Last night’s episode of The Apprentice was the much anticipated interview round.  The usual interviewees were in attendance: Margaret Mountford, Claude Littner and Mike Soutar with newby Claudine Collins making up the numbers. This episode is always fun, not only because of the squirm inducing interviews the candidates have to go through, but because of the ineptness displayed, in fact this episode should be called the ‘what not to do in an interview’ or ‘what not to write on your CV’, because any little misdemeanor is discovered, devoured and spat out. Gems this year include Francesca admitting that she plucked the £5 million turnover figure in her business plan out of the air, Leah pointing out all the cosmetic surgery Mike Soutar needs doing and then saying that she was only in the process because she ‘needs the money’, and Luisa calling her old boss ‘an idiot’. Margaret gave, as usual, great eyebrows, particularly when Luisa (rather cleverly I thought) sniped back that you needed a personality in business, Francesca admitting the most interesting fact about herself was her shoe collection, and Jordan was questioned as to why he said David Beckham was his business role model. The gang didn’t fare too well with newcomer Claudine Collins, who wanted to suss out how media worthy they were.  She quickly established that Francesca wasn’t really boring because she said so and that Jordan considers himself more intelligent than anyone else and that his only business he has conducted was selling stuff on ebay. Overall I thought this year the candidates were treated quite kindly in the interviews, in fact despite the fact that all the interviewers hated Neil’s business plan, you could tell they quite liked him as a person.  Luisa composed herself very well in the interviews and was even complimented by Claude and Mike on her business success. But of course, the episode wouldn’t be complete with one of the candidates being visibly chewed up and spat out as a disheveled version of their former selves—step forward Jordan.  First he was put on the spot by Mike to live up to his claim that he could complete a Rubik’s cube in under 3 minutes, which he failed to do.  He was then banished from his interview with Claude when he discovered that not only was the business idea he was floating to Lord Sugar already established, he didn’t actually own any part of it.  If Jordan needed any more nails in his coffin, the fact that he was only willing to part with 15.39% of the equity with Lord Sugar slammed down the lid and threw the dirt on top. Unsurprisingly, back in the boardroom Jordan was very swiftly dispatched from the process.  More surprising was Neil’s firing; despite both the interviewers and Lord Sugar trying to get him to come up with a contingency plan to his flawed online estate agency idea, he clung desperately onto his beliefs and this cost him dearly. With just the three girls left in the process, it was a no-brainer that Francesca would be the next person to hitch a ride home in a taxi.  Her lack of business nous along with her made-up figures made sure that she wasn’t a serious contender for Lord Sugar’s £250,000 investment which left Leah and her cosmetic surgery clinics and Luisa’s baking business to fight it out in the final. How would your people shine in one of our Team Apprentice team building events?
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