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The Apprentice: Why Amy Lostby David Bloomberg -- 04/14/04
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The contestants were interviewed by four Trump executives – people who, if the contestants got the job, they would likely have to deal with on a regular basis; people who knew substance from baloney; people who were not going to accept the kind of answers that people often give on standard job interviews. Indeed, we saw them level some pretty hard questions, and dig deeply into the contestants’ answers when those answers were not satisfying. Nick summed up the focus of this episode by noting that it was all about them.
And this, unfortunately, is where things became a problem. While Bill, Nick, and Kwame had been to the boardroom their fair share of times (Kwame more than his fair share), Amy had been there only once. The others had a crash course in debate and discussion with company executives – remember that what we saw was merely a few minutes of a much longer session that actually took place. So Amy came in with a bit of a disadvantage in that regard. We saw a hint of that disadvantage the one time she was in the boardroom, when she had to argue against Katrina. Frankly, in what we saw she did not exhibit stellar debating skills, and Katrina was sent home because of her past track record more than anything Amy in particular said.
Something similar occurred when Amy had to talk to the four executives this time. As they hit her with questions, it seemed like she came back with answers that were not really what they were looking for – and they weren’t afraid to tell her. For example, Charlie asked her to describe the Trump organization, and she provided an answer about what value she could add. He interrupted her to tell her that she wasn’t answering his question. That’s never a good sign, and I think it probably threw Amy off further. I know it would have for me! From there, Charlie should have just handed her a shovel, because from what we saw she just kept digging a deeper hole. She gave some standard interview answers about playing Devil’s advocate and the like, but Charlie simply wasn’t going to let her by with that. Amy didn’t really seem to have much to say in response – unlike Bill, for example, who came back and argued when one of the interviewers suggested that he didn’t have a good enough educational background.
Amy herself admitted that what she was saying didn’t make much sense. She was hoping she could get by on a judgment of how she was saying it – and sometimes an interview truly is looking for something like that. But not this crew. They wanted substance, and a lot of it. Unfortunately, Amy didn’t seem quite ready for this type of grilling.
The interviewers seem to have found even more wrong than the viewers saw. Norma thought Amy would get on her nerves after a while. Tom said that she “irritated the hell” out of him. Charlie compared her to a Stepford wife and said they had a boring conversation. In general, they felt her answers were meaningless – which, as we had seen earlier, she pretty much already knew.
Compare this to the reviews Bill and Kwame got. The execs said Bill was solid and could hit the ground running. They thought Kwame was likeable and could get a valuable extra few minutes with a potential customer.
Trump was surprised to hear all of this about Amy, but really he didn’t have a whole lot to judge her on – just what he happened to see in the field and her one trip to the boardroom. He did, however, give Amy a chance to defend herself in the boardroom. Maybe he’d made up his mind by then, maybe not. But if you’re in the boardroom and Donald Trump asks you to defend yourself, then dammit you need to defend yourself! Bill, for example, did good job in defending himself about his intelligence and schooling. Amy, however, didn’t. Trump asked her what he should do. She should have said that she was still a superstar, and that her performance showed that. Sure, she might have seemed a bit nervous talking to his execs, but her actions have spoken louder than her words and she can do the job.
But she didn’t. She punted the question right back to Trump, saying that it’s up to him. Well, of course it was – he knew that. And she gave him absolutely no reason to keep him around. It was no surprise when he fired her.
Amy did a stellar job in the challenges. Some of it was luck, but an awful lot was skill as she came up with some killer ideas. But she was unable to take that ability and put it towards face-to-face interviews. Then, when she had one last chance to defend herself, she couldn’t do it then either. Unfortunately, as with most other job interviews, if you can’t back up your deeds with the appropriate performance in the interview itself, you aren’t going to get the job. Amy didn’t. That is why Amy lost.
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at RNO@pobox.com.
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