JTL Blog

7. Preparing for the interview

A good interview means you’re smart, confident and honest, and the interviewer think you could become an important part of their company.

The key to success is to plan ahead.

First, check you know exactly where you’re going and when you need to be there. Find out how you’re going to travel and how long it will take. (Prepare for traffic jams and train delays.)

Read up on apprenticeships again so you know how it will feel to work in the building services engineering sector. There’s plenty on the JTL website.

Go online and find out everything you can about the company – who their customers are, how many people work there, and the jobs they do. They’ll like to see that you’ve done your homework.

Prepare some answers for common questions, and get ready to ask some of your own. Even do some mock interviews with someone to hone your presentation skills.

Here are 10 things the company might ask you:

  • Why do you want to be an electrician, plumber, maintenance engineer or heating and ventilating engineer?
  • Why do you want to work for us?
  • Why should we employ you – what can you offer us?
  • What do you know about us and the JTL apprenticeship?
  • Describe yourself.
  • Do you like working in a team or alone?
  • Can you motivate yourself and act on your own initiative?
  • What do you want to achieve in your career?
  • What are your hobbies and other interests?

Here are 12 things you could ask them:

  • What size is your company and how many people work here?
  • What would I be doing?
  • Where would I fit into your company structure?
  • Who would I report to?
  • What would you expect me to do in the first six months?
  • How much would you pay me?
  • How would college work and would you pay me when I go there?
  • What level of performance would you expect from me?
  • How would you work with JTL to help me get my apprenticeship?
  • What are your company’s plans for the future?
  • How much travelling would I need to do?
  • What would my hours be?

Take everything you need:

  • Company name, address and contact details
  • A map
  • CV, certificates, references and your Record of Achievement
  • Notepad and pen (in case they give you a quick test)
  • Your JTL letter that shows you’ve passed your assessment
  • Any questions you want to ask

Make a good first impression

The first 5 minutes are very important.

  • Dress smartly
  • Get there early
  • Take out any piercings that seem inappropriate in an office
  • Don’t smoke before you get there
  • Turn your mobile off or put it on silent
  • Be polite
  • Speak clearly and make eye contact

Keep calm

Take the right attitude into your interview, relax and try to enjoy yourself. Nerves are natural. Just remember you’ve already impressed the company with your CV and assessments.

You’re there because they see value in you – so make sure you look like you want to be there.

  • Sit upright
  • Keep eye contact (but don’t stare)
  • Be truthful
  • Be yourself

The interviewer wants to get to know you and find out what you can do for their company. They’ll know you don’t have a lifetime of experience. Focus on the positives – like how much you like the industry and how keen you are to learn.

At the end of the interview, resist the urge to ask if you got the job. Instead, say thank you and remind them how keen you are to work for the company.

If you get the job, the employer will tell us and we’ll pass the news on to you. If they contact you directly, tell us as soon as you can.

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