I hate first dates. They’re exhausting, and can be boring. Among many others, that is one of the reasons I am so happy to be off the market. Here’s the deal though, if you’re exhausted after a first date, then you did it right. You tried, you listened, you were present, and you showed up as your best self. That’s exactly how it works for interviewing too. You go all in, no matter what. The great thing is, when you leave the first date (or the first job interview) energized instead of exhausted, then you know you have a match.
That being said, here are the top three ways that you can ace an interview, which are exactly the same way to impress a first date.
1.Never talk negatively about your Ex
I’m sure your mother has given you similar advice, because it’s true. When you leave a company, no matter how bad it was there, never speak ill of it. What you say behind someone’s back is reflective of who you are even more than who they are. After all, you were a part of the equation too. Employers want to see that you’re mature, take ownership, and will never throw them under the bus either.
2.First impressions do matter
If you want the job (or the girlfriend), dress like it. Wear nice shoes that match your belt, and for the love of all that is sacred, iron your clothing. Also, please have a firm handshake, make eye contact, and smile. These are basics, but they matter big time.
On the note of dressing, here is a good guide for what to wear: always dress one step above what you’re told to wear. So if it’s “causal”, as many workplaces are these days, dress business casual with a jacket over your shirt and jeans. If the expectation is business casual, wear slacks.
People will decide if they like you within seconds – from how your fingernails are cut to the watch you wear. When we don’t have the full story about someone, we subconsciously make one up. That’s just life.
3.Act 100% interested, even if you’re only kind of interested
This is a big one actually. Even if you aren’t that interested in the job, act like you are. It’s about respect and giving the other party a chance to reveal who they really are. Like people, what is at the surface with a job description is just a tiny fraction of what is at play. Each step in the process will reveal more to you, and each person you meet will give you a better idea of the culture and the vibe, so you need to act interested throughout the process and let the entire story unfold.
This also means being present and prepared (because that is what interested people do). Have specific questions to ask that are meaningful to that specific company – just like being able to talk about a guy’s favorite sports team will impress him (you know you’ve creeped on their Instagram to find that), companies want to know you’ve done your research.
Lastly, if you are the one that was being pursued by a company (as opposed to you submitting a resume), you still need to act interested and go after the job as if you have something to prove – because you do. Good companies go after talent when they see it, and you should feel honored when they do, not entitled.
It all boils down to this: good people want to help good people. It is ALL about relationships.
You want them to want you, even if you don’t want them. Make sense? It’s not about playing games, it’s about showing up as your best self no matter what. You never know who knows someone or who is talking about you when you’re not around. We have had many clients refer candidates to their friends, because though they weren’t a good fit for their company, they were impressed, and were left wanting just a little more