Can we take lessons from the Apprentice?

I’ve missed a lot of this series of the Apprentice, however last night I finally sat down to watch what many deem to be the hardest task of each series – the interview. The militant nature of the interviews reminded me of some of the worse ones I’ve had to endure. Having an interviewer tell me that at the age of 25, I had achieved nothing with my life hurt. However, my dad alwyas used to say to me that a man is not defined by the setbacks he experiences, but how he deals with them.

The one quality that all the candidates seem to share is that they are all extremely self confident about their abilities. And this needs to be the case in any interview. If you are going to sell yourself to a potential employer you need to be completely confident in the skills that you can bring to the table. There is absolutely no point in being modest about yourself. No employer wants an average employee. However, in my experience, you should never gloss over your flaws. If someone is highlighting a mistake, admit it. Don’t try and blag. I remember when I was younger having an interview with an a company who sold double glazing. I was so desperate for the job that I told them I had sold windows previously. I got the job, but was very quickly found out and promptly humiliated. The same happened to Yasmina, who completely fell apart once her business acumen was exposed.  In my experience, a candidate or even just a human being, who is able to admit to their flaws, learn to overcome them and then rise above them, presents themselves as a stronger and more rounded individual than someone who seems to be the perfect candidate. This is because you know what to expect with the ‘warts and all’ character, whilst you are always waiting for the veil to slip with the perfect character.

It was also quite admirable how none of the candidates lost their bottle in any of the interviews. Although this was the final series and you’d expect candidates of this quality to give polished interviews, they were really tested. In that environment, it is hard not to take some of the critiscim personally. For me, that quality, combined with the propensity to learn from an experience can really shape a person.

Lastly, who do I think is going to win? It’s got to be Kate. Who did I hope to win? Debra. I think Sir Alan didn’t pick her purely because he realised he had met his match!

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