Home Advice For The Young At Heart Getting On A Reality Show Or Pageant Can Actually Be Good For...

Getting On A Reality Show Or Pageant Can Actually Be Good For Your Career


by Maureen Francisco, author of “It Takes Moxie

Credit: JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images

It takes skills to get on a reality show. That’s hard to believe when you see contestants try to find “the one” on shows like The Bachelor. You might be wondering, what skill does that person have except she’s single?!

Well, you need a certain personality, drive, and attitude to get on one. Wallflowers need not apply.

If you treat the auditions as practice for your dream job interview, it may help land that position you’ve been waiting for.  Here are the five steps:

1. Do your research.

Know exactly what you’re getting yourself into. So, if you are applying to be on The Apprentice and you don’t like to debate or bring your “A” game everyday, this show is probably not a good fit.  Have you seen the arguments that take place in the boardroom?

Now, take this scenario at the company you are applying for. I work at RealSelf.com where we educate doctors in the beauty space about their online reputation. If I’m not comfortable looking at before-and-after photos of certain procedures, I wouldn’t last a day on the job.

It’s important to know the company culture, its mission statement, and your duties while you are on the job so you know what’s expected from you.

2. Remember what you have on your application/résumé.

This is pretty self explanatory, but you’d be surprised how often people forget what they’ve written down.  If you want to end the audition and interview ASAP, just forget what you wrote.

3. Be authentic.

Don’t be someone else. When you are auditioning for a reality show, don’t pretend to be someone the casting directors want you to be. They can smell a phony.

Same thing when you apply for a job. Be real. Be original. Be you.

Show the interviewer what makes you unique and why you are right for the position. Perhaps, you speak two languages or you’ve completed a marathon or you paid for your entire college education yourself. Bring that up in the interview.

4. Tell a story.

When you’re at an audition, casting directors don’t want to hear one or two words answers. They want to hear a story.

At one of my auditions, I was asked, tell us an embarrassing moment. (Boy do I have a lot.) I shared with the casting director I ran in a half marathon for walkers. I woke up late and missed the start of the half marathon run. So, I thought that if I ran in the half marathon walk, I could catch up with the runners. Despite running the entire time except for a bathroom break, I couldn’t catch up with the runners. What’s worse, I still came in second place behind someone who walked the entire time.  I had the casting director in tears.

Now, in a job interview, you’ll be asked a question that’s more related to your work experience. How are you a consistent performer?

This is your opportunity to paint a picture. Here’s what I said in an interview. I am a consistent performer because I track what I do each day. I count the number of pitches I give to my clients. If a certain pitch is working, I do that pitch over and over. And, if I find a client doesn’t respond to a presentation or an email, I’ll tweak it. It’s important that I’m measuring myself daily so I can make fine tune adjustments to meet or exceed the monthly goals my company sets for me.

5. Persevere.

With reality shows, it’s common to hear no. Millions apply and there are only a few openings in a show.

It’s the same thing with pageants. The current Miss WA USA 2013 Cassandra Searles tried four times before she earned the title. Each year she heard a no, she took it as a learning experience on what to work on. She said, “My first year, I was told to get my hair out of my face. My second year, I was told to practice on stage interview.  My third year, I was told to get into the best shape of my entire life.  My fourth year, I took everything the judges told me into my preparations and it all paid off because I won. It’s an amazing feeling when all of your hard work over the years pays off.”


 Maureen Francisco is a journalist, former reality show contestant, producer for NW Productions, and author ofIt Takes Moxie, which outlines how to achieve the American dream, using stories of successful immigrants and those who came from humble beginnings.