Why Going to a Job Interview is like Going on a Date

By: Joe McDermott | Updated: 6 December, 2018 | Category: Interview Advice

Why Going to a Job Interview is like Going on a DateImagine the scene.  You are dressed up in your best outfit, primped and preened, feeling a little tense, butterflies in your stomach and your heart all aflutter. You are waiting for a stranger to appear and you are on your best behaviour.

It is striking how easily this scenario could relate to going on a first date just as well as going to a job interview and perhaps there are some lessons which can be learnt from dating which will help in your interview.

Get Dressed Up

First lesson is to prepare as much as you can. Dress in a way that you feel is appropriate for the role and then add something. Conservative and professional works every time.

Prepare Sparkling Conversation

As with that date, mull over some topics of possible mutual interest in advance. You know there will be questions, and you know that creating a good impression depends on answering questions in a confident and relevant way, and very importantly being interested in the other party.

Share The Conversation Space

Just as a successful date depends on input from both parties so does the job interview. A party who talks too much might turn the other off and similarly if you are an interviewee for a job you should not ramble on unnecessarily.

Hold Off On The Jokes

On a date, being witty is fine as long as it comes across naturally and spontaneously without appearing to be laboured. An interviewer however, may be less impressed by jokes and more impressed by keen interest in the job and a generally enthusiastic attitude.

Don’t Show You Are Desperate

Desperation is never sexy. You don’t want to appear as trying too hard on a date and in the same way you do not want to come across as desperate in the job interview.

Look Them In The Eye

The straightforward use of positive body language is a powerful ally in both the scenarios of successful dating or interview. You should maintain eye contact, look interested, and smile.

Show Interest

An interview, like a date is a two way process, and you are allowed to ask questions. Try though to ensure that they are relevant and show some interest in the kind of work you’re expecting to do rather than just about holiday entitlement or salary.

Tell Them What You Think

It is good to have opinions and if asked about them they should be backed up with reasoning and not just borrowed from somebody else. Avoid foisting them on to the other party without some kind of invitation.

Be Yourself

It is always best to be yourself and not try to be what you think the other person wants you to be, and this advice holds up in most areas of human endeavour. You can never be someone else for long unless you’re a born actor and pretence that’s later uncovered makes you look foolish.

Enjoy Your Date…I Mean Interview!

Finally as with a date, why not approach the interview with the attitude that you are going to enjoy it. You are going to have a stimulating meeting within someone and you are going to leave feeling good about yourself and the World. It is surprising what a difference this positive attitude can make to your chance of getting the job.

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About the Author |
Joe McDermott is CEO of Anson Reed the UK's leading interview coaching specialists and founder of the successful InterviewGold online interview training system. Since 2006, Joe and his team of top interview coaches have helped over 35,000 people and in this blog they offer their expert advice - all to make sure you get your top job.