Getting hired not fired with star of BBC’s The Apprentice

It’s not every day you get to turn the tables and pose questions to one of TV’s trickiest interviewers.

But our business students have done just that when they stepped in to the Gateshead College boardroom to quiz a top businessman and one of the toughest interviewers on BBC’s The Apprentice.

Claude Littner, who is one of Sir Alan Sugar’s aides in the current series of The Apprentice, offered up his time to Level 3 and A Level Business students to answer their questions and give advice on careers and business during a video conference call.

The students got to pose their questions to Claude, who once chaired a number of Sir Alan Sugar’s companies including Amstrad International, Amstrad Spain and Dancall Telecom.

Jak Gee, 16, is studying Level 3 in Business and asked Claude who he is inspired by in business.

Jak said: “What a great start to the day! I thoroughly enjoyed our session and found it really interesting hearing Claude’s take on how he approaches people in business and to listen to his advice on finding what and who inspires us.

“He talked a lot about the importance of integrity and of becoming the person that you want to be.  I found it really refreshing that Claude takes his inspiration from the people around him, not necessarily celebrities, but those he works with who share his personal values.”

Claude also served as Chief Executive of Tottenham Hotspur between 1993 and 1998, a period during which Lord Sugar was majority owner and chairman of the club. He was also Deputy Chairman of Blacks Leisure plc, Chairman of ASCO plc and Chairman and majority shareholder of Powerleague plc.

Claude said: “I am absolutely delighted to have participated in a Q&A session with such an interesting and intelligent group of young people.  The students asked some great and challenging questions and I hope some of the advice that I gave them is able to help them in   I’ve been able to help them.

Gateshead College has been recognised as the top college in the country for its innovative approach to careers advice and guidance for its students. The college received the Careers and Enterprise Company Award at the AoC Beacon Awards in recognition of its approach to work closely with the business community and other key stakeholders to ensure it provides young, motivated people that are ready to progress and ultimately go into employment.