Interviewing Is Like Dating – Hubba, Hubba!

After writing “The Art of The Interview“, I realized after interacting with readers that interviewing is completely like dating!  You’ve got a first chance to make an impression, and if it’s a good one, you get to go on more dates until you finally get “the prize”.

Let’s talk about five connections that prove interviewing and dating are so much alike.  We can make an argument that the Casanovas of the world are much more adept at finding employment and potentially staying employed than those with no game.  As men are generally the ones to initiate a date, the following connections will be from a man’s point of view.  That said, all of the interview concepts are the same for both men and women.

1) HOW YOU ROLL

Date: Do you pick up your date in a Black Range Rover Super Charger, or a Volvo station wagon with missing hubcaps?  The majority of women will be more impressed with your Range Rover even if they don’t admit it.  The gracious woman will always say it doesn’t matter what car a guy drives, but we all know there is at least some value in appearances.  Beyond the element of flash, a woman will care about safety and creature comforts.  Heated seats during the winter anybody?  That’s always an option to choose if you are buying a car and using it in to search for love.

Interview: Do you wear an ironed shirt and a sleek dark colored suit, or a hodgepodge outfit with loose threads? Your employer wants you to be a good ambassador to the firm.  She imagines sending you to visit senior colleagues, or important clients and she needs to feel confident you are presentable.  Appearances matter more than you think.  Invest wisely.

2) DEPENDABILITY

Date: Have you just come out of a multi-year relationship and no matter what you do, you’re labeled as a rebound?  What about if you’ve been single for a while, and you’re getting up there in age?  Girls start thinking something is wrong with you.  Either way, you’ve got an uphill battle convincing your date you’re an eligible partner.  As a result, you’ve got to work hard to show you are a committed person who will make her happy.

Interview: Are you a job hopper, or someone with a long employment gap?  Interviewers don’t like seeing someone move every couple years because they think you’ll move on them soon, thereby wasting their time training you.  Interviewers will also question a long hiatus from work.  The longer the employment gap, the more logical their thinking.  If you are such a good candidate, why didn’t someone hire you by now?  Focus on what you can bring to the table now, instead of the past!

3) CREATIVITY

Date:Do you bring her to Chucky Cheese or to Spago’s with live jazz music playing in the background?  Instead of a restaurant, what about taking her to a park along the beach on a warm, sunny day for kite-flying and a picnic?

Interview: Do you give rehearsed answers or do you find a way to address them differently?  Rather than respond, “My biggest weakness is that I work too hard”, may I suggest saying to a female interviewer, “My biggest weakness is that I can’t stop eating chocolate-covered strawberries.  I know they are bad for my waste-line, but I can’t help it.”  Chances are, your interviewer will smile, and during your follow up thank you card, you can also include one chocolate-covered strawberry to bring her back to the point of the interview.  Sending a box is over-kill, but sending one with a very formal note of thanks will do wonders!

4) PRESENCE

Date: Are you confident and give off a sensual aura?  Do you look into her eyes and truly listen when she speaks?  Do you look away for a moment during thought, respond, and then ask her a similar question to engage her?  Do you stand up when she excuses herself to go to the restroom?  Are you self-deprecating but confident in your delivery?

Interview: You have to have a presence in the interview because you want her to remember you when the session ends.  If you’re not engaging in active listening, you’re already disrespecting your interviewer.  You want to be like that movie that leaves the viewer wanting for more after the credits start rolling.  Be unforgettable by being genuine and engaging.

5) THE CLOSE

Date: Do you drive her home, or at least make sure she gets in a cab safely?  At the door, do you shake, hug, or kiss her cheek?  Or do you go for the kill and lay a big fat wet one on her lips?  Hard to tell what she’s willing to accept, so be careful!

Interview: Shake firmly with a dry palm.  Mention to the interviewer it was a pleasure meeting while thanking her for her time.  Ask what are the next steps if she does not offer.  Follow up with a thank you note on e-mail or a card, and don’t forget that one chocolate covered strawberry.

CONCLUSION

Interviewing is a lot like dating.  The more dates you go on, the more you will be able to close.  Hence, interviewing is a teachable skill that grows with practice.  Ask your friends and family to interview you before the real deal.  The more you practice, the better chance you will have to create a long term partnership with the person or company of your dreams.

Regards,

Sam @ Financial Samurai – “Slicing Through Money’s Mysteries”

Follow on Twitter @FinancialSamura and subscribe to our RSS or E-mail feed.

Sam started Financial Samurai in 2009 during the depths of the financial crisis as a way to make sense of chaos. After 13 years working on Wall Street, Sam decided to retire in 2012 to utilize everything he learned in business school to focus on online entrepreneurship.

You can sign up to receive his articles via email or by RSS. Sam also sends out a private quarterly newsletter with information on where he's investing his money and more sensitive information.

Subscribe To Private Newsletter

Comments

  1. Aaron @ Clarifinancial says

    Some direct similarities that you alluded to are eye contact (although probably a different sort) and touching in some way besides a hand shake (again, probably not trying for a hug here).

    Most people are right-eye dominant. Know which eye that is (hint: it’s to your left) and look at it when you are sincere, occasionally switching to the left eye. Finding some non-creepy way to touch someone on the hand, shoulder or back creates a stronger connection that doesn’t make sense until you do it. This is the way close friends touch each other. Do it right and you can trigger some of those same feelings.

    Sam, I was thinking about your intro. Maybe one reason for the consistent pay discrepancy between men and women is the role we learn romantically. Perhaps most women never learned or don’t have as much practice as men in the skill set. They are better at other things, but not this. Just a theory.

    • says

      Interesting heads up on which is the dominant eye. Good to switch between eye-balls then!

      I don’t agree with touching during an interview. I think that’s off limits. There’s no way an interviewee can reasonable touch the interview unless it’s a handshake.

      Regarding your last paragraph, that’s a great theory! You’re on to something!
      .-= admin´s last blog ..The Mental To Physical Connection For A Healthier Lifestyle =-.

  2. says

    Another great post Sam! I personally experienced this when I was interviewing for an internship in college. It was a great opportunity and the pay was good. As we were interviewing we saw the other candidates. I was surprised at how many did not dress up for the interview. Maybe they thought interns didn’t have to, but they were dressed as if they were going to class.

    Two of us got picked and i think it wasn’t just about the clothes, it was the fact that we treated this serious and the clothes reflected that.
    .-= Elle´s last blog ..Beware of Census Phishing Scams =-.

  3. says

    Agree there’s some huge similarities — interviewing and dating are both about presentation, and expectation management.

    Here’s one you missed… listening. Any woman will tell you she’s turned on by a man genuinely listening and responding to what she has to say.

    Equally, it’s amazing how interviewers can respond to an interviewee asking a good question and looking genuinely interested in the answer.

    Don’t treat either dating or interviewing as a performance, I’d suggest. Treat them as a conversation between equals (and yes be presentable and creative and all that good stuff, too! ;) )
    .-= Monevator´s last blog ..Personal time management for fun and profit =-.

    • says

      Ah, but if you re-read the post, you will find that in point #4 I talk about listening indeed!

      “4) PRESENCE

      Date: Are you confident and give off a sensual aura? Do you look into her eyes and truly listen when she speaks? Do you look away for a moment during thought, respond, and then ask her a similar question to engage her? Do you stand up when she excuses herself to go to the restroom? Are you self-deprecating but confident in your delivery?”

      I will have to disagree regarding it being a conversation between equals. That may be perceived as threatening. Even if you are a senior person being interviewed by a junior. I recommend staying humble and giving the interviewer the upper hand but clearly showing your stripes.
      .-= admin´s last blog ..The Mental To Physical Connection For A Healthier Lifestyle =-.

  4. says

    SAM, sometimes when reading posts like this one, I get a warm fuzzy feeling of enlightenment!

    The parallels are amazing! I’m embarrassed that I’ve never thought of it! The interview like the first date is the most important!

    Hmmm, I have to wonder if my future interviewer will try to kiss me on our first interview! I hope he/she doesn’t get offended when I tell them I don’t do that on the first interview! :)

    Great article, and on my next future interview, subconsciously, I’ll be analyzing the interview from a dating perspective!

  5. says

    You are spot on with this. I have found that most anything in life can be easily compared to picking up a girl (or guy) at a bar. You have a short period of time to make a strong impression. You are selling yourself.

    Every time you interview for a job, you are trying to “pick up” a new boss. If you are attractive, in a professional sense of course, you will be the one they take home at the end of the night. And by that, I mean hire.
    .-= Eric´s last blog ..Credit Card Rewards Are Good Unless… =-.

  6. says

    I’m married – but this still applies to me with my wife. It can be REALLY easy once you’ve been married a while to simply wake up, leave the scruffy beard, throw on some sweats, and not care a hoot about what you look like while at home – or even going out sometimes.

    But that trap will put distance between you and your spouse. And if you’re not married, you probably haven’t thought about this because you are taking an hour to get ready, staring at yourself in the mirror, putting on cologne, etc… but if you get married, you must keep this in mind :)

    Presence in my opinion is the most important one here on the list. If you don’t have presence and confidence, you won’t have the other important areas. Presence comes from believing in yourself – and spending time enhancing that belief. If you don’t believe in yourself, your standard will be low, you’ll drive the station wagon, you will not be dependable (if you don’t have a standard for yourself or belief that you are worthwhile, why would you care about being dependable), you will not be creative, you will not even try to close.

    Good info Sam, makes me take a step back and make sure I’m aligned properly in my marriage and career and what more I can do in both areas. Thanks!
    .-= Jeremy Johnson´s last blog ..Breaking One Million In Alexa Ranking =-.

  7. says

    Wow great post I really enjoyed reading it. Never really knew that interviewing was like dating so much, guess you learn something new every day!

    Interesting bit about creativity. I never would have thought to do something like that in an interview, or the equivalent of the male version…

  8. Lovingkind says

    One of my favorite bosses was a State Department Attorney. I must have done something right when he interviewed me for a job for his office. He picked me out of the 29 State Department employees whoe applied for it.

    I don’t remember all the reasons he said about why he picked me later. I do remember he said my resume was well prepared. I knew what I was talking about. I think it must have also because that I appeared to be cheerful, honest and hardworking, a few good characters that I happened to know that I have.

    My boss and I had very good work relationship until I had to leave the job to go overseas with my husband for an assignment. He and I kept in touch, though infrequent, after I left the job. Sadly, I just learned that he had passed away.

  9. says

    I love the analogies and yes I agree in general this is how it roles… As for the dating side of things though I would never be with a woman that cared about what car I could afford or have…. However I would be with a company that cared about the way I dressed but I would prefer not to be (that’s why I am self employed I guess!)
    .-= Forest´s last blog ..Who To Look To For Help When You Don’t Have God! =-.

  10. Skip says

    Jerry Seinfeld has a great bit about “a date being a job interview that lasts all night. The only difference between the two is that there is a very little chance you will end up naked at the end of the interview.”

    Great article as usual.

  11. says

    Dating: After the date, call the girl! Let her know how much you enjoyed your time together and that you look forward to building a relationship.

    Interviewing: Follow up! Don’t be pest but send the thank you note AND call a few days after that. Let them know how pumped you are at the prospect of becoming part of the team!
    .-= LeanLifeCoach´s last blog ..Lean – Life – Learn =-.

  12. Charlie says

    Well put! Iron your dress shirt and comb your hair! And yes, dry palms please. I completely agree that interviews get easier over time. Everyone stumbles on questions so don’t worry about being perfect. Let your true self come through in your answers too – faking and lying will only catch up to you and bite you in the @** just like in dating.

  13. says

    Jerry Seinfeld has a great bit about “a date being a job interview that lasts all night. The only difference between the two is that there is a very little chance you will end up naked at the end of the interview.”

    Great article as usual.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *