The rulebook for job interviews and dating

In the Ambitions office, we see ourselves as not too dissimilar to cupid. Okay, so we might not walk around naked shooting heart-shaped arrows at people but we do help clients find their perfect match when it comes to their career.

We’ve been thinking a lot about the ‘rules’ of attending a job interview and how similar it is to dating, so we thought we’d put together a fun guide full of our best tips to help you get the girl…er, job.

Much like a date, going for a job interview requires you to sell yourself, dress to impress and (hopefully) secure that all important second meet up. But the similarities between dating and interviews don’t end there.


Finding a match

More people are finding jobs online these days through job boards and recruitment agencies. Similarly, more people are also going online to find true love through dating apps and social media.

Although you do hear of people finding their soulmate online, there is always the fear of being ‘catfished’, which is where you find out the person isn’t quite as they seemed. Maybe they don’t look like their photo or maybe they don’t tell you their real age or what they really do for a living. It’s so easy to conceal information online so people get away with it.

Believe it or not, similar practices are being used in job advertisements. Its common place to secure a job through a recruitment agency now as it helps both the employer and the candidate find the right match. Although some agencies are cagey when it comes to revealing who the company in question is, we will always provide the full picture to you. Everything we know about the company and the role will be relayed back you so you don’t have to worry about being catfished by us!

Rule #1 for interviews: Do your own research prior to the interview – visit the company website, see if you know anybody who works there and make sure you have a confident “tell me about yourself” answer lined up. Use a reputable recruitment agency and don’t be afraid to ask for more information about a potential role.

Rule #1 for dating: Do your research prior to the date. Read their profile fully and see if you have any mutual interests or connections.  Again, make sure you have a confident “tell me about yourself” answer lined up.


The formal first date

Hopefully, you’ve done just enough on your CV or dating profile to secure a meet up.

Just like on a first date, ‘fashionably late’ is a big no-no in an interview situation. Nobody likes to be kept waiting so ensure you leave the house in plenty of time to avoid being seen in a negative light.  Leaving your date (or interviewer) hanging gives the impression that you don’t see their time to be as valuable as your own, leading them to form an instant bad first impression.

First impressions count for everything so the way you dress is also important. Make sure your shoes are polished, shirt ironed, and you’re looking clean and presentable. Knowing you look smart and professional will also help fight off the nerves.

Interviews and first dates can cause even the most confident of us to feel anxious as you have to be prepared for all kinds of questions that head your way. The key to remember is to be interested and interesting. The most simple way to be interesting in any situation is to show passion and enthusiasm for what you do, your hobbies and your life goals. Remember to show you’re interested in what they have to say by showing open body language and giving non-verbal cues, such as nodding.

Rule #2 for interviews: Make sure you know how to get to the location of your interview and be there a good 5 minutes early. Dress to impress and have a list of questions written down to ask the interviewer.

Rule #2 for dating: Make sure you know how to get to where you’ve decided to meet and aim to be bang on time. Dress in something you feel confident in and have a mental list of conversation starters ready in case of any awkward silences.


Second date / interview

If you have followed all of the above steps, then a second date (or interview) should certainly be on the cards. The second meeting shouldn’t be so nerve-wracking but it doesn’t mean you can totally relax.

If you have managed to secure a second date/ interview, then you know the person has made a conscious decision that they like you, but now it runs a little deeper. Do they see any mutual connections? Can they see the potential of it leading anywhere? You need to up your game to convince them that you are the right match.

Remember though, it’s a two way thing so use it as an opportunity to make sure that YOU want to work there / date that person. Make a list of what it is you’re looking for and ask as many questions as necessary to gather the information.


Rule #3 for interviews: Think about where your strengths lie and how you can demonstrate that you are a stronger candidate than the people you’re up against. Set your social media profiles to private as it’s likely your potential employer will take a look to figure out what kind of person you are outside of a formal setting.

Rule #3 for dating: It’s likely your date will be also stalking you on social media to find out a little more about you. Take a good look through your profile pictures and see whether they give the best impression of you.


Hopefully, by using these tips you’ve managed to pull it off, and you now feel like you can ace your interviews in style AND woo your dates.

Finding the right life partner and the right job are essential to being happy and fulfilled. The frequency of the two events in your life can differ dramatically – with some people holding down the same job for 35 years but having three different wives, whilst others may remain monogamous to the same partner but be a restless soul in their careers. Whichever you are, you’re now more prepared than you were before.

You deserve a job you love. If you don’t think you’ve found THE ONE then why not take a look through our current job vacancies and see if there’s something to get your heart racing this Valentine’s Day. Or give the friendly team at Ambitions a call on 614841 to see if we can play cupid between you and your dream role.