Don’t be a Clone at Your Job Interview!

Multiple images of the exact same job interview candidate.Have a job interview coming up soon? That’s great! However, take a moment and put yourself in the interviewer’s shoes. When looking at all the candidates who applied for this job, what does the interviewer see? If the job posting and applicant tracking system worked, the interviewer may be looking at a collection of clones! What do I mean? Remember, the candidates who were selected for an interview all have:

  • The same required degree
  • Similar work experience
  • The same required license, certification, or other credentials

After all, these candidates—including you—had to meet the same basic job requirements or else they wouldn’t even be considered, right? Not just that, if they prepared themselves for the interview, they will all likely:

  • Be professionally dressed
  • Have professionally-prepared resumes and cover letters
  • Be polite and well-spoken

So, what makes you anything special?

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Apprenticeships: Earn While You Learn

Woman working on a device.Why an apprenticeship? Job hunters are all too familiar with the typical process followed when entering a new career or finding a job. You apply, hope to get a job interview, and then the employer asks about your education, experience, and skills. Employers may also expect you to have specific credentials (license, certification, etc.). You have already spent considerable time and money preparing (typically by attending college), and now, you want a job with a paycheck. It’s time to move on with your life and career.

Yes, this approach frequently seems the norm for finding employment. In fact, you may have been constantly told your entire life that it is the only way to get a good-paying job. Because of this well-intentioned indoctrination, it is easy to forget or not even be aware that other good and valid options are available.

An excellent but often overlooked career path that can lead to a good-paying career is that of an apprenticeship program. Apprenticeships break the mold of the typical career process by completely changing the steps involved.

The Typical Job/Career Process

The typical job/career process goes like this. It takes years of your time and your money to prepare before you can even apply for a job. Next, you do a job search and try to get an interview. Even then, as many college grads have discovered, there is no guarantee you will ever even land a job in your chosen field or college degree major.

When mapped out in detail, the typical process goes like this:

Typical Career Path Flowchart

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