Deciding to apply for a marketing apprenticeship can be daunting. Still, it is a fantastic route into the marketing industry that provides both work experience and a qualification at the same time. We often get questions about how best to prepare for an interview, and we’re here to provide guidance and ideas on how you can perform at your best.
Together, let’s navigate the dos and don’ts of interviews with some killer questions to ask your potential employers. So get ready to knock their socks off!
Find out what the interview process is
When accepting an interview, it’s always a good idea to ask how the interview process will work. This will ensure you are at ease with the process and, therefore, can focus on preparing for each stage. For example, employers will receive hundreds of applications and need to assess who is suitable for the job. These interviews could occur in various formats: by telephone, over video conferencing, face-to-face, or even by assessment centre.
Ask upfront for the details on the process and jot these down.
Do your research on the company
When preparing for the interview itself make sure you’ve done your research. You don’t need to know everything but the employer will be looking for evidence that you’ve looked into the company and position and can share some of your findings – this demonstrates your interest in the role.
The company website is a great place to start to understand the company’s vision, mission and values from the about section. You should be able to gain a sense of their culture and a good understanding of what the company does. While looking through the information, consider who their target audience is, who their competitors might be, and what is unique about the company. Keep some notes that you can refer back to.
A personal favourite is to head to the press area of the website to find any recent news stories or awards that you can discuss at the interview. Is there anything that you find interesting that makes you want to know more? Also, write these down. Anyone can list off a few pieces of information from the homepage, so this will demonstrate you’re genuinely interested in the company.
Time to hit up social media. All businesses will have a presence on social media and are likely to have accounts on platforms where their audiences live. Think outside of the box. What type of content are they posting? Have they launched new campaigns that you could use as a talking point?
Prepare answers and examples for the interview.
During the interview process, the interviewer is likely to ask questions that cover the following topics:
Motivational questions to understand why the candidate is interested in the role
Competency-based questions to identify any transferable skills that help meet the job specification
Technical questions to gather whether the apprentice has any relevant experience.
When thinking about good examples to bring to life your skills, feel free to use your studies, extra curricular activities and any previous employment that you think might be relevant. They will be searching for transferable skills that will enable you to be successful in the role. The key is to communicate how your skills, strengths or experiences have prepared you for this next step. If you can nail this, then you’re almost there!
Prepare questions for the interviewer.
The critical thing to remember is that interviews shouldn’t be a one-way street. They should be a two-way exploratory conversation to ask your questions about the company and understand whether it is the right fit for you. With this in mind, it is essential to draft the questions you want answers to, but also feel free to throw a few curveballs in there to keep your interviewers on their toes! Look back at your research notes and make sure you ask any questions that came to mind while researching too! We’ve included some suggestions to get you thinking, below.
Questions about the role
What are the expectations of balancing study and work on this apprenticeship scheme?
Will I be based in the same team for the duration of the apprenticeship, or will I move around?
What would make someone in this role successful?
Questions about the company/team
What do you enjoy about working for this company?
How is the team structured?
What are the plans for growth and development for the company?
What are your most effective marketing channels?
What unique challenges do you have in reaching and engaging your audience?
What tools do you use to support your marketing, e.g. marketing automation?
When the interview is coming to an end, ask if there is anything else the interviewers need to know that will help demonstrate that you are the right candidate for the job. By asking this question, it provides the interviewer with an opportunity to clarify anything you have told them throughout the interview before saying goodbye.
Prepare answers and examples for the interview.
Using this interview question guide will undoubtedly help you prepare for the interviews as best as possible. We’ve compiled a checklist of things to think about heading into your interview for extra preparation.
Write notes about the business, apprenticeship duties and questions beforehand.
Print off your CV – you can use this to help you answer the questions.
Feel free to take a notepad to write notes.
Plan what to wear the night before – dress appropriately by considering the company dress code.
ALWAYS plan your journey (if you are going to meet face to face) – check travel times traffic and book tickets if you need to in advance.
If you are joining virtually, test out your tech and wifi to ensure everything is working.
Leave yourself enough time before the interview to arrive and compose yourself.
And that’s it. From all of the team at the School of Marketing, you’ve got this! Now, go and smash it.