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Tips For Employers When Interviewing Apprentices

Sept. 13, 2021, 3:54 p.m.
What most employers don’t realise, is that hiring an Apprentice can have a few differences compared to the recruitment process of a higher level employee. In our latest blog post, our team has highlighted a few things to keep in mind when interviewing an Apprentice...

1. Show patience and understanding

A candidate applying for an Apprenticeship role, is often lacking in specific or general work experience due to their age or individual circumstances. With majority of apprentices being under 24, and an increasing amount of apprentices being previously unemployed, it’s important to keep in mind that candidates may lack confidence during the interview stage. This means as an employer, you should consider being patient and understanding of their initial nerves or mistakes, due to their lack of previous interview experience.

To ease the nerves, we recommend reassuring the candidate during what can be a stressful process. Rephrasing your questions to include ‘We don’t expect you to know this…’ or ‘No pressure to answer this correctly...’ can make the candidate feel more comfortable and less under pressure to feel like they must impress you with their knowledge or previous experience.


2. Value potential over experience or knowledge

This leads nicely onto our next point of prioritising the value of their potential, over their previous employment history or knowledge. When recruiting for a higher level role, yourself as an employer is obviously going to take into consideration the experience and knowledge that the candidate can bring to your company, however, apprentices should be judged based on a ‘potential’ perspective. This means you should approach the interview assessment with the mindset of ‘With the right training and development, what value could this person bring to the team in the future.’


3. Think about the investment for your business

Alongside value also comes investment. If you’re judging candidates less on their current assets, and more on their future values, you should also consider whether they would make the investment worth it. This doesn’t just include monetary investments, but also time and energy investments from yourself and others at the company.

To judge this correctly, you should consider how the client has adapted well to being provided training and development opportunities in the past. Ask them if they’ve ever been offered an opportunity during education, and if they made full use of it to better themselves. Keep in mind that Apprentices should have a desire to learn, stay motivated and be adaptable.


4. Consider their long term development

Apprenticeships aren’t a short term process, and the majority of apprenticeships are for longer than a year. This is why it is important to consider the commitment and longevity of an apprentice during the interview process. To do this, ask them questions that provoke their thoughts on the future, for example: ‘What would you like to have achieved in the next 3 years?


5. Be positive and support them

Aside from you figuring out whether the candidate is the right fit for your role, they are most likely also making a judgement on whether you and your company are right for where they’re starting their career journey.

As an employer, it’s your duty to show the candidate the opportunities within training and development that you could offer the successful candidate. A lot of apprentices want to work for companies who are supportive, optimistic and value their efforts.


If you need support with interviewing an apprenticeship candidate, or if you’re looking to start the apprenticeship hiring process, contact our Recruitment Team:
E-Mail: recruitment@gordonfrankstraining or Call 0121 333 3001