Tips for Interviews
Job interviews can be a nerve racking experience for most people and this is even more so for young apprentices applying for their first job. Candidates can improve their chances of securing an apprenticeship if they prepare for the job interview and follow some basic steps.
Before going to an interview for an apprenticeship, do some research on the company. Use the internet and check out their website. Ask friends, relatives or your School careers advisor. It is not unusual to be asked the question, “What do you know about our company?”
- Dress appropriately
Smart casual clothing and clean shoes is quite acceptable when going to an interview at the VACC or an automotive workshop. Wearing shorts, thongs and a beanie is definitely not a good idea.
- Be on time
Arrive for the interview about 10 minutes before the scheduled time. If you are running late for any reason, call up and tell your interviewer and explain why. However, don’t arrive way too early as this is just as impolite as being late.
- Make a good first impression
When meeting the interviewer, greet them, offer a firm handshake and make direct eye contact.
- Turn off phone
Make sure your mobile phone is turned off. Show the interviewer your undivided attention.
- Dealing with nerves
Many candidates are nervous during an interview and this is a normal behaviour. VACC Auto Apprenticeships interviewers are experienced and understand this and engage in some “small talk” to help ease this nervousness.
- Take relevant material
Take a copy of your resume, any relevant certificates and references to the interview. If you have any photos of hobby projects that you may have undertaken, bring them along to show the related interest in the apprenticeship on offer.
Speak clearly and show enthusiasm about your skills and experiences. Don’t ramble on and go off tangent to the question you have been asked.
- Be honest
Don’t lie about past experiences, personal qualities or skills you have acquired. If your School grades are low offer some positive facts and lessons learnt from your experiences.
Prepare some questions to ask at the end of the interview, as most interviewers will offer this opportunity. Use it to find out more about the apprenticeship on offer and to show your interest in the company. Above all, the interview is your time to shine. Take a deep breath, and let the interviewer know why you would be an asset to their organisation.
Effective Resume Writing
A resume or curriculum vitae (CV) is a summary of your skills, work, experience, education and training which is often used as an initial screening tool. A resume is the generally accepted way of presenting your work history in an easy to read format. There is no right or wrong way to put together your resume. This guide may provide direction in ways to present your information in a format to increase your chances of finding a job. As employers may have many applications to read, your resume needs to be presented in such a way that they can find the information they need quickly and easily. They generally look for what sort of jobs and/or training you have done.
- The ideal resume should be no longer than four pages
- Proof read your resume several times
- Use an easy to read font for the main text e.g. 12 point Arial or Times New Roman
- Use bold capitals for section headings
- Don’t use fancy fonts, swirls or curls as they make a resume very difficult to read
- Use plain white paper
- One staple in the left hand corner enough to hold your resume together
- Ensure you have a contact number to enable easy communication from prospective employers
- Use your resume to highlight achievements, motives, hobbies and interests
Once you have your plan, it is important that you put yourself on paper. Your resume is your personal advertisement. When compiling your resume, consider the following:
- The purpose of a resume is to secure an interview
- Like a good advertisement, it should be visually attractive, brief and informative
- It should create interest in its product – YOU!
- Be concise and to the point
- Use standardised, good quality paper
- Never mention salary on your resume unless requested