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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
Interviewing Is Like Dating is a FS original post.