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A job interview is a lot like a date

I am very new to the job seeking field and, as I recently applied for a job, I gladly noticed the internet is not only an open market for lonely hearts, but also an endless source of discouraging information about job interviews! I read through questionable lists on how to nail the interview and seal the deal, I edited my résumé trying to make it look more interesting, used the good e-mail address, and my cover letter became a clickbait. In a nutshell, I was winging it: Tinder style.

job interview or Tinder date

I read somewhere, probably on Cosmo, not to attach your photo to a résumé, so the only photo of me was on LinkedIn and required some stalking on their part. Also, another article reinforced the concept of hiring on a skill basis and not for age/sex/location, so I removed date of birth and address from my résumé on a last minute purge to fit inside the 'one-page' parameter.

Résumé shaming!

If you think about it, it's hard enough to come up with a decent and exhaustive description of who you are for superficial social interaction, never mind a description of what you know, what you could do, what you are currently doing, all while not making it look so easy to put you into a specific category.

For example, I am a great team-player but I work better alone and I am very decisive sometimes. That's as useful as knowing I like animals and going to the cinema. On top of that, all I knew about them what the name of the company, a few lines of introduction, and a vague idea of what they would like to do with me.

If that isn’t a Tinder match, I don’t know what is.

Once my profile got their attention, I wrote down the names of the interviewing team to avoid any Luke/ Duke mishap in person. I printed out my résumé and put it in a plain folder without Hello Kitty on it, I low-key dressed up, professional but not arrogant, no make-up make-up to look put-together, and ¾ height ponytail because low is too demure, mid doesn’t make any impact, high is too MTV.

I know you understand me.

Obviously I got there way too early, just like during the worst date I’ve ever been on. Wait, I didn’t tell you that story yet? Stay tuned because that might be coming up next week!

I tried to play it cool: stop checking my make-up in the reflection, no slouching on the chair, no looking at my phone, trying not to hyperventilate, nor frown, nor bite my nails. I was way too stressed, so, instead of focusing on what not to do, I stood up and took a power stance, or a Superman pose, as some may call it. Feet shoulder width, hands on hips, chin up high, smile and picture yourself succeeding.

I clearly should have pictured myself leaving during that above-mentioned date.

The interview itself was a blur and I would not be able to tell if it lasted ten minutes or almost an hour. I tried to focus on the questions and I could hear my brain telling me: ‘Don’t say you’re a nerd. Do Not Say Nerd.’

I said nerd.

Just like when your crush acknowledges you for the first time, after the interview I kept playing every line in my head over and over. I am able to re-enact the whole appointment by heart thanks to how many times I’ve mentally repeated every single word.

And that’s all I could think of for a week that seemed to last for months. I had to beg my brain to go to let me go to bed thinking of something else. I needed a break from my own obsession. Was I starting to idealise the whole situation? Did that really happen? Am I the only one getting good vibes from the meeting? I was already picturing me and them running across sunny meadows, picnics on the beach together, a match made in heaven.

Another similarity between a date and a job interview is that you don’t want to admit to yourself that you are, in fact, dying for them to call. You may try to pretend you're fine and don't even mention the meeting to your friends, you don't want to jinx it. Luckily, there is still a bit of grey area in the form of ‘likes’, or ‘thank you notes’, which are universally seen as well-mannered and socially acceptable. After all, you don't want to seem that desperate. Then, all dignity fails when they do call and you find yourself jumping up and down on an emergency fire escape because they liked you and they will definitely see you again soon.



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