Are you about to interview to start an Electrician Apprenticeship program? In this episode I talk about the do’s and don’ts of the interview process, as well as some tips to help you overcome the “lack-of-experience” problem.
When most people start out in the electrical trade, they have no experience. A lot of them will have tool experience, or at least some sort of construction or other trade knowledge - however there is a massive number of people who have none of the above. It is not impossible to get into the trades with no experience, as a lot of people tend to flock to the trades because you don’t need a degree to get a job. The entire point of an apprenticeship is to learn a craft from the very beginning through mastery.
Many people are afraid that when they finally get an interview, the person interviewing will ask “do you have any tool experience?” If you don’t know the answer to this question, then the answer is probably no. This is ok! Don’t try to make up stories of how you used a screw driver to pry open a door jamb once, be completely honest. You’re here to learn these things, this will not necessarily disqualify you. I would show them your character in place of making up tool knowledge. These people have been doing this for so long that they can smell inexperience and bullshit from a mile away. The best thing you can do is be honest and tell them something along the lines of “I have zero tool experience, and I know NOTHING about electricity, but I’m an extremely self motivated person and a very hard worker. I’m here BECAUSE I have no experience, and I would like to enter my 4 year education HERE rather than wasting a bunch of money at college for a degree. All I need is the right teacher to give me a chance to prove my worth.”
There are a few things I recommend doing in any interview. When you arrive, do so early. Make it a point to set your alarm 30 minutes early, set an extra reminder or 3 on your phone, have your wife, mother, sister, cousin call you and remind you, whatever it takes. This is very important to not mess up. And in reality being there early is not as important as NOT being there on time. So be early. Also shake everyone’s hand that you meet, look them in the eyes, and smile. This is first impressions 101 but it is important. People in the trades are big on respect, truthfulness, and realness. These are not people that have to deal with each other over email chains through different departments of corporate offices. Its face to face, hand to hand, everyday.
Project your true self to the interviewer, but take awhile to reflect on how you’re perceived by others. I don’t recommend anyone act fake, but I do recommend you put your best self forward. This is a first impression, and you never get that first one back. What you want to do is make this a memorable experience. There will be 50 other candidates they will interview and it is important that you do something to stand out desirably. Most people in interviews say roughly the same things, and try to paint a picture of how great they are even when things aren’t true.. Not a lot of people choose to be brutally honest about themselves and talk about their weaknesses. This video has some great interview techniques that I’ve used when being interviewed, and when interviewing. The key is to be different, stand out!