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Apprentice finalist Vana on interview week and her own experience: "One of the toughest days of my life"

Vana's View: "Linda is the toughest interviewer. But she was also my favourite. She’s awesome. Her sassiness could make anyone flustered!"

Published: Thursday, 15th December 2016 at 8:58 pm

This competition is finally coming to an end! I’ll never forget the feeling that I had last year when I found out I was in the Final Five… It was exhilarating and exciting. I can’t describe the rush.


But the interview stage … that was a different story. That day was one of the TOUGHEST days of my life. Justifying that DatePlay was an awesome business idea was really difficult because each of the interviews analyzed the proposition in different ways.

Uh oh… First Frances is being torn apart by Claude… Hopefully she can redeem herself in the other interviews…

And Gainne… is getting eaten alive by Mike… Her calculation of 5/6 isn’t 90%… Another big uh oh. I think it’s good that Grainne just smiled and handled her mistake with grace!

Linda is the toughest interviewer in my opinion. But she was also my favourite. She’s awesome. Her sassiness could make anyone get flustered! Jessica is up first with her… and it’s a bit of a nightmare… Jessica is getting overwhelmed and that just winds Linda up more!

Alana, on the other hand, seems to really hold her own with Claude. He is skeptical of her business. But I think she won him over by the end of her interview. She explains that she has worked really hard and has invested her profits in her home, versus the business. I hope they don’t hold that against her. I see potential in her and think she has something special!

Now, for the only man left in the competition! Courtney. His interview with Claudine is tough. She seems worried about his lack of charisma. And the fact that he just describes himself as “awesome”. What an American word! He also mentions that he wishes he could fart in an elevator full of models?! WHAT?! That’s just weird…

Claude is questioning Grainne’s work and how she will transition from being a sole trader to what she’s proposing in the business plan. Sometimes I wish I could read the business plan to see exactly what she’s submitted to Lord Sugar and the team!

Linda was tough on Jessica today. But she was also tough on Alana. She called her out on some deep subjects. Most shocking – she asked about her boyfriend, who works for her and whether she would consider firing him.

Claude really doesn’t seem too fond of Courtney and I think it’s really going to work against him. He even calls him a “deadbeat” and is making fun of his attitude and demeanor. Courtney needs to step up to the plate and be a bit more enthusiastic!!!

Grainne says that the interview process is tougher than childbirth. I haven’t given birth but I must say it was a VERY tough day for me. Courtney says it’s one of the hardest days of his life… and I would totally agree with that!

I’m shocked to find out that Jessica has two businesses and three kids. So impressive! That is an achievement. And I like the way Courtney handled the criticism from Mike. He laughed off the fact that he embellished on his CV but also admitted to it.

Alana mentions that it would be horrible to get this far and “fall at the final hurdle”. That’s exactly how I felt!!!

I’m a bit surprised that Jessica wants her business to be called “Lust and Lies”. So random! And definitely won’t go over well with Lord Sugar…

Seems like the judges thought Grainne’s idea wasn’t feasible… And that Courtney wasn’t a large scale inventor…

Now, for the boardroom… the second to last one! Can’t believe it’s almost over!!!! Lord Sugar is very quick to fire Grainne… and she leaves with grace. I think she was a great, strong candidate. He spared her from the stress and let her go quickly, which I respect.

Frances’s business doesn’t seem scalable to Lord Sugar. I think she’s a sharp cookie, so I think she’ll make it either way. Jessica’s plan is too similar to her other failed business, which is why he is skeptical. Jessica has great sales skills and she also leaves with grace. I think she’s going to be able to make her business work.

Karren, Claude and Lord Sugar question Frances’s organizational skills, Courtney’s charisma and Alana’s willingness to reinvest in her business.

I’m so happy to see that the final three are such strong candidates. Two out of three – Frances, Alana – are women. And they are IMPRESSIVE. They are strong, sharp and inspirational.

I know that Frances is the one who had to go, but I think she did an amazing job throughout this process and I really think she can make her business work. She’s a mum and she is passionate about the children’s clothing store. Having two shops IS impressive and I think she CAN make it happen.

I’m so excited to see the final!! Rooting for my girl Alana all the way.



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