Another Interview Secret From The Apprentice (Dec 2010)

the_apprentice_clintYesterday Sharon responded to my Apprentice interview secret post (on Facebook) with this comment:

After Clint’s answer … and his last statements were good ones, so I thought there would be no way Brandy could “trump” Clint…

I’ve been wondering why Clint didn’t win.  I would have hired him in a heartbeat – he has significant drive (and a number of other characteristics).

Was it his over-use of “y’all” at the stuffy, rich-person event he managed?  He was called on that in The Boardroom.  That didn’t bother me, though, because I have significant ties to Texas, and I hear “y’all” all the time.  I kind of forget how East Coast people are about West Coast language.

I’ll tell you what my turnoff was, though, and it all happened in HIS final minutes as he answered the question “why should I hire you.”

Clint went on to say something about having all of the paper on the wall – he’s a CPA, attorney, real estate broker, etc.

I guess that is okay to say, but I have some problems with his response:

  1. He had already said it, a number of times, throughout the season. It was his opening line, it seemed.
  2. Papers don’t mean much when it comes to other things, like the characteristics you need to successfully run a business, or manage a team, etc.  He said he was a “CEO in a Box,” but just having credentials doesn’t mean you can be a CEO.
  3. He didn’t talk much about what he really could do for Trump’s organization. His focus was on his past (credentials) and had a notion of “you should like me because I’m likable.”

What if he responded like this:

“You already know I have the educational credentials to do the job.  As you’ve seen over the last few weeks I am strong in leadership.  When (and then tell a story that supports this).  I also have high integrity, as was shown when (tell another story).  You have seen my ability to delegate to people who are right for a task and guide them to success – I did this multiple times, like when (story) and (story).  Finally, I may be a bit unpolished, as you’ve seen with my use of “y’all,” which is second nature to me, but I am a quick learner and will adapt to the audience as needed.  You saw an example of my ability to learn quickly when (story).”

WOW! Remind the decision-maker what you bring to the table with supporting stories.  Just saying you have papers (credentials) isn’t enough.  Just saying you are a strong leader isn’t enough.  Stories connect the dots, reinforce the message, and are memorable.

Note: Brandy, who won, is also an attorney, and she didn’t mention her credentials (IIRC).

1 thought on “Another Interview Secret From The Apprentice (Dec 2010)”

  1. In the Brit version we’re currently down to the last five Apprentice candidates and it’s hard to say who’s got the edge. Lord Sugar – recently upgraded in title from Sir Alan – is notoriously unimpressed by strings of qualifications if they aren’t backed up by sound business acumen, hard work and strong personal qualities.

    In the introductory sequence this year, Lord Sugar announces (in a well modulated voice): “These are tough economic times …and in this climate, you need to stand out from the crowd”. So we can see from the outset that he’s looking for some exceptional attributes that go beyond credentials. I expect Donald yells something similar in his inimitable pursed-lips style. 🙂

    Personally I find it annoying if a candidate keeps reiterating something – whether it be their impressive qualifications, their achievements in spite of NOT having qualifications or their incredible [………………]. (Insert superlative of choice.)

    Maybe it’s my British mentality, but I find endless boasting a turn-off. As Shakespeare said “Methinks (s)he doth protest too much”. I really like the suggestion above, well punctuated by stories, which will engage the audience. A very well crafted piece – potential Apprentice applicants take note.

    And by the by, after watching The Apprentice from both sides of the pond since it started, why, why, why oh WHY don’t these highly qualified and talented people ever seem to do much brain-storming, research or planning? Unbelievable.

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