Why Job Interviews and Dating are Pretty Much the Same Thing

Lindsey Lazarte
Dec 8, 2019 · 4 min read

Over the course of the past month, I’ve been involved in the interview process to help fill an open position on my team at work. I’ve had experience with interviewing candidates for other companies I’ve worked for, but not at the volume in comparison to this past month. This time around, I’d say that I’ve had much more exposure to different types of people, different types of backgrounds, different scenarios, and now have a better sense of what to look for versus what not to look for in a candidate.

Conducting a job interview can be a long and tiring process which, after a while, can get a little redundant. However, when you’re on the other side of the fence — when you’re the one who’s interviewing for a job — it can be an even more tiring process and slightly more nerve-wrecking for you than the person who’s interviewing you. You can even say that there are unwritten laws, certain “to-dos” and “not-to-dos” when interviewing for a job.

These are usually things that seem like common sense and you would assume everyone knows. Unfortunately, you can never make those assumptions because the truth is, not everyone tends to follow these unwritten laws. Not everyone knows they even exist.

When you’re meeting someone for the first time, such as in a job interview, you have to realize that first impressions really can make a huge difference. You have to understand that the way you present yourself in that initial interaction can make or break whether or not you get past the first round. Knowing that you even made it to the first round should be motivation enough to want to make a strong first impression. You know that your qualifications checked out, you know that you have a good background, and all that’s left is the actual in-person meet and greet. In many ways, one could say that interviewing for a job is a lot like dating.

When interviewing for a job, much like dating, there are many steps involved, different people you have to communicate with, and many factors to consider when looking for the “right match”. And as someone who’s been on both sides of the fence in a job interview, I can truly say that interviewing for a job and dating are pretty much the same thing. There are many aspects that overlap and these are some of them.

You have to put your best foot forward.

As mentioned earlier, first impressions can make a world’s difference when it comes to whether or not you make it to the final round of interviews or lock in a second date. If you really care about something or someone, then you should do everything you can to ensure the other person is able to see that too.

The way that you carry yourself, the way that you dress, and the way that you communicate (both verbally and non-verbally) should reflect exactly how you feel about the situation. Just imagine if you were meeting your partner’s parents for the very first time — wouldn’t you want to present yourself in the best way possible and make a good impression?

There should be a connection.

You know that feeling of butterflies that you get when you’ve found someone that you really like? It’s a wonderful feeling to have knowing that you feel strongly about the other person — and it should be felt between both parties when it comes to both dating and job interviews.

If you felt zero connection, if there was absolutely no spark, and if you were just downright uninterested, then it’s likely not a good fit. At the end of the day, you have to know that it’s both your time and the other person’s time invested, so you should at least feel some sort of connection.

The feeling should be mutual.

Having butterflies is a great thing, but it’s only great when it’s felt between both parties. The feeling should be mutual in which you and the person interviewing you are both mutually interested in each other. When I was single and dating around, I used to get so distraught and discouraged when the other person didn’t feel the same way about me. But, the question I always got from my friends whenever I was feeling sad would be,

“Why would you want to be with someone who doesn’t want to be with you?”

Again, both interviewing for a job and dating can be a long and exhausting process. It can (and likely will) get redundant and you’ll probably want to give up at some point. That’s completely understandable.

But, you can’t rush the process.

Finding the right job, or the right person, or the right apartment, or the right anything takes time, and you shouldn’t settle for just anyone or anything. So, if you’re in the position of interviewing or dating (or even both), it’s okay to take a break, but don’t give up all together. The right one will come along. It just takes time.

Lindsey Lazarte

Written by

Writer & runner based in Queens, New York. I write about writing, running, and life in general. @lindseyruns https://lindseylazarte.com

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