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How to ace your apprenticeship screening call

Not hearing back from apprenticeship providers after your initial interviews? It may be time to start looking into your screening call technique.

In this short guide, I’m going to discuss how you can better prepare for apprenticeship screening calls.

These calls will likely be the first hurdle in a series of future hurdles with a Training Provider. Believe it or not, this is one of the most important stages in the process as poor performance here can negatively affect your chances with the Training Provider altogether.

It’s vital to realise how important these screening calls/interviews can actually be. If you don’t come across well, the recruiter won’t submit your details to the prospective employer. Think of them as gatekeepers.

Worse yet, if you make a bad impression, they’ll likely leave notes on their CRM which may result in you not being contacted by the Provider in the future.

Anyway, let’s begin.

Look into the employer

Depending on how you applied for the role, you may already have been given details about the employer.

Ensure you take 15 minutes to familiarise yourself with the organisation. Check out their website, their socials, and do some quick Googling.

Attending screening calls not knowing what the employer actually does is a big red flag. Typically, I’ll start that part of the conversation with “Tell me what you thought about the employer” and if the candidate immediately starts to flounder like a fish, I know they’ve not done any preparation.

Understandably, if the role you applied for was anonymised you won’t know who it is with. In this situation, don’t worry and discuss the employer’s details during the call.

Read the job ad

Be sure to read the job ad before your call with the recruiter.

I’ve spoken to a lot of candidates and I get it, you’re applying for loads of roles. But, if a call is arranged, do yourself a favour and reread or ask for a copy of the job ad before the call.

If you don’t really know what the role is all about you won’t be able to perform at your best during the screening calls. Effectively, this will dramatically increase the chances that you’ll be flat-out rejected and get those negative marks towards your name on their CRM.

To put this into context, I’ve had candidates outright admit that they’ve not read the advert or try to blag that they have. When I hear this, I’m immediately put off and in some instances have even terminated calls. You may feel this is harsh, but, it’s an incredibly basic task and should be something you do for every role.

Think about the core responsibilities

Similarly to the above, try to think about the core responsibilities of the role. What will you actually be doing during the apprenticeship? This is helpful to understand as it’ll aid you in formulating possible answers to questions about your background or experience.

If you’ve no idea what you’ll be doing your answers will fall flat.

Recruiters don’t like generic answers…

Look into the Training Provider

You’ll quickly find out who the training provider is from their email, etc when invited for a call.

A major piece of advice I’d give to all applicants is to look into the Training Provider that you may potentially be working with.

In particular, look at reviews on Google, Trust Pilot, and Glassdoor. The reason you want to do this is to find out how people really feel about their apprenticeships and how their employees feel.

If you see loads of major red flags it may be worth cancelling the call.

Read up on the apprenticeship

Another important thing to do before a screening call is to read up a little on the apprenticeship you’d be enrolling in. This will help you to come across as knowledgeable, proactive, and assertive during your call.

Ultimately, it’ll enable you to ask questions about how the Training Provider will do things during your programme.

From a recruitment standpoint, I’ll always award green flags for candidates who show an interest in the apprenticeship and the role.

Don’t turn up late!

I won’t lie. If you turn up late for one of my screening calls without good reason, I’ll immediately discount your application.

Punctuality is vitally important when it comes to interviews. If you can’t turn up on time for something as important as getting a job, what are you going to be like if you actually get the job?…

Try to be ready a couple of minutes before any calls or arrive a few minutes early if it’s over something like Zoom or Teams.

If you can, come with some questions

Even if they’re really basic, having some questions shows that you’ve thought about the opportunity. Write down one or two general questions you can use on any screening call. Even better if they’re tailored to the field of study or industry.

That’s about it

Other than that, just be yourself. If you’re right for the role, company, and apprenticeship you’ll land the role. If you don’t it’s really not the end of the world. You’ll get one eventually.

Anyway, I hope this has been helpful. But, if you want any further advice about preparing for interviews, check out our blog or get in touch.

Interested in seeing more of our guides, advice, and articles on marketing apprenticeships?

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