Everything I know about interviewing I learned from dating

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I am currently in the process of interviewing for a new job. Over the years, I have become somewhat of a job-searching expert. In fact, it has been my full-time job for longer than many of my actual jobs! The other day as I was standing in my closet deliberating between a tasteful black dress and a black pant/white shirt ensemble for an upcoming interview, I realized that I am smack-dab back in the middle of the dating game. It has been many years since I ‘actually’ dated but the difference between dating and job hunting  really all comes down to the location and, occasionally, the conclusion 😉 You may be thinking, ‘Kat! You’re crazy! I would never kiss on the first interview!’ And to that I say, ‘Yes you would, it just might be their other end’. Here’s my reasoning:

1.  You should avoid looking like a slut, schlub, hobo, or any derivative of Margaret Thatcher on a first date-erview.

Sorry, Margaret. I just can’t stand those damn black pantsuits! And, neither can your potential future employer or lover. Dressing for a first impression is really an art. You want to be tasteful yet edgy, professional yet memorable, comfortable yet elevated. Yeesh. We have all seen the girl who shows up to her interview looking like a slightly more composed version of the dreaded Walk of Shame. What was she thinking? Fishnets AND a mini skirt? She may be leaving with a job but it probably won’t be the one she had in mind.

2.   You should be attracted to one another.

Chances are, the person you are meeting with is going to be a constant in your life for a while (maybe even forever). Does the office make you feel like you have walked into a prison cell? Does her high-pitched cackle make you wince? Is he still talking about his stint at a monastery? It really doesn’t matter how good the person/job looks on paper. If you leave your first meeting with a sprint, it’s not going to work out. Just move on and cut your losses. It’s better to accept it in the beginning than waste the precious months/years it will take to realize that that major turn off will never light your fire.

3.    Don’t talk about how much you hate your ex.

Oh dear friends, I have made that terrible mistake. I was interviewing for a job and everything was going great until, all of a sudden, I was bad-mouthing my old boss. I don’t know what happened! All of this word vomit bubbled up my throat and, before I knew it, I was telling her a STORY about how terrible my boss had been. We’ve all been on that date too. When your date starts throwing around terms of endearment like the dreaded c-word and f-word to summarize a former fling, it’s pretty hard not to close up shop. Maybe a ways down the road you can laugh about it over the copy machine but on the first date-erview you better be Mary fucking Sunshine about the whole thing.

4.    Be careful about using words like we, us, the future, love, babies, marriage, retirement, etc…

It’s especially easy, when the date-erview is going well, to start getting all rosy and fantasizing about your picture-perfect future together. You may envision yourself ascending the ranks and running the company or sending out those scary ‘It’s a girl!’ announcements. JUST. STOP. IT. While you are sitting there naming your future children your date is sneaking out the bathroom window. See that’s just it! It’s this tricky and delicate balance of excitement and nonchalance that makes going on date-erviews so damn hard.

5.    Don’t lie on your resume/online profile.

Spending two weeks in France does not make you fluent, your mastery of Photoshop will not magically turn you into the supermodel you appear to be in your profile picture, a couple online business courses does not translate into an MBA from an ‘accredited’ university. Essentially what you do when you lie at the beginning is build a house on an eroding cliff. Day by day, storm by storm, that house inches towards complete and total destruction. Not a pretty picture is it? Here’s the thing. If you actually get the job or start dating the person, your entire relationship is built on a big fat lie. Maybe not right away, but somewhere down the line it will come out that you were never actually in the Peace Corps and you HATE camping. When this does happen, it leaves the other party wondering about all the other wrongs that may embarrassingly right themselves.

6.    Don’t show up drunk.

I know, it’s sad that I have to put this in here, but you would be surprised!

7.   Wait a couple days to reach out after the date-erview.

We know you’re excited. You think you may have found the one. They’re charming and witty and interesting. They offer benefits and have the ass of a Greek god. You know it’s only been a few hours since you saw them but you just saw the cutest goldendoodle puppy a should probably send them a picture… NO. Freeze and step away from the phone/computer/whatever. You know you’ve been on a successful first date-erview when you leave the other party wanting more. The cards are in your favor. Now, don’t go muck it up and lay them out there for everyone to see. In order for them to get this ‘more’ I speak of, they simply must hire you or ask you out again!

And now, just for good measure, here are a few that I did not cover above:

Action

Interviewing

Dating

Having a drink

Not good

Ok (no shots, bombs, absinthe)

Kissing

Probably not

Ok

Talking about salary

Ok (when asked)

Nope

Crying

Hell no

No flipping way

Eye contact

Yes

Good but don’t be weird

Sending a thank you note

Totes

Cute but NO

Internet stalking

A little (for research)

A little (for research)

Drugs

Really?

Come on.

Sweatpants

We’re done.

It’s over.

 

Thanks for reading! I love you guys 🙂

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