You wouldn’t do it on a date…

First dates, and interviews can be daunting. Potentially more terrifying when combined. If you’re questioning how the words ‘date’ and ‘interview’ could ever be used in the same sentence – let alone interchangeably – the chances are, you could be taking an entirely new plan of attack when preparing for your speed networking interviews.

If you were invited to a speed-networking event, you already have the suitable skills; so back yourself! Just like dating you can start by making sure that there’s nothing stuck in your teeth, your hair looks fantastic and your outfit is fierce.

Actively Listen. Ask Questions

Similarly, to a first date, the increasing level of competition as you prepare to land your dream job, means a striking first impression is extremely important. When making a connection with someone, two-way conversation is essential. If somebody comes across as uninterested in what you have to say, it is likely that you aren’t going to want to keep them around. It is important to show you are passionate and excited about the opportunity presented to you, and your future within the company. Asking questions during your interview, demonstrates to the employer that you are actively listening and eager to move forward with them.

Eye Contact

When you’re sitting across from someone you could potentially spend a lot of time with and they seem to look everywhere in the room – but at YOU – it projects disinterest, and you’re unlikely to connect. During your speed-networking interviews, eye contact is ESSENTIAL to project confidence and create a personal connection with the interviewer.

Dress Appropriately

Picture this, you’ve booked that really nice italian restaurant by the river because their reviews on yelp are fantastic, they’re a tad pricey but you’re treating yourself because after all, how many first dates do you get with someone? With that in mind, your dinner date arrives wearing crocs and socks, boardies and that promo shirt they won from the uni bar in O-week. You would be reluctant to ask them for a second time around. Dressing appropriately is essential during speed-networking events to send the right message to the employer. Start-ups appreciate a good mix of professionalism and fun, when picking your outfit make sure it speaks for your personality, whilst also being appropriate.

Arrive Prepared

Finally, imagine you’ve got to the end of your evening only to discover your date has come unprepared and drops the ‘Sorry, I left my purse at home’. Chances are, you’re not going to be interested in keeping in touch. Arriving unarmed for your interview, without your resume or contact details signals alarm bells to the employer placing you at an instant disadvantage to other eligible candidates. Be sure to always arrive prepared with multiple resumes on hand.