If you think about it, a job interview is basically the blind date of the career world.
You spend countless hours creating a profile that describes your goals and aspirations, your background, and what you’re looking for in an employer. You send them out to employers who you think might be a perfect match. If you’re lucky, a recruiter might decide to “swipe right” and call you in for a meeting.
There are few things as awkward as meeting a complete stranger in person for the first time with the goal of “scoring” (a job, that is). And like every classic blind-date scenario, there are always the ones who try a little too hard and brand themselves as undateable.
Going to be late for your date? Own up… don’t blame your bus driver for driving too slow. Better yet, make plans to actually show up a little early – there’s nothing more attractive to a recruiter than someone who’s on top of their schedule and plans for the unexpected.
Asking about the obvious
This is literally like going on a Tinder date, meeting them in person and saying “I didn’t know you had red hair” when it was LITERALLY in their profile picture.
It’s a little bit different for interviews because it’s expected you do some research before the meeting, and if you try the equivalent before a blind date it can come off kind of stalker-y. However, if you start asking a potential employer dead-obvious questions (“So what does this company do, anyway?”) you can be sure you won’t get a callback for round two.
Being an a*shole
There’s an awfully thin line between confidence and arrogance. While you think that you’re building a compelling case for how amazing and impressive you are, the recruiter is probably wondering how you walk around all day with that fat head of yours.
Stay humble, and show some interest in the needs of your potential employer. Everyone loves a good listener.
Talking about nothing
Repeat after me: people who talk a lot don’t necessarily know what they’re talking about.
You’ve seen politicians and business executives do it, but it’s pretty easy to see through their BS. Don’t be afraid to take a moment and think about what you want to say. Your words should be valuable, and your conversation well thought out. Recruiters appreciate that much more than a fast talker.
Complaining about an “ex”
Watching a grown person point fingers at other people for their shortcomings is never sexy. Stories about how your “stupid boss” wouldn’t see that you were right all along get stale quickly, and quite frankly make for awkward conversation. After all, if your date spends all night complaining about their ex, you’d better hope you have an exit strategy.
Also, consider this: like all terrible dates, awful interviews are usually recounted and shared between recruiters for weeks – maybe even longer if they’re legendary enough. Just remember that recruiters are just as invested in the process as you are, so be prepared and sell yourself the right way.
Hopefully, you’ll be on your way to your “happily ever after”!