17 January 2022
7 tips to ace your apprenticeship video interviews
Video interviews are handy. Not only can you do one from the comfort of your own home. But you also save the money you would’ve spent on travel and a sausage roll.
Apprenticeship employers have been seriously useful, especially during the pandemic, allowing them to continue hiring in spite of restrictions – or if they’re interviewing for remote roles.
However, they aren’t new. Video interviews have been around longer than you might think…
Read on for seven tips and tricks to help you prepare for your apprenticeship video interview that’ll have you feeling, and looking, super professional.
How do apprenticeship video interviews work?
There are two types of video interviews, live and pre-recorded.
You and your interviewer will see each other in real time via a video platform like Zoom, Skype or Google Meet or Microsoft Teams. The rules of an IRL interview still apply. The only difference is the location.
Instead of having a two-way conversation, you’ll answer a set of pre-recorded questions. This might happen during the initial application process.
There’s usually a time limit, but most platforms allow you to have 2-3 practice goes and a couple of days before submitting your final answer.
FYI, pre-recorded interviews aren’t always a substitute for doing a live interview. And some employers will ask you to do both.
Looking to find out ways to impress employers with the best CV in the world? Or maybe you need to find some apprenticeship interview practice questions? No problem, we’ve got you. Click below.
Tips and tricks
The more prep you do pre-interview, the more focused you’ll be on the day.
1. Prepare as you would for a face-to-face interview
Remember, an apprenticeship video interview is still a professional interview. So you’ll want to make sure you prepare accordingly.
As always, you should…
- Research the company.
- Triple-read the job description, noting all the keywords and skills
- Pick out key experiences and examples of your skills from your CV and cover letter
- Practice, practice, and practice some more! Call a friend and get them to act as your interviewer. If you’re stuck, we have some examples of interview questions to get you started
- Come with questions to ask the employer.
2. Get your tech in order
In the days before your interview, make sure you have all the tech you need.
- A laptop/desktop computer with a working webcam
- Power cables for charging
- A strong internet connection.
If you’re doing a pre-recorded interview, you’ll be able to get a couple of practice rounds in before completing the actual interview. That’ll be your chance to make sure everything is in working order before you hit that record button.
Ready to take the plunge into the world of work? We have hundreds of jobs available right now.
3. Pick your location
Firstly, don’t do this on the day of your interview. You’ll end up rushing around, which will leave you flustered and distracted.
Instead, pick the location beforehand. Choose somewhere with no distractions, no extra noise, and a neutral background.
- Locations with a distracting background. An employer wants to see you, not that floor-to-ceiling Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson poster…
- Places where the WiFi doesn’t reach or is noticeably weaker
- Bad lighting. Find a place where you’re able to sit near a window. If not, a room with a strong light source will do.
4. Dress to impress
Completing an apprenticeship application form in your fave PJs? Absolutely. Wearing your fave PJs for a video interview? Absolutely never.
Choose something you would wear if the interview was face-to-face. A smart top and jogging bottoms won’t look good if you need to stand up, no matter how comfortable they are.
Have you ever watched TV and seen the weird strobe effect that happens when someone wears stripes? It can happen with webcams too. So try and avoid stripes or patterns.
5. Be early and relaxed
Punctuality is an instant tick in any interviewer’s book.
Think about giving yourself a routine for the day. It’ll help your mind relax before the interview…
- Wake up early
- Shower and get dressed
- Have breakfast and make your favourite hot drink
- Log in at least 30 minutes before the interview – that way, if there are any issues, you have time to sort them out
- Make sure your laptop is set up in your chosen location, fully charged, webcam-ready and connected to the internet
- Join the meeting a few minutes before your interview starts.
6. Stay engaged
Do everything you would do if the interview was in person. Generally, you should nod, smile and interact as much as possible to show you are present and listening.
- Say hello to everyone there (you might have more than one interviewer)
- Sit in a comfortable chair that supports your back
- Be aware that any sound you make will likely get picked up by your microphone, so avoid any unnecessary paper rustling or pen clicking
- Actively look at your webcam when answering questions to ensure you’re making eye contact
- Finally, don’t be scared to ask the interviewer to repeat a question. If you can’t hear or miss something, just ask!
7. Take it in your stride
Sometimes the internet will internet, and things might go wrong. That’s okay. It’s expected. What matters most is how you react.
- Firstly, let the interviewer know if you’re anticipating any potential interruptions
- Don’t panic if you have a rubbish internet connection or the call cuts out! Instead, play it cool and treat it as a test of your adaptability
- And if you’re interrupted by the doorbell, ignore it unless it seems urgent, and then simply ask to be excused.
Remember, even if it is virtual, an apprenticeship video interview is your chance to get to know the company you might be working for. So take the opportunity to ask ALL the questions.
Written by Melchi
Melchi is a stan of the written word and joined the RateMyApprenticeship team as a Content Executive in 2021. Melchi started his career writing culture content for WeAreCollision magazine before completing an MA in International Journalism at City University and interning at Insider Inc. He now uses his head-thesaurus to write inspiring content to help young people make great career choices. These include everything from blogs about how to write your first CV to industry guides outlining the latest apprenticeship opportunities. Outside of writing, Melchi loves all things music and is currently learning how to DJ.