The Apprentice – Howard fails to sell himself to Sir Alan

So, sadly, another one of my favourites has been fired from The Apprentice this week. I am genuinely very sad to see Howard go.
It’s one thing for Sir Alan to dismiss Howard as being too ‘risk adverse’ in these difficult times for his organisation, but I think that likable, organised, get-the-job-done Howard would make a fine employee for any business, no matter what the current economic climate is like. I think he would have been a very loyal employee, he would have listened to instructions, taken criticism on board, come up with plenty of intelligent ideas and overall grown and developed into a key employee in Sir Alan’s organisation.
Anyway, now must focus on what we have left. And I have to hand it to her, as much as I dislike the woman, Debra did am impressive job this week. However, perhaps she should therefore become a tele-salesperson rather than the next winner of The Apprentice. Just because she sold plenty of ponchos on a TV sales channel, this does not excuse her rude, disruptive behaviour over the previous weeks, where she has continually upset other candidates, failed to complete tasks and clearly overall been a pain and a nuisance to work with.
Probably the biggest surprise and disappointment in this week’s task was Kate. I honestly thought that this was exactly the kind of task she would excel at and that she would sell far more than any of the other candidates. Instead, she came across as rather wooden on the screen, with little of her usual charm and although she gave that ridiculous guitar contraption an enthusiastic demonstration, there was nothing particularly professional or inspiring about her performance.
And, it’s all very well Sir Alan getting angry at Howard and Lorraine for their lack of sales on the jacket and the chip cooker, but I heard very little in the way of instructions from then director Kate. Maybe if she had told them to move on to talking about prices and phone numbers then they would have done so. It comes across as one of those things that is easier to see is an obvious mistake when you are sitting behind the screen than when you are doing the actual presenting.
It’s going to be very interesting next week to see what Sir Alan’s normally very straight-talking interviewers make of the remaining candidates. I would actually love to see more of these interview episodes. It’s often the first time we really start to get to know the candidates. There’s no one else to blame for their short-comings any more and we really see how they perform in an interview scenario; exactly the kind of scenario any of the rest of us face when applying for a more regular job.
I’m not even going to attempt to make a prediction of what Sir Alan will do though. First of all we are often clearly not given enough of the information to make an informed opinion of the candidates and secondly Sir Alan only seems to make his selection criteria clear right before he fires someone. It’s going to be a very interesting week though and I wish James all the best of luck, although from the looks of the preview snippets we have been shown, he again manges to land himself in a sticky situation. But I guess that was inevitable for our self-branded Hugh Hefner.

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