Have you ever missed out on a job and wondered why? Do you have an interview coming up and want to know how to prepare to knock it out of the park? Australian Plumbing surveyed a group of employers to find out what they’re looking for in an apprentice to help you be your best.

Here are the top five responses

The first is initiative. What have you done prior to applying for the job to demonstrate that you are keen to join the team? Have you researched the company to find out its history or the type of work it does? Have you earned yourself a white card so that you can walk onto a job site on day one? Showing that you really want something by investing in yourself will let your prospective employer know that you’re ready to hit the ground running.

Next is your work experience. This should demonstrate your understanding of primary work skills such as self-management, teamwork and your ability to follow instruction. Have you proven your ability to manage early morning starts by delivering papers for the local newsagent? Did you learn to communicate well with customers after taking orders at the golden arches? You may not realise it but most of what you’re doing in your high-school casual jobs is preparing you for the rest of your working life.

What is your preparedness to learn? Are you willing to dig a few holes with a shovel to appreciate sitting in the driver’s seat of an excavator? Work – and life in general – is all about learning, what you learn today will make you better tomorrow. It’s not enough to turn up and go through the motions, waiting for knock-off time. You owe it to yourself to learn from your experiences on the job and be able to take instruction from the person charged with guiding you through your apprenticeship: a true team effort.

You’re also going to need a passion for plumbing? Your ability to demonstrate that you have a genuine interest in the industry and are looking to make further steps into a career in plumbing will give a potential employer confidence that you’ve done your research and you know what the plumbing industry is all about. The last thing an employer wants to hear after they have invested time and resources into training you is that “You know what, I don’t think plumbing is for me… I think I wanna be a sparky!”

Most importantly, employers are looking for people with a good attitude. So much so, that most of the other traits listed might be overlooked if you’ve got a great attitude. Employers want a recruit that comes to work ready to get stuck into the day, is easy to manage, can adapt to the existing team culture and, most importantly, knows the appropriate time to use their mobile phone!