Be Mine: What Valentine’s Day Can Teach You About Job Interviews

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Ah, Valentine’s Day. A day to show your affection for your loved ones. A day to make a good impression on that special someone. A time to pull out all the fireworks, chocolates, and showstoppers to illustrate how you really feel. While Valentine’s Day is a billion dollar industry, the gift you receive can be more than candy, quirky cards, and long-stemmed roses. You can actually be gifted with some power interview lessons.

The job search process and Valentine’s Day aren’t as far-fetched in comparison as you may believe. When you look at it from an overarching perspective, the way you may court a partner is the way you can court an employer, particular during and after a job interview.

Ready to proclaim your love? Here are some job interview lessons you can learn from Valentine’s Day.

Do your research

When you plan your Valentine’s Day evening, you’ll probably look into what restaurants your partner may enjoy or activities they’ll find entertaining. This ensures they have a good experience, while putting yourself in a great light.

The same can be said for job interviews. By doing your research on an organization, you put the power in your hands. Learning about company updates, industry shifts, and even doing your homework on your interviewer can establish credibility, while proving that you’re truly interested in a future with the organization.

Dress nicely

On Valentine’s Day, you wouldn’t go out in your scuffed up jeans or those shoes that are on their last life. You’d wear a nice pair of slacks, some heirloom jewelry, or a pop of color. Job interviews present a similar opportunity.

Think of your attire as your chance at making a great first impression. If you’re wearing a custom suit and tie, the employer will probably think of you as a professional. If your hair is in shambles, your shirt is dirty, or you’ve doused yourself in cologne, the employer will likely feel the complete opposite. A good rule of thumb: If you have to think about whether or not you look professional enough, you probably don’t.

Go all-out

Valentine’s Day is your excuse to pull out all the show-stoppers. Want to proclaim your love with a high-soaring banner? Why not. Propose to your partner? Never a better time. Show off your affection with jewelry? Go for it. Going all out is sort of the point of Valentine’s Day and the same lesson can be applied to job interviews.

Job interviews are meant to show why you’re right for the position. Why not bring in an extensive portfolio, show off your knowledge, or bring in a mockup of your plan for the position? While none of these are required in many job interviews, they do help you to stand out from the competition, while communicating your worth as a future employee.

Send a thank-you note

If you went out with that special someone on Valentine’s Day, you’d probably send a text or give them a call saying how much you enjoyed the evening. This added touch helps your significant other to see that you not only had fun, but you’re also thinking of them after the fact.

In an interview, similar actions should be taken. After the interview, it’s vital that you send a thank-you note. In fact, one in five hiring managers say they are less likely to hire a candidate if they don’t send a thank-you note after an interview. While thank-you notes don’t have to be long and drawn out, you should state your appreciation for the opportunity and express your vested interest in the position. This form of follow-up shows your desire for the role, as well as how your expertise could move the organization forward.

Valentine’s Day can teach you a lot about an interview. By doing your research, dressing nicely, going all-out, and sending a thank-you note, you proclaim your “love” for an organization and ensure they know you’re more than just a crush: You’re the real deal.

What do you think? What else can Valentine’s Day teach you about an interview?

Image courtesy of D Sharon Pruitt; Flickr


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Val Matta
Val Matta
Val Matta, Managing Director of CareerShift, co-founded the company in 2005 to help individuals bridge the gap between education and employment.  As a recognized expert in the field, Val is a frequent speaker on career management, networking, and job hunting strategies.  You can connect with her and the CareerShift team on FacebookLinkedIn, and Twitter.