First Dates are like Job Interviews with Cocktails

03 February 2022 Laura Galvin

Interviewing Tips Barratt Galvin International Legal Recruitment Australia Middle East

“First dates are like job interviews with cocktails”

Have you ever thought about the similarities between a job search and dating?  I’m certainly not the first to draw that conclusion.  I recall an episode of Sex and the City where Carrie states that “First dates are like job interviews with cocktails”.  This perhaps explains why myself and other recruiters I know have always said that dating just feels like work!!  Both involve a first meeting, nerves, multiple outfit choices and the ability to achieve a certain level of engagement with another person in a short space of time.  If you are successful, you are afforded the chance of a second meeting which may then result in an offer.  In recruitment terms, this offer would be for employment.  In dating…..well that’s up to the individuals to decide what that offer entails!


Recruitment and dating have come a long way in recent times thanks to digital advances.  Online sites and apps full of data make screening the dating world as easy as a swipe to the left or right.  In recruitment, we are perhaps not as swift in our judgement but equally we are no longer limited to screening applicants via words on a piece of paper.  LinkedIn provides a more comprehensive view of an individual’s career history, education, skills and volunteer work and allows the recruiter or company to directly contact the candidate whether they are actively seeking a new role or not.  Facebook provides a glimpse into the social life of an applicant if they have chosen low security measures on their profile (yes we do look!!).

Whether you are searching for a job or a significant other the success of your search is largely dependent on your communication skills and, perhaps at times, a little creativity to gain an edge over your competitors!  Communication in recruitment is absolutely paramount whether you are a candidate, a recruiter or a hiring manager. 


Although I am a recruiter myself, I am the first to recognize that we are not perfect.  My years of experience in legal recruitment have shown that one of the areas in which recruiters fall down is communicating any sort of negative feedback.  Instead, they avoid the topic all together choosing to leave the candidate in the dark.  That’s a terrible service, and one that has been damaging our industry for many years. 

If you are a recruiter currently feeling guilty of doing this yourself, it’s time to put an end to the avoidance.  There is a world of automation being built that will at some stage see the end of recruitment as we know it today.  So if you want to stay in this game, you’ve got to remain at the top of yours.  Stand out from the crowd.  Have the awkward conversations and offer a better service than your competitor.  Call the candidate to tell them they have been unsuccessful.  Offer them advice on what that they can improve on for next time or simply reassure them that you are still there to represent them to other opportunities. 

Our clients have come to us for assistance with the full spectrum of their recruitment which includes professionally dealing with unsuccessful applicants on their behalf.  So yes, sometimes we are tasked with the call that may feel like we’re saying sorry but “they’re just not that into you”.  But isn’t that better than just leaving the poor person in the dark?  If you are tenacious enough you’ll find another opportunity that you can represent them to or at the very least, provide advice that may help them land their next role.  Hopefully their gratitude will result in new business being sent your way.


With all of that being said, recruiters aren’t the only ones guilty of going silent!  We have plenty of experience investing our time with candidates, providing advice to get them to interview stage and then suddenly………silence!   

Communicate effectively with your recruiter.  This is your job search.  Take ownership of it and be an active participant ensuring you get what you want out of it.  This means keeping your phone on and regularly checking it for messages.  Your recruiter is working hard to obtain an interview for you.  You need to respond in a timely manner so that the interview can be secured in the clients diary.  We are managing not only your job search but also our own reputation with our clients.  If you have a change in your circumstances since meeting your recruiter – tell them!  We are a very skilled bunch, but mind readers we are not!  We are also thick skinned and can handle a little “it’s not you, it’s me. I just need to put my search on hold due to [explanation]”.


The truth is whether you are job searching, looking to employ someone or dating you’re dealing with human interaction.  The strength of your communication skills will go a long way to ensuring your success both professionally and personally.


Contributed by Laura Galvin, Director of Barratt Galvin


Photo by Olenka Sergienko from Pexels

Barratt Galvin is an Australian based legal recruitment business providing law firm resourcing solutions.  Collectively, our consultants have over twenty year’s experience placing legal professionals into law jobs locally and internationally. 

Based in Sydney, we assist legal professionals looking for legal jobs within Australia, as well as those relocating to or returning from London and the Middle East legal markets.  

Our core client base is made up of elite private practice legal teams within mid to top tier and international law firms.  The legal jobs we recruit for include Lawyers, Legal Secretaries, EA/PA, HR, Business Development & Marketing and Office Support. 

As recruitment experts in Australia, London and the Middle East we can assist you with your international or local legal job search.   Barratt Galvin is focussed on providing you access to legal job opportunities that align with your career goals, at the best possible salary level within the market.


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