Interviewing in the Age of Tinder
May 22, 2017
Preface: This post was written by someone who has never himself used Tinder. Additional points for background research?
Technology has changed the way we view and experience the world, and perhaps equally as important, the way we interact with and learn about each other.
Since the day Al Gore invented the internet (fact check), we’ve progressed from “You’ve Got Mail” to ubiquitous digital footprints in the form of Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and yes, even Tinder.
While the benefits of our social personas being so public can be debated, their importance can’t be understated. It used to be viewed as a positive characteristic if you had no digital presence, now it’s suspicious.
To anyone who has grown up in the digital age, none of the above are groundbreaking revelations, nor are they meant to be. However, until a recent conversation with a colleague, I never thought about the amount of information that can be gleaned from these personas, specifically as it relates to a first interview, or in the case of Tinder, the first date.
According to my colleague Julia, the team had done a fair amount of stalking, errr, research, in advance of my first interview with BPR. While this isn’t surprising given the line of work we’re in, no detail went unnoticed, including the fact that I had a dog named Riley and a weird infatuation with weather.
Another colleague summed up the necessity to stalk rather poetically, “Interviewing is like a date, you want to know if the person you’re meeting likes Nickelback before you make a commitment – the internet allows you to do that.”
The other side of the coin? Digital personas aren’t specific to individuals. Organizations, just like their employees must be cognizant of their online presence. You can tell a lot about a company by taking a cursory glance at their website, social media properties, Glassdoor reviews, etc. Just like dating, interviewing is a two-way street and it is incumbent upon organizations to put their best face forward as they attempt to attract the highest caliber of talent.
The point of this post? The interview is no longer your first impression and you should prepare your digital persona accordingly.
While there is no substitute for in-person interaction, the first impression you make on a potential employer (or suitor), is made well before meeting them. A public Instagram filled with questionable pictures may be enough for a future employer to swipe left before you even have a chance to meet them – be sure to post accordingly.