When was the last time you went on a first date? The last time you felt the butterflies of a great match, and were on your best behavior to ensure the other person felt the same?
For some of you, it may have been a while. For others, it might have been last week. But no matter how long it’s been, you likely still remember the “rules” of dating and how to always put your best foot forward. Yet, despite that knowledge, you may not even realize how similar a first interview can actually be to a first date. Up to and including the nervous butterflies at your realization that this is the job you want.
So, if your interview were like a first date, what would you need to do in order to end it with a kiss… or a job offer, as the case may be?
Make Eye Contact: It’s normal to be nervous at a job interview, but part of making that great first impression is making an actual human connection. That means eye contact and reciprocal communication. Shake hands, remain engaged, and look your interviewer in the eye!
Smile and Laugh: Sure, job interviews are more serious endeavors than first dates. And they don’t usually include the benefit of alcohol to help ease any social anxieties you may be feeling. But that doesn’t discount the value of a genuine smile and well-timed laughter. Obviously, you don’t want to spend your entire interview cracking jokes. You want to answer the questions you are asked and prove your commitment to this role. But you also want to engage with the interviewer in a way that leaves them thinking you’re someone they would like to work with. And no one wants to work with a candidate who stiffly answers questions and refuses to crack a smile in the process.
Express Your Interest: There are a lot of “rules” that go hand in hand with dating, and one of the most often repeated is something about not showing too much interest too soon. But we all know how good it feels to have someone we are interested in express a subtle interest in us as well. The same is true of a job interview. Hiring managers don’t want to extend an offer to someone who just casually decided to show up to the interview; they want employees who truly want to be working for them. You can differentiate yourself as one of those potential employees by asking questions about the position and finding ways to show off your knowledge of the company during your conversation. Don’t play hard to get; hiring managers aren’t in it for the chase.