5 reasons why job hunting is like a first date
Career advice 25 June 2014
Ever been on a first date and got the feeling you’re being interviewed? You’re not alone. Job hunting and dating have more in common than you think, and lessons learned from one can easily be applied to both. Here are a few tips you can deploy in the hunt for a great new job…and love.
The thrill of the chase. Always keep your eyes and ears open – ‘the one’ can pop up at the most unexpected times, and when they do you should be ready to strike. And if that first meeting doesn’t turn into a second one, keep your chin up. That just means they weren’t ‘the one’ after all, and your perfect match will arrive when the time is right.
Selling your skill set. You may think it’s a good idea to massage the facts to attract the interest of the object of your desire, but there's no point in generating hype if you don't have the skills to deliver on it. If you say you're handy around the house, you’d better have a cordless drill and hex-head bit in your kit. If you claim to know your way around a kitchen, you better believe that watching reality cooking shows won't be enough to get you over the line.
The above advice goes for jobseekers and first daters alike.
Whatever will I wear? It's a question which has plagued jobseekers and lonely hearts for generations. Yes, even the male ones. Overdress and you run the risk of setting a standard that's impossible to maintain, sentencing yourself to months of power-dressing in unsuitable conditions before you dare to slip on that comfortable pair of denims. Underdress, however, and your potential perfect match may take you for a slob at first sight.
If all else fails, play it safe in business casual. And always remember the cardinal rule: Crocs are never, ever cool.
How did it go? If you're lucky, you'll walk out of that room/restaurant knowing you've ticked all the boxes – you exuded confidence, you proved your competence, you got laughs at all the right times, and you even remembered to throw in a few curly questions of your own. If this is the opportunity you've been looking for, it's yours for the taking.
The tough part now is knowing when to follow up. Playing it cool so as not to appear too keen is one thing, but act too blasé and the opportunity might slip through your fingers. Three is a magic number, and a third-day follow-up strikes the perfect balance.
- Practice makes perfect. Even if you're already sure that you've not found ‘the one’ before meeting, there's no harm in investing an hour of your life in it anyway. Job interviews, like first dates, become easier the more often you do them. If you practice your skills in a low-pressure situation, you'll be in peak form when the time comes for you to shine. You might even find yourself having fun in the process.