11th February 2022

NAW 2022 – Top Apprenticeship Tips

As National Apprenticeship Week draws to a close, Hayley Smith, Van Elle’s Head of HR, gives her top tips on applying for an apprenticeship, preparing for an interview, and succeeding as an apprentice.

Apprenticeships can be a great route into the industry; however, the process may be a new experience and recruitment stages can be daunting. 

To help you we’ve put together some of our top tips to make the process as easy as possible, putting you in a good position to secure a role.

We have split these tips into three sections – How to stand out during your application, preparing for the interview stage, and succeeding when you secure the role.

How to stand out during your application:

Do your research

Learn as much as you can about the company and the role. You’ll be able to find out about the company’s history, vision, values, and culture on the about us page of the website. Remember – You won’t be expected to know everything about the company but showing an interest and making an effort to understand the sectors and main services is important.

Read the job description

Read the job description and pick out different tasks and skills that you think are a good match. Re-read it and identify anything you don’t understand and do some research.

Look online for any apprentice case studies that the company has published in order to gain some insight into what the role is like.

Is the role right for you?

Identify the skills, interests, and experiences for the role and consider what you enjoy doing. Our apprenticeship vacancies attract a high number of applicants so it’s important to stand out and grab our attention.

Check, check, check!

Spelling, grammar, and formatting should be checked multiple times. You will miss things the first time around, so take the time to double-check your work. It’s always a good idea to ask family and friends to have a read through too!

Preparing for interview stage:

Practice by doing a mock interview

You may not have done many interviews (or this may even be your first). A great way to

prepare is to involve friends and family. Plan some answers to interview questions that focus on your skills and strengths. Think about why you want to work for the company, what you can bring, your goals, and ambitions for the future.

Take your turn as the interviewer

It is also about the role being right for you as well as you being right for the role!

Many employers will ask the applicant if they have any questions at the end of an interview. Prepare a list of questions you want to ask, this demonstrates enthusiasm and interest!

Get to the interview early

Check where and when the interview is, plan your travel in advance so that you arrive in plenty of time to get prepared and allow for traffic problems.

Make a great first impression to stand out

Dress appropriately and greet the interviewer confidently. Turn off any electrical devices such as mobile phones. You want us to know you care. Be confident in yourself and ask questions if you don’t understand. Remember nerves are normal!

Online Interviews

Sometimes job interviews may be conducted virtually, for this all the standard rules still apply. Ensure you find a quiet space to conduct the interview and test any technology you plan on using, for example, if you are using a microphone or headset. Think about how your body language might appear on-camera, sit upright, maintain eye contact, and remember to appear professional and confident throughout.

Succeeding in your apprenticeship:

Understand expectations

Make sure you understand the company’s culture and are familiar with the values so that you can demonstrate them effectively. Always represent the company in a responsible manner, displaying a positive and respectful attitude.

Have a positive attitude

A positive approach to every task will always get you noticed. Try and be enthusiastic, show interest in the tasks you are set, and be willing to learn. Take on challenges and extra responsibility where you can.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions

Don’t be afraid to ask for help and always remember that no question is a stupid one – it shows you’re keen. Your work colleagues will be more than willing to show you the way, giving you advice and guidance. Our most successful apprentices are those who have taken all the knowledge they have gained and put it to practical use. If you’re willing to learn and develop your skills, then you’re sure to have a very successful career.

Always remember that learning is a journey- The more that you know, the more place you’ll go!

Visit our careers page for more information on Van Elle apprenticeship opportunities.