What are two of the hardest social interactions in life? First dates and interviews. But somehow, approaching the two things the same way can give you better luck in both. Here is how I ace interviews by treating them like a first date:
Never..Ever.. go on a first date or an interview without preparing yourself. By this, I mean that you need to take the time to think about your life experiences and your stories–times when you have grown, and times that have been hard for you and how you overcame them to be the amazing person you are today. Give yourself positive talk, check yourself out in the mirror a couple times, put on your best outfit, and get the show on the road!
2. Bring your best self
Physically and mentally you need to bring your A-game.
Physically, “Dress well test well.” Know what outfit is appropriate for the setting and wear that. Just like you wouldn’t want to look like a scrub at a 5-star restaurant (or ever), you don’t want to look like a homeless person at your big interview! (I’m exaggerating for comedic affect, but take this tip seriously. Smell good, dress well, do your hair, brush your teeth, shave your legs, wear your best underwear. Feel confident THROUGHOUT.
Mentally: Remind yourself of what you’re looking for, get in the zone, take the interview seriously but not too seriously–what I mean by this is that you need to be earnest and professional, but you can also be fun and conversational. The person you are interacting with is just a person who has a life of their own, whether they are fun and like to paint the town red every once in a while, or stay in and read a cat magazine, they’re a person and they’re just trying to get to know you. Give them a chance, and give yourself a chance to shine.
3. Don’t get too serious too quickly
Just like you shouldn’t talk about wanting 5 kids, your religion and political beliefs on the first date, don’t bring these up in an interview unless your job is specifically in one of these fields (daycare, theology teacher, government official). Keep it light, and keep smiling.
4. Find commonalities, look for red flags
Find your common ground, whether that’s personal or professional. Do you have mutual contacts? Talk about them (POSITIVELY, no gossip). Do you like to do the same thing on the weekends? Do you have the same unique hobby? Don’t be afraid to share your interests, it will help the interviewer (or your date) remember you, and will make you stand out. Be on the lookout for red flags: these are things that ultimately go against your grain. Does the company (or boy) support things that you morally cannot support? Do you have the same values? Can you and this job (boy) make each other truly happy?
5. Be honest about what you’re looking for
To find your true happiness with jobs or boys, you need to be straight up. This doesn’t mean you go talk about your religion and politics or whatever, but this does mean that you need to mention if you see an issue with the future relationship. Do you have a particular quality that isn’t compatible with them? Mention it, by coming from a place of care and concern, saying that you want things to work out as much as possible, but that you might have to mutually work around something. If you’re not compatible, it’s better you know NOW before getting into anything serious with the company/boy.
6. Talk about life experiences
Any life experience can be relevant to the situation, AS LONG AS you tie it into how you have grown in whatever field you are interviewing for. You didn’t have an internship because you were studying abroad? Great! Take that opportunity to tell how you learned how to be independent, became bilingual, integrated with a new culture, and learned how to interact with people who are different than you–and explain how these life skills greatly benefit you in the work force, as you will be better at socializing than your peers who didn’t go abroad. (just one example).
7. “Why did you break up with your ex (job)?”
If you had a bad relationship in the past, talk about how you now have discovered yourself more and know what you’re looking for in future relationships because of that. If you quit a bad job in the past, say that you now know your work style wasn’t compatible with the old company, and you know now what you need in a career.
8. Spin negatives into positives
You need to GLOW throughout the entire interview/date. There is no better way to be charismatic than to take any experience and find the good in it. If you had a terrible job in the past flipping burgers at some hole in the wall, talk about how you appreciated the unique experience, and how you learned to make a potentially boring situation into a fun one! Whatever the situation was, FIND THE GOOD in it. Being a positive person will draw people to you, romantically and professionally.
9. Solidify with physicality 😉
At the end of your interview/date, you feel the tension. How are you supposed to end this encounter? Do you just give a little wave, or do you go in for the kill? If you’re on a date, for the love of God get a little smooch in there. If you’re finishing an interview, GIVE A HANDSHAKE. This is professional, warm, and expected. Look them in the eyes, smile, and lean in 😉
10. Don’t settle
Even though interviews can feel like a power struggle, where you are the weakling begging the deity for a career, remind yourself that this is a mutual encounter. They want you as long as you are good for the growth of their company, and you only want them if they can provide you with what you need in life. If they’re not giving you the money or benefits that you deserve, if they aren’t going to treat you right, then take your business somewhere else. YOU have incredible value, and you deserve to be with a person or employer who treats you RIGHT.
So go get ’em, tigers! Hope these tips helped you for your future interviews, or even dates if you needed advice for that as well! Happy hunting 😉