So you have managed to get a load of applications for your apprenticeship program. But you can’t decide which one to choose among this bunch of rockstar-potential candidates.
Starting an apprenticeship program in your organization is great! But what happens next?
Guess what, the interviews are approaching closer, day by day but you still haven’t finalized how you will select that one candidate.
To hire apprentices who are excellent and different from the rest of the lot, you need to first be familiar with the best interview practices. Now, this might sound like a daunting task, but you need not worry.
We have got you covered with our list of 10 interview questions that you should ask while hiring an apprentice.
But first, let us understand what separates a normal interview from an apprentice interview.
Apprentice interviews vs normal interviews: The difference
Before we get further into this discussion, let us know for a fact that apprentices are different from your usual internship candidates. They come from a different pool as compared to the usual candidates.
Most of them might be inexperienced, young and unprepared. But the most important thing about a majority of them is that they are eager and willing to learn and experiment with new things.
Your main aim in these interviews should not be to analyze their expertise and experience level but gauge whether they have the motivation, dedication and ambition which your company requires.
That is the reason why while taking an apprentice interview, you should take a different approach and analyze their answers from a different perspective as compared to a normal job interview.
But the bottom line remains: you should know what you are looking for while hiring an apprentice.
Let us now know some of the best questions and answers for apprentice hiring.
Common questions to ask while hiring an apprentice
It is not only the interviewee who needs to prepare before going to the interview. You also should have a standard list of interview questions that you will be asking.
To ease out your task, we have divided this list of interview questions into 3 categories. Each category will allow you to test the candidate from a different perspective.
Basic Questions to gauge the communication skills
This set of apprentice interview questions will allow you to gauge how well the candidate is able to communicate and express what is in his/her mind. The last thing you want is – a communication gap starting to develop in your organization.
Apart from this, it will also help you to know about the background of the candidates and what is the reason for their application for this specific role.
Question 1: Tell us something about yourself
Asking this question in the starting only lets you analyze the communication skills of the candidate. This can also help you to uncover other things about the apprentice which are not mentioned in the resume.
Question 2: Why did you apply for this apprenticeship?
So, the simple reason for asking this question is to know if the candidate is really interested in this program or not. Does the apprentice even know what this job role involves?
If the candidate is clueless or does not have any concrete answer to this question, then it is a clue that he/she is not the right candidate.
You can investigate this further by asking the next set of questions.
Now, the best way to know about the experience of a candidate is by asking them these sets of competency based questions.
You will be able to dive deep into the candidate’s mindset and analyze if he is fit for this apprentice or not.
Question 3: What are your expectations from this apprenticeship?
Now, most of the applicants will be answering – “To gain experience”. Yes that is absolutely correct no one works without a motive and most of these applicants have the main motive of gaining experience.
The only thing which you should look for is the eagerness and excitement of the candidate to learn new things.
Question 4: Are you good at following instructions from your seniors?
Know it for a fact that no organization works without a hierarchy and in a hierarchy system you are meant to follow the instructions of the seniors. Through this question, you will see if the applicant is really willing to cooperate.
You also go ahead and ask the applicant to share his past experiences where he followed instructions and reaped great rewards.
Question 5: Apprenticeships can get your hands full with a job and study together. How do you plan on managing your time?
When it comes to apprentices, they have to manage study and work at the same time. So, by asking this question you will be able to test the time management skill of the candidate.
Don’t forget to ask them about some experiences in the past where they managed their time effectively.
Technical based questions
If the job role requires some kind of technical knowledge, then these questions are the best to go with. You need to determine how much the apprentice already knows.
Remember to not expect a lot and reassure them it is alright to know the basics as they are here to learn and gain experience.
Question 6: Have you used or heard about (software/equipment) before?
Through this question, you will get to know if the candidate knows some bit of training on working with a particular software/equipment or not. Also, you will know whether they are really interested in working in this industry or not.
Question 7: Do you have any prior experience of working in this industry?
If the apprentice has experience of working in your industry then it will be a big advantage for you as well as the candidate. But do note that you still have to invest time and resources in teaching and training them before they hit the ground running.
Personality based questions
So you have almost decided that this candidate is the one you want to work with. You now want to know a bit more about him/her and want to know about their interests and hobbies.
Ask these personality-based questions in order to make sure that the candidate fits in the culture of your organization.
Question 8: What do you do in your free time? Or What are your interests and hobbies?
To check if the candidate is the right cultural fit for your organization or not, employers generally ask this question. At the same time, you will get an opportunity to know about the candidate on a more personal level.
Question 9: What was your favorite subject at school/university and why?
This might seem a bit of an odd question to ask, but there is a big reason behind this. As an interviewee, you want to know what are the things that excite the candidate and what is their interest. If the job role is about the technical stuff that requires a science background, it would be better to have some basic knowledge.
Question 10: Do you have any questions for us?
Asking this question at the end will allow you to analyze if the candidate has really done his/her homework or not? At the same time, it will also allow you to sit back and see how other people see your company or brand.
The benefits of hiring an apprentice for an organization
There are a lot of benefits of having an apprentice work for your organization. Here we have highlighted some of them:
- Employing apprentices can help in developing an atmosphere of youthful talent in your organization.
- It is a cost-effective way of increasing the workforce.
- Your organization can tackle skill-shortage cost-effectively.
- Apprentices provide you with skilled youthful talent which will allow you to keep up with the technology trends and take your organization forward.
So these were some of the apprentice interview questions which you should ask in order to hire the best talent which can benefit your organization. Also read Pre-apprenticeships: Preparing Youth for Vocational Training for a better understanding of the requirement in skills training.