I FEAR that the X Factor, Masterchef and Strictly Come Dancing have had too much influence on our lives. Now employers are using tougher “panel style” approaches when it comes to job interviews.

Many now adopt a “scoring system” where the interviewee is marked and at the end of deliberations, they “tot up” the scores and decide who wins. I would urge Education Secretary, Michael Gove to read this column and think about introducing a mandatory course for all secondary school children -

“How to cope with the ever-changing demands of a job interview.” I have sat as chairman on interviewing panels in the past and I know how stressful it is for people on the other side of the table - usually in badly air-conditioned rooms.

I hope we can give people of all ages leaving school or college a chance to see how much the process has changed and how best to present themselves In these times of austerity I would like one line of questioning to be shown the door, the question some companies now ask is “Tell me about your greatest weakness.”

So how do you answer this question?

According to a recent LinkedIn social media advice post by expert Bernard Marr, interviewees obviously should avoid statements such as ‘’I am not a team player, not trustworthy, unreliable.’’

So Mr Gove, can you please educate schools to help youngsters with this commendable lesson in life skills to tackle one of the most nerve-wracking experiences.

The job market is just that - a market.

I don’t think our politicians - whether from Eton or the secondary modern - had to go through this modern day “trial by interview”.

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WHILE I was walking along Meols Parade the other day, two youngsters on bikes came riding up on the pavement and nearly knocked me into a hedge. I stopped them and complained they shouldn’t be cycling on pedestrian territory.

I said I wanted to speak to their parents. Lo and behold (pause for Benny Hill music) along came dad with safety helmet on behind them - also riding on the pavement. You can’t win.

Can we please start on-the-spot fines for such inconsiderate people? I’m praying our numerous Wirral horse-riders stick to the roads and don’t start a craze for pavement trots.

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REFRESHING to hear that batty Bez from Happy Mondays is standing (just about) as an MP at the next election in his beloved Salford.

The one-time winner of Celebrity Big Brother is serious about stepping into politics to promote anti-fracking, encouraging bee-keeping and scrapping the current banking system.Yes, that’s his magical manifesto.

Celebrities becoming politicians is not a new thing - look at Hoylake’s double Oscar winner Glenda Jackson or former GMTV presenter Esther McVey, now one of the PM’s favourite MPs.

Worryingly, it is rumoured that former Sun editor – loudmouth Kelvin Mackenzie – is considering becoming a councillor.

He would be absolutely ideal for town hall budgets as he’s a past master at being economical with the truth.

My dream ticket, however, for future celeb politicians would be members of Wirral’s very own Half-Man Half-Biscuit – that would be music to my ears.

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And finally...I was fascinated by a recent trip around the U-Boat Story exhibition at Birkenhead’s Woodside where I discovered that due to a lack of bunks, German sailors had to use a rota system whereby they had to try to sleep standing up.

Now why didn’t our Coalition Government think of that?

Then they wouldn’t need the bedroom tax.