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If a first date feels like a job interview, that’s because it is. Landing a job and having a good first date are obviously two very different things, but there are some useful analogies here that can help job seekers prioritize the key points to remember in an interview.
If you use a dating service, like Match, and that leads to a meetup, you have already crossed the first threshold. Your credentials and hints at your personality shared on a dating site are integral to whether a man or woman wants to meet you in the first place. That’s the same as a good resume and cover letter getting you into the doors of an AtWork staffing agency that wants to help you find a good temporary or temp-to-hire job.
So, you’ve passed the first test, and have a first date – or interview – scheduled. Here are five things to consider for both:
1. Your time is limited to make an impression. This means you must make inroads quickly. On a date, that means establishing rapport before the first course at a restaurant. On a job interview, that means projecting confidence and a desire for the job soon after walking into an office or conference room.
2. Do your homework. Canvassing social media profiles or doing a quick Google search is a good way to gain insight into the type of person sitting across the table – or desk – from you. With so much information about people and businesses readily available – without getting weird or stalky about it – you can look like a boring dolt if you know nothing about the business, or the person you are meeting for the first time.
3. Be nice to everyone. Just like a date will notice how you treat a server, a hiring manager will take note of how well you play with others during the course of an interview. Be nice to the receptionist, potential coworkers – as well as the restaurant staff or others you may encounter on a first date.
4. Appearance matters. Don’t wear a T-shirt to a job interview. Don’t wear a T-shirt on a first date, unless it involves some outdoor activity where it is practical. Leave the cut-offs at home, too. Might we suggest a nice pair of chinos and a button-down?
5. Follow up. If the date or interview goes well, you need to thank your date or your interviewer for their time, and say you look forward to hearing from them. But don’t be pushy, or stalky. Hiring managers are busy. Your date might be, too. In both cases, keep your follow-up calm, articulate and to the point.
Everybody gets jittery on first date or job interview. As noted above, they are a lot alike. Be calm, kind and confident, and you might land the job of your dreams.
Get started on the path by contacting an AtWork staffing agent today.