I won The Apprentice and I agree with Lord Sugar on 'toning down' the gruelling interview process

Virgin Radio

4 Apr 2024, 08:51

Harpreet Kaur, Harpreet with Lord Sugar on The Apprentice

Credit: BBC / Instagram (@harpreetkaur)

The Apprentice 2022 winner Harpreet Kaur is in agreement with Lord Sugar that the intense interview stage of the competition should be toned down. 

The business titan himself claimed the 2023 series of the BBC competition was “hard to watch” after the remaining five candidates, some of whom grew emotional, had their entrepreneurial plans ripped to shreds by a panel of major industry names. 

Lord Sugar told The Times: “Unfortunately when that was recorded, I wasn’t there. Anyway, I’m not making any excuses. When I saw it in the end, I thought, 'This is too harsh', and we’re going to tone it down now.

"I don’t think it’s entertaining. It used to be entertaining. All the previous boardroom [episode] 11s were entertaining. This one was very harsh. I agree with you.”

2022 Apprentice champ Harpreet sat down with virginradio.co.uk on the second anniversary of her big win, and with only one week to go before her 2024 contemporaries get their own gruelling round of interviews, the bakery boss admitted she’d like to see the interviews be “toned down a little bit” to “give people a break.”

She explained: “I feel like watching it since my series, you've got to remember, these are candidates and people that are just trying their best, no one's perfect. At the end of the day, we've gone into The Apprentice for a reason. We want investment and mentorship. So we already know there's gaps. 

“It's really not easy to be grilled to that level, and then millions of people watching it for entertainment. I'm hoping maybe they tone it down a little bit this year.”

For Harpreet though, she “actually enjoyed” her interview process because she “absolutely loves a challenge.”

The Oh So Yum co-founder added: “The interviews are finally the opportunity where you can actually say, ‘Hey, this is me in the real world. This is the business I have, and this is what I have to offer. I'm going to do my best to tell you about it’. 

“Of course, no business plan is perfect. But for me, that was the point where I could say, ‘Look, this is what I've got, if you like it, fantastic. And if you don't, I understand.’ They’re designed to really test someone's character and they do push your buttons. I kind of liked that, because I think it's almost a test to see who can handle pressure and criticism.”

Harpreet and The Apprentice star fiance Akshay Thakra host The Couple's Boardroom - available on Spotify and Apple. 

The Apprentice continues Thursday nights at 9pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.