After weeks of messaging and phone calls we’ve finally agreed on a date! I’m currently waiting for the girls to “sign off” on my outfit choice and I have yet to decide what to do with my hair! How do I greet him? Should I tell him about the time I went back packing across Europe or is that too much, will I seem like I’m trying too hard? What if I don’t like him? What if he doesn’t like me??! I should definitely do a Google search, check all social media make sure I don’t have any nasty surprises, or maybe wait to see how we get on… I’m not going to tell anyone other than the girls, for now.
I can’t believe, after all this time, I’m finally going for an interview!
I bet you thought I was going to say date. Look back over that last paragraph, based on what I have said, couldn’t it be either one?
I’ve done both recently, gone on a date and had an interview, and even though I was not flirting with my now manager the fundamentals of the preparation and execution of an interview/date are very similar. Take, for example your CV, there are various ways to go about applying for a job, from LinkedIn to a recruitment agency, 99.9% of the time they want a copy of your CV. Think of this as your online dating profile, the concept is the same, list your credentials and past experiences in a way that paints you in the best light, it’s like a dossier of tiny white lies and half-truths. Just because you helped a little old lady cross the road one time it does not mean that you volunteer at the local day centre, and saying you are 6 ft. does not make you 6 ft.
I hate it when you apply for one job online and you find your inbox overloaded with messages from agencies sending you up to 20 vacancies a day. I did a one week stint of POF (Plenty of Fish). Never. Again. 10 messages a day, 450 notifications in five days and a genuine fear that someone wanted to wear my skin, it’s safe to say that I will stick to the old fashioned way of meeting boys.
What to wear
So, you’ve got past the initial “getting to know you phase”, all involved parties like what they see and wish to meet face to face, what will you wear? If you’re anything like me, you’ll pick several outfits and send them to your friends, be prepared for comments like “that’s too bright”, “you want something that shows off your ass, I mean, personality”, “that dress is sexy but in a professional way”. Whatever they say, the rules are simple, don’t overdo it, and leave something to the imagination. We women have certain assets at our disposal, I wish I was hinting at myself but I have the chest of a 15 year old boy, saying that, I don’t believe that this is how we should “get ahead in the world”. Imagine walking out of an interview and feeling like they were staring down your top the whole time, what would you say if you were offered that job?
Dressing for a date is slightly different, you might want that person to look down your top or admire you ass-ets, but you’re still sending out a message that you’re easy/a prude, the line is not that fine girls, it’s pretty easy to find. As for guys, avoid overdoing the aftershave, it’s much hotter when we have to lean in to smell you and please please please wear clean shoes. I cannot speak for every girl in the world, in fact, I’m probably only speaking for about 10 of them right now, but your shoes say a lot about you and turning up to a date with dirty shoes or trainers that literally flop open when you’re walking say “I don’t care” and that is not necessarily a good thing.
You can see where my priorities lie, outfit first, prep later. Whatever you said on your application has caught your prospective employers eye, make sure you memorise key points from your application and have examples to back them up. Easy enough right? So how much do you know about them? When did they go into business? How successful are they as a company? What are their strengths and weaknesses? They know the answer to these questions, what they want to know is how interested you are in the role and what you have to offer. On the flipside, you can’t rock up to a date and reel off the person’s date of birth, how funny you find the FB banter they have with their friends or how hot you thought they looked in that Instagram post you found when you were 57 weeks deep. I find that meeting the person and talking to them will give you a fairly good idea of what they are like, once you know that you are attracted to them take a step back and look at (look at, not MI5 analyse) their friendship group and hobbies. Are these people that you will be willing to make bonds with? Can you support them in their goals and interests? It might sound a bit intense but they will become part of your relationship also.
There may be very valid reasons for why you are late to an interview; your car broke down, you missed your train, your hair wouldn’t do what you wanted it to. Most of the time you are given 2 weeks’ notice for an interview date and time, so that means you have plenty of time to make the necessary arrangements to avoid any mishaps. A lack of punctuality gives the impression that you do not value the time of your potential employer or date, it’s just plain rude! If you know that your beard needs trimming or your legs need waxing give yourself a contingency plan, add an extra 2 hours to your prep and travel time, depending on the level of hairiness of course.
After an interview it can be good practise to contact the interviewer with a short email thanking them for their time, making it clear that you feel you are the ideal person for the role and you look forward to hearing from them. It goes without saying that a date is less formal, send a text saying you had a good time, but only if you did. It may have been the best date/interview ever, you never ran out of things to say, you were bouncing off each other, it felt really positive but what if the “spark” is not there? Don’t waste their time or your own, finding the ideal mate/job is not easy, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy and learn from your experiences along the way.