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What we can learn from the TV show ‘The Apprentice’

Last night’s episode of the Apprentice was amazing! We are now in the final 5 and these are the final 5 picked from thousands of people in the beginning. So what is it that makes them so special and enables them to stand out from the crowd?

During my time working in Graduate recruitment, we, on average, rejected 495 out of 500 of the graduates who applied through our process per week and we would know in the first 10 seconds of meeting a graduate whether they would be successful or not.

This statistic is not unfamiliar, ‘People make up their minds about people in the first 10 seconds of meeting them’ and it appears that many other employers operate on similar statistics. Jason Trost, the CEO of Smarkets mentioned in a talk recently, that only 1 in 100 of the graduates who applied to him were successful.

So what are the traits that most employers are looking for? And what can we learn from the final 5 on The Apprentice to help us improve our chances of getting a job?

  1. Creativity– Jane displayed Creativity in the promotional video task where she came up with original ideas and directed them perfectly. She could see what would cause people to buy and this is what makes her an excellent sales person. I recently placed a graduate whose C.V. was exceptionally creative! He had put photos on there of him running the marathon as well as other achievements in his life and it really made him stand out from the crowd.
  2. Passion and energy and enthusiasm– Although Jane was in the bottom 3 and should have gone home, it was her Passion and energy and commitment to fight her case that got her through! People buy Passion and Lord Sugar is looking for a business partner with passion and energy as he knows that he will make money that way! The amount of times i have rejected graduates on a phone interview due to a lack of passion and energy in their voice. Energy is contagious!
  3. Confidence– The common theme with all the top 5 hopefuls is their confidence and self assurance! Ricky is constantly heard saying he is the best and he genuinely believes it! They are all confident due to successes in their past experiences, whether it is playing competitive sports or being top sales men/women
  4. Straight forward and direct– It is important to know who your audience is and communicate to them in their language and map and model of the world. Lord Sugar is their audience and as he is extremely direct, this is the reason these particular 5 are in the final 5! If they waffled or didn’t get to the point quickly enough, they would have been fired already! FYI most leaders are direct, so practice speaking and getting to the point quickly! Cut out waffle!
  5. Articulate– Nicolas is the perfect example of someone very articulate in the Apprentice final 5. He speaks well and clearly and we would take him seriously if he was selling to us. Employers are looking for candidates who can talk to their customers and represent their company and therefore communication skills are vital
  6. Level Headed– In business, not everything goes to plan. Adam crumbled on the sales task when he wasn’t able to sell his chosen artists paintings and this shone him in a bad light in front of Lord Sugar. However, he was able to recover didn’t crumble altogether under pressure. In business, you will go through lots of ups and downs and encounter rejection lots of times and it is one’s ability to recover from that, which determines their success!
  7. Natural Sales person– People are in business to make money! Unless you are a charity of course : ) Lord Sugar is looking for a business partner who can make him money! The only team in a company responsible for talking to customers and producing revenue, which produces profit is the Sales team. What you will notice from all the final 5 applicants is they are naturally gifted sales people! Most employers are looking for these skills and they are very valuable.
  8. Charmer– ‘People buy from people they like’. People skills are vital! If people like you, they will warm to you and respect you. The final 5 are there because they are people we respect, admire and want to emulate. Charm can be improved by demonstrating strong listening skills, an interest in other people and the ability to understand other people and display strong emotional intelligence skills.

For proven methods on how to improve all of these skills to maximise your chances of getting a job or securing investment, Contact The Apprentice Project  [email protected] and talk to use about our Career Coaching strategies and packages.

“The Apprentice Project provides the education graduates need after finishing University!”

We specialize in placing graduates into Sales jobs with the most dynamic and entrepreneurial companies in the UK. Email [email protected]


Written by Emma Vites, CEO The Apprentice Project @emmavites @apprenticepro

Copyright © 2019 Emma Vites