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Best answers for Tier 1 Entrepreneur Interview Questions

In our last post, we talked about the general structure of the Tier 1 Entrepreneur interview. We categorised the interview questions into four broad groups. Questions bothering on the applicant's background (experience and education), ones bothering on the business plan; questions on the £200,000 investment and his immigration history.

We highlighted the fact it was best for the entrepreneur to be involved in the business plan, as this will generally put him in a better position to answer questions on the business plan (including ones he wasn't prepared for).

Today, and in the next few blog posts, I will be looking at the best answers for Tier 1 Entrepreneur interview questions.

Using the same broad group of interview questions, I will be providing general answers to those questions, answering from multiple perspectives and personas.

The categories are: -

  • Background
  • Business Plan
  • Investment
  • Immigration History

Background

Questions here relate to the education and professional background of the applicant. Primarily trying to establish a link between the entrepreneur's background and the business he is looking establish in the UK.

Question - How are your experience and previous roles relevant to your business?

Scenario 1 - If you have no work experience but educational qualification in the business.

The best answer here would try to dwell on the applicant's educational experience. Treat educational years as part of your 'all round experience in the sector'. Understand that it is not wrong to finish studying and go straight into setting up a business. Link your educational experience to your passion. Do not forget that experience still play a role, therefore try to mention that you will rely on the experience and advice from either your family, experts, mentors and close business partners.

Scenario 2 - If you have educational background but professional experience in the business

Just like in scenario 1 above, dwell on your educational background. Give a rational explanation of why you are doing the job you are doing now and not the one for your business idea. If you had passion for this business idea, how come you did not look for a job in that industry?

Understand that saying that you just needed a job may not be the best answer. Especially where you are claiming to have access to £200,000; worse still, if the money is in your name.

It may be best to highlight the timing of both businesses - where you were nursing the plan and your full time job - pointing out how you must have been running both businesses concurrently, one on a full time basis and the other on a part time basis.

It may not also be out of place to mention how your interest in that business idea grew with time; citing the trigger for your new interest in business idea.

Scenario 3 - If you have no professional experience and no educational background in the business

This is the trickiest position to be in. I would normally recommend not to choose a business you have no experience or educational background in. However for strategic reasons, I have seen and have assisted with applications, especially for entrepreneur teams, where a team member does not have experience or educational background in the business. Here it is best to rely on the general leadership and managerial abilities of this person.

Emphasis must be made on their previous and/or current managerial roles, their leadership skills must also be heavily relied upon.

The business plan should be structured in such a way that mentions this as a strength of this team member (or main applicant as the case may be) that the business will be relying on for success.

Business Plan

Questions asked here bothers on the genuineness of the application. It aims at accessing whether or not the applicant knows about his business plan or has even done any research for the business. You will most likely do well in questions asked here if you were involved in the drafting of the business plan or have properly learned the business plan.

Question - What other things have you done in relation to the business apart from writing a business plan?

The intention of this question, or any other question in this form is to see if you determine whether or not you are a genuine entrepreneur. A real entrepreneur planning to move his business to different country would have at least made research on the following: -

  1. The currency - how it converts to your local currency
  2. Prospects of profit on the short, medium and long term
  3. Suppliers - it may be a good idea to begin to contact suppliers
  4. Understanding of who your customers are - if possible an initial contact or a feasibility report may be helpful.
  5. Regulatory bodies (if any)
  6. Taxation laws
  7. Laws on employment

These and many more are some of the things you can do while your business plan is being written.

Investment

Here, the Home Office wants to know how you plan investing the money, where the money is coming from and how you plan to pay back the investment.

Scenario 1 - Where the money is coming from a family member

The Home Office do not particularly like to see family applications. For instance where a mother is applying with her child; or two siblings applying and depending on funds from a parent. It gets more complicated when the child or younger sibling has no experience.

This is not to say that it is not impossible or it will not be approved. We have had several successes with these types of Tier 1 entrepreneur applications; however, it is important to point out to you that there may already a predisposition of family helping family in the mind of whoever is making a decision on your application. You must therefore ensure that you present your case in the strongest possible light.

With regards to investment in this scenario, it is better to show that there is a strong and viable plan in place to pay back the investment. You must avoid presenting the case to appear something like 'she is mother, so I don't really need to pay back'. When applications have these type of connotations, you are simply reinforcing the idea that it is just family helping family and that you are not a genuine entrepreneur.

Reiss Edwards is a leading business immigration law firm in London. We boast of specialist tier 1 Entrepreneur lawyers in London with over 30 years' experience in business immigration. We offer a free initial consultation on our Tier 1 Entrepreneur cases. Please contact us on 020 3744 2797 or send us an email on info@reissedwards.com.

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