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The Apprentice 2016 – Series 12, Week Eleven – The Interviews

Chloe Harrold

Each episode of The Apprentice will be scrutinised by Chloe Harrold, a senior employment lawyer with the progressive business services group, Outset, and she will pull out the HR blunders for your entertainment and education. Based in Maidstone TV Studios, watching out in case Lord Sugar lands on the helipad, Chloe has experience of advising employers and senior executives in all areas of employment law. She deals with contentious and non-contentious matters, including exit strategy, settlement agreements, discrimination, reorganisationand TUPE. Chloe is also a qualified New York lawyer who qualified as a UK solicitor in 2009 whilst specialising in employment law at a City firm. Having spent several years working in the City she joined Outset in 2016.

The Nitty Gritty

We’re down to the final five and at last we get to find out what they’re really made of. The candidates get one last chance to polish their business plans before facing the grilling of a lifetime. You’d think they would have every t crossed and i dotted, but the interviewers easily make them squirm.

The interviewers didn’t hold back and the candidates were really put through their paces. A personal favourite was Claude interviewing Courtney – trying to drag some energy out of him made for hilarious viewing – Claude was getting more excited than Courtney! Then he was found out for embellishing his CV, what a rookie mistake, has he not seen the show before? The business plans are examined down to the last minutiae and the detail is easy to check – how could Jessica not even realise she was still a director of a business she sold!?

Lying on a CV is a very bad move, and if you’ve already recruited someone and find out later down the line that they fibbed this can seriously undermine the relationship of trust. Depending on what the embellishment concerns it may even go to the fundamentals of the role and make it impossible to continue to employ them. Either way it’s unlikely that the breach of trust can be ignored and it can present a justified “You’re Fired” scenario.

And while on the topic of “You’re Fired”, many comment that Lord Sugar can’t fire someone he hasn’t hired yet. In fact, no one has been hired as an apprentice since series 6, when the prize used to be a job in one of Lord Sugar’s companies. From series 7 onwards the process has been more akin to the candidates genuinely being apprentices, learning and growing with each task, working toward a final goal to be hired as Lord Sugar’s business partner – no longer an apprentice.

Grainne performed pretty well throughout the whole process, and if last week’s rumours were to be believed she was pegged for the winner, but having faced the panel she was the first to go. Next to go was Jessica – her business hasn’t performed well enough in the past and she has been a whirlwind of emotion, energy and chatter, I really couldn’t see her as Lord Sugar’s business partner. Finally, Frances couldn’t hide from her two shop closures, despite leaving them off her business plan, and she was the last fire for the semi-final.

So, it’s Alana and Courtney in the final – cakes Vs gifts – I know which I prefer, who are you rooting for?

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