Ever noticed how a job hunt is a lot like dating? There are a number of reasons why the stress of a job search can be compared to courting. In this blog post, we discuss why, and we hear from David Wiseman, a leader in digital brand reputation management, who shares the same notion.
How should I dress?
This is a common worry for both dating and interviews. Keen to impress, your appearance says alot about you during your first introduction. The fear of overdressing/underdressing for the occasion is constant, and the willingness to fit the part only adds to the pressure. Plan ahead and if need be, find yourself a new outfit that will really impress your interviewer.
David says: “Know your crowd. If you’re interviewing at a financial services company, the dress code is different to that of a school teacher, is different to that of a construction worker.”
Late, late, late for a very important date…
There is no worse first impression than arriving late. If you’re dating, the person waiting for you is probably wondering if you’ll even show up. If you’re interviewing, your potential employer is probably second guessing their decision to make time for you.
The worst thing you can do? Arrive without telling them you were going to be late in the first place. Call ahead if you anticipate that you’re going to be late. Both of you should be on the same page so as to eliminate any ambiguity about the situation.
Eager beaver? Try not to show up too early – that’s just an awkward situation waiting to happen. That or you’ll spend a good while staring at a wall while you wait for the other person to show up!
David says: “Plan ahead and work backwards. If you’re going to drive there, check Google Maps in advance so you know what time to leave. If you need to park, know your options before you leave.”
A sense of humour goes a long way
It’s a risky move…but a sense of humour could very well work in your favour. To a potential employer, making them laugh shows that you are a normal (depending on the joke) person who could fit well into their team. But, tell a joke that’s too risky, or worse, not funny at all, and you could be left without a job offer, or the remainder of your date.
David says: “If the interviewer tries to lighten the mood by being funny, always laugh at their jokes!”
Honesty is the best policy
There is of course a middle ground here. Just to be clear, nobody is condoning lying to your date, or your interviewer. But they don’t need to know everything all at once. Some skeletons are better off left in your closet until you get to know the other person better. Choose which truths you tell, and go from there. If you’re not sure where the boundaries lie, David has provided us with a clear example below:
David says: “In a job interview, they will ask you why you’re leaving your current job. You don’t need to go into all the details, especially if you were fired. Focus on the point that you’re looking for a new start.”
In the same way that you research a company before deciding to submit an application, they will most probably take a look at you online too, before inviting you for an interview.
In today’s world, it’s far too easy to search someone else’s Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn profile to get a feel for who they really are. True, you won’t hire or marry someone based solely on this (well, that depends on how bad your profile is, and the type of role you are applying for), but it is just another first impression for them to consider.
David says: “Be discreet in how you voice your knowledge. There is research and then there is stalking. Don’t tell the interviewer about the pictures she posted on Facebook.”
Three day rule
So it went well? Now, it’s time to sit back, and wait. But how long do you wait? Should you wait for them to call you, or should you bite the bullet and call them back?
If you’ve interviewed for a job, there are only so many times you can follow up before it gets awkward. Nobody wants to come across as desperate, so dial down the crazy and be considerate.
Don’t abandon other options. If you haven’t committed to one job (or person) and your interviewer hasn’t indicated that they are stuck on you, don’t pass up other job opportunities. Stay in the game until you’re 100% prepared to exit the ring.
Has it been two weeks since you spoke to them? A month? Probably time to move on – they wore too much aftershave anyway…
David says: “If they are interested in you, they will be in touch. If you’re interviewing with multiple companies at once, then hearing back from them is more urgent.”
Play hard to get if you’re unsure
We all have to pay the bills, and sometimes we’re backed in to a corner where we have no other choice but to accept the first offer. But before you do, consider this. If there is one person out there who is willing to give you a shot at happiness (whether it’s your career or love life), there is probably another.
In terms of dating, it would be alot harder to deny someone if you shared a connection, but if it’s a job offer, weigh up your options and ask yourself is this really the right path for you? What are the other factors affecting it? Especially if you have more than one job offer – think about what’s best for you!
David says: “Trust your instincts and hope they will serve you well.”
A stroke of serendipity
The graft that comes with interviewing, and dating for that matter, can at times be discouraging. Especially if you don’t feel like you’re getting anywhere. The harder you try, the more frustrating it becomes, and you might feel like you want to pack in the search.
But don’t give up hope completely. There’s always a chance of meeting that special someone when you least expect it. A job opportunity could arrive on your doorstep at any point, so keep your options open and don’t get disheartened. Life works in mysterious ways, and we would advise that you keep searching for your dream job, it could very well find its way to you first.
David says: “You can never give up on yourself. No matter how bad it seems, always keep the faith.”
So you got a job offer? Congratulations! And another one…and another one.
The only thing worse than no offer is several job offers. Now you have to figure out which path is best for you. Do you take the higher paid role in the smaller company, or the junior role in the larger, well known organisation? Maybe it’s the industry you find appealing…so many options, and it feels like there’s almost no time to decide.
Although it’s nice to go on a few dates here and there, you might want to decide who you would like to spend your time with before you end up with none. It’s perfectly acceptable to be talking to different companies at once, the same as they would be interviewing a number of candidates. But it’s probably not the best idea to date multiple people…
Unfortunately, life can take its toll on a career or a relationship…or both. Just when you feel like everything is going your way, you’re back in the same situation as before. Rejection is difficult to process, but don’t let it get to you. There’s always tomorrow for another job application, and that special someone is definitely out there.
The biggest piece of advice we can give you here at Simply Law, is to pick yourself up when you’ve been knocked down, and try again. Having and showing strength and resilience play a big part in how setbacks with the likes of jobs and dating will affect your mindset in future. It wasn’t meant to be this time, but next time, it certainly could be.