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Last week, ABC Family launched a new reality TV program called “Job or No Job.” Every episode features a young job seeker who’s struggling to land their first gig.

The show is an interesting concept as it focuses on millennials. Millennials are one of the groups most likely to be unemployed, and living at home. They’re struggling to find their way in a job market filled with older, more experienced competition.

Each episode features CEO and author, Jane Buckingham. Jane coaches each candidate through their interview process, in hopes that they land a job.

The season premiere featured a young job seeker named Gabrielle McBey. Gabrielle lives in Dallas where she’s a private chef who hopes to open her own restaurant in five years.

She travels to Chicago to interview with three well-known restaurants, and we (the viewer) get a bird’s-eye view into the entire process. A number of great lessons are on display that any job seeker, young or old, should take note of.

Here are just a few:

  • Bring your resume! I know, I know. You submitted a copy of your resume during the online application process. You also forwarded a copy of it to your friend who hand delivered it to the hiring manager. And, you gave a copy to the HR person who called to setup your interview. But really, bring a copy. In fact, bring a bunch of copies. In most interviews, you are interviewed by more than one person. One is the hiring manager, and the others are doing the hiring manager a favor. Don’t assume everyone is going to print your resume. At the end of the day, you’re the one who looks unprepared!
  • First impressions matter. Employers want to hire people they like. It’s hard to really tell who’s the most qualified in an interview. But, it’s easy to decide who you like the best. Dress to impress. Show up with your game face on. Pay attention to your posture, and speak confidently.
  • Ask questions. Oh my gosh. It surprises me how often candidates don’t ask questions when they’re given the opportunity at the end of the interview. This is your chance to learn more. And, it’s an opportunity to show you’re prepared. Write your questions down and have them with you in a notebook. Not asking questions says one of two things– either you are disinterested, or you aren’t prepared. Both are bad. Ask questions!
  • Stay calm. In many interviews today, you may be asked to do something to demonstrate your abilities. I have personally been asked to do the following in interviews: solve math problems, take an IQ test, take a personality test, write a computer program, build a website, and give a presentation about myself. You may not always know every answer, but keep a good attitude and you’ll do well.
  • Prioritize. On the show, Gabrielle focused her energy on all of the things she wanted. She had a big list that included money, type of job, location, etc. Now, I’m not saying these are bad things. But! You’ve got to prioritize. It’s rare that every job you’ll be offered is exactly 100% of what you’re looking for — especially if you’re just starting out, or are changing careers.
  • Don’t swear during your interview. Enough said.
  • Don’t cry during your interview. This is also self-explanatory.
  • Don’t ask about money! So many young people make this mistake. The interview is not at all the time to ask how much money you’ll be making. Don’t do it. It’s completely inappropriate. The time to talk about money is when an offer is extended to you. Wait until then.

As you can see, Gabrielle’s job search on “Job or No Job” provided some great insight and lessons we can all learn from. And good news, on her third interview, Gabrielle received a job offer from her favorite restaurant. Congrats Gabrielle!

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts and Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland


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