“One classic mistake is when people give the impression that they just want a job, not this job or this company in particular,” Kathryn Minshew, CEO of The Muse, says. “From a hiring manager’s perspective, you’re looking for someone who is excited about this role or this company. It’s kind of like dating. No one wants to date someone who just wants a girlfriend or boyfriend. People want to be with people who are interested in them.” Here are some other ways interviewing is like dating.
Representing yourself in the best yet most accurate way is as important on LinkedIn as it is on a dating site. You don’t want to inflate your skills (or your looks) but you do want to be clear about what qualities you have that a client or a date would be interested in. Articulate, poised self-representation works in both areas. Clarity of message on either site attracts the right interest from a hiring manager or a potential date. Keyword application for job skills or for interests/hobbies is another way interviewing is like dating.
Online dating services are as widespread as online job boards. Finding the site that has the people or the jobs you are most interested in might be trial and error initially but narrowing it down will pay off as you focus your attention on the right site over time. Using social media to garner additional information about the company, the job, the people you are going to be interviewing with or a potential date always has added value.
First dates are rough on the nerves – the excitement, the bouts of self-doubt and the what-if questions. Another way interviewing is like dating! Channeling your nerves into an expression of interest and enthusiasm is important in both first steps. It used to be the norm to wear a suit to a first interview, but now assessing the appropriate attire for an interview can be as challenging as a first date. Making sure your body language shows interest but is situation appropriate is important. Playing it too cool on a date or in an interview can come across as lack of interest. “She’s not making eye contact. She must not be interested. He’s leaning back in his chair. He seems arrogant.”
In a job or on a date, chemistry is important. Love-at-first-sight after talking to a lot of duds should be pursued cautiously. An objective assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of a job, a company and a date can help avoid any blind spots or snap decisions. Don’t ignore those feelings of fit though. Feelings and intuition as well as a logical match based on goals and interest lead you to the right career or the right relationship.
Interviewing is like dating in response time, too. You will probably wait a few days to hear back! Stay positive and stay active in your pursuit of the right opportunity or person.