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How to answer 3 tricky interview questions

Finding out that you’ve made it to the interview stage for an apprenticeship or traineeship position is likely to stir up a mixture of emotions. The chances are you’ll be excited about the opportunity but nervous for the interview.

Nearly everyone worries their mind will go blank after the interviewer asks them a tough question, so it’s important to do as much preparation as possible.

Apprenticeship Central offers a range of tools and resources for people seeking apprenticeships and traineeships in Australia. Not only are tips and FAQs available, you can receive practical help with your CV using Resume Templates.

If you’re expecting a tricky interview, here are some possible answers to three of the most commonly dreaded questions.

1. What are your biggest weaknesses?

Nobody likes talking about their shortcomings, which is why many people try to avoid this question by taking strengths and dressing them up as a weakness (“I’m a workaholic” or “I’m a perfectionist”).

Avoid these kinds of examples; your interviewer probably won’t believe you, even if you’re telling the truth. You should also keep away from any characteristics that could prevent you from getting the job! Instead, highlight a weakness that you’ve made an effort to improve upon.

Example: “I’ve previously become flustered when speaking in front of a large group, but I’ve since worked on this by volunteering for more presentations and practising thoroughly beforehand.”

2. Why do you want this apprenticeship/traineeship?

Questions like this appear simple on the surface, but you’d be surprised how easy it is to be taken by surprise and provide a lacklustre answer.

Your interviewer will not only be gauging your interest in the role, they’ll also be seeing how much you know about the company. This is a great chance to show off any research you’ve done into the business, as well as outline the qualities that you can bring to the role.

Example: “Your organisation has a history of building careers from the ground up. Considering my passion for the industry and the skills I possess, I believe the position is an ideal fit.”

3. Where do you expect to be in 3-5 years?

As you’re applying for an apprenticeship or traineeship, this is probably a thinly veiled attempt to see whether or not you intend to stay with the organisation after you’ve completed your qualification.

You’ll want to reassure your employer you’re not going to simply jump ship to a rival business after they’ve invested time and money helping you to learn new skills. However, you should be honest about your intentions.

Example: “Once I’ve received my qualification, I’m hoping there will be opportunities to progress within this company. I’d certainly be keen to take on roles with more responsibility, as well as potential leadership positions in the future.”

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