The Job

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
The Job TV Poster Image
Intense job interview competition with some sad stories.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Clear messages about what is and is not professional behavior and appearance. Stress is placed on good grooming, being truthful, and more. There's definite sympathy for the American worker who tries hard.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Despite the mistakes they make during the interview, the job candidates are very qualified. The prospective employers are blunt and critical, but also recognize hard work and professional behavior.


Some backstories involve illness, like cancer, and the death of a spouse.


Companies like The Palm, Westville, Maison Prive, and others are featured.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Wine and cocktails are visible at restaurants, bars, and social venues.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Job doesn't include any iffy material, though some backstories involve sad topics like the death of a spouse or a serious illness. The show features various companies, including The Palm, Maison Prive, etc. who are vying to hire qualified candidates. It probably won't appeal to younger viewers, but teens and adults may find it worth watching.

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What's the story?

THE JOB is a reality series/competition that offers qualified candidates a chance to land a position of employment at a major company. Hosted by Lisa Ling, each episode features five previously selected well-qualified candidates vying for a position with a large, well-known company. After a variety of interview rounds, including spending a day at the job site and industry Q & A sessions, less desirable candidates are eliminated. During the final round of the interview process, three potential employers from guest companies who have been observing the proceedings are given the chance to select a candidate to whom they are willing to offer a job on the spot. The person lucky enough to get the surprise offer must determine at that time whether s/he will accept it, or continue to interview for the job he or she was originally trying to get. After the entire interview process is over, one of the remaining candidates is offered a position. Throughout the show, information is posted for companies who are interested in the candidates, and/or who might want to make job offers of their own.

Is it any good?

The Job underscores the fact that despite 12 million Americans looking for work, there is actually competition among employers to find well-qualified, dedicated people to work for them. It also reinforces the idea that it is often people's inability to navigate the interview and job hunt process that keeps them from getting the positions they really want.

Despite that the interview process featured here has been crafted for reality entertainment, folks pounding the pavement may find the tips offered useful as they continue their own job hunt. Younger viewers may be interested in what can be learned here, too. It's not the most exciting of shows, but one that has a lot to offer.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about reality shows that focus on finding jobs and/or landing work contracts. Do you think these shows offer real employment opportunities, or are these shows mostly designed to entertain? How real do you think the interviews are?

  • List some of the helpful advice included in this show. What advice will you use and what will you ignore?

  • Do you find yourself judging people by their appearance during their interviews? Do you think more attractive people are more likely to be hired?

TV details

  • Premiere date: March 14, 2001
  • Cast: Lisa Ling
  • Network: CBS
  • Genre: Reality TV
  • TV rating: TV-PG
  • Available on: Streaming
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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