Tales of a job interview

By Colin Shively

Across the country, college terms are coming to an end with thousands of seniors ready to graduate and prepare for a professional job. Without a doubt, the vast majority have been through the good, bad and the ugly of the interview process. As these college seniors leave the world of academia behind, they have to fight to get the job they have always desired and a new documentary series on TV will show just what these grads have to suffer through.

Beginning May 17, MTV will air its new show, “Hired,” which follows and documents the interview process of college graduates from the perspective of the employer. Viewers will watch as applicants complete challenges and assignments in order to obtain their dream job. The audience gets front row seats to the strained emotions felt when the participants are waiting for the final call. The first 20-episode season will show three installments each week at 6:30 p.m.

The show takes place in San Francisco, New York City and Los Angeles, where businesses agreed to allow MTV to record the interview process.

“The idea came from one of the executive producers, and at first it was more just from the perspective of the kids,” said Sam Simmons, a producer for the show. “Then we thought, ‘Well, what if it was from the employer’s perspective and a little bit more of what kids are doing that works and what doesn’t work?’”

Graduating college students may not know the dos and don’ts of the interview process, Simmons said. Even if the applicant believes they nailed the interview and got the job, the employer might have an entirely different view, and that is what “Hired” is going to show, he said. After an interview, camera crews will have a one-on-one talk with both the interviewer and interviewee to get their thoughts.

“There is a myth out there that there aren’t any jobs,” Simmons said. “There are actually cool jobs out there and it is just the question of looking and getting yourself prepared as much as possible.”

“Hired” is not a reality TV show—the producers don’t cast the applicants nor do they get involved during the actual interview. The on-site producers are there only to document the reactions and decisions that determine how a position is filled. Simmons describes the show as an entertaining doc-series.

“We are not trying to get anyone in a ‘Got ya’ moment,” Simmons said. “We want to document what these people live through every day and that these [businesses] love the interview process. We don’t tell them what to do, say or act. We just record.”

The types of businesses “Hired” features is an eclectic range with marketing firms, fashion boutique companies, salons and production companies responsible for shows like “Ugly Betty.”

“Hired”’s pilot episode, “American Rebels,” features the LA marketing firm American Rebel, which is seeking a new junior account executive. The show begins with Chris Detert, owner and president of American Rebel PR weeding through thousands of applicants. Once the basic interviews are completed, the show gets interesting when three applicants remain and are tested on how well they can perform.

During the final test, the three interviewees were put in a room where they were advised to write a press release for the company. As each candidate finished and walked out the room, Detert reveals to the audience his personal thoughts and feelings on each applicant and their

press release.

Then the most stressful moment during the show occurs—watching the three finalists sweating and pacing, waiting for the phone call that would change their future.

“The people watching are seeing these applicants put through a test of their skills,” said Ryan Kahn, the “Hired” career coach. “Hopefully they will learn what a career job interview is like. It is tough love out there, but if you know what to do and how to do it, you can get any job you want.”

Simmons and Kahn both want viewers and the job applicants to realize from the show that there is a great deal involved in the interview process and to know what it takes to get the job.

“People are graduating into the one of the scariest work force situations,” Simmons said. “It is a little daunting. Hopefully the takeaway is that there are good jobs out there and that if they follow these steps, they can get the job. We also want it to be entertaining.”