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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 June 2008, 06:21 GMT 07:21 UK
Apprentice winner: How I did it
Lee McQueen
The new apprentice advises wannabees to prepare
Lee McQueen has pipped his three fellow finalists to the top spot as Alan Sugar's newest apprentice after weeks of battling it out in the boardroom.

Although it transpired that he lied on his CV and lacks some of the qualifications and experience of the other candidates, he remains the only man standing. So how did he rise to the top?

Here are McQueen's tips on being a successful apprentice.

Be yourself

The first thing, certainly in The Apprentice, is be yourself. If you're going to go on there and act somebody different and whatever, forget it. It's a waste of time. Sir Alan will see straight through you and he'll know that you're not the real deal. I won't give you much advice on CVs!

Preparation is the key

Definitely prepare for interviews, definitely get as much knowledge and information as you can. Not only for what you've done, but obviously what the company is doing as well. Make sure you identify with that person. If you're not sure of something in an interview, ask. Close them down at the end of the interview and ask them 'OK what did you think of me? What can I do to improve?' You've got maybe an hour and a half, an hour, in front of that potential employer to actually convince them that you're right for that job, so make the most of it.

It's not all work, work, work

Definitely have a bit fun! I wouldn't advise you to do a reverse pterodactyl but now it's been on national TV, I don't know, maybe some employers would like that. Youngsters don't have to be serious and back-stabbing to get on in business. What you can be is a fun person and a nice guy. I said before in one of my VTs that the nice guy doesn't win but actually they do!

Get ready for the press

If you are the shy and retiring type I'm not saying that you won't go far but you are going to be scrutinised in the press… and people are going to have an opinion of you. Being called a liar and stuff like that is not very nice so you need to have thick skin.

Phone home?

What people also need to be aware of is the lack of home contact, family contact, friends, girlfriend contact that you get there. You get everything taken off you and you only get a ten minute conversation once a week and that's tough. When you've spent three, four, five days on a task, you're absolutely knackered and you know that the phone's going to be ringing next day at 5 o'clock in the morning and all you want to do is vent off... That's difficult to do in that environment because you're doing it against your competitors.

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