"the apprentice"By Carole Martin

If you’re a fan of the show “The Apprentice” with Donald Trump you know that the winner this season was a young woman named Brandy.

If you’ve never watched the show it is a show of elimination as the “stars” compete against one another and one person is “fired” each episode until there is only one candidate left. The last star standing gets the job offer – much as a scenario in today’s job market might go.

The show had an interesting scenario this season because the “stars” were chosen from several unemployed men and women who have been having a difficult time obtaining employment, or who are underemployed just to pay the bills. Maybe you could have been one of the stars as this is sadly a common scenario in the job market at this time.

The show progressed over several weeks with the suspense building as one after another the candidates were eliminated each week. There was lots of drama and I’m sure the producers kept it interesting by throwing in challenges to keep ratings up.

In the last show it came down to two candidates: a woman named Brandy, and a man named Clint. Each candidate had performed well and Donald Trump told them so by saying, “There are no losers in this room.”

But, there was to be only one “Apprentice” – one job. There could be only one job offer made.

This may be similar to the scenario that would go on behind the scenes when you interview. You and another candidate might be equal, but both of you have positive and negative points about your background or experience – or lack of. This does not mean that you are a loser. What it does mean is that the other person fit what was desired best, or the person who sold themselves best.

Back to the show and the final showdown when the decision of who would get the job would happen and the other person would be “fired” – ala Donald Trump.

Trump asked a question of the candidates:

“Why should I hire you”?

This is an old standard question that is ultimately asked in almost every interview in one form or another.

The words may be different but ultimately it is the same question. Questions like: “What can you bring to the position?” Or, “What makes you a better fit for this position then the other candidates?”

In the case of the Apprentice show, the final answers were quite different from each candidate. Clint’s answer focused on what he could bring to the table. This was not a bad answer, but Clint had used this technique several times over the past weeks emphasizing his education and qualifications, which Mr. Trump had told him he was impressed with. The problem was that this was not new or fresh information.

Brandy, on the other hand, summarized quickly that she was qualified and that her performance had spoken for itself during the trials of the show. But then she quickly shifted focus to the Trump Dynasty and the fact that Donald Trump’s children (who are grown and are also members of the show) were waiting in the wings to move forward to take charge of the future. And, she wanted to be part of the vision of the future.

Her approach was fresh and youthful with an eye on the future. She had done her homework and it showed – she got the job!

There is no doubt that Donald Trump has a huge ego, but most interviewers/companies do as well. No matter what person you are interviewing with or what company you are interviewing to work for, the ultimate idea is, “What can you do for us?”

A typical answer to “Why should we hire you?” from candidates is something like:

“I would really like the challenge and opportunity to work for this company.”

This answer is really more about the candidate’s agenda and what they will get out of the opportunity and not what the person or company will gain.

The interviewer is probably not all that really interested in what you will get out of the position, or at least not as interested as whether the candidate can perform the job and has the qualities that are necessary to do this job.

When push comes to shove it’s about what you can bring to the position to add value to the position, the company and the bottom line.

Carole Martin, The Interview Coach has created an online tool that helps you create a unique answer to the “Tell Me About Yourself” question go to www.jobinterviewbrand.com to see how to get started. Visit her blog at www.instantinterviewcoach.com to see a special “penny” deal for her Questions and Answers E-Book.