There are many blog posts and articles about how to prepare yourself for an interview, but what can you, as a parent or guardian, do to help your child secure their dream apprenticeship and first step on the career ladder?!

Here are some quick tips, from our Talent Managers Anna and Victoria, on how to provide useful support before an interview.

1. Basics first — Make sure they have a route planned for their interview and are going to arrive at least half an hour early. Turning up late for an interview is not a great start so make sure that is avoided at all costs!

2. Encourage them to think about their motivations for applying to THIS apprenticeship. An employer wants to hear why a candidate is looking to do this particular role, not the role of their manager, so make sure they know the job description inside out.

3. Make sure they understand what the company they are interviewing for does. Websites aren’t always easy to understand if you haven’t yet entered the world of work, so check out the site yourself and help them understand what it is the company does, makes or sells. The ‘About Us’ section on the company’s website is always a really helpful start.

4. Give them some ideas about their strengths. You know them better than most, including their proudest achievements and their positive traits, so remind them of some examples. Maybe that they’re eager to learn: “Remember that time you wouldn’t leave your uncle Tim alone, asking him about every part of a PC”; or that they are incredibly organised: “Your colour-coded exam timetable worked wonders to get B’s in GCSE Maths and English, and when you showed me how to set reminders in my calendar you made my life so much easier”.

5. Encourage them to think about their weaknesses too and supply them with a few techniques on how to improve on them. Employers really want to hear a genuine weakness or flaw, nobody is perfect that’s for sure! So by helping the candidate think about those areas for development, you’ll be helping them seem like a mature and well-rounded person.

6. Practice makes perfect! Offer to do some practice questions with your child the night before the interview. You can use the job description they’ve been sent in their interview confirmation to help you think of some questions. This can be really helpful to calm nerves before an interview, plus it helps them build confidence in their answers. You can start with leading questions like, “Tell me about a time when… you used problem solving skills / you dealt with a difficult customer / you demonstrated excellent prioritisation…”

7. Finally… Fill them with confidence! A well timed text before an interview reminding them what they are good at or making them chant, “I have got this” can go a long way. Much of the feedback we get from employers is that candidates lacked confidence. Help us top it up! If a candidate walks into the interview like they already have the job, they are more likely to feel relaxed and conversation should flow.