1b - The job interview

 The participants and process

A decision on which applicant to hire is usually based on a job interview, which is used to evaluate the candidate. In a typical job interview, the applicant meets with the person or persons representing the potential employer. Usually, this is the potential supervisor/ trainer and the educational director /company director/ Human Resources director.

Suggestions on how to conduct an interview follow here:

  • Put the student at ease.
  • Introduce yourself and your colleague.
  • Shortly describe the organisation of your company
  • Ask the applicant about him/herself and his/her choice of the company.
  • Ask the applicant about his/her school education.
  • Inquire about the applicant's background: interests, leisure time, family, life situation. 
  • Invite the student to ask questions. In this way, you’ll hear what he/she considers most important.
  • End the interview and inform the student about the further procedure. When will he/she hear from you again?
 Mutual expectations
Your professional and personal expectations of the applicant should be explained during the job interview, as should be the expectations of the applicant.

This is a way to avoid the applicant's disappointment and consecutive dropout. The following topics should be made clear during the interview:
  • Expectations that the company has of the student
  • Study possibilities offered by the training company
  • The apprentice's attendance and working hours
  • What does the apprentice expect from you regarding training?
  • What does the apprentice expect regarding wages and benefits?

 Structure of the interview
Job interviews usually last less than two hours. Most of this time is spent asking the applicant questions about his or her personality, work style and other factors relevant to the job.

The applicant is usually given a chance to ask questions at the end of the interview. These questions allow the applicant to obtain more information about the position and the company, but the questions can also show the applicant's interest in the apprenticeship.

Make sure that you inform the applicant during the interview about the people he will be working with, the company's house rules etc.

 Necessary certificates

During the interview, do not forget to check whether the applicant has all the required certificates.

 Wages, holidays, working hours
Wages, holiday rights and other conditions are usually regulated in the existing legislation. Check the legislation in your country.

In Austria, the cost of vocational training is borne by enterprises; the wages for the apprentice are a large part of this cost. The cost of the training is tax deductable; therefore the State indirectly cofinances the apprenticeship. (Data from 2004)

In Slovenia, this is regulated in article 42 of the Vocational Education Act, which states that every student has a right to wages in accordance with the branch collective agreement or any other regulation, during practical training  The duration of practical training for  secondary education students is at least 24 weeks.
 Criminal record
Some companies find it important for their employees to have a clean criminal record.

For example: in Slovenia, an employer may demand a 'certificate of non-punishment', which is issued by the Ministry of Justice.

However, some companies may, of course, decide not to make an issue of this and give everyone an equal chance.
 Anti-discrimination act

Various anti-discrimination acts have been implemented on the European level, as listed below. Be sure to check the situation in your own country and act accordingly during the application process.


1 - Recruit and employ