5. Applications

That’s what I want to be! Now what?

If you have decided on a type of training, you have to search for suitable companies. In this chapter, we show you how to find an apprenticeship placement and how to apply successfully.

Apprenticeship wanted

It is worthwhile inquiring directly with companies that come into question for your training. Call or go by directly. Inquire about offers for apprenticeships on the company’s website. If you have already completed an internship in a company, you should also ask there if they are looking for trainees.

You can also get information about training workplaces at the vocational schools. In rural areas, there may be only a few training centers near you. Search in other sectors or in other regions and cities.

Information about training companies and apprenticeship places is also on the Internet:

The correct application documents

If you have found a free place for an internship, you must usually apply in writing. The application should show that you have informed yourself well. Write directly to the appropriate contact person and address the company’s expectations. Why do you want to do this training? Describe your strengths, your interests and your knowledge.

Checklist: What belongs in the application?

  • Form
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Education and training diplomas
  • Evidence of acquired skills, where applicable

The form filling itself is also important. Many companies consider it important that applicants meet a certain standard. You can find out what an acceptable application looks like, for example, in the vocational information center. You can find templates for letters to the DIN standard on the Internet. Thoroughly prepare your documents beforehand and ask others to read the application. The application should be error-free and tidy. Scanned documents must be clearly legible. Some companies want an additional portrait photo of the candidate. Make sure you wear the right clothes for it that will make you seem reliable. The photographer can no doubt give you some advice.

Making a good impression

The company liked your application and has invited you to a job interview. Usually more than one person from the company will take part and the conversation will take about 30 to 45 minutes. Prepare yourself well and practice the conversation with others. Frequently asked questions in job interviews are, for example:

  • What influenced your career choice?
  • What do you expect from the training?
  • What necessary qualities do you think you have for the intended job?

To make a good impression, you should dress smartly and respectably. Show that you really want to do the training and explain what interests you in particular.

For many companies, a placement test will be held before the interview, in which you have to solve job-related tasks. These placement tests are a bit similar to class work. Often different subjects are queried, such as general knowledge, language, mathematics or logic.

Large companies test applicants in an assessment center, where tasks must be solved together with other people. The personnel in charge of the company want to find out how you work as a team, what problem-solving ideas you have and what you know. Prepare yourself for it well beforehand. You can get advice at information centers and on the Internet.

Checklist: Well-prepared for the interview

  • Plan your timing so that you arrive on time.
  • Think in advance about what you want to wear, and get everything ready.
  • Pack your application documents, including your original diplomas.
  • Take your personal documents and your residence permit with you.
  • Switch off your phone before the interview.

Discrimination is not allowed

The decision for or against you should be taken on the strength of your abilities. Color, gender, religion or sexual orientation should not matter. Therefore, questions about your private life are not allowed in the interview and you do not have to answer them. If you find a question strange, ask what it has to do with the training. You can also get up and go, if you feel do not respected or even feel attacked. You would be better not to work for such a company.

If you think you are treated less favorably because of your origins or skin color, get advice from your union. You can defend yourself against discrimination. Your union will help you.

6. Training