Much like a first date…

So, lately I’ve been prying into my friends’ lives since I don’t have much of a life myself and found out that the majority of my friends are currently undergoing a series of interviews or have been offered positions in various industries. Some in sales, a few in marketing/advertising, and others in consulting. Timing is impeccable, especially since I started doubting the worth of an advanced degree in this unforgiving economy. Nonetheless, I’m relieved to find out that hard work and perseverance pays off. Some of my friends have told me that the interview process is nerve wrecking. I couldn’t agree more, except interviewing is just as daunting as any life experience.

For example, interviewing for a job is much like a first date. You’ve probably heard this comparison before, but allow me to break it down from a female’s perspective. After the date or interview is finalized, the first thing a female does is pick out an outfit. For your date, you pick out your outfit depending on your favorite high heels and accessorize accordingly – your favorite dangle earrings, your Tiffany&Co. bracelet, and the necklace you bought “just in case”. // For your interview, you pick out your outfit still dependent on your favorite (comfortable) high heels and accessorize accordingly – your pearl earrings and necklace to feminize your “power suit”, and instead of a bracelet you accessorize with an extra copy of your resume.

Then, you begin to prepare for your first date, or interview. For your date, you prepare by asking mutual friends about your date. You further prepare by researching the restaurant by taking a glance at the menu and wine/cocktail selection on their website. // For you interview, you’ll ask networking colleagues for their professional advice on the interview and the company. Then, you’ll go online and research the company, reread the position’s description, and even practice interview questions.

On the big day, you are eagerly trying to make a lasting first impression with your date, or interviewer. During your date, you are attentive, poised, and well-mannered. // During your interview, you are attentive, poised, and well-mannered. // Before you leave the date, you either hug and plan for a next date or just say “keep in touch”. // Before you leave your interview, you either shake hands and set up a second interview or your interviewer will say “keep in touch”. // After the date, you send a text or Facebook message to your date to thank him/her for dinner and possibly even the flowers. // After the interview, you’ll send a follow-up e-mail thanking them for their time and consideration.

And depending on how the first date or interview goes, you either decide to commit yourself faithful to that one person, or company. You weigh your pros and cons and strengths and weaknesses and go with your gut. You change your relationship status on Facebook, or you change your Employer status on Facebook. The routine is the same. Isn’t it interesting how the process is so similar and the outcome is equally questionable. People spend days or even weeks wondering “Is she/he going to call?” But is it about the job or about the date? So, I guess what I’ve learned by just blogging out loud is that interviewing should be approached in the same manner as a date. Its exciting, and it might be the beginning of a lifestyle change. Every new beginning starts with a “first” something; it is unavoidable and there are no exceptions. So, go into your interview with the same confident smile that you would on your very first date, or vice versa! Either way, it’ll be a learning experience!

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