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Insight into interviewing a potential apprentice

Investing in your business’s future through apprenticeships and traineeships is a great option for organisations operating in industries prone to skill shortages. To find the best candidate for the role, many businesses will conduct interviews to delve deeper into an apprentice’s future career goals or desired skill sets.

However, the interview stage isn’t just a platform for the candidate to perform, interviewers themselves need to be up for the challenge. The importance of this was recently highlighted in a statement from recruitment firm Hays.

Managing Director of Hays in Australia and New Zealand Nick Deligiannis explained that both candidates and interviewers need to be prepared to ask and answer the tough questions.

“Ineptly handled interviews send a damaging message about what it’s like to work at your organisation, deterring talent from applying for jobs in future. On the other hand, a competent and objective recruitment process can be so powerful that even unsuccessful candidates recommend the organisation to others, boosting your brand’s reputation,” he said.

Improving interview technique

Find the best apprentice for the role could be tricky which means interviewers need to ensure they give themselves the best chance of success. This can be through using a platform such as Apprenticeship Central where businesses can streamline their apprentice recruitment processes.

Additionally, if your team is interested in improving interviewing techniques, Hays had a number of recommendations. These included:

Avoid a set question list

While it is vital to ask the tough questions, this shouldn’t be the only things that an apprentice should expect. Based on their responses, investigate different avenues about their personal ambitions and what they would like to get out of an apprenticeship.

Form a connection

For many potential apprentices, their first major job interview can be extremely nerve wracking. It is important to break down barriers and allow the candidate to express themselves and feel comfortable answering your questions.

This might include talking about daily events or current affairs before getting to the crux of the interview.

What method of candidate selection is most popular?

According to the UK’s Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development/Hays Resourcing and Talent Planning 2015 Survey, conducting an interview is by far the most common way to select candidates. A total of 83 per cent of business leaders used this approach, ahead of competency-based interviews (77 per cent), specific skill tests (52 per cent) and general ability tests (47 per cent).

Of course, as time pressures on hiring managers increase, apprentice interviews will need to be as productive as possible.

For more information on hiring an apprentice, contact our team today.

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