Sweaty palms, butterflies in my stomach, and incessantly checking and rechecking the time, my hair and my teeth: either I’m going on a date or going to a job interview. As opposite as it might seem, first dates and job interviews have more in common than you’d think.
What are you going to wear?
Who tries on a dozen different outfits for a big occasion before finally picking one out? Guilty. If you don’t feel good in what you’re wearing, it will come across through your actions. While comfort is always key, I’m also one of those people who gets a little extra dressed up on the days where I’m dragging.
For big moments, you want to focus on the conversation, not how much your feet are hurting from your “good shoes” or that pesky thread on your sweater. And yes, you’re judged on your first impression, so make it a good one! Put some time and care into planning (and trying on) what you’re going to wear so your attention is where it should be: on the conversation.
It goes both ways
A date goes both ways. As much as it is a chance for the other person to explore if they’re interested in you, it’s your chance to explore if you’re interested in them. As cliche as it sounds, the same is true for an interview. Don’t let it become a one-sided conversation; it’s meant to be a dialogue. If you don’t ask questions, then you won’t discover anything new, so think about some questions you want to get answered. But like a date, play it smart: ask realistic, appropriate questions.
So, what next?
You talked, you had a dialogue, you had a good time–what now? Like you would follow up on a good date, follow up on an interview. If you feel good about it, it’s okay to say that. (An example of the equivalent of, “I had a great time tonight,” would be, “I feel like the company’s values match well with mine.” ) Find out what the next steps are so you’re both on the same page. But heed what you hear: if your date says that they’ll be out of town and can’t get together for a week, respect that. If a recruiter or hiring manager says they’ll get back to you in a week or two, don’t call them every day for the next two weeks to find out.
Just like some great dates don’t end up going anywhere for other reasons, good job interviews can follow a similar path. But stick with it and don’t give up: there’s someone (and something) out there for all of us.
Sejal is a Recruitment Marketing Project Manager at Intel. She is part of the team that is responsible for Intel’s global employment brand. This team helps connect candidates with Intel and Intel with candidates using channels such as the Jobs at Intel web site, the Life at Intel microsite and other Web 2.0 channels. Sejal specifically manages theJobs at Intel Blog and Intel’s recruitment Facebook strategy. Originally from Toronto, Ontario (yes—a real, breathing Canadian!), Sejal graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with her Bachelor’s in Communications before starting at Intel in 2008. When she’s not working, you’ll find Sejal working at crossing things off of her Bucket List (which includes skydiving, reading 1000 books and traveling the world), eating cupcakes or spending time with family and friends. To learn more about opportunities with Intel, visit intel.com/jobs, follow Intel on Twitter @JobsatIntel or check out the Jobs@Intel blog!