Blind Dates and Interviewing

Workforce SolutionsHow much time do you invest in researching prospective employers before an interview? Or, to put it another way, how well do you get to know a prospective employer before you interview with them?

Knowing something about an employer before an interview shows the employer you’ve done your homework. Just think of it this way: A friend has arranged a blind date for you. Before you prepare, isn’t it natural to at least try to find out as much as you can about the person?

And there’s always a need to make a convincing case to an employer about what you can do. In workshops, I frequently suggest a technique called the “30-second commercial.” I’ll ask, “Who has a favorite commercial that really gets your attention, or that you like the best?” I get a lot of responses, most having to do with major sales and discounts. Then I ask, “What would a 30-second commercial about you offer?” I ask this to get customers thinking about practicing — in a mirror, in front of a friend, etc. — to detect any weak or strong qualities they may convey to an employer. Returning to the blind date analogy, don’t we often practice our opening lines?

Lastly, proper attire is always vital. How many outfits do you go through for that special someone who you really want to impress? Take just as much thought about your interview attire. For women, a conservative, professional look is always preferable to any fashion-based, low-cut blouses or high skirts. For guys? Unless your name is Michael Jordan and you’re receiving royalty checks from a major underwear company, your undergarments should never be visible. Save your own fashion sense for casual outings. Just like that blind date, that first impression on the interview is a lasting one.

LaTonya Rogers is a Regional Facilitator for Workforce Solutions conducting job search skills seminars throughout the Houston – Galveston area. She brings ten years of experience in the workforce industry along with over twenty years in the fields of customer service and education.

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