Avoiding Rabbit in Head Lights moments when interviewing a new Apprentice

It’s a Tuesday at 9.30am; you are sat in the meeting room about to interview a fresh faced 17 year old.  You don’t want the interview to last for 10 minutes, however they have only had one summer job. So what type of questions do you ask? The best angle are ones which will give you a picture of their personality, strengths and commitment. You can then judge whether you feel this can be cross transferred, including areas such as:

Will they fit the organisational culture?

Does their personality fit e.g. does the role suit outgoing or heads down?

Are they a committed person?

Here are some easy ways to avoid rabbit in head lights moments.
Starting the Interview

As with any interview, an ICE Breaker is always a good thing. A friendly meet and greet can help put them at ease. Ask them if they are feeling nervous – if they are you can put them at ease by saying things like I remember my first interview, I felt the same.
You can then start with a general ‘warm up’ question such as ask them to tell you a little bit about themselves


The Role

What is it about the role they are interested in?

What do they know about the company?

What do they consider their strengths to be for the role?

What areas do they need to improve on? (This is a different approach to asking the dreaded ‘weakness’ question)

If they have had a part-time job, what skills did they develop which might transfer to this role?



How did they find education?

What was their favorite subject?

Which subject did they least prefer?

What was their attendance?


About them

What do they like to do in their spare time?

Do they have any achievements?

How would their friends describe them?


These are just a few questions which might help you get to know an interview novice and make the interview a better experience for both parties.