18 Questions To Ask At Interview For Apprenticeships

Apprenticeship interviews can be difficult to prepare for, for both the interviewer and interviewee. When interviewing junior talent, you’re not expecting years of experience or multiple projects for the candidate to draw examples from. So how do you assess whether a candidate is a good fit for the role and your company? Here are 18 examples of interview questions to ask potential apprentices.

Assessing motivations

The first part of the interview should assess the candidate’s motivations for applying. They should have a genuine interest in your company and have done some research on your website, even if they don’t fully understand your offering. The candidate should have a basic understanding of what the role entails and be able to justify their choice of career path. Finally, try to gauge whether the candidate has made an active choice to do an apprenticeship or has been guided down that path by a parent or teacher – those who have made their own decision are more likely to be dedicated to completing their qualification.

  1. What do you understand about what we do here?
  2. Why do you want to work with us?
  3. Why do you want to become a software developer/digital marketer/data analyst?
  4. What led you to apply for an apprenticeship?
  5. What does your life to look like in 3-5 years?
  6. What’s important to you/what motivates you?
  7. What subjects did you study at school/college and why did you choose them?

Assessing competencies

Apprentice candidates may not have industry experience, but they may have completed work experience or have hobbies they can draw upon. We also recommend setting a work-based challenge before the interview to form the basis of this section. Try to get a feel for problem-solving skills, looking out for candidates who use their initiative (or Google) to find answers to challenges outside their comfort zone.

  1. What did you enjoy about the work-based challenge?
  2. What did you find most difficult about the work-based challenge?
  3. How did you solve the work-based challenge?
  4. What’s your greatest achievement?
  5. What key skills do you think are needed for this role?
  6. Do you have any hobbies that will help you with this role?
  7. Can you tell us about a time when you had to manage your time and what techniques you used?

Assessing culture fit

Lastly, you’ll want to understand how the candidate will work with the rest of your team. The measure of success here will vary depending on your company culture. If you have a culture of openly challenging one another, ensure the candidate will be comfortable doing so. If you have an office radio and the candidate’s pet peeve is loud music don’t let this stop you from making a hire, but think about how you can reduce friction – could you encourage team members to book meeting rooms for private working time or place the radio at one end of the office?

  1. Can you tell us about a time when you were in a stressful situation and how you managed it?
  2. Can you tell us about a time when you received negative feedback? What did you do?
  3. What would you do if you were asked a question by a colleague/client/manager and you didn’t know the answer?
  4. What’s one thing that would annoy you about a co-worker?

We hope you find these questions useful for your own apprenticeship interviews. Please tweet us @diginativeuk with any other questions you find work well when recruiting junior talent.