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                  Interview

GOING FOR A   ^   DATE?

by Sharon Kaur

HRD Specialist, WisDen EduPark

 

You are putting me on!  Hey, going for a date is a breeze, but an interview, boy - that can be a nightmare – maybe akin to a blind date?

The situation is the same – you want something/someone and you need to make the best impression to achieve it. 

Let’s take quick peek at what these two scenarios: 

Sam’s blind date and Maria’s first job interview.

Pre-Interview/Date

  • Maria:  “Oh please God, let me get this job.  I need a job so badly, and at this point, anything will go!
  • Sam:  “I hope I don’t mess this up.  I need a girlfriend – everybody thinks I’m weird ‘cos I don’t have one. “

It is not easy to disguise one’s feeling of desperation.  Do not reflect on what you want to achieve at the end.  Rather, stay focused on the situation that you will be facing.  Do not allow desperation to show – it is a sure turn-off!

Moment-of-Truth – First Impressions

  • Maria:  “Oh, oh! The interviewer looks so stern. This is going to be difficult.”
  • Sam:  “Hey, I think we connected. She’s the dream girl I’ve been waiting for.”

Maria obviously appears to have gone on the negative and defensive mode as she felt negative vibes from her interviewer. Sam, on the other hand, appears very positive and feels that he has connected with his date. It has been said that the first 10 seconds of meeting someone for the first time creates a long-lasting impression.  And it is only natural that if there is no positive connection from the very first moment, things may just either go downhill steadily after that or you will need to put in extraordinary effort to achieve what you want.  

Next step – getting to know one another:  

  • Body Language :  Maria becomes more confident as she is able to answer the questions with specific examples as well as relate her past successes.  Sam watches and listens very attentively to what his date is saying.  He is getting to know her better through her narration of herself and her past.
  • The Q & A routine:  Maria is given the opportunity to also question her interviewer about the position.  She only has one question: “Though this is a marketing position, will I get an opportunity to do actual sales?”   Sam wants to know everything about his date and he questions her about her likes, dislikes, hobbies, family etc.  “Do you like dancing?”  “Who is your favourite rock star?” “Which football team do you support?”

Sometimes you need to ask more specific details to make a more informed decision whether you wish to pursue the position/person further. As such, you may need to ask specific questions like what Sam did.  However, remember, your interviewer/date is not in a court, so don’t sound like an interrogator!  

Red Alert!

Maria is asked why she is leaving her present position.  Though she is actually leaving because her company’s financial position is very bad but she says “Well, I believe that the time is opportune for me to further enhance my career and challenge myself to greater heights.”

Sam, on the hand, becomes a bit uncomfortable when his date starts bad-mouthing her last boyfriend.

Remember, it is not in the best of taste to bad-mouth former employers/relationships.  It creates an uncomfortable and unpleasant impression. Another very critical give-away signal of the other party losing interest is their body language such as looking away from you, looking at the time, taking other calls, etc.  So keep a sharp look-out for these tell-tale signs.  Don’t let the situation drift away from you!  

The Competition

Though Maria is quite confident that her interview went well, she is very worried because she has been told that there are three other candidates for the same position. She starts to think about her completion and feels that perhaps they are better qualified.  She starts sinking into a new level of depression. She is informed that the decision would be made by end of the week.

Sam is very happy with his date.  He compares her with all the other women he knows.  He told his date he will call her next week.

It is only natural that we compare ourselves with others.  Though this can work positively, but there is a high possibility that this could work against us especially when we start off on a desperate mode such as Maria and Sam.  You must always be proud of yourself and be confident of your strengths and positive qualities.  

The Waiting

Maria is biting her toes and nails, waiting for the interviewer to call.  Sam can’t wait for next week to call his date.

Waiting for the call is the most difficult part of either situation.  You will just have to be patient and carry on with your other routine while waiting for this to happen.  

The Commitment

  • Two weeks later: “Ms Maria, you have been offered the position of Marketing Executive.”  She accepts.
  • Sam calls his date the next week and she is excited to see him again.

Well, both these situations ended positively though it did not appear that they could. Though both Maria and Sam started on a desperate mode but they took stock of the situation, managed to get their act together and achieved their aims.  Where Sam’s relationship will go or how successful Maria will be at her new job, is something that both them will have to further develop. 

However, remember that not all blind dates or job interviews end positively.  If one fails, just move on.  There is no time to blame yourself or others.  Do not look for faults, rather just take it positively and look forward to the next date/interview.

 

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