A learnership interview can be both scary and exciting at once. You might not have any experience with being interviewed, which is why you need to prepare ahead of time. A learnership interview might not feel like an interview for a “real job”, but it is every bit as important.

You might be wondering, What is a learnership?” A learnership is an education and training programme for a position. It provides you with the necessary skills you need to achieve an NQF ( National Qualifications Framework) registered qualification. It is the perfect opportunity for those who have just graduated. So, if you are interested in applying for a learnership, below are some top tips on how to prepare for the interview.

Dress for success

First impressions matter, which is why you need to dress appropriately for an interview. You might answer the questions with flair and aplomb, but this will not be taken into account if you arrive at the interview wearing torn jeans and a sloppy t-shirt.

Whether you are interviewing at a creative or corporate company, you will need to go the extra mile with your outfit. Dress for the job you want and you will soon impress the interviewer. You might notice that the other employees in the office are dressed casually, but if you want to make the right first impression, it is best to dress formally and in your best attire. Stick to neutral colours and play down your makeup and jewellery.

Research the company

There is nothing worse than arriving at an interview and being asked, “So, what do you know about our company?” and having no answer. It is imperative that you do your research before going to the interview. And this involves more than simply reading the About Us section on their website.

You should also look at their future plans and goals, read up about the major team members and even look through their social media platforms. Do your research on “what is a learnership” so that you fully understand the role and to avoid any confusion in the interview. By understanding the future plans and goals of the company, you are more likely to be chosen. Some of the most common questions you might be asked include “Why do you think you are the best candidate?” or “Why do you want to work for our company?”. Research will help you to answer these effectively.

Prepare questions for your interviewer

Yes, you read that correctly. At a learnership interview, you will need to prepare questions for your interviewer. This might sound strange, but it shows that you have spent time thinking about the position and it will help you to clarify anything you might not understand about the role.

Preparing questions shows initiative, interest and potential. You will need to be sure that every question you ask is respectful. Prepare at least three questions that will make your interviewer think hard, and ensure that they relate to the company and the position and are not too personal or obscure. You should also ask questions that clarify what was discussed during the interview, such as working hours, what your role entails and a description of company culture.

Be your best self

One highly effective way to make a positive first impression is to arrive at the interview 10 to 15 minutes early. If you will be driving to the interview yourself, ensure that you understand the directions and know where to park your car in order to avoid being late.

Ensure that you get enough rest for a few days before the interview so that you do not arrive looking tired and drained. You will also need to be sure that you have brought all necessary documents along with you to make the interview process easier. Remember to have a hearty, healthy breakfast on the day of your interview so that you are not sitting in the interview with a grumbling stomach. A good breakfast will also give you energy so that you are bright eyed and bushy tailed for the day.

Be honest and open

A learnership is the perfect opportunity to learn more about a role, industry or develop a new skill. This means that you will need to be honest and open about the skills you already have, and which ones you can improve on by accepting the learnership.

If you do not have any experience in a certain area, you will need to tell the interviewer this. Similarly, if you have knowledge about a certain aspect of the position, highlight this during the interview. Lying about your experience is never wise, as the company will likely perform a background check and will find out about your true experience anyway. Speak about your strengths and highlight your skills, but do not shy away from talking about your weaknesses.