Not just a straightforward interview
This years “Apprentice” was the winner selected from an apparently broader range of applicants than usual, in order to reflect the current poor labour market and the realistic choice that businesses face today when looking at job applications .
Apparently they offered the chance to people from a range of backgrounds including entrepreneurs, people who were made redundant, fairly recently qualified graduates, applicants who had had no formal training or experience in interviews whatsoever as well as those that had some more solid but progressive work experiences.
To be one of the twelve selected was an achievement and, although most viewers enjoyed pointing out the flaws and weaknesses of the applicants, we should also commend these people for their resilience, determination and willingness to expose themselves, warts and all, to the general public.
Of course the ultimate aim is to get a job offer, and it is hard to console oneself if you are on the end of being the runner up or final shortlist without being selected. The advantage of seeing this happen on tv is that you do get to experience what an interviewer may witness in a job interview and hopefully learn a few lessons about how to present yourself in relation to other applicants in a business interview.
Although it is a tv show, it isn’t that far removed from reality in terms of the way people conduct themselves and how selection proceses can be made. For example, I recently heard that London job applications for a Saturday post with a major American retailer ,aimed at the “teen” market in London, involved group role play interviews where individuals (mainly teenagers) were asked to play out a scenario and discuss how this would be dealt with. It also covered questions about the corporate branding of the retailer and asked applicants to consider what their ethos or values were and how these were reflected in the way they worked.
I was surprised that this was aimed to 16- 18 year olds specifcially and think this probably illustrates how the part time job market has become more and more competitive in a time for ec0nomic difficulty and is now starting to reflect the processes that the permanent job market adopts.