Much like a first date, an interview is a feeling out process for both the sides. There may be some nervousness. There will certainly be uncertainty. How are they expecting me to act? What should I wear? How’s my breath?
The first impression counts for a lot.
Now, whether or not I'm a dating expert is still up for debate; however, if you’re going for an interview, here are a few essential pieces of etiquette you need to know if you want to get to a second round of interviews.
If you try any of these on a date, I would honestly love to hear how it goes (hit me up with details at firstname.lastname@example.org).
What should I wear? Wear a suit... for the interview, not the date (unless you feel a suit is appropriate, I don't know what you have planned). For the interview, a suit means your jacket matches your skirt or pants. Underneath said jacket, wear something professional, whether that be a dress shirt and tie or another professional-looking top. Regardless of your gender-expression, suits are your best bet for success. Also please wear dress shoes.
Unless explicitly told not to dress this way by the interviewer, this will be the expected interview attire regardless of what type of clothing is worn in the work place.
When should I get there? For both a date, and an interview, arrive 10-15 minutes early. If you're antsy and want to get there earlier, that's fine, but don't present yourself until you're in this time window. You don't want to show up too early, it can be a bit awkward for everyone if they're not ready for you.
Also, please don't show up last minute. It's a major red flag.
Be friendly with the receptionist (or parents, or roommate): Whoever is receiving you at the office's front desk (or your date's house) will likely be consulted to see how you behaved before the interview (or date) began.
Physical Contact? Shake the interviewers hand before and after the interview: No need to wait for them to initiate the handshake. They might be tired from all the interviews and might not initiate. If they have a valid reason not to shake your hand, they will politely decline and it will not be a big deal, I promise.
If on a date, remember, consent is key. Ask before you do anything.
How do I follow up after? After an interview, write a “Thank You” email. Later that day or the next, write an email to the hiring manager (and the full committee if possible). Don't try to continue pitching yourself here. Just tell them it was really nice to meet them and thank them for taking the time to interview you.
As for following up after the date, totally up to you. Follow your heart.
I hope you enjoyed this ultra-romantic interview advice. I certainly had a good time writing it. Good luck on your next interview!