Interviewing for apprentices

Hiring young people within your business can be an exciting time. Through the right candidate you can find someone who can bring a new perspective and help drive innovation in your organisation.

However, interviewing processes can be very different when dealing with an apprenticeship opportunity. You could be dealing with young people who have no work experience at all, therefore it may be difficult to base questions around the candidate’s previous work experience, achievements and targets set in the workplace.

Below are some questions you may want to ask your potential apprentice to help you recruit the right person and ensure you gain an insight to their motivation, drive, future goals and most importantly what they can bring to you and your organisation.

Interview questions you may like to ask:

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?

  • This is a great way to find out key points. What is the candidate doing at the moment? What were they doing before this? What are they hoping to do? This gives them a good opportunity to explain in more detail what they may have on their CV/application form and for you to dig a little deeper into their personality.

What do you know about our organisation?

  • This is a question that a candidate should not find difficult to answer if they are genuinely interested in your company. It’s a good way for you, as an employer, to determine why you should invest in this candidate? Have they used their initiative in researching your organisation? How serious are they about a career with you?

What do you think you can bring to this role?

  • This allows the candidate to shine. It gives them an opportunity to discuss any courses they may have studied which relates to your vacancy and then to talk about what they have learnt. They can talk about any achievements they are proud of and what motivates them. It also gives them the opportunity to discuss any skills and qualities they may have that they can bring to your company.

 Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?

  • If you are looking at taking on an apprentice, to develop and grow within your organisation then you want to ask this question.
  • It gives you a good indication on whether or not the candidate in front of you is the one who is going to do all of the above, or if they are planning on completing their apprenticeship with you and leaving. Let them tell you how ambitious they are and how they want to progress within your business.

What are your greatest strengths?

  • This allows the candidate to really open up and talk about their strengths and also to relate them to the job description. Are they customer focused, good with numbers, a team player? Do their strengths fit in with what you are looking for?
  • You could also ask them to mention a weakness too. This allows them to tell you what they feel they are not particularly confident about, but also gives them the opportunity to explain how they will work to improve this.

Why have you chosen to apply for this role/apprenticeship?

  • Through asking this question you can determine how they are looking at developing themselves and their career. Do they really feel that this would be an exciting organisation to work in and develop, whilst expanding their knowledge in the particular field?

Points to look for when interviewing apprenticeship candidates:

  • What achievements are they proud of
  • Things that may not have gone well in the past
  • When the candidate has worked well as part of a team
  • Where they have taken responsibility for organising something
  • Where they have made mistakes and how they have rectified them

Our Job Shop team are here to provide you with support, guiding you through the recruitment and selection process.

If you would like more information please call us on 01293 453506 email jobshop@centralsussex.ac.uk.

Contact us on

0845 155 0043

(Calls charged at local rate)