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How can your dating experiences help you ace a job interview?

Posted on 18th June 2015

Nobody likes the unknown! The  unfamiliar  can bring on anxiety, worry and in some cases, a lack of confidence.

This is the same in many aspects of life,  but the good news is that many of the tips for overcoming these anxieties are transferrable! .

Dating and interviews can both bring on this anxiety, so we thought we’d look at the similarities and explain why there really is no need to worry! 

The art of the job interview

With the economy now getting back on its feet, the jobs market is beginning to open up a little bit. As a result, these are busy times for recruitment departments and jobseekers are finding themselves having to prepare for more and more interviews.

Job interviews are one of the situations that  can strike fear into even the most confident person. They are a high-stake moment in time on which a person's whole career can hinge. Pressure!!  But the key is to just be yourself and represent your personality in as natural way as possible.

One recent approach that has been much discussed in various arenas is trying to treat a job interview the same as you would a first date. At The Maine Group, we are all about the relationship! The relationship between your date and your interviewer is key, you have to get along to make it work.

So although the chances are that a date will be far less formal than a job interview, there are certain transferable skills that might just prove to be the deciding factor in your securing your dream role.

Relax and smile

Although you might be racked with nerves on the inside, it is important to come across as comfortable and happy!This will show that you’re feeling positive  and motivated in the other person's company, while demonstrating a coolness and lack of fear. Phew!

This is where preparation comes in when attending a job interview. If you know the company inside out before entering the boardroom, it will be far easier to stay relaxed. You will not be constantly scanning your mind for information as you’ll already have it stored up there! 

The same applies when on a first date. If you think about everything you already know about a person before meeting them, this will give you a chance to establish some common ground, meaning the conversation is likely to flow much more easily.

Dress to impress

Ultimately, it is what you say that will make the biggest difference, but appearance  definitely helps in both job interviews and first dates.

In most cases, there should be some brief guidance from your recruiter on what you should wear at a job interview, so it goes without saying that this should be stuck to rigidly.  We’ll prep you beforehand and let you know the dress code! But you could also thinkabout the industry that the employer is in. If the firm has a very corporate persona then it will almost certainly be best to dress formally. However, if you anticipate more of a casual dress code, a shirt and jeans might create the best impression. If you are unsure, it never hurts to ask. And if you are still in the dark, it is probably best to be overdressed than underdressed.(Although we will always help you and make sure you’re in the know beforehand!)

It can be much the same on a first date. The venue where you are meeting can often be a useful guide to how formal you should dress, but there is also a certain amount of second guessing on how your date will approach it. Wear an outfit which will make you feel comfortable and give a good first impression! 

Don't overdo it

The risk when someone is  nervous, is that they overcompensate by exaggerating their personality. This could apply to dress sense as we mentioned!. In your quest to impress, be careful to ensure that the clothes you wear are not too formal.

There is no need for a shirt and tie if you are just going to a gig or the cinema - doing so could risk making the other person feel conscious about their own outfit or simply think that yours is plain weird! Similarly, if you are applying for a job somewhere with a relaxed dress code, ( eg a media or design agency) , a full suit might be deemed as unnecessary effort.

But this doesn't just apply to how you look. Overcompensating for worry and stress can lead to someone waffling or talking too quickly. This could happen even in situations where the applicant has put in hours of preparation beforehand. It can be tempting to try to prove that you have learned everything about a company by cramming in as much information as possible into each answer.

You don’t want to bombard the interviewer though! This might make it hard for them to take proper notes, which include all the details of what you have said. (Which could ultimately stand in the way of you securing the position you are after.)

Think of it as being the same as the conversation on a first date. Worrying too much about awkward silences can cause some people to waffle on about  whatever is in their head, but this can be off putting if you prevent  your date from getting a word in. Breathe and relax!

All in all, these are just some general pointers and your success in a job interview will depend on the specifics of the position. But follow these golden rules and you certainly be well placed to get where you want to be in both work and love! Good luck!