Dress your best. Be a little early, but not too early. Don’t talk about money. Some of the rules pertaining to a first date can be applied to an interview, but you will get much further along in the courting process if you consider the following.
I don’t want to lead you on.
If your gut is telling you not to go on the first date, you probably won’t go. During a job hunt, however, it’s ok to go to an interview or talk with a company if you have some concerns or just want to find out more about them. You might find out that you had misinformation, or you might find out that you were right all along, but you will not find out unless you take that first step. Even taking that first phone call with the company will help you find out if there is chemistry.
Is this exclusive?
While you may prefer to go steady with one person even before you have a marriage proposal, it is not a good strategy when searching for a new job. There is nothing wrong with interviewing at multiple companies at once. You are not going steady with anyone until you have a job offer in hand. This will increase your chances of finding the right job and it also helps you feel comfortable with the process as you interview with more potential employers. Practice makes perfect.
Wait to ‘friend.’
While you might wait to add a first date to your Facebook friend list, you should add interviewers to your network on LinkedIn and do your research before going into the interview. It helps to know the background of the person you will be interviewing with.
Don’t kiss on a first date.
While many try to play it cool on a first date, during a job search you might not get a second meeting if you don’t show the love. If you are really interested in the job, don’t be coy. Show your enthusiasm and be explicit and assertive about your interest.
Too soon to call?
You don’t need to wait 2 to 3 days after your interview to write a thank-you note. Sooner is better. But take a moment to proofread. While a date may forgive a typo in a quick thank you text, your future boss could likely rule you out.
Understanding the differences between these rules will help you stand out among other candidates playing the field. Be that candidate that the employer can’t stop thinking about. But remember, while it would be great if your next job were to last “for better or for worse, from now until eternity,” it might just be the next great stepping stone in your career. Whether it is your next step or your last step, you want to be the one to decide if it is right for you. So be your best self and don’t forget to smile!