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Think of an Interview as a First Date

By Marty Nemko

When facing a job interview, the natural tendency is to gird yourself against the onslaught of killer questions and to do everything you can to snow 'em. That can be a prescription for failure. You will likely come off as defensive, even disingenuous. Under the pressure, job seekers frequently utter turn-off canned phrases such as, "I'm seeking a new challenge," or "I believe I'm uniquely qualified for the position."

What can you do today?
Instead of the Inquisition, think of a job interview as a first date: you're both trying to figure out if there's a match. This mindset proffers many advantages. You come off as curious, not desperate; you don't assume that too-formal, phony-appearing job-seeker persona; you talk about what you want to talk about instead of just passively getting bombarded with the employer's probes; and you're more likely to ask questions during the interview. Those questions will help you assess if you really want the job: will the tasks be annoying, the co-workers dumb? Treat the interview as a first date and you'll both more wisely decide whether you should hook up.

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