Dating advice that can help you find a job

Apart from both making us super nervous, job interviews and dates have more in common than we realise. They both involve big impressions and even bigger decisions. If you’re stuck in an unemployment rut, then maybe you need to freshen up your approach to ‘picking up’ work. Read on to find out how some classic dating advice can also help you score… a job.

two career women talking

Do your “research” 

In the same way that you thoroughly snoop through your date’s social media profiles, you should make a similar effort to research the company you’re hoping to work for. 

You can get a lot of useful information from their annual reports and media releases. You may even find out you don’t have enough in common to justify spending 40 hours a week together! But hopefully you’ll find out that the company has a great set of values you agree with, and maybe even a dedicated day for wearing your pyjamas to work.

Watch out for miscommunication 

Ever try to be too funny? Or touch on a topic that was way too awkward for a casual lunch date? It’s possible to have all kinds of blunders when you’re communicating with someone for the first time. This can happen because of differences in humour, writing styles and even body language. During the job interview process, it can help to: 

  • Communicate over the phone where possible. 
  • Be cautious about making jokes until you have a better idea about the other person’s sense of humour. 
  • Confirm the details- e.g. meeting times and locations. 
  • Avoid asking questions that are too personal, too soon. 
  • Turn up on time – lots can be said about not leaving your date lingering.

Don’t just talk about yourself

No one likes to be stuck with someone who’s just blabbering on about themselves. Sure, job interviews are about selling yourself, but it’s also important to ask questions of the people sitting across the table from you. Asking questions shows your interest in the company, and perhaps more importantly, helps make sure that you and your potential employer are on the same page: Do they allow time off for study? Do they have an environmental sustainability program? What opportunities are there for skill development?

This wish list can get a bit long in your imagination, so it’s worth double checking how realistic your expectations actually are. Both dating and working can require making compromises here and there, but it’s still important to know what you consider to be absolute deal breakers. For everything else, just remember that no one is perfect, and no job is either.

Don’t bag your ex!

To put it simply, bagging your ex looks bad on you, regardless of how bad they were. Having someone talk about their failed relationships is always a mood killer, and the same applies in job interviews. You’ll definitely be expected to speak about your previous roles, but it’s important to do it in a professional and positive manner. Think about how you frame things. There's a big difference between ‘outgrowing a company's culture’ and your boss ‘being an absolute monster’.

Don’t take things personally 

As the classic dating advice goes, there are plenty of fish in the sea - and it’s equally true for jobs. If you don’t get the job you were hoping for, it doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with you as a person. Someone else might have been a better fit, or that little bit more experienced. Just as people often go on several dates before finding ‘the one’, the same applies to jobs. What you can do is focus on learning from unsuccessful interviews by reflecting on what went well and what didn’t. 

Last but not least, remember to keep smiling! Employers love a good attitude, and it can even make up the difference where experience may be lacking. Stay positive and motivated, and soon enough you’ll find the one you’ve been waiting to work for.

Last reviewed: 11 November, 2015
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