From the top 14 December 2018

The Apprentice 2018 Final preview: Who’s going to win the £250,000 investment?

Sian Gabbidon and Camilla Ainsworth

The infamous interviews process is over, and Lord Sugar has selected his final two candidates for The Apprentice 2018. Here are the predictions of our entrepreneurs for Sunday’s final.

The latest candidates to be fired by Lord Sugar were Daniel Elahi, Khadiji Kalifa and Sabrina Stocker, leaving swimwear entrepreneur Sian Gabbidon and nut-milk business owner Camilla to contest the final for £250,000 investment on Sunday 16 December.

Our panel of entrepreneurs revealed their no-holds-barred opinions of the interviews process.

Daniel Scott, founder CoinCorner

What did the final candidates do well?

Neither Camilla or Sian really did that well in the interview process. The reason they’re finalists is that their business ideas held up better than Daniel and Khadija’s!

Camilla’s nut milk business idea is probably a short-term win for Lord Sugar and could position her to win over Sian. The market for dairy-free milk is booming at the moment and there could be enough time left for her to seize market share with his funding. In comparison, Sian might struggle to make her swimwear product unique among a saturated and trending market.

Where did the losing candidates go wrong?

Sabrina and Daniel had weaknesses in their business plans and characters which made them lose. Sabrina, in particular, has been a generally strong candidate in the series but was considered young and inexperienced in business by the judges. Her business plan troubled Lord Sugar as she owned no tangible assets (e.g. tennis courts) and was practising bad marketing tricks (e.g. oversubscribing her events and then cancelling many at the last minute) which probably already is affecting her business’s long-term reputation.

Which candidate caught your eye?

Sian has shown some business sense in the competition tasks and is clearly a driven person, but her business plan had major weaknesses (e.g. a lack of thought for introducing manufacturing) which could cost her the win.

She also showed some emotion in this episode when interviewing with Linda which was refreshing as she’s been known for her poker face in the tasks!

Which candidate performed badly?

Daniel hands-down scooped the title of ‘bad candidate’ this episode. Throughout the show, he has fibbed and talked his way into/out of situations, and he did it again in the interviews! It was totally cringe-worthy to watch him sabotage himself – especially when Mike Soutar asked him to own up to lying that he had sold over 1 million products on his Amazon page. Daniel’s behaviour is everything you shouldn’t do in business or in an interview!

What lessons and takeaways can small business owners take from this episode?

Interview 101 – don’t shout at your interviewer! Khadija raised her voice again and again in this episode and it didn’t put her in a positive light or help her case. It’s important to be able to defend your ideas and decisions in business, but if something you’ve done is clearly incorrect, it’s best to admit you were wrong (e.g. her crazy financial estimates) and move on!

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