Preparing for a job interview can be scary. Making a good first impression is crucial and if it goes well it can mean a huge change in your life. Does this sound like anything else most of us do?
Going on a job interview is eerily similar to going on a first date! In both situations you want to put your best foot forward, highlight your great qualities, and hopefully get a call back if all goes well.
Because these two events in our lives are so similar it is very easy to apply the Do’s and Don’ts from going on a first date to going on a job interview.
Read on for a list of nine first date ‘don’ts’ that can also be applied to your next job interview!
1.Don’t Answer Your Phone
The First Date: Being on your phone during a first date makes it seem like you are uninterested in the person in front of you. Keep the phone away (unless it’s an emergency) and focus your attention on the person that is trying to learn more about you.
The Job Interview: An interviewer has dedicated time to meet with you and being distracted or taking a phone call during the interview is considered rude and shows that you do not value their time. Put your phone on silent during the interview to avoid any awkward interruptions.
2. Don’t Show Up Late
The First Date: Showing up late to a first date is not a good sign. You are trying to make a good first impression and if you can’t show up on time then the only impression your date will have is that you will constantly leave them waiting for you in the future.
The Job Interview: Being on-time for a job interview is crucial. The interviewer has taken time out of their day to meet with you and it reflects terribly on you if you do not arrive on time. This tells the company that your attendance may be an issue if they were to hire you. To stay safe, leave yourself plenty of time and plan to show up 10-15 minutes early for your interview.
3. Don’t Focus on Old Information
The First Date: No one likes hearing too much about your past relationships on a first date. Be sure to keep the conversation flowing and avoid diving into those ugly breakups from 10 years ago.
The Job Interview: You should always show up to an interview with a new and updated resume. Keep your work history current and avoid jobs that are 10+ years old unless they are extremely relevant to the position you are applying for now.
4. Don’t Drink Beforehand
The First Date: Usually it is not a good idea to drink or be under the influence of anything before a first date. You want to show your best self and be coherent to see if there is an opportunity for a future relationship with your date. Drinking beforehand will affect your senses and make that less possible.
The Job Interview: It is NEVER a good idea to drink before a job interview. You are seeking employment from this company and will greatly reduce your chances of being hired if you are impaired.
5. Don’t Look Sloppy
The First Date: You are making a first impression and that impression should be that you are well kept and clean. Wear something nice and appropriate for the date setting to show that you are able to take care of yourself.
The Job Interview: Your first impression is critical. Dressing in work-appropriate attire will prove to the company that you are responsible and put together. An interviewer will use this meeting to determine how you will act in the workplace therefore you must always be work-appropriate, even in the job interview.
6. Don’t Bring Your Mom
The First Date: Just don’t bring your mom. Or your dad.
The Job Interview: Some job seekers like to have their parents along for emotional support. This can get in the way if your parent becomes involved in the interview process at all. It is best to leave your parents at home and do the job interview alone – especially since you won’t be able to bring your parents to work everyday to help you through the job.
7. Don’t Talk Politics/Religion
The First Date: Sometimes it is better to save topics like politics or religion until a few dates in. Those are topics that many people are very passionate about however it can throw a curveball into a first date when you are just getting to know the basics of the other person.
The Job Interview: Avoid topics like politics and religion at all costs. These topics are personal and do not have a place in the workplace or in the job interview.
8. Don’t Lie
The First Date: Starting off a relationship with lies will cause nothing but trouble. Keep the conversation honest and if there is anything you feel the need to hide/lie about then consider how that will affect your relationship moving forward.
The Job Interview: Don’t lie in your job interview. Lying about past employers or experience is futile because the employer will find out the truth during a reference check. If you do manage to land a job and have lied about your experience you will still be in trouble once you start the job and are unable to perform the tasks that are required of you. Just don’t do it.
9. Don’t Bring Up Money Too Early
The First Date: Bringing up how much money you make/have can make you seem arrogant. Also, discussing who is paying for the date or the logistics behind the money can leave a bad impression.
The Job Interview: Leave the salary negotiations until the end of the job interview and let the employer start the conversation. Talking about money too early in the process can make you seem money-hungry and leave a bad impression with the interviewer.