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The Apprentice: “Sir Alan’s advisers were a joke”

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“OK, we all know it’s a TV reality show but comments such as: ‘you’re a contractor because no one is going to employ you’; and ‘your CV is one of the most boring CVs I’ve ever read’ hardly gives the right impression to any aspiring HR professionals watching,” says Everett, who founded London-based recruitment firm Perriam & Everett in 1992.

On last week’s show, Sir Alan’s advisers were Karen Brady, who, at just 23, was MD of Birmingham City Football Club; troubleshooter Claude Littner; Bordan Tkachuk, chief executive of Viglen Computers; and property tycoon Paul Kemsley. Everett reckons they were “rude, they didn’t listen and they made personal remarks".

“Anyone worth their salt in recruitment knows that interviewing should be based on competencies – and not personal assumptions – otherwise you end up with subjectivity and even discrimination.”

“Despite the gloomy economic predictions of recent weeks, there is still a war for talent. When interviewing, you are selling as well as buying – something that Sir Alan’s advisers seem to know very little about,” adds Everett.

But it’s not just Sir Alan’s confidants who put on a shoddy performance. The five candidates in Wednesday’s episode of The Apprentice have come under fire, too.

“They made a lot of mistakes,” says Rhonda Lusty, regional director at finance recruitment specialist Nigel Lynn. “Helene swore quite a few times, and Lee not only winked at his interviewer but also lied about his education on his CV. This made them both look very unprofessional and, in normal circumstances, would have damaged their chances of securing the job."

The interviewers described former model Alex as “bland” and “looking half asleep”. He came across as sarcastic, saying “thank you” when told his CV was boring. “Alex should have smiled and showed he did have some character, and he needed to stop getting so stressed – his defensiveness was verging on rude,” says Lusty.

The candidates also made spelling and grammatical errors on their CVs, put fluency in their native language as a skill on their CV, talked too much and skirted around questions.

Let’s see how the final four fare tomorrow night.

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