In last week’s episode of BBC’s The Apprentice, in some ways it was a surprise to see such a good candidate getting “fired”.
Paloma was well-presented and articulate. Certainly her image was excellent.
Image is important of course. I would certainly recommend any candidate for an interview to look their best. Paloma sounded good too. Communication skills are a great asset.
But there has to be substance too.
The show is described by Lord Sugar as being “the job interview from hell” for good reason. The process goes far beyond the initial image to explore the substance of each candidate.
Here substance includes skills, character and team-working for starters.
This year’s crop of Apprentice wannabees is probably the best-looking I can remember. But image isn’t enough. It gets you so far, but no further.
There’s a misunderstanding about business here. People get drawn into the image of success, thinking that this is all there is to it. Image can become a blind alley.
The sad thing is, truly capable people get drawn into this too. It’s as if they forget to draw on their skills and abilities and play the appearances game instead. It doesn’t wash.
The show does us a favour here, if we are students of business, and we learn its lesson.
Let your skills do the talking.
In the follow-up show Paloma only seemed to be looking for techniques to reduce her poor image under pressure, such as being less “lippy”. To me this is too superficial to make any improvement. Rather, put your talents to full use!
See also future episodes: What happens in Baggs v Sandeesh?
And earlier episodes: How do you solve a problem like Melissa?;