So you secure a job interview with your dream employer, what and how will you prepare next?
Preparing yourself for a job interview is surprisingly similar to preparing for a date. Sure, you want to get the best first impression to attract a “potential” partner. That being said, finding the perfect outfits, coming up with interesting stories, thinking about good questions to ask and following up with gratitude should be in your interview “date” list.
Here’s how your interview could be like a first date:
#1- You’re dressed to impress
Do: Put more effort into planning your outfit
Don’t: Whip out those false eyelashes or the tie with skull-and-crossbones on it
Why: It’s great that you are putting in the effort to help your interviewer remember you better. But you want it to be for the right reasons. It’s not a fashion parade. Interviewers like personality but they don’t want your individuality shoved in their faces. Like a first date, it’s important to understand what the other party is like. If your company is a respected bank, going for the interview in a plunging, cleavage-bearing LBD might not be the best option.
See also: The Right Way to Accept Job Offer
#2- You celebrate your victory too early
Do: Decompress from the stress of the interview
Don’t: Make that call to your best friend while you’re still on the premises
Why: You don’t just make an impression when you walk into the interview room. You could be leaving one right until you exit the building. Just as how you’d wait until you’re out of earshot to gush about your date to your friend, the last thing you want is for someone from management overhearing you brag about “how you just nailed it” as you make the call in the office toilet. This will come across as extremely cocky and off-putting — and it’s a sure way of ensuring you won’t get called back.
#3- You go on and on … and on
Do: Mention about some of the more notable projects you worked on in your previous company
Don’t: Talk about how you led your rowing team to victory when you were 17
Why: You’ve done some wonderful things with your life. Great! But just as you don’t tell your date your entire life story during your first meeting with him or her, the same rule applies for a job interview. When you have just 15 minutes with your interviewer, the keyword here is “edit”. Talk about your role in the successful management of key projects with your previous companies and, more importantly, ask pertinent questions about the one you’re interviewing for throughout the interview (and not just at the end). That way, you’ll come across as plugged-in, engaged and sincere.
With a little bit of preparation and practice, job interviews and first dates don’t have to be nail-biting experiences. Just remember that, in either case, it’ll do you well not to celebrate any victories until you know for certain the other party is willing to make that crucial commitment to you.