Digital marketing apprentices – Succeeding at your Interview

Interviews are tough in all industries and especially for those apprentices who have never experienced them before. So, what is good practice to ensure you succeed at your digital marketing interview?

Interview

Similarly, to my previous blog ‘Writing an effective CV’, the aim of your interview is to showcase your skills, knowledge and personality to the employer. However, this time it is face to face and not on paper.

There are not many out there who can say that they enjoy being interviewed, but unfortunately this is a vital step in the process to achieving your apprenticeship position. Some people are naturally talented when it comes to interviews, say the right things and leave feeling positive. Then there are others who are less confident, get flustered easily and struggle to get their answers across well. This blog will hopefully assist you with a few pointers to boost your chances of being successful.

Planning

Preparation

location

It sounds straight forward but looking into the location of interview is vital. You don’t want to be rushing, getting flustered as you can’t find the building and potentially being late. Some locations can be tricky to find so going to look at the location or using google maps should put your mind at ease.

Job Description

You may be asked by the interviewer questions specific to the job role so ensure that you have thoroughly read through the job description so there will be no surprises on the day.

There may be some parts to the role that you are relatively new too or only have basic knowledge in. Ensure that you spend some time researching these so that you can provide a strong answer if required.

Research

One of the more important steps whilst preparing for an interview is researching the company. You will either be asked what you know about the company or given an opportunity to ask questions, either way you MUST complete research.

You can never do enough research with this so ensure that you review their social media pages, website, locations, size, history, owners and their product.

I would also recommend using LinkedIn to view the interviewer as this will let them know that you are taking the time to complete research.

Prepare for common questions

You will never know beforehand what questions you will get asked during an interview so make sure you have covered most of them in your preparation, especially the most common ones;

Relevant news

Keep up to date with relevant news within the digital marketing industry, you never what you may be asked.

Success

Interview

Time

Another basic one but also very important. I would recommend 10- 15 minutes arrival before your interview. You certainly don’t want to be late and there is such a thing as being too early.

Prepare questions

You will always be asked at the end of an interview if you have any questions. Always have at least one question prepared and preferably two. This is a perfect opportunity to ask specifics. Avoid questions like pay or number of holidays you get, this can be discussed later down the line. Asking about the company, the job role, their history or something you have seen on the website are all great questions to ask.

Remember, you are there for a digital marketing apprenticeship, so keeping your answers relevant to this will bring you across stronger and more in line with what they are looking for. Its hard I know but be yourself, the interviewer is wanting to get to know you in the short amount of time they have and must try to ensure that you are a right fit for them and their team.

Conclusion

You won’t know what sort of interview you will be walking into; will it be formal/informal, will they want to just to get to know your personality or will they want to ask lots of questions about your skills and previous experience.

My advice is plan for lots of questions and be prepared. The bottom line is the more you practice and prepare the stronger your answers will get and the more confident in providing your answers you will become.

Practice, Practice, Practice!!

 

If you are interested in a digital marketing apprenticeship and would like to know more, please complete one of our online submission forms https://apprentify.com/apprentice/ and a member of the team will be in touch.

Digital marketing apprentices – how do you write an effective CV?

Writing a CV can be challenging, especially for apprentices. So, what do you need to include to create an effective digital marketing CV?

One of the main purposes of a CV is to catch the readers eye enough for them to invite you in for a face to face interview. It is at this point where you can really sell yourself, your skills, knowledge and  your passion for digital marketing. Look out for my blog next month where I will look at succeeding at interviews.

There are many different templates, formats and styles to write a CV and none are right or wrong. Everyone views CV’s differently and this includes those who review them too. The below is what in my experience works for apprentices looking to get to that interview stage for a digital marketing role.

Template

There are many different templates out there to write your CV on. As you are looking in a creative industry, my advice would be to get creative with your CV. Digital marketing is a very popular apprenticeship, so standing out from your peers could make all the difference. Microsoft Word have more than enough free options to go at, so I would start here.

The Basics

Generally, whoever is reading your CV will be reading a few, so you don’t want to waffle on throughout your CV. Keep it clear and concise.

Stick with the basic personal information such as name, contact number, email and address. Nothing more is required at this point of your journey, so avoid pictures and other personal data which is not relevant.

Profile

A key area on a CV, where you will have to catch the readers eye for them to keep reading on. So again, don’t waffle and keep to the point. I would include 2 or 3 shorts paragraphs here on your current situation, main skills, why you want to enrol on a digital marketing apprenticeship and what you hope to achieve from this whilst working at their company.

Skills

Another important area of a CV is your current skills. Having read the job description what soft and digital marketing skills are they looking for. If you possess these skills, then you must include them. Bullet pointing is the easiest way to go and you can add a little description if required. Below is a list of some of the soft & digital marketing skills they may be looking for.

Soft Skills

Digital Marketing Skills

Work Experience

A relatively straight forward section of the CV but one to ensure you are clear and concise. Start with the most recent role first and move backwards. You should include the company, job role, duration you were there as a title and then a small paragraph of specifically YOUR responsibilities.

Education

Again, most recent first and move backwards. The title should be where you studied and at what level i.e. GCSE’s with your specific subjects and grades following.

Volunteering & leadership experience

This is a nice addition to a CV that can showcase any volunteering you have completed or any projects, teams or clubs you may have led.

Portfolio

Creating a portfolio will not be for everyone, however if you want to stand out from your peers, this is a great way to go about it. A simple link on your CV to a portfolio is a fantastic and simple way for you to showcase some of your skills to the employer.

References

You can write your references on your CV, however for an apprenticeship role, simply writing ‘References available upon request’ is enough.

If you are interested in a digital marketing apprenticeship and would like to know more, please complete one of our online submission forms and a member of the team will be in touch.

 

Digital marketing apprentice recruitment, getting it right through feedback

How can applicant feedback improve recruitment for digital marketing apprentices?

Last month I wrote a blog that went into some detail about why Apprentify’s digital marketing apprentices were right for your business. I spoke about our in-depth recruitment process and the steps we have put in place to ensure only the best candidates are sent to your business.

This month I want to discuss one of the main steps in our recruitment process, the assessment session and how this has gradually got more successful over time through applicant feedback.

Each assessment session is 4 hours long and I complete one each week. The sessions are in depth, engaging, effective and cover the below elements;

As you can see there is a lot to fit in the 4-hour time period so creating a great environment for the applicants was key for this process to work and we have overcome some bumps and changes along the way.

We started off with an idea of what information should be included on the assessment session and what activities we feel will provide us within a clear insight to their current skills and knowledge within digital marketing. We knew we would not get this right first time and we would be tweaking the session for months to come. So, with this is mind we created an anonymous feedback form to be completed at the end of the assessment session. We wanted real honest feedback that we could use to improve the sessions which is why we decided on anonymity.

Throughout this blog you will see word clouds which contain feedback from my assessment sessions.

Apprentice/applicant engagement is a huge part of my role at Apprentify and it is always great to see so much positive feedback coming back through. It was great to hear that the sessions were ‘engaging’, ‘informative’ and ‘helpful’.

Just as importantly and to enable me to make relevant changes, it was also great to receive some constructive criticism in certain areas. Some of the feedback was the allocation of time for tasks, certain parts didn’t flow well, some tasks were too complicated to follow, and some instructions were not clear enough.

This may seem straightforward feedback but after tweaking the session here and there weekly through this feedback it has made such a positive impact to the sessions overall look and feel. I am still constantly improving the session and it would not be as successful as it is now without all the feedback I have received.

Why Apprentify Digital Marketing Apprentices are right for your business

Businesses interview many potential digital marketing apprentices that are just not right for their role. So why do Apprentify’s apprentices stand out from the rest?

One of the main parts to Apprentify's recruitment process is the 5 in depth assessment steps. All these steps ensure only the best quality and most relevant applicants are progressed through to the employers.

Review – All CV’s and applications are reviewed to first check for prior learning and suitability for the level 3 digital marketing apprenticeship.

Telephone Interview – Once all prior learning has been confirmed, applicants will complete a telephone interview with the Apprentice Recruitment Executive. This call allows Apprentify to learn about the applicant in more depth, with discussion points such as software knowledge, experience with websites, creativity, analytics and much more. If the applicant produces strong enough skills and knowledge within these areas, they are then progressed onto the next step.

Assessment session – This is probably the most in-depth part to the 5 steps. The assessment session is conducted over a 4-hour period, allowing Apprentify to learn first-hand of the applicant’s skills, knowledge and behaviours. Specific tasks are set and reviewed such as creative writing, researching, peer interviews, data analysis and a technical skill scan.

Applicants also get the chance to view the digital marketing apprenticeship in detail, ensuring they understand what forms part of the programme and what their own personal commitment would be to complete.

Maths & English – As Maths and English play a huge role in the life of a digital marketing apprentice, it is important to ensure that all applicants are working to the relevant level of the apprenticeship. For all applicants who are successful at the assessment session, they are set further assessments specifically targeted to test their current Maths and English skills.

Matching – If applicants are successful at getting to this point, they are ready for their CV’s to be sent out to employers, but are they a right fit?

This fifth and final step see’s Apprentify review skills wanted by the employer against the specific skills of the applicant. For example, if an employer is looking for a little experience with design software’s or content writing, then the applicants with that skill set will be sent to the employer.

It is only after all the above is an applicant’s CV sent across to one Apprentify’s employers. This provides piece of mind that any applicant viewed has come through a thorough recruitment process and skills have been cross referenced against their vacancy.

If you would like to learn more about our recruitment or our Digital Marketing Apprenticeship, then please reach out on the contact section of our website.

Apprenticeship minimum wage increase

Are your digital marketing apprentices receiving the new national minimum wage? This is great news for apprentices looking for digital marketing apprenticeship jobs.

It is that time of year where the national minimum wage increases and this is no different for Apprentice's. The national minimum wage for an Apprentice has increased 20 pence per hour from £3.70 to £3.90.

Apprentices are only entitled to the apprentice rate if they are aged under 19 or they are in their first year of their apprenticeship. If an apprentice is aged 19 or over and they have completed the first year of their apprenticeship they are entitled to the minimum wage for their age.

For a full overview of all increases please visit - www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-rates

If you would like to know more about hiring a new digital marketing apprentice then please visit our employer page here.

 

Apprenticeships Vs University – Is there a correct choice?

This Apprenticeship or Universityquestion is on the mind of most young adults whilst completing further education in either sixth form or college. It is also one of the most difficult decisions they will have faced so far in their life, so is one better than the other?

As part of my current role, I get the chance to visit many schools and discuss with the students, their futures and what options are available to them. I often ask them if they have decided the path that they will take once they have completed their studies and this is often met with indecision about whether to pursue an apprenticeship or a university placement. It is indeed a difficult decision; however, I always advise that it must be the right choice for them.

Apprenticeships

An apprenticeship provides an opportunity for an apprentice to learn on and off the job training from experienced professionals within their chosen industry. As standard, academic qualifications are received upon completion but most apprenticeships now offer industry recognised qualifications as well. The apprentice will earn a wage whilst they learn, whilst also developing transferable skills throughout the duration of the programme. There are hundreds of apprenticeships on offer to young adults over different levels and throughout a multitude of industries

University

A university is an institution that offers undergraduate and graduate degrees. There are thousands of courses on offer and for some chosen careers, university is a must to gain specific qualifications. University graduates gain recognised professional qualifications for their chosen sector.

Comparison

There is much to take into consideration when comparing apprenticeships and university such as: what do you get out of them? Both routes will end with a student coming away with recognised qualifications within their chosen sector. With university, students will generally experience more of a social scene, however they will not come away with the industry experience an apprentice has gained over the duration of their apprenticeship. Apprentices are paid, whereas generally, university students will have a part time job on the side of their studies. Also, Apprentices will have industry experience under their belt whereas a university student will not. The cost of learning is always one of the key factors when comparing the two. Apprenticeships are generally 100% funded for the leaner, however a student at a university will usually come away with a large loan to pay back over the course of their career.

Style of learning

Another factor a student must take into consideration is their preferred style of learning. If their preferred style of learning is classroom based and they prefer more academia, then university may be the more suitable route. However, if they are a more practical ‘hands-on’ learner then an apprenticeship could be their best option.

Conclusion

When a young adult is completing their further education whether it be through college or sixth form, they must invest time to research both university and apprenticeships. Their decision should be based on: what is important to them at that time, the path required for their chosen career and the environment in which they believe they can thrive. It should be a well thought out decision with all the above taken into consideration. They should always remember that there is never a right or wrong answer, that plans don’t always go the way we expect and that apprenticeships/university may not be how they’d imagined it would be before they started. However, the decision made is not final and changes can be made to suit a student’s specific needs.

 

Top tips for bossing your digital marketing apprenticeship interview

How do you stand out against all those other candidates to land that dream digital marketing apprenticeship?

Before Apprentify I spent two years working at 3aaa (Aspire Achieve Advance). Working with hundreds of candidates from all ages to assist them in achieving their goal of starting their digital marketing careers.

You may not think it but being successful at an interview for an apprenticeship can be just as difficult as if for a normal full-time role. Some of the reasons are that you are still interviewing to become part of that company, part of their team, their ethos. No matter the role, you must be a right fit for them, and many employers follow the same ethos here at Apprentify ‘recruit for attitude, train for skill’. But with all the above reasons in mind, one of the main difficulties you will face is the competition.

Generally, you will be up against 2 or 3 other apprentices, seeking their dream role too. Over the past two years I have helped many apprentices play to their strengths and utilise their current skill set to stand out from their competition.

Here are my top tips for digital marketing apprenticeship interviews

Creative CV’s

There are many different aspects to a digital marketing role and apprenticeship, but a lot of it can be brought back to your creative side. A CV is like majority of things in life, the more you put into it the more you will get out.

You want to make your CV like no other before it, ensuring that the employer does not forget it. There are many templates out there that are free to utilise, but to go a step further, why not create your own with creative and appealing sections to showcase your skills.

Always remember what you are applying for and tailor your CV as such. If you are applying for a digital marketing apprenticeship, then I would expect to see skills and experiences with any area of this industry showcased throughout your CV.

Online Presence

If you have your own website, social media page, blog post or YouTube channel, then let’s shout about them! If you are applying for a digital marketing apprenticeship you will have a least one of the above and until you make them known they will stay in the shadows. Create these links and put them on your CV where the employer will then have easy access to view your skillset in a live environment.

Portfolio

The final interview tip for apprentices would be to create your portfolio. An online portfolio is one of the strongest weapons you can have in your arsenal as a digital marketer. It acts as a central point to showcase your most unique and creative work. It also gives you the opportunity write about your work including what tools you used to create it.

An online portfolio is a must, but why not have a printed snapshot too which you can take to your interviews. Not many of your peers will be doing this so if you want to go the extra mile then this is a step to take.

Conclusion for digital marketing apprenticeship interview

If you complete all or majority of the above, you will generally find yourself within a new role and apprenticeship in no time.

The bottom line is are you willing to put the time and effort into making yourself stand out in a crowd and if the answer to that is yes, then there is no time like the present……..