Presenting Yourself on a First Date

How Would You Present Yourself for a Job Interview?

Imagine for a moment that you are going to a job interview. You probably don’t go to job interviews very often so you are likely to be nervous or excited about going. You may also have written a lot of applications to get the interview, so you are keen to have a good interview, have the other person think highly of you, and land the job.

To give yourself your best chance at the job interview to be successful, you will have prepared yourself. You will have taken care to make sure that you look good. You will be dressed smartly. You are confident that you can do the job (you may be nervous about the interview, but not about your ability to do the job itself). If possible, you would have done a little research about the company that that you are applying to.

In the interview itself you will show that you are interested in the position. At the same time, you will be feeling the interviewer out to find out if this is a company and a person that you could happily work for. During the interview, you will try to talk about those parts of your experiences which are relevant to the job and show yourself at your best.

This is not you pretending to be someone that you are not. This is you showing the parts of yourself and your experiences which are most relevant to the job at hand.

How Do You Present Yourself on a First Date?

In many ways, going on a first date feels very similar to that job interview. You are meeting someone for the first time. You might be slightly nervous about the interview (excuse me, date). You are confident that you can handle the job (be a good lover, husband, or whatever else you are looking for.) You may have had to write several applications (emails, chatted to several women, etc.) to get this far. So now, you are keen to make a good impression.

For your first date, do you present yourself at your best or at your worst?
For your first date, do you present yourself at your best or at your worst?

We have all been told at some point to “just be yourself” on a date. This is good advice. However, some men seem to believe that this means that you need to present the worst side of yourself to your date. As in the picture here, they dress sloppily and then proceed to tell the woman on the first date all the worst things about themselves. They seem to feel that this gives some sort of honest representation of who they are.

Do not do this.

In a job interview, the interviewer expects you to tell them about your strong points. They expect to have to find your weak points themselves. A woman on a first date is in a similar position. She expects to see you at your best and will be looking to read between the lines to get a feel for what the worst side of you might be like. If you start off by telling them about the worst side of you, then they may well believe that this is the best you have to offer and start to get really worried about what the worst side of you could be. Alternatively, they may decide that you are just trying to put them off and are not man enough to just say that you are not interested. After all, why else would you try so hard to make yourself look bad? Either way, the date is unlikely to end with her wanting to see you again.

Similarly, when it comes to how you dress, the woman you are dating may well have spent hours preparing for this date with you. She has probably gone shopping to get some special clothes to wear. She will have thought carefully about how she is dressed. Going out on this date is a big deal for her. She is looking for someone special who will see her as someone special too. Even if you are both just looking for a short affair, she will still want to feel that she is special to you.

So, it is important that you show that she is important to you; important enough for you to take the trouble to dress up for her.

Marketing Theory: Packaging

The underlying marketing theory here has to do with packaging. People will make a first valuation of a product based on its packaging. Stores sometimes have terrible trouble selling products which are in bent tins, have damaged boxes, or where the cellophane wrapping has been opened – even if the goods inside clearly could not have been damaged.

Companies invest surprising large amounts of money in researching which kinds of packaging appeal most to their customers. And it pays off!

Typical examples are: Health products are typically in a clinically white package. Products aimed at kids use bold primary colors. Health foods are often packaged in green. Notice the difference in packaging quality at electronics store between products where the products are normally stacked in their boxes and the products (such as televisions) where the product is on display and the staff fetch your purchase from storage. Products staked on the shelf will normally have a high quality glossy finish. Products which need to be fetched from storage will probably come in a dull cardboard box, which is considerably cheaper to produce.

You will need to “package” yourself as the type of man that the women you want to date will be interested in. Are they going to be interested in someone who looks scruffy and untidy? Or are they more likely to be interested in someone who is smartly dressed? A woman is more likely to be interested in a smartly dressed man (casual or formal) than someone who looks scruffy. Would you buy the damaged package in the supermarket if an undamaged one is standing next to it..? No, then make sure you are the smartly dressed man and give her no excuse to turn you down.