Remember the first time you went on a date? You dressed to impress, had butterflies in your tummy, big smiles, tried to stay calm? Now compare it to going for an interview…it’s about the same right?
When it comes to dating and interviews, they might not always turn out the way you expect but it’s the lessons and key learnings that you take from it that matter. Instead of submitting to a pass or fail mindset when entering an interview, consider approaching it as a date.
Whether you’re married, single, searching or floating, you hardly ever stop dating in the world of recruitment; you just keep searching till you find your perfect match. Here are 5 reasons why you should treat your job interviews like dates –
First impressions matter – This can make or break your chances of getting considered by your date or a recruiter. When experts say this, people assume it’s just about your dressing but it’s actually also about the little things. It’s about your attitude, your smell, your composure, your speech, your timing etc. Now you wouldn’t want to keep your date waiting, would you?
Don’t pretend or totally change your personality, simply because you want to impress.
Keep in mind that, you’ve probably “googled” each other; if you’re smart, you’d have
read up on the company and the recruiter has done the same for you. Knowing some background history about your interviewer and the company will allow you to target your conversation and target your sales pitch better.
Like a first date, an interview is pivotal in determining the direction and possibility of a potential relationship. In the world of recruitment, it’s those that sell themselves that succeed. Wake up, dress up and look sharp, just like you would do when going on a date with the girl/guy from Twitter you’ve been dying to meet up with.
No “stock” answers/conversation topics – In the dating scene, many people haven’t made it past the “talking stage” just because of boring conversations and fake answers. This goes for interviews as well; it’s a 2-way conversation, so you have to do your best to ask relevant questions and give “real” answers. Don’t put up a front all in the name of impressing, recruiters can interview hundreds of people in a month, so they’ll most likely see through your packaging.
Be as honest and open as possible; employment is transactional, you have the services and they have the money, in essence, they need you and need them. When going for dates you don’t want to appear needy and desperate, why show the person that you are single to stupor and in need of love? Same goes for interviews; see it as a conversation, not an interrogation. Pass across your messages effectively but still do your best to sell yourself.
Don’t nag – Nobody likes a complainer, leave that attitude at home. Don’t go on first dates and think that tearing down your ex’s reputation will make you look like the “perfect partner”. Instead, it might get your date thinking if you are the problem, after all, we’re all looking out for red flags. When it comes to interviews, the biggest red flag for a recruiter is tearing down your former employer, nobody likes that. Recruiters are looking for loyal employees, people that will always wave the flag of their company, you might destroy your chances of making it past the interview stage once you try to spoil another employers reputation. If they ask “Why did you leave your former place of work?” The best answer is “I am looking for a more challenging role and better opportunities to progress”. It’s really that simple.
Don’t lie – Lies tend to catch up with you. You might want to impress and all but do not lie. Don’t lie to your date, don’t lie on your resume, don’t lie during the interview. Don’t put up a front you can’t keep up with. Imagine putting “Soft skills certified” on your resume, the recruiter expects you to have the basic leadership skills, communication skills etc. What if you get hired and you’re lacking seriously in these, then we’ll all know you lied. Don’t put up lies you can’t keep up with.
Learn from every experience – Usually, when things don’t work out, you’re left thinking of every possible mistake you made; “Was it something I said? Or was it something I didn’t say?”, “Did I really just get ghosted?”. Don’t be so hard on yourself when these things happen, it’s all part of the learning process. Instead, reach out and ask questions like; “I really enjoyed my interview session with you last week and would like to know what the next steps are”. If you are rejected, ask for tips and things you might have done wrong.
Don’t see it as another letdown but another learning experience. You must strive to be 1% better every day, that’s the only mindset that will allow you to succeed.
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