By Braulio Giron, Jr. on February 5, 2020
Because making a good impression on a potential employer is just as challenging as making one on a potential romantic partner
Let’s face it, while it is a universal rule of thumb to keep our personal and professional lives separate, it can’t be helped that they have situations with striking similarities. Among these are job interviews and first dates. While the end-game of each differs, both usually have you being asked about your past, what you do now, and what you plan for– or how you see yourself in– the future.
Due to the implications of a job-interview (it, for one, can determine if you’ll be able to make a living at a chosen employer or not), it can’t quite be approached like any other date. It might as well be treated like Valentine’s Day, because like the holiday originally celebrating Saint Valentus, you’re likely not the only one wanting to make a big impression, with many other suitors (well, job seekers) aiming for a next date, or even a “yes”, with your prospective employer.
With that said, it’d be beneficial if you approached your job-search like a big V-Day date.
The victory is in the preparation
When trying to get closer to someone, we’re all more inclined to put additional effort into planning the time we’ll be spending with them, be it in picking a place to dine, choosing a good gift, or simply finding out more about their interests so that we have plenty to say or talk about.
The same lengths should be taken when preparing for a job interview, as learning as much as you can about the prospective employer, the job description, and trends in the industry will enable you to build a rapport with your interviewer and give him or her an idea of the level of commitment you have for the role and/or organization.
Be it a date or a job interview, anyone looking to make a good impression will ensure they are dressed for success. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll opt for your favorite worn-out jeans and a basic t-shirt when you’re meeting your meeting someone special at a five-star restaurant, choosing to, of course, to wear an outfit that better matches the occasion.
It is similarly important to go the same lengths for your interview, taking a look at your potential employer and at least going by their dress-code to determine how dressed-up you should be at a minimum. If still in doubt, chances are you are underdressed, so best play it safe and put a little extra into your attire and opt for long sleeves or more business-like shoes to take it up a notch.
Like it sometimes tends to be on dates, it can be tempting to try to impress your potential employer by making yourself seem more impressive with half-truths or even outright lies. However, the truth has a tendency to emerge, and it’s always in everyone’s best interest that you be yourself at onset and acknowledge any limitations you have.
You can expect employers to do an extensive background check before hiring you, and anything discovered to no be in line with what you say or what you put on your resume can cost you the job opportunity– be it before you get it, or even after you’ve been hired.
Relationships are considered a two-way street, often only deemed successful when the two people involved are constantly communicating. The constant correspondence is a must as early as the first date, as it sets a tone of trust and openness for the future.
The same can be said of your relationship with your employer, and the initial steps in it are finding out if both of you are indeed a good fit for each other. So while it’s you who’s technically in the hot seat during an interview, don’t forget to take the opportunity to ask questions and ultimately find out more about your employers and if the company is indeed compatible with you and your future plans.
When you feel like you hit it off with your date (and even if you don’t), it’s only proper to give them a call or send them a message thanking them for the time spent with you. This is particularly important when you want to leave an impression that hopefully leads to further communication or an eventual long-term relationship in the future.
No matter if you’ll be hired or not, showing the same courtesy to your interviewing can be similarly beneficial. For one, they’ll better remember who you are with the positive impression you leave– a level of professionalism that could help you stand out from other candidates, or at least have you come to mind when they are hiring again in the future.
Indeed, there are numerous similarities between dates and interviews, and being mindful of the aforementioned things will help let your prospective employer see you as someone who is committed and serious about the opportunity and not as a randomly remembered one-time date or interviewee.
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