First Interview Vs First Dates
12 Feb 2020
Brightwater not only getting you through your first interview but your first date!
Just as much as love is in the air this Valentines day, the New Year panic surrounding career change and professional development are all too present. Be it the run-up nerves, frantic outfit planning or unapologetic online stalking, the similarities between all aspects of first dates and first interviews are unparalleled. The thought of selling the best version of yourself - your skills, strengths, weaknesses, character and past successes and failures to-date- can be overwhelmingly daunting and nerve inducing
This Valentine week’s blog analyses the numerous similarities between the lead up, duration and follow up of both a first interview and a first date and how, with the right preparation, getting through both is easier than it seems.
It’s Ok. Both Parties are Guilty of Internet Stalking
Regardless of what anyone wants to believe, you are just as likely to look up your date online as the hiring manager is to sift through your presence across any and all of your social platforms. There’s no shame in it and, let’s be honest, if done correctly can make the difference between there being a second date or interview, or not. Within this point lie two components. The first? Google Yourself. What was once ‘fun’ to have online could now come across as unprofessional and inappropriate. Don’t let nostalgia ruin your chance of securing that second date…!
The second point: Try to look beyond what is right in front of you. If interviewing, don’t just scroll through the LinkedIn profiles of the people interviewing you. Aim to get a genuine feel for their role, their experience, the part the play within the corporate culture of the company and even their interests outside of their job. Going that extra mile in seeking out and retaining this type of information can serve as a key differentiate between you and your fellow candidates interviewing. If anything, it can help gear the conversation and direction of either your interview or date towards your strengths and interests. It’s a no brainer if you ask us!
Fashionably Late Will Never Fly
Date, interview, whatever the engagement, the same rule will always remain applicable: early is on-time, on-time is late and late is unacceptable. It’s really not that difficult. Confirming attendance of time and location means that are committing to being there, when and where. The impression that being late gives off will lead your date or your interviewer to make any amount of assumptions about your character and general regard for other people’s time. Unbothered, uninterested, disrespectful, disorganised and un-eager are to name a few, and the list unfortunately goes on..! Do yourself a favour and start off on the best foot by planning your route in advance and maybe even making provisions for a Plan B route, should unforeseen issues arise. Arriving early at a date or an interview will allow you time to relax, get together your thoughts and start as you mean to go on.
Mirror Mirror on The Wall...
It is a proven scientific fact that mirroring serves as a highly effective tool in displaying an interest in an individual, be it on a personal or professional level. Be it in hand gestures, body posture, voice, facial expression or head movement, mirroring subconsciously helps establish an unspoken rapport, reduce nervousness and ultimately gain the trust of the interviewer. Subtly reflecting the language or tone of the person sitting across from you can convey a message that on some level, you are both on the same page.
Of equal, if not higher importance, is that of eye contact. Genuine eye contact can help bolster a sense of confidence, understanding, interest and respect. And in a situation as potentially nerve wracking as a date or an interview, why wouldn’t you want to display some, if not all, of the above!
Drinking Too Much Will Never Be a Good Idea…
Be it sitting at a table or patiently waiting in the reception area, awaiting a person who could potentially change your life’s next steps is undoubtedly a nerve-wracking experience. Just as much as alcohol can help you relax and get the conversation flowing, coffee can give you the energy boost you so badly need to keep the momentum of interview nerves rolling. Unfortunately, too much of both have the capacity to hinder and completely derail what could have been a smooth journey towards a second rendezvous. Drink water, stay hydrated and, if at all possible, avoid liquids with the potential to send you into a chatty-jittery overload. As they say, “Loose lips hinder Second Round Interviews”.
Ok, that might not be a saying. But it should be.
Keep it Consistent, Transparency is Key
In a world where people are constantly seeking out personal and professional triumphs within a given timeframe, time really is of the essence. This is where transparency really should be at the forefront of conversations taking place during a first date or interview. Being clear and concise as to what your expectations of a person, role or organisation are as well as being honest about your experience to-date can safeguard potential difficulties arising in the future. This approach of being ‘honest from the get-go’ will allow for there to be consistency in communication and commitments going forward. Not only could this serve to save someone else’s time, but ultimately, help in making the most of your own.
Case of the Ex - It just didnt work
Being broken up with can yield the same sentiments of hurt and disappointment that too can be associated with unsavoury past professional escapades. Whether you were fired, taken advantage of professionally or simply placed in a role with no future or trajectory, it’s indisputable that you are going to want to bring this to someone’s attention, if anything just to help provide insight into your past, present and future motives. This can come in the form of speaking ill of your former company or companion. DON’T DO IT. Not only will this reflect badly on you, but ultimately it will hinder your ability to move forward, personally and professionally. There are a million and one other ways of saying “it just didn’t work out” that won’t completely obstruct your first encounter. Anyway, you’re classier than that.
It’s Not All About You
First encounters involve a whirlwind of nerves, excitement and general eagerness to accurately portray yourself in the best possible light. As important as this is to do and as keen as you are to do so within a limited timeframe, *newsflash*, it’s not all about you. They say that “the quality of our lives depends on the questions we ask”. For first dates and interviews alike, it is absolutely pivotal and just as important for you to establish if this person or company is the right fit for you. This you can only do by asking the appropriate questions to ascertain meaningful answers. Again, there are two beneficial components to this point. The first being that you will be viewed as having the capacity to think beyond your own motives and genuinely care enough to enquire and learn about the other party. This will display that you are not solely concerned about your own accomplishments and accolades through exercising your emotional intelligence to best serve the flow of conversation throughout your encounter.
The second being that, what might have appeared to be everything you wanted in a role or organisation could, in fact, turn out to misalign with your career trajectory and values. There is an undoubted element of “All that Glistens” in the lead up to first encounters that have the capacity to hoodwink what is intrinsically important to you. Allow for this opportunity of asking questions to help determine whether there are symbiotic benefits to this pairing between people or roles. To avoid future heartbreak, you’re better off finding out now rather than later!
As the Saying Goes, There’s Someone for Everyone….
The conversation flowed, there wasn’t a second of silence, you got your key points across and left feeling confident. Yet you still haven’t heard from your date/interview? Don’t be disheartened. In a world where we are too used to instant gratification, it serves as a reminder that sometimes, the best things take time. In the meantime, there is nothing stopping you reaching out with an email or text of appreciation, to serve as a gentle reminder of your ongoing interest.
And in the event that a second encounter doesn’t ensue? Accept that it wasn’t meant to be, take what you have learned from the encounter and move on. Just as there are plenty more fish in the sea, there are plenty more job postings on the Brightwater website!
Brightwater has multiple opportunities with a range of companies across a broad variety of disciplines. We mightn’t be able to help you find your dream partner, but we can definitely help you find your dream job. Contact us on 01 662 1000.