Dating and job hunting have a lot in common. Much of what you learned while looking for love can come in handy when you’re trying to find employment. Having found your life mate isn’t necessary to put your knowledge to use, either. Even having dated just a little will be helpful.
Try these strategies borrowed from the dating world to prep for job interviews, ace them, and then breeze through the follow-up stages.
- Clarify your values and goals. Maybe you tend to date people who are looking for a serious relationship or who share your religious background. The first step in a job search requires a similar assessment of what’s most important for you in terms of responsibilities and benefits.
- Let people know you’re looking. Networking helps you uncover more opportunities to meet people and learn about job openings. Spread the word about what you’re seeking, whether you want a dinner companion or an accounting position.
- Overcome challenges. Take an inventory of whatever circumstances may impede your progress. Just like you might need to pay off personal debts before you’re ready to contemplate marriage, you may want to prepare for challenging interview questions like explaining gaps in your employment history.
- Make a good first impression. First impressions count. Smile, shake hands and project confidence. Invest in a haircut and an outfit that make you look your best.
- Show interest. People tend to like people who like them. Be warm and friendly. Make appropriate eye contact. Listen well and ask thoughtful questions.
- Be yourself. When you’re hoping for a continuing relationship or a job, you want to start out being authentic. That way you’ll enhance your chances for long term success.
- Assess your compatibility. Use a little small talk to get comfortable but focus on exchanging meaningful information. Figure out if it’s the right organizational culture for you and determine if the position will make the most of your skills and talents.
- Speak well of your ex. Just like you want to avoid complaining about your ex-spouse on a date, you want to speak graciously of your former employer during an interview. Put a positive spin on your past experiences.
- Focus on your future. Devote plenty of time to talking about the future as well as describing your past. Show how your background is relevant to the position you’re seeking.
- Express your appreciation. However things go, thank your date or your interviewer for the opportunity to get together. Show your appreciation for their time and let them know you enjoyed talking with them.
- Pace yourself. Naturally, you’re going to feel eager about learning if you’ll see your date again or if you got the job. Ask about their timeline so you can call them or make other follow up contacts without appearing excessive.
- Keep searching. Until you’re in a committed relationship or get a firm job offer, keep searching. The more prospects and activities you have going on, the easier it is to feel hopeful, and the better your chances of finding the right match for you.
- Be versatile. Be open to a variety of outcomes. Even if this time you don’t meet someone you want to marry or land a full-time permanent job position, there may be potential benefits. You could find a new friend who wants to join your softball league or you may get some consulting work that will tide you over as you continue your job search.
If the intricacies of job hunting seem mysterious at times, take heart. You know more than you think you do. Apply the wisdom you’ve developed from your dating life and use it to land your dream job.