Job Seeker Confidential: The Keys to Success!

On February 13, 2013, in Blog, Job Seekers, by Christine Glasco

Job_Seeker_Confidential_The_Keys_to_SuccessA new CBS reality show, The Job, debuted last Friday.  The show focuses on job seekers who vie for a job with a prestigious company.  On Friday, the company was a landmark restaurant: The Palm.

FYI, what I know about being of service in the restaurant industry I learned bussing tables in my college dorm’s cafeteria.  So I know nothing about the inner workings of a fine dining establishment, I do know how a candidate should show up and show off their competencies for the role they are seeking.

I wish I would have had the opportunity to coach the job seekers on the show.  Here are some of the things they did well and some of the areas where they bombed:

 Things They Did Well

  • One of the job seekers had done her homework – she researched this potential employer and was able to answer a question about international locations.
  • A job seeker noticed a mistake when the candidates were asked to work various stations in the restaurant.  She was able to correct it and avert a potential problem without embarrassing the employee who made the mistake.
  • All of the job seekers expressed their interest in being hired.
  • One of the participants was able to find opportunities (in a subtle way) to exhibit her superior background in the restaurant industry. [She was the winner!]
  • Almost all of the job seekers dressed appropriately.
  • Half way through the program, one of the job seekers realized he was not going to be successful.  He promptly accepted another offer that probably suited his personality better (more casual and laid-back) than the original opportunity.  He was able – in the moment – to assess the validity of his candidacy and to make a decision that ultimately would make better use of his talents.

Things They Didn’t Do Well

  • One of the job seekers became extremely flustered and did not pass the test of being able to maintain her ‘cool’ under fire.
  • During the opening of the program, each job seeker was asked to tell their Career Story (also known as the Elevator Speech, a 30-, 60- or 90-Second Commercial and/or The Pitch). All of the job seekers told a nice story but none of the job seekers related their personal story to the employer’s needs, mission, or challenges.
  • A job seeker stated he was a vegetarian while relating his personal story at the beginning of the program.  He seemed mystified and surprised that an employer would see his personal preference as a potential weakness. One of the interviewers asked him an immediate follow-up question: “How will you fare in an establishment that serves meat and fish?” He did not provide a satisfactory answer.  Unfortunately the job seeker’s lack of industry background and the weaknesses in his answers were attributed to his vegetarian status versus his inexperience.  He was never able to recover and was eliminated early in the program.

Working in the restaurant industry is a grueling job; it’s not for the faint of heart.  The same can be said for most jobs in most industries.


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Christine M. Glasco, Career Coach – consults to company executives, business owners and non-profit leaders on career management, career transition and strategic leadership development solutions.  To request a complimentary copy of Five Tips to Transform Your Executive Career  and to receive Who Needs a One Page Career Plan? You Do!   Website:   Email:  Phone:  1.940.367.0837


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