Fixed-rig production specialist Simon Dickson is behind The Job Interview, a Channel 4 factual entertainment format that lays bare the terror people experience when under examination from potential bosses.
Former C4 factual commissioner and Dragonfly managing director Dickson was also behind C4’s One Born Every Minute and 24 Hours in A&E, and an executive producer on First Dates and The Plane Crash. The Job Interview, produced through ITV Studios-backed prodco Label 1, employs the same fixed-rig format, but applies it to jobseekers.
The show covertly films the job interview process, cutting between prospective employees and their often entertaining answers to standard interview questions. This provides insight into a familiar, highly pressurised situation, and creates jeopardy as viewers guess who is impressing their interrogators.
In the same way the production team behind First Dates treats itself as a proper dating agency, Dickson says he wanted his team to treat The Job Interview as a real recruitment agency. However, British employment laws meant casting was left entirely out of Label 1’s hands.
“The casting played out quite well considering we couldn’t manage it at all,” says Dickson. “Once we’d relinquished the control we began to quite enjoy it and focus on the things we could control, which is delving into peoples’ backgrounds.”
Each episode ends with a winning candidate reveal. ITV Studios Global Entertainment will be in Cannes with both the finished tape, which had reasonable results in a difficult summer evening slot on C4, and format rights.