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Is experience a factor getting in to apprenticeship?

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I just got back from my interview which could not have gone any worse. I anticipated the questions but completely blanked on the key points I wanted to make in my response. They also kept harping over the fact that I don't have any actual construction experience, but I've heard some people say experience doesn't play a part in the decision and that it's more about your character and how you present yourself. I understand asking about experience, but is it actually taken into consideration?