I am currently looking for a job and I can’t say it enough, dating is just like interviewing, except there’s drinks. Think about it – whether it’s in your profession or as the role of significant other – there is an open position that you are applying for. You have to prove that you are the right one for the “job” and connect with the interviewer (or your date), while being judged on everything you do. At the same time your deciding if this is right for you and if it is in fact a perfect match.
Both have an application process where you need a strong resume and cover letter (in dating your resume is your profile). Your resume should highlight your strengths, roles/function in your firm. Your dating profile should highlight who you are, your interests and what you are looking for. In either case it has to attract the reader and make them want to call you for an “interview” (aka date). Your cover letter/ introductory email also needs to attract the reader. You want to reference the job description/persons profile; it shouldn’t be boring, lengthy or contain comments like “nice knockers”.
Then there is the pre-interview phone call (in dating this your first phone call). This is key in deciding if you get the “interview”. You should be confident (not cocky), happy, and intriguing, never dull or desperate.
Once you get the “interview” there is prep work. For an interview you need to research the firm, the person you are interviewing with, and have questions/topics ready. Date prep is just as important. I don’t mean you should become a cyber stalker, but remember how/where you met; conversations you had, if you met online – review their profile, and have conversation starters ready. BUT a date should never be filled with dry, grueling questions, conversations should flow and connections should be made. Actually now that I think of it, the best interviews I’ve ever had the conversation just flowed and I got the job.
Put your best foot forward and dress to impress. What you wear says a lot about you. It tells the interviewer you’re professional and serious. Just as you’d never show up to an interview in a “so many beers so little time” t-shirt, you shouldn’t wear one on a date either. I’m not sure why, if it’s a fear of getting older or just laziness but, my last few dates have shown up in hoodies, stained T-shirts and sweats. I’m immediately turned off. You are meeting someone for the very first time, is that the impression you want to make? If you’re not making an effort now, when will you? I’m not expecting a suit and tie, but at the very least a sweater/button down and nice jeans. Ladies, the same thing, while tasteful cleavage never hurt anyone, “the girls” shouldn’t be out and about, your clothes shouldn’t be or look too tight and maybe leave the shoes from pole dancing class at home. Make sure you shower, don’t overdo it on the cologne/perfume and pop a breath mint just before you arrive – coffee breath is not attractive.
Attitude is everything. On an interview you want to be a positive, likable, team player with a “get it done” attitude. You should never bash your old firm (and if you do, stop that right now) or tell your sob story. Same on a date – don’t bash your ex, no crying or spilling your life story. A date is not a therapy session! Your date wants to learn about you and your interests, not your ex. Also, rattling off all of your accomplishments to sound impressive is a turn off.
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Never start a relationship, of any kind, on a lie, even if it’s a white lie, you will get found out. I once interviewed a prospective employee who had all the right skills and right answers but when it came to the computer test, they had no idea what to do and was clearly lying. Same with profiles – don’t pretend to be something you’re not. If you are 5’ 5” but say you are 6 feet tall, or use someone else’s picture, when we meet I will notice. If you don’t like rollerblading, don’t say you do just to attract someone. No one wants to hire or date someone they can’t trust.
Interests, please have some! An employer likes to know that you are a person with outside interests. I usually keep things to myself, but when I told people at my last firm that I write a blog, started doing standup comedy, and went to 3 of the same concerts they did, they were excited. I became someone they could relate to and relationships were formed. They even came to one of my shows. Lately, I’ve come across a number of guys who say “I don’t do much because I don’t have a special someone”. Another total turn off. Have interests, friends and hobbies. Don’t rely on a significant other for socialization. No one wants to date a dud.
Other similarities are: they both come with benefits, vacation time (aka guys/girls night out) and a trial period where, if you’re not performing, you will be let go.