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How Interviewing Is Like Dating – Part II

How Interviewing Is Like Dating – Part II

In the last post, I wrote how interviewing is like dating.

Since many people told me this rang true for them, I will pick up where I left off.  There are other ways that interviewing is like dating.  Here are four more:

  1. Values matter more than Personality.  Hire for Attitude first, Personality second and Skills third.  This formula (A-P-S) will almost always guarantee a good hire. How do you assess attitude?  Look for genuine enthusiasm about your company (which would mean they know about your company!), a sparkle in their eye, and someone who tells you that they want the job.  Many times (especially in sales) we “fall” for someone who looks good and sounds good.  Yet without knowing their values and interests, we don’t know if the long-term compatibility and drive is there.  So too with dating.  It’s easy to let the superficial outweigh the substantial – at first!  But time is the great equalizer…and those without substance will not make it for the long haul.
  2. Closely tied to number four is hire (or date) people with Passion.  It is your job to find people who are passionate and then find a way to tie their passion to the objectives of your company. It is not your job to help them find their passion.  With dating, sometimes we meet someone who is lost or struggling to find themselves or their passion.  Other times, they don’t have a passion and aren’t interested in finding one.  We take it on like it’s our job to fix them or fulfill them.  As I say to my girlfriends, “Don’t fall in love with potential.”  
  3. Pay close attention.  Whatever shows up on the first interview (inconsistent behavior, strange habits, incoherent thoughts), expect it to be there when they’re hired.  It’s the same in relationships – if you don’t like the behavior you see when first dating someone – don’t marry them.  It won’t go away. Rather it will grow and expand until you’re convinced they are doing it just to aggravate you!
  4. Remember if at first you don’t succeed – another one will come along.  Don’t rush the decision to hire because you’re afraid you won’t find anyone else.  There are always more fish in the sea.  Take your time to get to know your candidate.  Interview them multiple times.  Check references.  Do adequate testing.  Jeff Bezos from Amazon.com said, “I’d rather interview 100 people and not hire anyone, than hire the wrong person.”

Similar to this when it comes to dating, one of my favorite sayings was always, “Better to walk through life alone, than badly accompanied.”

But I feel I must balance this philosophy (hire slow) with a caution – when you do find a great candidate, don’t drag your feet.  Do your due diligence but do it swiftly as most star performers will have other offers and won’t be available for long.