body language – make eye contact, don’t slouch and make sure you shake each interviewer’s hand! Don’t look bored or unengaged! Check out our guide to Interview Etiquette.
  1. Not hearing anything back
    You felt your interview went well but you still haven’t heard anything back? Read our blog post on what to do next!
  1. The questions
    Obviously, we don’t know what questions you’ll get asked but we can help you to prepare for the worst ones (What’s your biggest weakness?) Check out our Hardest Interview Questions post!

What to do after an Apprenticeship?

As you get closer towards the end of your Apprenticeship you need to start thinking about the next step! Some of you may have not been thinking much further than the apprenticeship itself so the whole thing can be quite daunting.

First things first, know your options! You need to know what is available in order to make an informed decision. Speak to your assessor, manager and even a Job Centre advisor!

Finding a job

If you started your apprenticeship straight from school then the thought of finding a job may be scary, make sure you do plenty of research and put the skills you’ve learnt into practise – if you need some extra help we’ve got some handy posts on CV tips and Interview tips!

Going permanent

You may be lucky enough to be offered a permanent position at the company! However if this hasn’t been mentioned try talking to your manager about current vacancies within the company and give clear, concrete examples of how you are an asset to the company.

Further Education

You may want to further your education, look at all your options whether it’s a higher level apprenticeship, university or a different route!

Finishing an apprenticeship is only the start of your career. Do your research, ask advice and make an informed decision!

Good luck!