Whatever your reasons for watching the BBC programme ‘The Apprentice’ you can’t avoid the ‘rich learning opportunities ’ when you watch the harsh reality the candidates face at this point of the process – the dreaded interview panel.
For many people the interview can be where it all comes together or all falls apart. During this episode, for 3 out of the 5 candidates – it definitely fell apart! As an executive coach who supports individuals being able to present their best side inside and outside the boardroom – it is excruciating to watch them make the most basic and totally avoidable mistakes at this late stage.
Below are some lessons that to take from this episode to help us move from Fired to Hired
Basic Mistake – He didn’t read the job spec
Jordan entered in to a process saying he had something he didn’t. He did have lots to offer the process just not what was actually required.
How to avoid : Don’t just read the Job Specification – understand it.
You will normally find on job description that there are a list of Essential requirements and a list of Desirable requirements. Be 100% clear that you can demonstrate evidence and history of the essentials otherwise it is a complete waste of time for everyone involved. More importantly it can have a devastating impact on your credibility as a candidate for future roles as it could appear that you are a chancer.
In the interview episode, Jordan was told by one of the interview panel . “You’re a parasite. This interview is terminated”. Not good for self confidence
Make sure you avoid being terminated by getting help and preparing correctly for the real job specification not the one you might want it to be.
Basic Mistake – She didn’t know her business and she lacked ‘spark’
Francesca was really likable but that’s not enough. When questioned she couldn’t support her vision with any sound business knowledge. She had proposed a turn over figure of £5,000,000 which she said she just ‘made up’
How to avoid: Know your stuff – prepare with an expert to ensure you have your answers ready and that they add up
Having vision for a business idea is brilliant but not enough. In a lot of interviews at executive level you are expected to be able to problem solve around real business scenarios. You may be given a case to work on and asked to share how you would solve that case. If it’s a job around vision and innovation you need to be able to think on your feet and deliver realistic and reliable figures that stack up.
Bring personality to the table – that’s where the spark comes from. Bring energy and passion, if not verbally – then non-verbally. Likeable doesn’t mean your hireable.
Basic Mistake – No plan B and no flexibility
Up to this point – Neil was the favourite to win. Even though his plan wasn’t strong he was given a number of opportunities in the interview stage to adapt it and make it stronger. He was so stuck on his idea he stopped listening to the experts in the room and refused to move from his original plan. It was clear that the plan didn’t work – he was told this a number of times. He refused to deviate from the self-destruct track he was on and Lord Sugar was left with no alternative but to fire him.
How to avoid: Work on your emotional intelligence
Leaders need to stay firm to strategy and at the same time know when to tweak, adapt and change if things are not working out. To he hired you need to demonstrate that you can respond to change and you mind is open to all events at all stages.
Work on skills that develop your emotional intelligence – know how to manage yourself with confidence, build quality relationships and adapt to every changing environment of life and business if you wish to be hired. Have a plan B or the ability to think of one under pressure.
From Fired To Hired – Learn from other’s mistakes – Positive Success Group
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