Question: Which gives you more anxiety, a job interview or a first date?
Honestly, if you were watching me live through either scenario, you probably couldn’t tell the difference. Sweaty palms, rambling dialogue as I try to talk myself up, and about 6 changes of clothes scattered around my floor.
The weird thing about it is first dates actually feel like an interview. And you know what?
THEY ARE AN INTERVIEW.
Which is pretty great because we’ve been training for this since the first time we logged into LinkedIn.
You can ace your next first date in the same ways you’d ace an interview.
Keep It Positive
When you go on an interview, you want to keep it upbeat, focused on your successes and spinning your failures into learning experiences. Do the same thing on your first dates! Your interviewer doesn’t want to hear about your crappy old boss. The bro across from you definitely doesn’t want to hear about what an immature jerk your ex was (even though he totally was a douche, keep that to yourself for now.)
Do Your Research
Would you ever go into an interview without googling the company? If you do, you’re not getting the job. Research and preparation is as much key for an interview as it is for the success of the date.
Now I’m not telling you to Google your date’s name. (I mean, we all are guilty of doing that, but don’t actually admit to it! You don’t wanna creep them out on Date 1.) What I am telling you to do is find out a little about the person you’re going out with ahead of time and use that to your advantage when you’re planning and executing a killer date night.
You can do this research easily with a few basic questions you’re probably already thinking or asking. “What do you like to do?” “What’s your favorite food?” “Hey, have you ever tried golfing?”
Hopefully you know a bit about this person you’re meeting up with, the same as you’d search Glassdoor for some insider info. Use what you know to plan the date. Then follow up with some questions about it to get the conversation going.
And if this is a Tinder date you’ve barely said more to than “Cute pic, wanna hang out?”, then I can’t help you much other than this advice: Would you ever go interview at a company you knew nothing about other than their logo? So why would you go out with someone knowing nothing other than how they look in their heavily filtered profile pics?
Think About the Commute
A decent job in Silverlake is NOT worth crossing the 405 from Santa Monica. If I’m gonna make that drive, this had better be the opportunity of a lifetime!
Think the same way when you decide whether or not the trip to meet that guy you felt kinda meh about on Bumble is really worth your time or not. An hour to get ready and an hour to get there? Are you really gonna wanna put yourself through that on the reg for something you just feel MEH about?!
Also, would you ever ask your recruiter to come to you? Probably not. If you’re doing the asking, be willing to do the driving. It’s courteous to do the first date in their area to make them feel comfortable.
ASK ABOUT THE COMPANY CULTURE
We all have a check list of things we want in our ultimate career and probably an even longer one for our ultimate partner. Oddly some of the things that make me happiest about my job are not the things that I’d have written on that list.
One of those things is company culture. Does she love to party late? Do you love to cuddle with a book? Does he have expensive taste while you are totally obsessed with this blog? (Which, obvi, you are.) Figure out if your lifestyles are at least somewhat compatible.
YOU’RE BOTH ON AN INTERVIEW. DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK THE QUESTIONS.
When you go on an interview, you’re actually interviewing if the company is the right fit for YOU. Whatever they decide about you is in their court, but what really matters is your gut feeling about it. Got questions? ASK THEM!
Remember, there are few people who can resist a chance to talk about themselves. The more you ask, the more you know. Asking questions demonstrates interest. Who wants to be with someone doing all the talking? This interview goes both ways.
GIVE THE SECOND INTERVIEW A SHOT
Recruiters often suck, and so do first dates. Weird, broad questions and awkward pauses. It’s hard to be yourself when you’re trying to seem like the perfect candidate. Your date probably feels the same way!
If you get a really bad feeling about it on the first meet, it’s okay to say thanks but no thanks. Yet if there’s even a bit of wonder about more there could be to offer, give it a second shot.
There may be a nice benefits package in it for you.
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE.
If you have’t been on an interview in a while, it’s okay to be a little rusty! It takes even the best of us some time to get back in the swing of things. Think of getting out of a long term relationship as leaving the comfortable, stable, but oh-so-wrong for you job. It’s nerve-wrecking getting back out there and the first few tries might be uncomfortable. But you weren’t happy for a reason, and just like your job search, you’ll find a the right position, and you’ll find the right person.
What if that first date doesn’t work out? It’s just like that job you didn’t get. Dating is as much as skill as interviewing. It takes time, practice and most importantly, the right people who can appreciate all you have to offer. If it’s not the right fit and something better will come along.
How do you know the difference between a date and an interview?
One ends with a kiss and the other with a firm handshake.
If you don’t know which is which, well… then your interview just got weird.
Got a few interview tactics you think would work well on a date? Help a sista out and share in the comments.