Active vs. Passive Candidates and Something in Between

As a job seeker, you must have heard about passive and active candidates. But do you know the difference between both? You might think that the differences are mainly about the personal circumstances and job search activity. More than these, however, each type has its own merits and drawbacks.

Active candidates 

Accounting for approximately 30 percent of the global workforce, active candidates are those individuals who are proactively looking for work opportunities. They might be full-time employed or unemployed. There are a number of reasons why these candidates seek new opportunities, including: 

  • Seeking growth and developing career
  • Making a career change and developing new skills 
  • Relocating to a new town or country
  • Disliking their current employers working practices or culture 
  • Taking early retirement but missing the world of work 
  • Employer was acquired by a new business and they fear their future
  • Downsizing 
  • Quitting the previous job voluntarily or were fired 

In short, active job seekers are the most active on job boards, corporate career pages, and proactively register with recruiters and executive search firms. They spend considerable time polishing personal brand to get the job of their dream. 

See also: Industries with the Most Job Opportunities in 2021 

Passive candidates 

LinkedIn estimates that 70 percent of the global workforce are passive talents. These candidates are not actively job seeking as they have not come to the conclusion to leave their current employer. But this does not mean they are not interested in hearing about new opportunities. 

Passive candidates do not make themselves known to recruiters and other executive search. They will not apply to a job advert and are unlikely to be swayed by a talent acquisition campaign. Commonly, passive candidates are in full-time employment, with potentially long notice periods for senior-level candidates. 

The reasons why some individuals become passive candidates include: 

  • Having the right skills and attributes and continuing to polish these in the nurturing environment of their current employer 
  • Having no pressure to leave, so the acceptance of an interview indicates genuine interest in a role and organisation
  • Not interviewing elsewhere, but are likely to be able to make a fast, informed decision when an offer is made. 

In short, passive candidates are top performers who are qualified but will not be interviewing with competitors. 

The middle category: Tiptoers 

Tiptoers are unlikely to be on the radar of talent acquisition and HR teams. They will be keeping a low profile, proactively reaching out and engaging with their networks in the hope of enquiring and securing referral. 

Tiptoers will not have launched their job search strategy or be applying to open vacancies just yet. They have made an important decision to move on from their current employer for the following reasons: 

  • Seeking to grow and develop their career 
  • Wanting a career change and developing new skills 
  • Wanting a relocation 
  • Disliking their current job, employers, work culture, or working practices 
  • Having early retirement and missing world of work 

In short, tiptoers have made the decision to leave their current company but have not yet started their job search. Thus, they will unlikely to be in an interview process with a recruiter and might even have their job search touch points in pace for a fast turnaround. 

Those are three categories of job seekers, which one are you? 

Read also: 7 Hard Skills That’ll Guarantee You Job 

12 Industries with the Most Job Opportunities in 2021 

The COVID-19 crisis has made the world come to a halt. The employment sector in particular was hit hard, as companies ceased recruiting and some even laid off employees. At the same time, some brick-and-mortar stores were forced to shift and adapt to e-commerce practices because people were not allowed to leave their homes. Fortunately, after a few tough and challenging months, businesses are managing to bounce back and pivot their models.

According to the Seek report, there are a number of industries that are experiencing job growth in the wake of COVID-19. The period between August 2019 and August 2020 saw job ads decrease by 29.1 percent. However, through April 2020, the employment marketplace is reporting that job demand across all states are recovering at different rates, which some states are already returning to pre-COVID job ad levels. 

See also: 7 Hard Skills That’ll Guarantee You Job 

As per Seek report, there are 3 industries which have experienced the highest job growth, including Information and Communication, Technology, Human Resources and Recruitment, Banking and Finance industries. If you are looking for a new job or career, considering HR job or career in finance might be a good choice during the pandemic. If you want to try other careers, here are 10 industries with the most jobs to consider in 2021 (with job ad percentage change by industry)

  • Advertising, arts and media with job ads grow by 16 percent
  • Consulting and strategy with job ads grow by 13 percent 
  • Human resources and recruitment with job ads grow by 12 percent 
  • Legal with job ads grow by 11 percent 
  • Banking and financial services with job ads grow by 7 percent 
  • Farming, animals, and conservation with job ads grow by 7 percent 
  • Design and architecture with job ads grow by 6 percent 
  • Engineering with job ads grow by 5 percent 
  • Marketing and communications with job ads grow by 5 percent 
  • Government and defence with job ads grow by 5 percent
  • Information and communication technology with job ads grow by 4 percent 
  • Healthcare and medical with job ads grow by 1 percent 

New job opportunities are emerging and demand for certain jobs is rising. Don’t miss your chance because the right time to change is today! If you are looking for assistance in career change or growth, our partner Talentvis is here to help. Talentvis is a team of expert recruiters, helping job seekers navigate their current career landscape and find the perfect job. Talentvis could be the RIGHT partner for talents like you – collaborate today

Read also: Career Decision Making Tips for College Graduates 

Career Decision Making Tips for College Graduates 

Career decision-making is a complex and lifelong process. Statistics indicate that the average worker will change careers five to seven times in their lifetime. In today’s fluid and rapidly changing workplace, those statistics are expected to increase over time. Hence, the best career decisions are informed career decisions. Being informed means entering into a process of self-assessment (looking at yourself) and career exploration (researching careers) to find the best match.

Many career professionals view career decision-making as similar to putting together pieces of a puzzle to form a clear picture of what those pieces represent. Many also agree that the primary puzzle pieces in the career process are your interests, personality, values, and skills. Each piece needs to be explored carefully and thoroughly on its own, and then looked at in terms of its interrelationship with the other pieces in forming a picture that is clear and understandable, such as a picture of “who you are” in terms of your career aspirations.

Here are four considerations of career decision making that college graduates should pay attention to.  

Interests 

Interests are those activities in which you like to spend most of your time and from which you gain pleasure. John Holland, a famous career theorist, believed that all of us fall into one or more of six broad interest areas: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional. He also believed that all work environments could be classified into the same six areas. So if you can identify your interest areas, you can readily identify work environments (and careers) that might match. The Strong Interest Inventory, a formal career assessment based on Holland’s work, is a valid and reliable tool that can help you make this match. 

See also: 7 Hard Skills That’ll Guarantee You Job

Personality 

Personality is the specific way in which you think and act, that makes it very complex. One aspect of personality is what’s called your “clarity of preferences,” or your tendency to be one way or the other. Research showed that personality is very closely connected to career choice, as people of certain personality types are attracted to certain types of careers.

The Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), a formal career assessment, is another valid and reliable tool in the self-assessment process. With the MBTI there are sixteen different personality types. Each type is considered to be good as they are simply different. By taking the assessment you will find out your type, and thus the clarity of your preferences. You will then discover what kinds of careers your type is attracted to. 

Values 

Values are the principles or standards that drive your decisions, actions and behaviours. It is the ideals that guide and give meaning to your life and work. We all have a specific set of core values that serve as our “compass” in our personal and professional lives.

A career consultant, Ed Hallenbeck, has developed “values inventory.” It is a list of common values; some of which might resonate with you. The values inventory can be found as a separate career handout. It will help you identify values that are important to you, and thus characteristics that are important to you in careers and work environments. 

Skills 

Skills are the abilities we use to produce results in the things we do and the things we believe we do well. These things (or skills) come from a variety of sources including, but not limited to: natural ability and aptitudes, formal education, training/professional development, work experiences, volunteer service and leisure activities.

Your skills can be “technical”, such as management, accounting, finance, marketing, human resources, engineering or teaching. They also could be “soft” skills like time management, communication, problem-solving, critical thinking, multi-tasking or working well in groups.

Skills can also be classified into motivated and unmotivated. Motivated skills are those things we do well, and we truly enjoy doing. Unmotivated skills are those things we do well, but really have no interest in doing.

In this area, Ed Hallenbeck developed a “motivated skills inventory.” It is a list of common skills. The motivated skills inventory can be found as a separate career handout. It will help you identify those things in which you have confidence in doing (and enjoy doing). By having an inventory of your motivated skills, you can then identify careers where those skills are both needed and valued.

Read also: How to Turn The Tide When Interview Goes Wrong

7 Hard Skills That’ll Guarantee You Job 

Hard skills are defined as specific knowledge and abilities that are learned through education or training. Given that many industries and professions have a specific list of abilities that are necessary to properly perform the job, hard skills can also be thought of as job-specific skills.

Putting the right hard skills on your resume is essential. Without hard skills, landing an interview or even getting passed on applicant tracking systems becomes almost impossible. Hence, when building your resume or preparing for an interview, make sure you have a list of hard skills. Consider incorporating some of the examples compiled below as these hard skills are essential in today’s tech world. 

1- Computer technology 

Many companies require candidates to apply for jobs using technology-based platforms. Therefore, it is vital to at least possess a basic grasp of computer technology. Show your prospective employers that you are prepared to embrace the technologies needed to perform your job effectively by mastering these important technology-related hard skills: 

  • Microsoft office suite 
  • Social media 
  • HTML 
  • Analytics 
  • Pivot tables 

2- Data analysis 

Our world is driven by data and data analysis skills have become highly valued across a wide variety of industries. The ability to analyse data and use that information for the benefit of your company is extremely useful. Here are data analysis areas that you can learn: 

  • Data mining
  • Data presentation 
  • Resource management 
  • Data engineering 
  • Database management 
  • Any use of data to explore a problem or make a decision 

See also: 10 Suitable Jobs for YOU Who are Bad Communicators

3- Marketing 

Personal brand or employer brand, both need good marketing strategy. The ability to convince customers, clients, or prospective employers will always help you in your world of work. After all, success in marketing directly correlates to an increase in revenue. There are a number of hard marketing skills that have become incredibly sought after, as follows: 

  • Search engine optimisation 
  • Search engine marketing 
  • Marketing campaign management 
  • Google analytics 
  • Content management systems, such as WordPress

4- Design 

While being artistically talented is a natural ability, there are certain design elements and tools  that must be learned through education or training. As technology has advanced, consumer’s standards for design aesthetics have also increased. Not to mention, having design skills will help you land a job easily. Here are some of examples of the hard design skills most desired by employers: 

  • User interface design 
  • User experience design 
  • Adobe creative suite, such as Photoshop and InDesign
  • Digital product design software, such as InVision and Zeppelin 

5- Cloud computing 

As network and internet technology has advanced, more and more businesses have turned to cloud computing as a convenient data storage and management solution. This means that people who have the skills to build and manage cloud networks are in high demand. Following is some of cloud computing skills: 

  • Cloud architecture 
  • Storage and data management 
  • Networking communication 
  • Cloud middleware technologies 
  • Cloud applications, such as JSON, Rest, and RPC 

6- Mobile and web development 

New websites are created every second and thousands of mobile apps are released per day. All of these websites and apps can only be created by people with the necessary mobile and web development skills. Here are examples of mobile and web development skills you can master: 

  • Software revision control systems 
  • Android development 
  • iOS app development 
  • Web architecture and development framework 
  • Angular and node apps 

7- Network structure and security 

Cyberattacks have become a hot topic during pandemic and there is an increased need for cybersecurity experts from time to time. IT professionals who have the skills to protect data are in higher demand than ever before. Being a company’s data shield is no easy feat, so you need to learn some of the following hard skills: 

  • Encryption algorithms 
  • Authentication systems 
  • Risk assessment 
  • Cryptography 
  • Virtual and host-based firewalls

Read also: 10 Hidden Perks Job Seekers Should Ask Their Recruiters

Top 5 Careers to Consider for Recent College Graduates 

Hi grads, are you feeling stuck in your journey to find that first “real” job? 

Stepping out of college into the real world has never been easy. Fortunately, many college graduates are now being aided with basic work applications with training, apprenticeship, or internship during their college lives. With strong background and certification, getting into real work of work might become easier. Especially today, the world is in strong hiring mode so there will be a lot of opportunity to try. 

Here are 10 best entry-level jobs for recent college graduates based on a LinkedIn survey. LinkedIn has analysed its data on user-profiles and job openings to present, among other things, the list of the most popular jobs for new grads. 

  1. Healthcare 

Healthcare careers are part of the fastest growing industry for job growth and development in the world. This trend is expected to continue over the next decade, especially due to the current Covid-19 situation. Projections from the U.S. bureau of Labor Statistics show that healthcare jobs are expected to increase by 18 percent from 2016 through 2026, meaning that the industry will add about 2.4 million new healthcare jobs. 

The top medical careers in demand include: 

  • physicians, 
  • registered nurses, 
  • physical therapists, 
  • respiratory therapists, 
  • home health aides, 
  • medical assistant, 
  • physician assistant, 
  • healthcare information technologist, and
  • pharmacy technician. 

See also: Job vs. Career: Life-long Adventure after Graduation 

  1. Retail 

While many retailers have been forced to make cuts to their workforce due to temporary or permanent closures caused by the pandemic, other retail companies are hiring thousands of workers to meet increased consumer demand.  According to LinkedIn, there are approximately 170K+ open entry-level jobs and 5K+ open internships in retail industries. 

  1. Software and IT services 

As companies scramble to adapt to a tight IT job market, they are doing whatever they can to attract top tech talent. For some that means getting a head start in filling their most in-demand roles, which range from data-focused to security-related positions. 

  1. Manufacturing 

It’s no secret that the manufacturing sector has a major impact on the world’s economy. For example, some companies and educational institutions opened their doors to students, parents, teachers and community leaders to highlight modern manufacturing. LinkedIn projected that there are approximately 65K+ open entry-level jobs and 3.5K+ open internships in this industry. 

  1. Education 

iCIMS survey revealed that the overall hiring trends from April to July saw increment by 70 percent. The education sector has picked up over the past several weeks but the number of hires made within that time period is still notably lower than expected. While LinkedIn noted that there are approximately 2K+ open internships positions graduates can apply and 35K+ open entry-level jobs that need to be fulfilled. 

Read also: Here is How Employers Determine a Newcomer’s Salary

Here is How Employers Determine a Newcomer’s Salary 

Did you just pass your first interview and now you are wondering what you should say on your salary negotiation?

First, congratulations on your smooth interview. Second, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, you’ll learn how employers offer salary to candidates they’d like to hire.

While most candidates expect a 10 percent to 20 percent salary increase during a job-switch, not every organisation is able to meet that expectation. Besides considering the candidate’s qualification; work experiences, current and expected salary, an organisation has to review their salary structure and internal equity to determine a salary offer.  These are usually not openly discussed, hence most candidates are not aware of such considerations at the back-end.

See also: Negotiating Your Salary The Wrong Ways

Salary Structure

Every established organisation has its own internal salary structure. Salary structure is created based on market data to ensure salary competitiveness within the same industry. This is also known as analyzing external equity.

Some companies might be more transparent than others on sharing their structures to candidates. Basically, each position in an organisation has its own grade or level and a salary range. The salary range will consist of a minimum pay rate and maximum pay rate. For a fully competent candidate, the most ideal and competitive rate will be at the median of the range.

A candidate who is new to a role typically receives a salary which is lower in the range while a very experienced candidate might receive an offer which is above the median.

Companies avoid offering salaries near the maximum pay rate since that would limit the salary growth of a candidate in subsequent years. Once an employee reaches the maximum within the salary range, they will enter the red circle and are no longer eligible for pay increase.

Internal Equity

An organisation also has to consider internal equity when determining the salary for a candidate.  Internal equity refers to reviewing current salaries of existing employees holding the same position and job responsibilities within an organisation. It ensures that employees are rewarded fairly across the organisation.

To illustrate the point of internal equity: there are two accountants – Sarah and Adam working in the organisation. Sarah earns $3000 a month and has a bachelor degree with 3 years of relevant experience; while Adam earns $5000 a month, has a bachelor degree with 5 years of relevant experience. After learning the gap of experience and pay, the hiring manager will likely offer $4000 per month salary for a candidate who has a Bachelor degree and 4 years of relevant experience in her/his previous organisation. This can be predicted based on internal equity where salary is calculated based on the candidate’s experience and education. 

As a job seeker, when receiving an offer whereby the salary is lower than your expectation, you should try to understand their pay philosophy. Companies might not be able to share all the information with you but you can obtain a better understanding of their pay structure if you pay close attention to what they offer during salary negotiation.

You should also consider the entire compensation package. Base salary is only one component so it is important to understand the other benefits or perks offered, such as additional allowances and bonus payout.

Most importantly, you should understand the growth opportunity within the organisation. If an organisation strongly believes in developing their employees, it will still be a worthy consideration over others that only offer a marginally higher salary.

Read also: Where Did All the Money Go? Smart Guide to Manage Your Salary

How to Turn The Tide When Interview Goes Wrong 

Here’s the situation. You’re sitting on your chair, feeling utterly and completely defeated. The interviewer sits across, his arms akimbo and gives you a gaze that clearly says he is not impressed with your performance so far. The last ten minutes that have passed since the start of the interview felt like an hour long.

Have you ever found yourself in such a situation during a job interview? Well, it is entirely understandable that you would start getting nervous or agitated, especially in this time of dwindling job vacancies and career opportunities. At a certain point in a job interview, maybe the interviewer lost you and even zoned out while you are busy rambling about your experience. Some tell-tale signs that interviewers might be bored include:

  • Fiddling with his/her iPhone or Blackberry;
  • Examining his/her fingernails or the surroundings;
  • Giving you a disapproving and uninterested stare;
  • Nodding vaguely but not giving you eye contact;
  • Not responding in appropriate fashion to your stories, or
  • Simply staring into space and not responding. 

See also: Remote Networking Strategies You Should Not Miss

This is bad news – it means that they have ascertained that whatever you have delivered so far, in response to the interview questions, are not a good fit to what they are looking for. In such a case, the best thing you can do is stop and take a breath. Smile and re-engage the interviewers again, so both of you can get back on track. Here are a few interview tips that will help you recover quickly and snatch the attention back. 

Ask relevant questions: 

One good way to re-engage interviewers is to ask them relevant questions about the position offered or the company. Ask them how the company culture looks, or how it feels to work there. By doing so, you will re-emphasize your interest in the company and also prompt the interviewers to give you more information that you can use to demonstrate your suitability with the company.

Change the topic: 

Stop whatever you’re currently talking about, then change to another subject and keep your new story short. If it is evident that what you are talking about is boring, switching to something else might work in capturing the interviewers back. Bear in mind not to get lost in another long narrative, though – try to be as concise as possible, and ask for their input as much as you can.

Take a short break to recover: 

The worst thing you could possibly do is freaking out and rambling and going off on wild tangents. If you’re getting a huge case of the jitters, you might even want to request for a brief toilet break – politely. This might or might not work, depending on the interviewer’s patience. If it does work, head straight to the toilet and splash your face with cold water. Take long, slow breaths, and gather your thoughts again. Run through what you want to tell the interviewer in your head, and make sure you return looking and feeling more confident. It is far better to take a break and re-group than to push forward in a losing battle.

Demonstrate your interest in the job strongly – even if you are under or over qualified: 

If you chose to interview for a job that you are either under or over qualified for, you must have a very good reason for taking that chance. Make sure you prove it to the potential employer. Demonstrate your interest in the job strongly by displaying knowledge in the related areas, or by matching the skills you have to the skills that are required for the job. Do not expect the interviewers to connect the dots for you – show that you mean business by taking the initiative.

In sum, never throw in the towel, even when all seems lost. By taking the steps above, you will be able to take the reins and steer the interview back to a more positive direction that would increase your chances of getting hired.

Read also: Had a Bad Job Interview? Here’s How to Recover 

Remote Networking Strategies You Should Not Miss

Not only changes in work, we also need to rethink our networking strategy.

Networking is an essential part of a job search process as it gives job seekers more opportunities to advance your career. Attending meetings and social events are generally the most preferred method to do networking. However, prior to COVID-19, job seekers need to rethink their networking strategy from offline to online and remote networking. 

How do you conduct remote networking? Read on…

1- Get familiar with social media, especially LinkedIn 

You can find potential partners on all social media you use, but LinkedIn is by far the greatest way to keep up with industry trends and catch up with professional networks. Most importantly, connections you make on LinkedIn could someday prove vital to your career. 

To maximise your LinkedIn usage for networking, you can start by adding more mutual friends and introduce yourself. Have a conversation at which point you could easily make the connection and see if this person would be interested in talking with you about industries you are aiming for.

If the person does not respond to your request or message, do not take it personally. People are busy and there are some people who might be trying to control the size of their network. 

See also: Had a Bad Job Interview? Here’s How to Recover

2- Attend virtual networking regularly 

Remote networking starts to leverage large-scale and there are plenty of opportunities to seize, from attending online seminars to remote conferences. While the means of connection of this remote networking are different, the same networking rules apply, such as: 

  • Dress for success
  • Have conversation and not one sided discussion
  • Offer just as much advice as you get 
  • Have positive energy and language choices 

Beyond typical networking events, try to think outside of the box. For instance, you could host your own virtual meet-up with your fellow colleagues to talk about industry trends, projects, or just to maintain the connection. 

3- Stay active and relevant 

Last but not least, you should remember that people are more eager to talk to those with good personal branding. This means that not only you should consume, but you should also create to make yourself known to the public. Create your own content and share them to your networking or social media. Comment on some posts and get the discussion going. Share other colleagues’ content with positivity and respect. All of these steps seem simple but it might add up in the end. 

Read also: 3 Ways a Job Interview is Just Like Your FIRST DATE 

Had a Bad Job Interview? Here’s How to Recover 

As you end up with this article, you’ve probably gone through an awful experience – and it is likely about a job interview. Well, we know that job interviews can be tough at times, especially for a good role within an industry. Self-doubt can creep in as soon as you walk out the door seeing other competitors walk out with you from the room. This feeling can also keep you day and night whether you’ve done your best to get selected and accepted for the role you have applied for.

Be it a feeling of resentfulness or embarrassment because you think you haven’t done your best in an interview, you should not drown yourself into negative emotion. Instead, let’s turn these negative experiences into positive one and become better for next interviews, because every setback in life is an opportunity to learn. 

See also: The Right Way to Accept Job Offer 

Here is what you need to do to put yourself in a position to ace your next job interviews: 

Thank interviewers for the opportunity 

The interview might not go well but it should not affect how grateful you are for being invited. When sending thank you notes, whether via email or messaging app, don’t just say “thank you”, you should also send a brief note after receiving the opportunity. 

When you get rejected, saying thank you is also advisable. It does not only give a good image to the interviewer, it could also build bridges with the interviewer for when they have another job opening. Make sure to also include a note that saying thank you, your disappointment for not getting the job, and what you’ll do to improve yourself for future opportunities. This way, interviewers might give you free feedback and show you what’s wrong and right during your interview, but do not be too pushy in this matter. 

Reflect 

After going through an unpleasant experience, you might want to forget it soon and move on. However, this should not be the case with a job interview. After the interview is over, take a step back and think about the interview. Putting your thoughts on paper after the interview gives it the most validity. This could also help with your emotion and thoughts. 

After a couple of days, revisit what you wrote. Look at your entries completed in the heat of the moment. Reflecting on these thoughts with a clear head can help you focus on how to develop your interviewing skills in the future. 

Learn and strengthen your strength 

Although you might only remember the bad endings or wrong answer to your interviews, always remember that there is always ying in yang, and good in bad. Thus, think about what you did that went well. For example, you messed up the question about “your past experience”, but you are good at representing yourself as the best accountant. Or, you were so comfortable in demonstrating the answer by giving a story, but it was ineffective as you took so much of the interviewer’s time. This way, you can develop a better interview strategy and build a foundation that is your typical. 

Getting a job is about selling your value, just like how you would sell a product to customers. 

Read also: 3 Ways a Job Interview is Just Like Your FIRST DATE 

See also: Th3 Ways a Job Interview is Just Like Your FIRST DATE e Right Way to Accept Job Offer 

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.

Read also: 6 Practical Ways to Find Hidden Job Opportunities