CNBC’s The Job Interview- Reality Check

Reality Check.

CNBC’s The Job Interview is reality TV after all, but still great lessons learned.

I can’t say that I am a huge fan of reality programs. Survivor and Big Brother lost their luster for me about 15 seasons ago.  However, I do tend to like the reality shows that show people in real life work situations (please bring back THE PITCH folks!). So, it was with great anticipation that sat down to watch CNBC’s ‘The Job Interview’ last Wednesday at 10p. I actually watched it live, the first non-sports program I have watched live with commercials in years.

If you haven’t done it yet, set your DVR because it is pure ‘fly on the wall’ spectacle. The premise is to bring a real company (great PR benefits with 30 minutes on prime time TV) looking for an actual candidate for a position with their company. Add 30 cameras in the waiting room, hallway, and interview room and you have a front row seat to one of the most vulnerable and nerve-wracking moments that a person experiences in life. There are the nervous sweats, blank stares, and cringe-worthy responses that are carefully edited to enhance each 30-minute program as you would expect. You even get to experience the carefully orchestrated made-for-TV final job offer call with the candidate as they wait anxiously by the phone.

In the staffing world, interviews are often not that dramatic but the key to getting an offer often hinges on the little things. Since our job is to work with clients and candidates to create a positive interview experience, I am going to take a look at each episode weekly and allow one of our recruiters to share their key takeaways from each episode.

This week, CSI Search Executive Recruiter, Kara O’Donoghue, looks at two specific moments from Episodes 1 and 2 and gives her advice.
Lesson #1 –  Dress the Part

“Guys, nothing is a more basic or overused bit of advice – dress for success.  In Episode Two, Crishon Lampley of LoveCorkScrew interviewed several candidates for a Brand Ambassador position for her growing wine and lifestyle brand.  One free-spirited candidate opted to dress in shorts for the interview and the negative first impression from the owner was too much to overcome in the interview.  I understand that casual Fridays have bled into casual wear for the remainder of the week and most employees have ditched the high heels and designer ties, but this trend has not transitioned to the interview room.  Hiring managers still look at how you dress as an indicator of your professionalism, attention to detail and commitment to the opportunity. You will never get that ‘first impression’ opportunity back.  Don’t squander your chance before the first handshake!”

Lesson #2 – Do Your Research

“In Episode One, Xendoo co-founder Lil Roberts asked the candidate what they knew about their company. The candidate, albeit candid in her response, said that she noticed how “close the location was to her home”. No mention of the company’s mission or culture… sigh. The interview was with the founder of the company! What a great opportunity to show PASSION and EXCITEMENT for Xendoo’s mission in providing accounting services for small businesses. Conducting research on a company should be one of the FIRST things you do and there simply is no excuse to not do it. The resources at your fingertips are endless.

In addition to learning about the company, do your homework on the interviewer. If you know who you are meeting with, check out their profile on Linkedin or simply type in their name in a search engine. Learning about a person’s background, interests and shared posts not only provide you with valuable insight but also improves your comfort level that day by breaking down that veil of uncertainty about the other person.

Contact Us to learn how we can help you fill that open position or find that perfect job opportunity. Or, let us know what you think! Respond with your feedback from the show!


Work hard. Play Hard. 

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