Preparing for a learnership interview is much like any other working interview you might experience in your lifetime, with the only difference being the difficulty in questions. The more experienced you are, the more complex the questions become. But either way, it’s a process that requires plenty of research.
It’s important to prepare yourself and do the research because the opportunity might result in a permanent position. While it’s extremely beneficial for the employer to recruit people for learnerships in Cape Town, candidates can also be rejected if they’re not the right fit for the company. Not to mention, you will probably be up against a variety of other like-minded individuals so you’ll need to show your worth.
Put simply, a learnership is an alternative way to provide people with work experience as well as qualifications. The duration of the learnership is determined by the company, but candidates will be required to complete assignments, projects and practical demonstrations.
The exciting thing about applying for jobs is finding something that resonates with you. You can find learnerships in Cape Town on job listing sites, where there are a variety of different categories to choose from and new learnerships available now. Once you’ve found something you like, start researching. Make sure that you are confident in your application and carry yourself professionally.
Here are a few tips on how to prepare yourself for that career-changing interview.
Many people have lost the idea of dressing appropriately for their interview. Well, newsflash, what you say is not going to make up for your torn jeans. Be it a creative company or a corporate company, go the extra mile with your outfit and dress for the job you want. You’ll never know how casual things can be until you land the job, but before that, rather dress up. If this learnership process is one of the few interviews you’ve been to, make a good impression on how you look and with what you say. You’ll be surprised how far first impressions go, simply from showing up in the correct attire before your designated time.
Do your research
Whether you’re meeting with the recruiter or the employer themselves, make sure you have a clear understanding of what the company does. Particularly the department you’re applying to. Do some research on generic interview questions in case the interviewer asks you. Take the City of Cape Town Municipality learnerships as an example. Some general questions that you can expect to be asked are: “Why do you think you are the best candidate?” or “Why do you want to work for our company?” They also tend to ask questions about yourself, so make sure your responses are professional and have substance. Much like you, there will be others who have the exact same amount of experience, so you’ll need to sell yourself in a way that will differentiate you from the other candidates.
Be honest and open about yourself
If this is your first professional opportunity, you are going to need to speak up about your goals and expectations. After all, you’ve been called in for an interview for a reason, so your application or CV document is clearly a hit. The thing about an interview is that it’s an opportunity to sell yourself. If you haven’t got practical working experience in a particular area, be honest about it. The interview process is the time where you professionally speak about your skills, talents or experience. And depending on your background, those previous posts will either support you or work against you. Either way, landing an interview is a good sign. Now, all you need to do is show the recruiter or employer who you are and why you would be a valuable asset to the company.
Interview your interviewer
On the back of your research, you’ll naturally develop a few questions that you would want to ask. While the interviewer sits there and asks you questions about yourself, it’s also important for you to take the opportunity to ‘interview’ them and see whether or not you feel you might be the best fit for the company. Nowadays, companies put a massive focus on culture, so it’s important for you to also take the time to see if you like the energy the company gives off. The questions you ask should be respectful in every way, as they will also be able to judge you on that. If they appreciate your interest, they will also be able to gauge how insightful and determined you are as an employee. It might even sway their decision.
Interviews are never easy. In fact, they’re stressful, humiliating at times and awful too. Everyone gets nervous during their first few interviews, and if you haven’t been to one in a while, you’ll quickly remember how daunting it can be. However, by doing your research and staying ahead of your game, your confidence levels will increase and you’ll start to get the hang of it. If anything, it’s an opportunity to learn.
Always be polite and friendly in your interview. Make the most of the experience and remember that as much as you need to fit into the company, the company also needs to be the right fit for you.
The Learnership programme was developed in South Africa as a modern way to advance apprenticeships to meet the modern demands of the workplace. Learnerships also manage to formalise the learning and workplace experience - which is usually sadly lacking in internships offered by companies.
Another significant benefit of Learnerships over internships is that Learnerships come with a formal pay structure where learners will be paid a monthly stipend, or payment, for the time they are on the Learnership. Also, internships do not have a learning component, while Learnerships are all linked directly to a formal qualification.