Applying to an apprenticeship is very different to applying to university which you may be used to and is actually a lot more similar to applying for a ‘normal’ full-time opportunity and often it follows the same process for a lot of graduate programmes!

In this blog, we will explain to you the different stages of the application process that you can go through when you make an apprenticeship application. However, it’s really important to remember that the application process for an apprenticeship can be very different depending on a number of different things:

  • The employer the apprenticeship is with
  • The training provider the apprenticeship is with
  • The level of apprenticeship
  • Other events – such as COVID which has made a lot of processes virtual

The fact that everything can be so different when you’re applying for apprenticeships can be frustrating, but hopefully this will calm your nerves. If there is a specific opportunity you’d like to know about, either contact our Hiring Partner by scrolling to the bottom of the vacancy.

The best way to think about an application is like a sandwich, the pieces of bread are always the application form (or GetMyFirstJob profile application) and if you’re the right candidate, will end with an offer. The bit in the middle really depends on what opportunity you choose, so think about them as different fillings between the two! Some opportunities simply have an application and interview, like a simple cheese and ham sandwich whereas others will include everything in the middle – a fully loaded sandwich with all the trimmings!

First piece of bread: Make your Application

As you’re here on the GetMyFirstJob website, we’ll assume your application starts here. We have thousands of opportunities on the GetMyFirstJob website and when you’ve found one you like, which we hope you can, all you have to do is click the ‘apply now’ button. Depending on the opportunity you have chosen, you’ll go through two different processes, you will either:

A. Apply using your GetMyFirstJob profile

If this is the case, your information on your profile will be sent to the Hiring Manager to your profile. This means you need to keep your profile up to date, include all of your personal details, education and answer your profile questions. You could also be asked some competency based questions or questions about what has attracted you to the job. You’ll also want to make sure you upload your CV to your profile to make you stand out!

B. Apply on an external website, this could either be a training provider or employer’s website

If you apply on an external website, you’ll need to start your application from scratch which means filling out an application form. Usually application forms ask for the same sort of things, including: personal details, education and work experience. Often they will also ask you some competency based questions or questions about what has attracted you to the job.

You’ll also have to upload your CV to your application to, which is a great first impression to your potential future employer. You’ll likely also need a covering letter too, this lets you put your personal stamp on your application and should complement anything you have included in your CV.

Filling: Telephone Interview

You may be asked to do a telephone interview, where you’ll be asked some eligibility questions and initial interview questions to check that you’re suitable for the role. We’ve written some blogs to help you with this stage in the past:

Phone etiquette and responding to voicemails

The phone interview

Phone interview: Advice & Tips

Filling: Application testing

Often for larger employers, you’ll have to do some tests to make sure that your skills are at the level expected for the apprenticeship, this is for you more than anything to make sure you won’t struggle with the workload and make sure you fit in with the team. There are a range of different tests you could take, all designed to show different parts of your personality or ability. Common tests include Psychometric (show your mental ability, opinions etc), Verbal and Numerical reasoning and Situation Judgement (to show what you would or have done in real work situations).

Filling: Video Interview

A video interview can also be used too. There are a few different types of video interviews, some of them are like a phone interview but just done over video instead, whereas sometimes they can be a one way conversation – where you are asked pre-recorded questions and you have to respond on camera, recording your answers. This lets you put some personality to your application and bring it to life.

13 Skype Interview Tips

Video Interviews Advice & Tips

Filling: Assessment Centre

At an assessment centre, your goal is to show why you’re a great fit for the company and perfect for the role. Often in assessment centres, you’re asked a series of questions related to the job roles and the type of person they need, or you could undertake a series of activities, both in groups and independent to see how you work in different scenarios. Often this is one of the last stages in an application process, but there can also sometimes be multiple assessment centres for one job!

Filling: Final Interview

Your final interview may be on it’s own, or it could be part of the assessment centres. In your final interview, you’ll likely be interviewed by your potential line manager or someone who you’ll be working closely with in your apprenticeship. Prepare as you would for any interview, you’ll be able to find lots of advice on our website, here are some of our best bits of advice:

What will I be asked at an interview?

Interview Tips for candidates 

Questions to ask at an interview 

Last piece of bread: Offer

This is the last step, you’ve done all you can and now you have to wait for their decision. It’s always great at the end of an interview to ask the employer ‘When can I expect to hear from you?’ so that you can set your expectations. If you’re unsuccessful, always ask for feedback on where you could improve so that you can take that to future interviews. But if you get offered the job, well done – now the fun starts!

Don’t be put off by all of this information, you’ll be supported throughout your application journey by a recruiter, your training provider or your employer. Good luck!

Written by Jenny Dallas, Graduate Degree Apprentice at GetMyFirstJob with the University of Portsmouth - currently Head of Candidate Marketing
Go to Jenny's Ambassador Profile

Advice & Tips