Apprentice: the interview episode

This is by far my favourite episode of the Apprentice. I love how clear and direct the interviewers are with the candidates. You can really see how knowledgeable they are about business when they’re questioning the final five. That invaluable experience reins in the eager beaver apprentice wannabes like your headmaster keeping order at primary school. It doesn’t matter what they say, the elders will pick holes like there is no tomorrow.

The bit that I love the most, however, is how this early interview stage picks out the good from the bad, the genuine from the not-so-genuine. Out of all the candidates this series I think it is safe to say that only Stella, the rightful winner, had the true credentials. I thought Chris was very good, but he didn’t have any commercial experience. Stella really wanted the job too: you could tell she had worked hard all her life to prove herself. She was very honest about herself, her strengths and her weaknesses, and it was great to see someone like her come up trumps.

I’ve been wondering how this program relates to my work and to web-based industries like domain name leasing. Next season I would love to see Apprentice allocate a web-based task to the candidates – I’m actually surprised they haven’t already. The element of the show that made me think about our service was the clarity and honesty you have to have in business. Anyone serious about what they do will spot what is commonly known as a ‘blagger’ from miles away, and this episode totally highlighted that fact. I believe things have changed a lot since the cold-calling sales days in the late 90s. So much information is widely available online nowadays and businesses and the people behind them are generally much smarter and much better informed. Business owners and customers alike can use the internet to check out a company’s credentials and the online presences of their staff. If there’s something dishonest going on, it’s much easier to find in the past which is great, because we don’t all have the long-term experience of the Apprentice judges!

It feels good to know that what we do is 100% transparent. It proved to me that the time and energy that we put into our contracts, our recruiting and our PR has been well worth it. Being open and honest with absolute integrity is paramount in the business world today.