So, you want to find the one. They need to be attractive, engaging and maybe a bit challenging. They should be exciting but also solid and reliable and, most importantly, interested in you.
Wait…are we talking about relationships or potential employers? Well, in a perfect scenario, probably both. After all, many of the qualities we find attractive in each other are often the same qualities that make a good match for careers. Consider the last time you went on a facilities manager job interview or any job interview for that matter. Did you feel nervous? Were you concerned about how you were dressed? What you would say? Is your hair okay? Did you do the breath check? Sounds a lot like a first date, too.
The parallels between dating and job searches are many and are sometimes quite humorous, in their comparisons, but there are also great truths in how people treat each other in personal interactions. Securing a facilities management job, after all, usually comes down to the opinions of other human beings. Consider the following steps and how they reflect on the process of introduction, inspection and acceptance for both jobs and dating.
1) Investigate: The state a person is in when they’re most open to new opportunities.
2) Appeal: How a person feels when they’ve done their research and discovered relationship potential.
3) Indecision: That period when both members are feeling out the other to determine if this would be a mutually beneficial relationship.
4) Loyalty: When a commitment is made and exclusivity is developed.
Ultimately, we all want to make a good first impression and hopefully things will move to the next level. Therefore, we’ve put together some parallels of the dating scene versus the job search which should be helpful in landing that job you really want, and possibly get you a date in the process, too.
One Chance for First Impressions
As mentioned above, a first impression is one of the keys to standing out, in a good way, with those you are looking to impress. As humans, we create much of our analysis of each other, based on what we see and observe. We refer to faces to give us insight about a person’s character and, like it or not, we tend to judge a book by its cover, with clothing often being an important factor in the equation. Especially for job interviews, where competition can be steady for days or even weeks, your sweet nature or quirky intelligence may not shine through a wrinkled suit or shabby overall appearance.
Instead, look at the interview as your opportunity to show as many good surface qualities as you can. Your background and work history will be evident in your resume and your life outside of work can be shared, once you are comfortably settled in to a new job. You are showing in that interview time that you can dress and groom yourself, have pride in what you do and are able to present a new product (you) to a group of investors and get them to buy in. Quite the challenge, but proper preparation eliminates some of the variables in the presentation.
Know your Potential “Date”
Besides your looks, a first impression is often formulated from what the person says, both about themselves and about you. For job interviews, doing some background research can be key for showing your interest in the company you’re interviewing for. What do they do? Who do they work with or for? How long have they been around and what is their track record in their industry? Then, consider what you can bring to the table. What makes your skills and experience greater than the other applicants and how will they link to the job position? Remember, you are selling yourself, although you don’t want to sound like a sales pitch. As far as dating goes, it’s helpful to know something about the person, but maybe ease up on the background research, Sherlock.
Be Natural and Don’t Appear Desperate
To avoid the sales pitch tone when speaking about your, practice ahead of time and find ways to give information, yet keep the interviewer asking for a little more. Let the interviewer lead, but be ready for some of the more typical interview questions. So much of what is being asked in an interview is designed to see how you handle pressure, think on your feet and adjust to the situation. By being prepared, you’ll show a more relaxed person and employee, who knows how to prep for future challenging meetings.
Be careful to not appear as you have spent all of your time gearing up for this one job interview, though. Prepared is great, but too many formulated answers or a “perfect” response will feel contrived to the interviewers. And looking as if you are desperate for the job (or date) can be quite the turn-off. Mention that you are pursuing multiple avenues for employment and you felt as if this job would also be a great fit. This keeps you desirable in the minds of the interviewers. This is also their audition for you. Are these the people you want to work for or with? What first impressions are you gathering? Don’t be afraid to consider your instincts about the potential employer.
Expand Your Possibilities and Learn to Let Go
So, lets say the first interview/date went well, but now you’re looking at a second. You can’t just be the same interviewee as the first time around. The company, or individual, is showing greater interest in you than all or most of the rest. Now’s your chance to close the deal. Now you can show a little more of your personal side, but continue to play up your professional nature and abilities. Don’t come across as a completely different person than the first interview, though. You haven’t been hired yet. Remember what worked the first time and look to capitalize on those positives. Also, if you have a talent that is unique and applicable to the job, now would be the time to reveal and make a second impression with wow factor. Show the other person you’re willing to make the commitment to their organization.
Still, there is the possibility that you just aren’t making the connection. This is the reality of the job and dating scene and it doesn’t have to be anyone’s fault. Therefore, exit with grace, don’t burn bridges, and show that you are capable of letting go and moving on. Don’t turn into a jilted lover type and start badmouthing the other party. Then, you just look like a sore loser with a mouth full of sour grapes.
Finding that great job or perfect someone should be a process and will often work out best if you are selective and thorough in your approach. On the other hand, you have to show your best human qualities and sell yourself, without exaggerating lying about your “product”. If someone were to discover your false claims, the foundation on which you built your reputation will crumble. The balance between what is desired and what you can offer has to work for both parties involved, so make sure you are honest and open, when making those connections.