After 11 weeks, BBC1’s The Apprentice hopefuls faced the dreaded interview stage this week. The final five were subjected to a grilling by Lord Sugar’s most trusted business partners. CVs, business plans and hopes and dreams were raked over mercilessly.
While the programme had all the drama that we have come to expect, it did teach some valuable lessons in terms of how to prepare – and how not to prepare – for that all-important interview. Here are Search Consultancy’s top tips:
1: Embellishing your CV can come back to bite you – Many candidates on The Apprentice get caught out at the interview stage as they exaggerate the experience they have in business. This is not advisable. If you do go on to take the role, your new employer will assume you have skills that may not be proven. Know your CV inside out and, never in any circumstances, lie.
2: Know your facts – Do your research into the company you want to join. It’s basic advice but if you can’t express an insight into the business you want to join, it may come across as a lack of preparation. Showing a keen interest in the business you want to join will demonstrate your commitment and passion for the role.
3: Be prepared – Try to predict what questions your interviewer will ask you and if possible, get a friend to role play the interview with you so you can practice your responses and sharpen them up. Many interviewers will throw in a curve ball but, by being as prepared as possible for the more obvious questions, you can demonstrate your experience and skills in a well versed manner.
4: Show you’re competent – Competency-based interviews are used widely by employers to test potential candidates’ skills and abilities, so it pays to familiarise yourself with this type of interview format and really be ready for it. Questions could include “can you give an example of a time when…?”, allowing you to illustrate your abilities using real-life examples.
5: Don’t worry - don’t let this type of interview intimidate you - use it as an opportunity to really showcase your abilities by having lots of examples up your sleeve!