Claude Littner, worth an estimated £34 million, is The Apprentice’s chief interrogator, best known for his famously unforgiving interviews.
Working with former boss Lord Alan Sugar, and Baroness Karren Brady, Littner is tasked with finding the top candidate to win the £250,000 investment.
The interview stage is the high point of every series, and that’s largely down to Littner and the way he tears apart the finalists’ CVs and business plans.
Claude spoke to BBC’s Newsbeat to offer his advice to people preparing for job interviews.
BACK TO BASICS
“Turning up late is not OK,” Claude stresses.
“The other thing is, of course, not having researched the company. Because, if you are going for an interview, you are a serious contender.”
“Then the first question is, ‘What do you think of our turnover? Where do you think this company is going?’
“If you know nothing about the company you are in dead trouble.”
READ THE INTERVIEWER
Claude thinks your formality should be taken from the interviewer.
“Don’t be monosyllabic,” he suggests.
“There is nothing worse than a question that comes in and you say, ‘Yeah.’ That does not leave a good impression.”
THE INTERVIEWER IS NOT YOUR FRIEND
Claude believes that it’s important not to be too relaxed.
“It’s a matter of being friendly but not too friendly.
“You should answer the question to the best of your ability. Be honest but be yourself in the best way possible.”
DON’T RUSH OUT
Just because the questions have ended, it doesn’t mean that interview has. Everything you do up until you leave the building could be used in the interviewer’s decision to hire you.
“If on the way out a candidate turns and says to you, ‘I really really want this job” and you follow it up with a letter – those types of things leave a marked impression.”
COMPETE BUT DON’T COMPARE
You may be in competition but there’s no need to worry about or mention others. Focus on what you can do, and be at your best.
“Very often you may not be number one,” he says. “I may have chosen someone else for the job, but that person may turn me down.
“I may then come to you. So it’s very important to do your best. And they are some very key things.”
The clients we work with may not have the same gruelling interview techniques as Littner, but they do have some fantastic opportunities for aspiring IT professionals.
If you’re looking for the next step in your career contact Jumar today on 0121 788 4550 or upload your CV here.