Today’s the big day! You wake up a bit nervous but excited for what’s to come. As you get ready to tackle the day, you practice your lines in the mirror being mindful of your facial expressions as you speak. Have you ever thought about reasons to treat an interview like a first date.
You ensure your hair is perfectly done up, your makeup is on point, and you dress in that skirt you’ve been dying to wear. Before leaving your apartment, you give the mirror a final glance and assure yourself: “You got this!” On the Uber ride to the coffee shop, you mentally come up with possible scenarios and outcomes, remaining positive. Finally, you’ve arrived to the shop and you see him sitting in the corner, intently thumbing through his phone. He’s clean cut, in a tailored suit, looking ready to take care of business. You shake hands and introduce yourself, order coffee. After the formalities, he asks if you have a copy of your resume.
You thought I was describing a first date didn’t you, but alas ‘tis an interview. Let’s discuss the parallels between the two and the reasons to treat an interview like a first date.
1 Research and Ask Questions
I’m certain I can speak for all of us when I say we cyber stalked our crush or potential date on social media platforms. We’ve even gone as far as to set our LinkedIn settings to private in order to discreetly view potential bae’s profile. If you go to those lengths researching a potential partner, why wouldn’t do this kind of extensive research for a potential job? You want to be knowledgeable about the company and your potential boss.
Research what the company does, what partners or clients it may have, its values, its culture, etc. Same goes for your new boss. Also, know the job description like you know the lyrics to your favorite song. If there’s information that you can’t find while playing detective, make note, and ask during the end of the interview. And do come with questions. Have a few thoughtful, well-prepared questions. Asking questions show that you’re interested and you do want to appear interested in the job and company, don’t you? Here are just a couple reasons to treat an interview like a first date.
Let’s put it into perspective: You’re on a date with a guy and it appears you’re asking all the questions. Though he’s answering, he’s not inquiring further about you. Did that first date turn into a second? Probs not. His lack of engagement left you feeling as if he was disinterested. Now, if you genuinely don’t have questions, say that. Don’t talk just to fill the air because things may become a touch awkward. There’s an excess of articles sprinkled across the internet at your disposal. Google is your best friend.
Now that you’ve done substantial research on the company, boss, and role and Googled typical interview questions, it’s time to practice. Try rehearsing in front of a mirror or ask someone to play out a scenario with you. I know you’re guilty of practicing your smooth lines for your future bae. CONFESS! Sounds a bit cray, but it’ll be beneficial in the long run. When you have that auditory and visual feedback, your interview strengths and weaknesses become more apparent. During the interview, it’s important to highlight all your strengths and skills pertaining to the prospective job. Obviously, the interview may not go as you planned, but at least you’ve prepared yourself for the basics. With practice, your responses will flow naturally and you’ll exude confidence.
3 Look Your Best
First impressions are EVERYTHING. As much as we hate to admit it, we do judge a book by its cover, and your future boss is definitely judging you. A nice blouse or blazer and a bomb pair of pants will do just fine. Oh, and please comb your hair. And mascara is your best friend. You wouldn’t go on a date looking like you rolled out of bed, right?
4 Let Your Personality Shine
So, you’ve researched, practiced, dressed for the job, highlighted your strengths and skills so now it’s time to let that personality shine! In addition to determining if you’re a perfect fit for the job, your possible boss is also evaluating if you’ll mesh well with the company’s culture. Think about that guy you met via social media or a friend. Everything about him seems great, but when you finally link up, he’s a square or too cocky. Yeah, you may seem amazing on paper (your resume) but who are YOU?
5 Breathe and Relax
Remember to breathe and relax. You’ve done your part in researching, practicing, dressing to impress and showing who you are both professionally and personally. Now your fate is in the employment god's hands.
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