Ok – it’s a sleazy show that draws a huge crowd of viewers – but it is also the “ultimate” when it come to interviewing for a job. There are twenty-five candidates to begin the show – contenders for the job. We are not sure how the twenty-five are chosen – but they are the “candidate pool.” Week-by-week they are eliminated – many in the beginning and then it narrows down to the final few. When all is said one “guy” (in this case) is chosen. What happens to all the other candidates? They move on and find other people to date – life goes on.
So, what does this have to do with the job interview? Isn’t the same scenario happening in the job interview? A pool of candidates is chosen – we are not sure how. And one-by-one they are eliminated until one person is chosen.
There is a comparison that can be drawn between the dating scene and the interview scene and the do’s and don’ts of dating and interviewing. There are several similarities between dating and interviewing.
Observing two scenarios – Bob’s blind date and Judy’s first interview demonstrates some behaviors in either situation that are positive and negative. Imagine Bob in the interviewer role in the blind date situation and Jane as the candidate in the job scenario.
1. Before the interview thinking
Bob: “I really need someone in my life and I am willing to take anyone who is a warm body.”
Jane: “I really need a job – I’m so desperate, I’ll take anything.”
“Desperation vibes” can be spotted at first site. Avoided by staying focused on the experience and not the result.
2. The first impression – chemistry
Bob feels the connection with his date – “She is exactly what I have been looking for.”
Jane gets a negative feeling from the interviewer – stiff and formal.
Chemistry is felt and an opinion is formed in the first few minutes of a meeting, based on appearance, and body language.
3. Getting to know each other
Bob watches and listens intently to confirm his first opinion of his date.
Jane can feel the interview turning around as she answers the questions with specific examples of her past successes.
First impressions are not always the final ones. Both processes are conversations to learn if there is a match.
4. Questions – similarities, differences, values, qualities
Bob has a million questions he wants to ask. “Do you like music, dancing, movies? Italian food?”
Jane is asked if she has questions. She answers, “No, I think you’ve covered the basics.”
You need information to decide whether to take this relationship to the next level.
5. Past experiences stories
Bob is learning about his date by the stories she is telling about her past experiences.
Jane gives specific examples of her past work, letting the interviewer know she had similar experiences.
Stories are the proof that you have “been there and done that.” Stories reveal patterns.
6. Red lights blinking warning!
Bob’s date begins to talk about her ex-boyfriend in a negative way.
Jane left her last job because of her boss. She avoids saying anything negative.
On a date, or in an interview, it is best not to bad-mouth former relationships.
7. Introduction to the “family”
Bob is excited about introducing his date to friends and family.
Jane is given a tour and introduced to potential peers.
The next level is to meet the other members – friends, family, co-workers. Don’t under-estimate the impact of “third party” feedback.
8. The competition
Bob continues observes his date and mentally compares her with others.
Jane is told that there are five candidates for the job. She starts to panic, thinking that all the other candidates are probably more qualified than she is.
Faulty thinking about the competition is a mistake. You are unique and should be able to convey your strengths and positive qualities.
9. The call back – the waiting
Bob says he will phone about another date.
The interviewer tells Jane that the hiring decision will be made next week.
Waiting for a call is one of the most difficult parts of either process. Trust in the process and let whatever is going to happen occur.
10. The offer/commitment
Bob calls for a second date and she accepts. Time will tell whether that original spark will continue or fizzle.
Jane waits two weeks for her call back. She is offered the position and accepts.
Not every date will end in a commitment or even a second date. Not every interview will end in a job offer. Sometimes it just doesn’t work – for whatever reason. Let go and move forward.
There will be other dates and other interviews – life will go on.
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