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How Interviewing Is Like Dating

How Interviewing Is Like Dating

You put on your best outfit.  You know the one that makes you look good!  You double check the location and the time.  You prepare some anecdotes and some questions, just in case the conversation lags.  You leave early because nothing is going to make you late for this.

What is it?  Could be a date, could be an interview.  Because the truth is they are a lot alike.  Everyone is on their best behavior hoping to pass muster and warrant a second date, er, interview.

So here are three ways interviewing is like dating. 

  1. Most people go into a first date and interview hoping it will be a match.  Call it optimism – or the triumph of hope over experience but we do tend to give people the benefit of the doubt in these situations.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

    But let’s face it.  We all want the next one to be “the one”.  Most people dislike serial dating or interviewing and plan on only doing it until they “fill the position”.  So some of us have the tendency to see what we want to see and possibly ignore the warning signs.  When a candidate or date (hmmm, notice the similarity?) looks good, compliments us, and says a few things we need to hear, we sometimes stop the scrutinizing and trust our first impression.

    Big mistake!  Most people can present themselves well in the short timeframe of an hour.  But how are they after a few hours, under pressure, or answering tough not typical questions?

  1. Desperation is always obvious and always a repellant.  I don’t care how badly you need this job (or this date), never, ever let them see you sweat.  Have you ever wondered why single women are attracted to married men (and vice versa)?  It’s not because we have some crazy desire to break up a marriage and steal someone’s man.  It’s because happily married people are content.  They have confidence.  They aren’t looking and that right there makes them attractive.

    It’s the same logic as to why companies are more interested in applicants who are still working.  If you’re currently employed, they take that as a sign that somebody wants you!  And maybe they should too! 

    So what to do if you are single or unemployed?  Fake it ‘til you make it.  I’m not suggesting that you lie about it.  Rather, think about how you would feel if you had the perfect relationship.  If you were just meeting this person for business and your perfect mate was at home waiting for you, how would you act?  Or what if you had the perfect job and this interview was simply a way for you to keep your options open?  How would that affect your confidence level and behavior?

  1. Don’t badmouth your ex (employer or partner).  No matter how funny we think our stories about our exes are or how true they may be, no potential employer or date wants to hear it.  We can’t help but think, “If his boss (girlfriend) was really a psycho, how come he stayed there for three years?”  And will I be the next one he’s complaining about?

    Sure sometimes we ask.  If that’s the case, feel free to give us the typical answer such as “incompatibility” or “we had different goals”.  If we keep pressing for details, then you might have to share a little dirt.  But keep it light hearted and remember to tell us what you learned about yourself in the process.  We don’t want you to play the victim but to take some responsibility in the situation even if it’s just “It was my choice to stay when I knew it wasn’t going anywhere”. 

These are just a few of the similarities between dating and interviewing.  The best similarity of all is when you finally find what you’ve been looking for it’s the best feeling in the world.