Trump tops the list of most ghoulish bosses this Halloween

  • American President Donald Trump named as the scariest celebrity boss to work for
  • Candidates say Lord Alan Sugar would be most intimidating to be interviewed by
  • But employers take a different view on Lord Sugar claiming The Apprentice star is the celebrity most likely to make a “great boss”


Lord Alan Sugar, star of the BBC’s The Apprentice and made famous by his ‘you’re fired!’ catchphrase, has divided opinion among employers and candidates. In a survey of 8,599 candidates and 268 recruiters, employers named him the celebrity most likely to make a “great boss” whilst candidates said he would be the most intimidating to be interviewed by according to new research by leading job board, totaljobs.


The majority of those surveyed (65% of employers and 54% of employees) named American President, and former star of The Apprentice USA, Donald Trump as the scariest boss to work for. The Trump administration, which remains in its infancy, has already gone through a Chief Strategist, a Chief of Staff, an FBI Director, a Deputy Assistant and two Communications Directors, so it is perhaps unsurprising that Trump should top the list.



The top five scariest bosses that employees wouldn’t like to report into this Halloween:

1. President Donald Trump (54%)

2. Lord Alan Sugar (44%)

3. Rupert Murdoch (26%)

4. Sir Alex Ferguson (25%)

5. Piers Morgan (25%)



Scary and great?

Curiously, despite topping employers’ “great boss” to work for list, Lord Alan Sugar also placed second in the scariest boss to work for list, suggesting the fear factor is part of his appeal.

This trend certainly follows with second placed Sir Alex Ferguson. Last year the Manchester United manager’s most decorated player, Ryan Giggs, was quoted as saying: “Fergie was scary and even now he still scares me”.

A significant 36% of employers said Lord Sugar would make a great boss, drawing Sir Alex Ferguson, who also got 36% of the vote. There was a footballing connection in third place too, with Karren Brady, CEO of West Ham United, coming in third place (27%).


Intimidating atmospheres

As part of their research, totaljobs also asked employers about intimidating tactics during interviews. Almost half (49%) said they have intentionally asked difficult questions while interviewing a candidate, 20% admitted they’d adopted negative body language, while the same proportion (20%) said they’d asked personal questions. Worryingly, 17% said they’d acted disinterested on purpose to throw the candidate. Over a quarter (26%) of employers believe creating a slightly uncomfortable environment for candidates at interview can sometimes be justified to see how candidates handle pressure.


Intimidating interviews tactics from employers seem to work as 35% of interviewees have felt intimidated by an interviewer, following either aggressive questioning (63%), acting disinterested (55%), negative body language (49%), swearing (47%) or a raised voice (46%).


Despite this, 43% of candidates surveyed said they would remain confident regardless of who they were facing on the other side of the desk. Although, 22% say they might get flustered in such an intimidating scenario. A similar percentage (22%) might stumble over their words, while just 12% say they would avoid eye contact to avoid an uncomfortable interview interaction.

Matthew Harradine, totaljobs’ Director said:


“While intimidating bosses may make tough interviewers, candidates agree that their toughness would make them good people to work for. While the nicest person in the world might be fun to work with, our study has found employees don’t think they are necessarily the best people to learn from, which is what employees are looking for in a boss.

“On the flipside, the people employees least want to work for are those who seem to go through staff quickly and experience a high team turnover. It’s safe to say that a balanced and respectful environment is where employees feel they are most likely to strive.”

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