It's a lot like dating...Part two
It's a lot like dating...Part two
In our first instalment we outlined how we, 'the wingmen' can facilitate a date, but now it's over to you, the candidate. What do you need to know going into that first meeting?
In our first instalment, we painted a detailed picture of how we, ‘the wingmen’, can positively impact the development of a relationship between prospective candidate and employer, but there’s only so much we can do…When it comes down to it, we can’t go on the date for you. We can help get you to the dance, but it’s all on you once the music starts!
Just like the dating process, an interview can be a nerve-shredding even hellish experience if not executed properly. However, we’ve crafted a fail-safe set of rules to ensure that the process is a smooth drive rather than the car crash that many of us have undoubtedly experienced.
1. Lose the guilt. So, you’ve had a call from us ‘the wingman’ waxing lyrical about this ‘other person’ you never even knew existed. But you are content where you are – is the grass really greener? Should you be tempted and at least explore the opportunity? And if the approach gets you thinking, albeit unexpectedly, then maybe it’s worth just listening. You’re not engaging at this point, but you’re open to possibilities, it’s just a date after all...
2. How much to reveal in the beginning? The wingman is trying to draw information out of you, in attempt to assess how loyal you are to your current partner. Timing is everything and if you’re honest, you’re not 100% sure if you’re committed to staying in the same position for the next 5 years– So be open, tell them a bit about yourself and paint a picture of what you might be looking for. Together you can find the perfect match. Think about what would really make you ‘jump ship.’ Someone or something truly special…
The all-important first meeting….
3. Be prepared for the first date. Use your wingman to scope the opportunity/person and ensure that you go in fully prepared when you finally meet your date – you don’t want to invest a lot of time in something or someone if it’s going nowhere. No one wants to waste anyone’s time. So, put your best foot forward personality and presentation wise – you want to put yourself in the decision-making seat, so show the best side of you.
Be aware. It might seem spontaneous and laissez-faire relying on your off-the-cuff charm, until you arrive in your best shirt and chinos to a rock-climbing date… Charm can only get you so far, so do your homework and make sure you come appropriately dressed and equipped in time to sparkle at that all-important first impression!
5. Be reliable. Don’t flake at the last minute, your word will mean nothing going forward if you drop out at the slightest hint of an obstacle. Your date might not be willing to budge on the previously agreed arrangements and that could be your one shot. It might sound trivial, but actually make it to the date without making your date move mountains to see you.
6. Be courteous to the people around you. The main focus should of course be your date. They’re the reason you’re there. But, be careful not to fall into the trap of disregarding others around you. How you interact with the people not immediately involved in your date can reflect badly on how you treat people generally. Manners cost nothing and never be dismissive of people who are just trying to facilitate a smooth date.
7. Be animated and open. Interpersonal skills are essential for creating a rapport with your date. You already look the part and have made a considered effort to address the people around you, now it’s time to focus on presenting yourself. Your date wants to see from your body language and eye contact that you are more than just interested, you’re attracted – lots of eye contact…And whatever you do, don’t yawn!!!
8. Be selective with your content. What’s the best way to sell yourself? – reveal enough to connect but not so much that you lose that air of mystery entirely. But how? Pick the stories that accentuate your redeeming qualities and speak truthfully about what motivates you as an individual – authenticity drives connection.
But also, stay specific and laser-focused or risk rambling at your date until they lose patience. (Your wingman should supply you with the perfect topics to get the conversation flowing and highlight your key qualities from a 3rd party perspective.)
9.Be aware of the vibe. Reflecting your audience is one of the easiest ways to connect. If the tone is more formal, reflect it. If it’s casual, reflect that too but stay true to who you are. Your date may also be a bit nervous and might be less inclined to laugh and joke with more focus being placed on setting a more intense tone. Follow their lead at least in these initial stages.
10.Be balanced. How much are you talking about yourself? Are you asking enough questions? You don’t want to seem egotistical but obviously if you’re angling for that second date, you need to be willing to blow your own trumpet somewhat. It’s a fine line to tread. Ask as many questions as you answer – try and keep it conversational so it doesn’t feel too staged and structured.
11. Be responsive. If your date wants to meet again, don’t go MIA or radio silent on a 4-week holiday!!! If you’re not interested, tell the wingman and be open and honest about why. If it’s not right for you, it’s not right for them. Be available and prompt, as if you are excited about the prospects of where this could go, everything you do now reflects on you and how you manage yourself.
And then comes the second and further dates, meeting the family and friends and maybe an engagement – we’ll get to that in our next release!!!!