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/Rachel Matthews The Apprentice - How well do you know your personal brand?

The penultimate episode of The Apprentice aired this week, and the remaining five candidates went through the four toughest interviews of their lives in a bid to make it to the final two.

Episode Eleven – Interviews

Key Skill: Interview SkillsThe Apprentice

It was every candidate for themselves in episode eleven of this years Apprentice, when the five remaining potential business partners pitched their plans to four of the toughest interviewers in the country.

Each individual faced some of the toughest business and personal questions they ever have, and every business plan was torn apart.

Interview skills were clearly the top priority here, but so was the preparation. It was key that the business plans and interview prep was well thought out and prepared, in readiness for any questions or concerns. Most of the candidates were not as prepared as they should have been.

There was also an issue with personal brand – a lot of the candidates didn’t know their brand well enough, or had unrealistic expectations for it – something that was highlighted on several occasions.

There wasn’t a single interviewer who doubted that Charleine was determined, hard-working and had the drive she needed, but all commented that her expectations were far too high.

Gary’s plan had issues at the very start, not showing enough growth and revenue to be a feasible investment. He also fell down when questioned about his corporate background, showing that he had seriously stretched the truth in a few areas, which made the interviewers question his reliability.

Joseph had a successful response, but faced the same problems as Charleine – was he enough of a brand to make a franchise successful at this stage in his career? He was applauded for being a strong and ambitious candidate, but there were concerns he was shooting too high, too early.

Vana came across well and had a solid business idea, but there were concerns around whether she would run out of money early on, having planned to make her way through Lord Sugar’s investment within a mere six months.

And, Richard, the strongest and most confident of the candidates finally broke. His business plan did not make sense to any of the interviewers, and he finally admitted that, although he had made huge errors in the plan, his idea was simple, but effective.

In the boardroom it came down to two point: who could Lord Sugar partner with, and which business would work most effectively?

Who got fired?

Charleine, Gary and Richard

What could have saved them?

This mainly came down to the business plans, but Lord Sugar praised Charleine even though he felt her expectations were too high. He advised Gary his business plan was unsound and he still had too corporate an image, and Richard caused concern for being evasive in interviews, creating a business plan that couldn’t be understood and admitting he would still work with his current company, which caused a conflict of interest.

Rachel Matthews

Rachel Matthews, Social Media and Marketing Manager

In my blogs I will look at industry constraints and issues and problems that employees face in their day-to-day work lives.

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