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By: Keisha Hudson, Esq. (Guest Blogger)
Greetings, TPS Paralegals and Happy Monday! Wanna hear the good news? It’s Monday, so that means you have the most possible hours left to get things done this week! [insert worldwide, paralegal productivity cheer here!!!] Go us!
As for today’s post, I recently came across an update on my LinkedIn profile, when someone in my network “liked” a profile update Keisha had posted regarding the similarities between dating and interviewing. I liked it so much that I not only asked Keisha to connect with me on LinkedIn, but took it a step further when I stalked her asked her if she’d be willing to write a full-blown article for The Paralegal Society covering the parallels between one’s first date and a big interview! So what do they have in common? Probably more than you think.
Read on to find out…
You are sitting across the table, your palms are sweaty, you’re nervous, and it is vital that you make a good impression. Is this a first date or an interview? Both have many of the same qualities. You may laugh, but it’s true. During my nine (9) year career as a legal recruiter and job search strategist, I have come to appreciate the parallels between both situations. I often counsel candidates to approach a first interview as they would a first date. The goal is to make a good impression and get to the next step. Revealing too much information that might turn off the other party if disclosed too early in the burgeoning relationship is not a good idea in either situation. You want to appear intelligent, trustworthy, friendly, and open so that you get asked out on a second date or back for a second interview. Here are a few other similarities I’ve observed between a first date and an interview:
- Be Positive. Talking badly about an ex (boyfriend/girlfriend or employer) makes you look petty. Coming across as someone who has learned from the past and has grown because of their experiences is always best.
- Most People do not like them. The thought of a first date or interview makes most people frown. Both are nerve racking, stressful and tedious; however very necessary. Getting out there helps to ascertain what you do and do not want from a future mate or a future employer. Try to share information that puts you in the best light, while downplaying any setbacks you’ve experienced in the past.
- Candor. It is important to answer questions directly. Nevertheless, refrain from volunteering too much too early. It can scare off both a date and a potential employer. Avoid discussions about previous illnesses, crazy family members, or finances.
- Engage in Interesting Conversation. During a date or an interview you are putting your best foot forward. Demonstrate that you are intelligent and capable without coming off as a “know-it-all.”
- Compatibility. Each party on a date or an interview is trying to determine the pros and cons of entering into a relationship. They are asking themselves, “Is this someone I can spend time with day in and day out?”, “Is this person loyal?”, “Are they dependable?,” etc. These questions help both parties to determine if the relationship will be a “good fit.”
- Body Language. Smiling, making eye contact, and good posture communicate interest. It is critical to be conscious of what your body language is saying in both situations.
- Dress Appropriately. How one dresses for a date or an interview must not be taken lightly. In both instances, a good deal of thought should be taken in choosing your attire. Clothing that is too revealing, sloppy or loud can convey the wrong message. Professional, stylish and tidy is the way to go.
As you can see, dating and interviewing have much in common. At the end of the day an interview and a date are a dialogue between people who want to enter into a long-term relationship with one another. Recognizing the importance of communicating effectively is critical to being successful in both.
For those whose first dates are behind them, remember back to those times for some tips during your next interview. And for those still actively dating, hopefully these pointers will help you achieve greater success both, romantically and professionally.
Keisha Hudson is an attorney, recruiter, lecturer and the owner of KD Hudson Consulting (www.kdhudsonconsulting.com). The company counsels legal professionals on job search strategies including interviewing and creating job search action plans. The company also offers resume and cover letter writing services. Over the years, Keisha has developed a niche for creating job search documents for entry-level paralegals and career-changers.
She graduated from The University of Cincinnati College of Law in Ohio and has over 9 years of legal recruiting experience. Consequently, she possesses extensive knowledge of the hiring practices of firms and corporations. In addition, Keisha has presented to audiences on topics such as resume writing, networking, interviewing and alternative legal careers. Specifically, Keisha has been a featured speaker for organizations such as The Atlanta Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel, The Minority Corporate Counsel Association, The Atlanta Legal Recruitment Association and The Gate City Bar Paralegal Section. Lastly, Keisha is an adjunct paralegal instructor at Atlanta Technical College. She has taught courses in Torts, Civil Litigation, Introduction to Law and Law Office Management. She resides in Metro Atlanta, Georgia.
Hey TPSers – if you’re in need of some “professional” resume help, be sure to reach out to Keisha – it’s her area of expertise!
We’ll see you soon with another interesting article written by yet another esquire. It’s so cool when friendly and knowledgeable attorneys stop by our forum to share their brilliance with our readers!
Until we meet again, guard those esquires like you’re an elite member of the Paralegal Secret Service.