My friend said to me: "You know, interviews are exactly like first dates" and then she took a big sip of her wine spritzer. It was lovely weather and we went for a walk and sat down in the beer garden located in the middle of a park. She works as a C-level recruiter and interviewing is her job. As I have a lot of experience as an interviewee, I started asking questions. These were her theories:
Meeting the employer/future partner through networking:
Many people say they meet their life partner through other people. At a party, at an event, or just at a cafe. With jobs, vitamin b is very powerful. I feel like it becomes more relevant the more senior we get, if you know someone who knows someone, and they get you an interview, that's already the first step. Then in the interview, as well as with the date, we stand alone, and need to convince the other person, that we are everything they are looking for.
Prepping for the interview/date
I have had these interviews were I didn't really know what to research upfront. Sometimes I couldn't even find the job description anymore. I just went to the interview with as little knowledge as possible and then wasn't surprised if I got rejected. For dates, checking online beforehand is vital. Maybe that person is a catfish. Or maybe they have a dodgy past? I have really outdone myself sometimes, I have researched people until I found their junior school pictures.
Whenever I go to an interview, I dress up, either I wear a double breasted navy suit, with a white blouse, and I jazz up the outfit with my dark green fake snakeskin loafers. I usually always wear a blouse, if the atmosphere is more casual then expected, I can roll up my sleeves and look more sporty in an instant. For the date I also dress up, to the nines this time though. I usually over do it, I do the whole beauty routine, before putting on the most amazing dress and heels.
Presenting ourselves in a conversation
They always say, an interview is supposed to be a conversation, where the interviewee also evaluates if he/she wants to work at that company.
At some points in my life whenever I read that, I thought: 'I really just want a job, I don't care how the company is. I can adapt'. Oftentimes it is not like that though and the older we get, the more difficult it is to find a new job. Just like, the harder it is to date. We just want someone who is like us, without the bullshit.
Over the years, I have started to ask the interviewers more detailed questions:
- What is their leadership style
- What is one of their lessons learned
- What do they dislike about the company
- What motivates them to go to work every day
- What challenges is the company facing in the future
- How are they thinking of tackling them
- If they had to describe their culture in 4 adjectives what would they be?
And when we date, we want to find out as much as we can about the other person, so see if we want to meet with him again, or if it was just a waste of time.
What really matters
In the end it's not really the qualifications that count, but if we are 'feeling' something for the other person. Feelings are hard to influence, sometimes no matter how hard we try, the other person just isn't as in love as we are.