More than 12 million Americans are looking for jobs. With so many candidates applying for each job opening, the odds are stacked against them. Tonight, everything changes.

That is the opening to the television show “The Job,” which recently premiered on CBS.

The show features five candidates vying for a job offer at a well-known New York company.

The process they are put through is likened to a job interview, and includes having them talk about themselves, perform some tasks that employees at the company would perform and answer questions about the company or industry where they are seeking employment.

Three other, lesser known, companies are allowed into the mix during the show when they can offer one of the candidates a job if the candidate is willing to accept the job immediately and forgo the chance at the more highly prized position for which they are competing.

At different points during the show the interviewers offer random career advice, such as “first impressions matter — shine your shoes” or “be appropriate at the interview. It is not a chat with a friend.”

After viewing two episodes of this program, I wanted to see if there was anything real job-seekers could learn from the show or whether this show was little more than a vehicle to receive large sums of money in product placement fees from the featured companies. So I sought out other career experts to see what they thought of the program.

According to career coach Roy Cohen, author of “The Wall Street Professional’s Survival Guide,” the show is more like “a gladiator competition” than a job interview.

Cohen points out that “interviewing well is not about competing against another job candidate.” The proper focus should be “on presenting the best that you are and your potential to add value over time.”

TheLadders’ job search expert, Amanda Augustine, takes a more charitable view. In some respects, she thinks that the show is “great” because the candidates are receiving feedback.

However, for those new to the work force or who have not been on the job hunt in a while, “they’re getting a false sense of what a real interview is like.” Augustine provides the following examples as to how the show could lead job seekers astray:

For starters, most of the five candidates from episode one never would have made it to a face-to-face interview.

One candidate worked in a vegan restaurant and had no fine-dining experience. He would not likely be considered for a job at the Palm, which is an upscale steakhouse.

“He simply did not have the right type of industry experience and was a cultural misfit.”

In addition, a number of the candidates lived nowhere near New York City, making it unlikely that they be considered for a job of this type. If a candidate is willing and able to relocate for work, however, he or she would need to do more than to simply say they are willing to move; they need to demonstrate their roots in the area (i.e. family, time spent in the area previously, etc.) “to convince a recruiter that they’re not an expensive flight risk.”

As to the job tips, Kurt Weyerhauser, managing partner for executive search firm Kensington Stone, warns that career advice needs to be tailored to the specific job one is considering. Moreover, he adds, trying to follow all the different advice being offered would be impossible and would only likely result in being “overwhelmed and confused.”

What I found most problematic with the show, in terms of helping people with their job searches, was the “Queen for a Day” (a 1950s television show where contestants recounted recent traumas in their lives, and the most sympathetic, as determined by the audience, was declared the winner) aspect of the show.

In the first episode, of the two successful candidates, one talks about being diagnosed with cancer and the second states that she is a widowed, single mother of six.

Neither of these issues is appropriate to volunteer during a job interview and would be illegal for an employer to ask about. Yet the show gives the impression that such disclosures can help your job prospects. While personal tragedies may generate sympathy from a television audience, sympathy will not garner you a job offer.

Will watching “The Job” aid you in successfully navigating the recruiting process? I would suggest that your time would be better spent enhancing your job skills or doing research on prospective employers.

Perhaps the television audience felt the same way, as the show has been canceled after only two episodes.

A veteran human resources executive, Lee E. Miller is career coach and the author of “Get More Money on Your Next Job In Any Economy.” Mail questions to