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5 Lessons That Can Be Learnt From Watching The Apprentice

Career Resources
Posted on: 02/10/2018
Young businessman

It is probably the toughest job interview in the world, but tonight 16 new contestants will step into Lord Sugar’s boardroom as The Apprentice returns to our screens. It is a show where you would expect to see high-calibre candidates showcasing their skills as they attempt to secure the £250,000 investment from one of the UK’s most successful businessmen.

These are candidates who claim to be expert sales people, negotiators and marketers. However, more often than not their skills seemingly desert them and they are left red faced in the boardroom. 

With that in mind, here are some of the lessons which can be learnt from previous candidates to have appeared on the show: 

  1. Overconfidence Is Not Appealing: To make it to the top of your business or industry, you will always require a certain level of self-confidence – but it is possible to go too far. Every year on The Apprentice, we see the candidates boasting about their abilities – often far beyond their actual capabilities. This type of over-confidence not only leaves you open to scrutiny when you fail to live up to expectations, but will often make you less likeable among your peers. 
  2. Don’t Shirk Responsibilities: There will come a time during your professional career when you are asked to take on a role or responsibility which is outside of your comfort zone. If this is the case, don’t be tempted to shirk your responsibilities and blend into the background. Too often on The Apprentice we see candidates who are afraid to risk making a mistake by taking on tasks that are unfamiliar to them – those who do are quickly fired for not contributing to the team.
  3. Don’t Be Afraid To Speak Out: How many times on the show have we seen candidates who are happy to go along with a project until it fails – at which point they suddenly claim to have not be keen on the idea from the outset. If you think something is not right it pays to speak up from the beginning, rather than letting the project fail and watching a colleague take the bullet.
  4. Remain Focused On The Task At Hand: The most successful candidates on The Apprentice are those who always put the task objective at the heart what they are doing. Most tasks set on the show will either be about selling the highest number of units or making the most money. So if you blow the budget designing a product for a task in which the aim is to maximise profit margins, you’re probably going to fail.
  5. Always Tell The Truth: We have covered the issue of lying in several blogs before. It does not matter how big or small the lie, it is not worth risking your potential job. You will inevitably be found out once the employer consults your references, or will trip over your own lies during the interview.

With all this in mind, we look forward to seeing what howlers this year’s candidates have in store for us!

Want more hints and tips? Our Candidates Resources section offers advice on everything from preparing the perfect CV to impressing at interviews!